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Identifying Real-Time Perspectives of Financial Advisors for Eaton Vance

The Situation

Eaton Vance, a leading global asset manager whose history dates to 1924, was interested in learning about the primary concerns of U.S. financial advisors, their opinions about market sentiment and what issues they typically address with their clients throughout the year. The goal was to create a thought leadership initiative that would provide useful, real-time information to financial advisors, asset managers and the media, raise awareness of the Eaton Vance brand and engage with market influencers.

Our Recommendation

We worked with Eaton Vance to develop the Advisor Top-of-Mind Index, or “ATOMIX,” an ongoing measure of how concerned advisors are about important issues such as generating income, managing volatility, reducing taxes and growing wealth. ATOMIX is derived from a quarterly survey of more than 1,000 financial advisors that tracks their opinions about these issues, as well as timely market events, over time to see how perspectives change with the market—or not.

The Outcome

We’ve been working with Eaton Vance to conduct this survey quarterly since 2013. What began as a small study has evolved into one of the largest quarterly surveys of financial advisors. Eaton Vance tracks how financial advisors’ perspectives change over time as the markets change. Through the ATOMIX survey, we’ve found that advisors’ concerns do change with the market, and clear trends have emerged. Eaton Vance presents the latest quarterly results on its website via reports, infographics and video. Furthermore, Eaton Vance investment professionals use these results to articulate market trends, identify sensitive topics and develop solutions to meet ever-changing client needs.

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Deepening Customer Relationships with Technology

The Situation

A major bank came to us with good news and bad news. Because of their consumer-friendly technology, a growing portion of their customer base conducted their day-to-day transactions online. This practice saves the bank money while serving customers in a way that works best for them. The bank had two questions. First, what would get more customers to migrate to this mode of interaction? But of more concern, do these remote-only customers have as strong a relationship with the bank as they might? The bank’s challenge: while they could see how their customers were behaving, they didn’t know enough about why.

Our Recommendation

Our solution combined solid research design—selecting samples of customers and prospects based on their usage patterns—with our unique motivation research tools. The Artemis Motivation Research approach is designed to isolate the emotional drivers of decisions and their connection to consumers’ specific behaviors. To amplify the strength of this approach, we compared the motivational drivers of people with different behavior patterns.

The Outcome

The results provided some surprising observations on how each group of consumers thinks about its relationship with the bank, and what is most important to those relationships. Most importantly, the insights on how these relationship patterns came to be provided guidance on what changes the bank could make—and changes it should avoid—to deepen those relationships while capturing the benefits of technology. With this guidance, the bank’s marketing and operations teams were able to proceed confidently with initiatives aimed at bringing these changes to fruition.

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Understanding Consumer Packaging Preferences to Influence Retailer Behavior

The Situation

can1The can manufacturing industry has experienced a steady decline in market share in the past decade. The decline comes from both increases in packaging options available in the marketplace and from consumers’ growing preferences for fresh, unpackaged food. To help reverse this trend, the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), the national trade association for the can industry, wanted to understand the motivating elements underlying consumers’ packaging preferences. They used this information to develop an effective communications strategy focused on influencing consumer behavior. Communications were also targeted to the retailers who seek to attract consumers to their stores.

Decisions about food and beverage packaging are made in an intricate dance of influence and bias between three audiences—food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and consumers. While manufacturers and retailers aim to satisfy consumers’ preferences, their packaging, stocking and advertising, in turn, shape consumers’ attitudes.

The client needed to know what drives consumers’ food package choices, particularly toward selecting canned food over other packaging options across the spectrum of food types available in grocery stores. With that information in hand, we could then compare consumer drivers with retailers’ beliefs about what drives consumers. These beliefs influence their business decisions about shelf allocation, advertising and in-store promotions.

CMI chose Artemis Strategy Group’s unique Motivation Research methodology for this challenging project.

Our Recommendation

Pinpointing consumers’ core motivations for meal preparation was the key to repositioning cans as a packaging preference. Our research focused on the question “What are consumers’ thresholds and must-haves for preparing and serving ‘acceptable quality’ meals at home?” We executed four phases of qualitative and quantitative research and used advanced methods and analysis to conquer study challenges.

The Outcome

Artemis’ powerful Motivation Research technique successfully reconciled key attitudinal and behavioral insights across a complex evaluation of three audiences and 22 product categories. Artemis identified the rational and emotional evaluation factors involved in consumer packaging choices. By comparing those factors with how manufacturers and retailers perceive them, we were able to construct precise messages and positionings containing both rational and emotional appeals for cans in each product set. Then, by identifying the common rational and emotional elements across all products, Artemis delivered an umbrella positioning for cans in general.

can2Using Artemis’ research, CMI developed a successful consumer campaign called CANS GET YOU COOKING®: http://www.cancentral.com/food-cans/cans-get-you-cooking

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How Do You Create a Winning Brand Articulation?

humphreyThe Situation

The University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs was evaluating how it articulated its brand value proposition. The University had just developed an umbrella positioning that didn’t seem quite right for the Humphrey. Our goal was to help them create a winning brand articulation that was:

  • Tied to the greater purpose of the organization
  • Able to fuse the Institute’s heritage and vision
  • Supported with real, important and differentiating traits
  • A guideline, not a tagline

Our Recommendation

This was a comprehensive brand assessment and brand positioning program. We conducted a range of primary and secondary research tasks, including extensive engagement with the core stakeholder groups for information gathering and participation purposes. As with any such assignment, gaining clarity on the mission, aspirations, capabilities and limitations of the organization and understanding the specific dynamics within it are critical contributors to success.

The Outcome

The distinctive aspect of our study was that we structured all facets of this assignment into a policy school landscape picture, using our “means-end framework” (the centerpiece of Motivation Research) and policy school language to help characterize the common themes and help us think about differentiation. In the process we evaluated how 18 competitor schools answered the question “Why do I want to attend/be engaged with this school?” The Humphrey School of Public Affairs has adapted its communications based on the strategic guidance from this program.

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How Do You Build Alumni Engagement?

The Situation

georgetownOur assignment to build alumni engagement for Georgetown University’s alumni association was framed to address three objectives:

  1. To explore the drivers of tangible institutional loyalty against a continuum of alumni connection with Georgetown.
  2. To determine the relationship between attitudes about the University (then and now) and expectations of the alumni experience.
  3. To understand the role and performance expectations of the Alumni Office in fostering an enduring connection between Georgetown and her alumni.

Our Recommendation

The Artemis role was focused around a qualitative, computer-assisted facilitation process among alumni selected to represent different schools and classes.

The Outcome

The insights derived from our study led to a proposed tiered engagement strategy to help move alumni from transactional to more emotional and enduring relationships, as well as a recommendation to brand the alumni association as the portal connecting alumni to the institution.

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How Do You Bring Discipline to Strategic Communications?

The Situation

west_point_coat_of_armsGuided by its outside communications advisory committee, West Point Military Academy’s communications group contracted with Artemis Strategy Group to do communications strategy measurement. The goal was to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the Academy’s strategic communications.

Our Recommendation

We divided that into tactical message opportunities as well as an overview aimed at a set of strategic imperatives for the Academy’s communications. The assignment involved external surveys, media analysis and extensive internal interviews among key department leaders.

The Outcome

Artemis delivered a set of seven strategic imperatives built around the strategy concepts of reinforcing key benefits, refocusing some of the Academy’s strongest equities and redefining some critical weaknesses.

One of our success metrics on this assignment was the number of times Artemis was invited back to the Academy and to alumni meetings to deliver our message about discipline.

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