When video interviewing gives market research a new dimension

Video interviewing can enhance market research greatly and even take it into a new dimension, including sentiment analysis. To find out why and how, I have interviewed Carl Wong, the CEO and Co-Founder of LivingLens who spoke to me from Liverpool. Carl talked to me about some of the innovative ways of carrying out consumer research, the use of video and massive data analysis, all based on his experience at LivingLens, a Medallia company.

When video interviewing gives market research a new dimension

When video interviewing gives market research a new dimension
As explained by Carl, video interviewing confers market research a totally new dimension

The rise of video can help rehumanise marketing data

Video adoption has been steadily climbing for a couple of decades from the first camera phones in Seoul, South Korea and Japan in the 2000s to iPhone video recording in 2009 to billions of hours of video watched every day on platforms like YouTube or Facebook.

The last six months or so, we’ve seen a dramatic acceleration in the use of live video conversations. Have you used Zoom this week? Have you been doing a Tik Tok dance? Have you taken or shared a video on one of the three-point five billion smartphones on the planet?

Now, lots of us are using video every day, and that’s what we tap into.

We built LivingLens to help organisations drive change. Big data has revolutionised marketing but at the same time, it has dehumanised that data.

So, every time an executive sees a video of customers talking about their wants and needs, every single time they see engagements, they see empathy.

Why wasn’t there much more customer video in organisations up to now?

It’s because historically, it was really hard. It was cumbersome, expensive, you need some specialist piece of software and it’s very difficult to scale.

So that’s the problem we solve. Video is translated into the tangible data of what people say, how people feel and what they do. And that means we can understand trends at scale, build video libraries as real knowledge bases and create compelling stories that drive change really, really quickly.

Vidéo études de marché
LivingLens’s Carl Wong broke new ground in the field of market research with video

And you are using video interviewing to do away with long-winded surveys

Absolutely. There are billions of surveys every year, and we’re all, I guess, suffering from survey fatigue to an extent, since surveys can be very long, and we are filling in less and less of them. We are in a place now where maybe there are one or two questions, the data-specific data points that need to be captured.

But more importantly, what is intended is to tell us how your experience was or give us your feedback or show us how you’re feeling. That’s it, it’s a single question.

And by clicking on the opportunity to leave a video or indeed audio, we open up. Typically, we would see six times the amount of words somebody will say in a video than the number of words they would type in an open-ended text question in a survey.

Also, people will describe more than one issue versus when they are typing away, where they may just stick to one. But we often see four or five different themes that emerge from people talking on camera.

We have seen the rate of response increase significantly over the course of the last 18 months. We are all just becoming more used to video and sharing our faces and using it from a technology perspective.

Now, the real challenge is to send this to hundreds of thousands of customers. That makes up a lot of data!

It’s a massive amount of data, but the world is awash with big data right now along with the infrastructures, the processing and the machine learning capabilities to analyse it.

And actually, that is the magic of LivingLens. We take video content that is historically impenetrable to analyse – video is difficult to analyse.

But we take what people say. We use machines, speech to text in a very wide range of languages, and we turn that into unstructured written text.

And actually, the text analytics industry and capabilities within that industry is pretty mature.

Video interviewing leads to sentiment analysis

We have a very sophisticated machine learning set of modules that allows us to understand at scale what people are talking about, which key themes are emerging, and what are the differences in those themes. We also do exactly the same with facial expression.

We recognise emotions and turn them into scaled, structured data, and we also add context. We have object recognition, again a pretty mature space. Everybody, whether you know it or not, is carrying that around today on his/her mobile phone.

You go and see your photos or search for an object, say for the beach, or search for a specific person, and the images will be returned. It’s a mature set of technologies and we tap into that so that we can send video into workable, structured and unstructured, scalable data, and we do it very well.

Could we take a few examples taken from your customer?

We work with a lot of companies in the sorts of quick-service restaurants area around the world. Del Taco, for example, who have got a strong presence in North America are using LivingLens.

Using video and sophisticated speech-to-text techniques, it is possible to derive statistics from unstructured data.

Rather than filling in a survey about the meal that you have just purchased, which was the traditional method, now that they’re sending customers the opportunity to share what they have experienced, by video.

