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Management Roundtable presents the first annual
Customer Needs Discovery
& Innovation Congress
Beyond 'Voice' to Total User Experience

August 13-15, 2007 / Chicago, IL

Pre-Conference Workshops:

    The Customer Archetype: Benchmarking Key Dimensions of Customer Needs, Wants and Aspirations
    Instructor: Michael Eckersley, PhD, HumanCentered

    More Info


    From Recruiting to Reporting: Best Practices in Ethnography
    Instructors: Melinda Rea-Holloway & Julie Peggar, Ethnographic Research, Inc.

    More Info

    Winning the Customer's Buying Decision Instructor: Peter Marks,
    Design Insight
    More Info


The Customer Archetype:
Benchmarking Key Dimensions of Customer Needs, Wants and Aspirations

Michael Eckersley, PhD

"Know Your Customer" is a first principle of business. Yet day-to-day focus on markets, on financials, on strategic interests and the mechanisms of management, while necessary, can cause companies to lose touch with customers-- their needs, wants, and desires. Bringing "The Customer" back from a state of abstraction or limiting stereotype has important implications for all business functions. Failure to do so can lead to confusion and irrelevance, faulty assumptions and missed opportunities.

"The Customer Archetype" is an opportunity to learn best practices for creating robust, "living" customer models that complement and round out customer snapshots based primarily on surveys and focus groups. Adapted from the work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, customer archetypes are being used successfully to guide corporate teams in the practical work of product/service development and innovation. The payoff to teams is a wealth of brand-relevant ideas and strategies that really connect with customers.

Takeaways include:

  • A solid business-case for the use of qualitative, human-centered data to help inform product/service development

  • Methods for discovering and mining relevant customer experience

  • Techniques for synthesizing insights and spotting opportunities from the data

  • Tips for communicating the benefits and business implications of new opportunities

About the Instructor

Michael Eckersley leads HumanCentered, a specialized team of affiliated social scientists, designers and planners. With advanced training in design, social science, and education, Michael is also Professor of Design Management and Interaction Design at The University of Kansas. On the professional side Michael has considerable project and group management experience, serving as Design Strategy Director for Sybase in their online financial services business. HumanCentered clients include leading companies in industries from Health Care and Enterprise Software to Fast Food and Consumer Products. Michael currently splits his time between Kansas City and Park City, Utah.


From Recruiting to Reporting:
Best Practices in Ethnography

Melinda Rea-Holloway
President & CEO

Ethnographic Research, Inc.

Julie Peggar
Field Lead

Ethnographic Research, Inc.

This pre-conference workshop will address best practices in ethnography from sample recruitment and research design to final analysis and reporting. Speakers Melinda Rea-Holloway and Julie Peggar are from Ethnographic Research, Inc., the company currently developing the standards for ethnographic practice with the Market Research Association.

Topics covered will include:

  • An overview of the theories that drive ethnography and why ethnography is so revolutionary in the way we understand consumers and consumption.

  • How ethnography appropriates theories of culture and social interaction into market research analysis.

  • Situations where ethnography is a good fit and situations where it is not.

  • Methods for recruiting representative, poignant samples.

  • Ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation and open-ended interviews.

  • An inside look at analysis and reporting strategies that maximize the actionability of findings.

And a whole lot more!

This will be a full day session full of hands-on exercises and informative fun designed to bring you inside the world of an ethnographer. Attendees will learn about what ethnographers do (if they’re doing it right), how they approach understanding and why, and the benefits of taking an ethnographic approach versus other, in-context approaches.

About the Instructors

Melinda Rea-Holloway, is President and CEO of Ethnographic Research, Inc. She has spent years pioneering ethnographic field and analysis methods for business consumption. Her research experiences have taken her around the world to hospitals, retail spaces, restaurants, homes, tourist and business settings. She is a skilled trainer and presenter known for her lively, informative, and thorough talks. Melinda is based in Kansas City. She holds an M.A. in Sociology and is dangerously close to completing her PhD in Community Psychology.

Julie Peggar is a field lead at Ethnographic Research, Inc. and oversees ethnographic research at our LA field site, observing and conversing with people as they go along their everyday lives. She’s a sociologist from UCLA with an expertise in interactional nuances and conversation analysis--gleaning sociological and marketing insights from our everyday interactions. She is also experienced as a college-level teacher so motivating and educating groups of people in presentation settings is old hat.


Winning the Customer's Buying Decision

Peter Marks
Managing Director

Design Insight

This session will be fast-paced and highly interactive - bring your product and service development problems and opportunities to discuss. If you like, we’ll illustrate the theory of human decision-making in the context of your products, your customers, and your competitors.

Among the topics we will cover and questions we answer:

  • Models of customer buying behavior, including a marketing-oriented look at a version of Triune Brain theory, customer types, etc. Are your efforts all “gut feel” and response to surveys or do you have a guiding model based on what we know about customer buying decisions? What models of customer buying behavior might work best in your competitive environment?

  • The Origins-of-Value matrix, which correlates financial goals (market size, market share, profit margins) with customer behaviors (interest, choice, and loyalty) and development stages (innovation, customerization, and optimization). How can you use it to get the highest ROI from new and improved products, to choose the right research methods, and lead your team to the right decisions about tradeoffs?

  • Planning for meaningful product differentiation. Is your company stuck in the rut of varying the mix of the same old features, or are you finding new and compelling ways to stand apart from your competitors (increasingly generic clones)? We’ll discuss the (only) eight fundamental ways customers choose between competitors – and how you can find new ways to win.

  • A comparison of customer research methods, from ethnography and customer visits to e-surveys. Which ones work best at each of the three major stages of customer inquiry?

  • Practical advice for building an effective marketing organization -- including attention to all that “emotional” stuff -- inside a no-nonsense technology and financially-driven company

Download a copy of Peter Mark's white paper:
Differentiation in the e-World by Peter Marks

About the Instructor

Peter Marks is Managing Director of Design Insight, in Santa Cruz, CA. His interest and delight is helping companies earn outstanding business results, by focusing their resources on products that customers want to buy. Marks has published three books, more than 80 articles, 40 benchmark studies, and several films covering various aspects of new product and process development. Marks innovative methods to help teams develop winning products, such as his Origins of Value framework and Customer $APPEALS have been implemented by several Fortune 500 companies as their next step beyond the product and process improvements of the 1990's – adding billions of dollars in new products and increased market share.

Marks is a member of the American Marketing Association and three engineering societies (ASME, IEEE, and SME). His seminars have been top-rated by four professional societies, both the American and Japan Management Associations, as well as past Management Roundtable programs.

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