Scott Friesen is our go-to-guy when it comes to customer insights and analytics. Even though he doesn’t work in our industry, his expertise has direct impact on adventure travel companies and organizations. Every traveler who has booked or will book with a tour operator has a unique set of attributes: unique price sensitivity, unique online purchasing habits, preferences, tendencies, etc. Learning about all the different factors that lead a customer to book is key to knowing how to reach that customer. And market research is the right tool for the job.
Last month Friesen offloaded his market research expertise in a concurrent session during AdventureELEVATE in Saguenay, Quebec. In “What Can Market Research Do For You?” he discussed the available tools and techniques and their pros and cons for helping guide the business decisions that adventure travel companies make every day. His presentation was wildly successful, well-attended and much appreciated by attendees according to our recently concluded survey.
“Corporate America is rife with lousy presentations in part because I don’t think they take enough time and energy to be really thoughtful about it,” says Friesen who treats conference presentations as a craft. “Delivering a good presentation begins with caring about the audience enough to put them first. At the root it’s about spending mental energy trying to put yourself in their shoes, empathetically, so that when you’re presenting to them, you’re trying to connect with them on a personal level about the things they care about.”
Recognizing the number of entrepreneurs in the audience at AdventureELEVATE, Friesen wanted to address not only what companies already know about their existing customers, but also what they should know about the customers they could have.
“In addition to a flexible framework that can be applied at large or small scale, it was new information to a lot of the audience to know that there are companies that specialize in helping to find survey audiences,” says Friesen. He even cold-called a market research company to get a quote in the middle of his presentation to show how easy it is. “It was a bit of a gimmick, but it worked!” he said. “I think it showed that they can go a long way to inform their decisions with a reasonable amount of effort.”
Everyone is curious about other people. Market research taps into everyone’s deeply rooted desire to learn and understand other people’s habits especially those they may even be unaware of themselves. Regardless of size or scale, any company can start engaging with market research. People are often surprised at how affordable research can be for them. That’s Friesen’s main takeaway from “What Can Market Research Do For You?”:
“If you approach your business questions rigorously, independent of your budget, you will benefit your companies and your customers. And in the process, you’ll make better decisions.”
Scott Friesen leads the analytic function at Echo Global Logistics, a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services. He’s presenting two sessions at this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit in Anchorage: “Customer Relationship Management Tools” and “Personalized Marketing + Increased Sales: The Power of CRM and Booking Engines.”