In doing that, because it’s a real visceral experience of buying their food and consuming it that Del Taco clients can share with the leadership, and the front line staff. The people from the business don’t often get to see people in the restaurant and in cars actually consuming the food and talking about that experience with their families and friends and being able to really tap into seeing that experience at scale.

What that results in is a number of different things. For example, packaging and menu innovation, which is always a huge focus of quick-service restaurants across the globe, menu testing, and new item testing that has now evolved to be able to tap into video technologies that are in your pocket rather than setting up artificial stores to do that. That has been a real strong benefit that they’ll tackle.

Another customer would be Airbnb, for example. We are all familiar with Airbnb as a brand, but they are focused upon the guest experience, and indeed their wider customer experience is obsessive. They’re incredibly focused and invest very heavily from an insight and experience perspective.

They use LivingLens as a video repository, as a place to put all of their very extensive deep-dive focus group work interviews, video diary work, and they use our technologies to capture those videos. Then they use our platforms to house that very rich knowledge pool, and they use that day-in-day-out to put the customer in front of leadership, in front of design experts, in front of their user experience owners to hone and improve that customer experience every day.

With that technology, it is possible to delve into a particular experience, to extract one customer testimonial and sharing it with the board.

Indeed, yes. And it can be used not just for impactful reporting, but also to change a customer’s experience if a customer is leaving feedback in a moment in that experience because they’re having a tough time.

In real-time, that can be escalated to the right people in the organisation who can then reach out to that customer and support them and help them.

That is a very powerful and effective use case. There’s also another really rich experience that we’re seeing across customers right now, it is our new Zoom addition.

The Zoom boom and its Medallia LivingLens interface

So obviously, Zoom has a few new users, should we say so. They have gone from 10 million daily users or daily participants in December 2019 to over 300 million daily users right now. We’re all using video in our lives to talk to our colleagues, our friends and family.

That’s going to stick regardless of what happens with the future of this pandemic. I think the flexibility with remote working will absolutely stick. I think what that means is we’re all becoming much more comfortable using video communication platforms.

But imagine that all these conversations are useful to you and that you can analyse them all.

So if you can do that, then Zoom and platforms like it become the way you can really understand your customer, whether it be through customer interviews and online focus groups, or it could be how to really understand best practices across your sales force or could be a great way that we’re all connecting with each other and sharing hints and tips of how to just make our way in the world.

Using Zoom to better understand B2B customers and users

We can take any content now in Zoom and turn that into a knowledge base. Turn that into a repository of wonderful trend and insight that we can tap into using that combination of Zoom and Medallia’s LivingLens. That’s something I’m really excited about. And companies like Atlassian rarely engaged with how to use Zoom, for example, the user experience, feedback and living lens to really leverage that content and drive insight in their business. Quite often it’s difficult to get feedback in a B2B environment; you have to work hard for that.

One of the drivers for that is, as we are busy professionals, we’re always on the go. We always have the next thing to get into on our to-do list. But what we’ve found with tapping into video is actually you don’t need to be sat there at your desk filling in a survey or typing in your responses.

You can be on your walk to your next meeting. You could be going to get lunch. You can be anywhere where your mobile phone is in your hands, and you can leave your feedback and show your experience through your smartphone. We are finding it to be really, really rich for a B2B feedback, specifically when it comes to busy professionals. That’s something that I think we’ll see more of, particularly as we’re getting more and more used to in our professional lives using video to speak to each other.

Why Carl Wong created LivingLens

I am a market researcher. That’s what I did for twenty-five years. The first 10 years were in a big corporate office. Then I left and set up my own market research agency and that sort of evolved into LivingLens.

The reason we did that is that we were spending lots of money on understanding the customer, but we weren’t necessarily driving change in large organisations.

That is the genesis of LivingLens, great stories drive change. So, it’s about how we help people make great stories. I passionately believe that if we put the customer in the boardroom or if we put them on the front-line staff more so, people can see and feel and hear.

Well, customers are delighted by what frustrates them. It builds empathy and it builds emotional connection and it builds action. So that’s our mission, really.

 

 

Yann Gourvennec
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