Today's marketing executives are expected to do more than ever before—and they need research to back their assumptions up.
Barb Bowker, VP/marketing, Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (3.2 billion, Harrisburg, Penn.) knows all about it. In the past year, Bowker has been responsible for a Web site redesign, a campaign to attract Gen Y members and researching new approaches to enhance the member experience.
Fortunately, as a subscriber to Forrester Research, Inc., available through the Credit Union Executives Society, Bowker had access to extensive market research to support her recommendations. Forrester provides her with objective data tailored to specific roles within her organization.
Like most users, Bowker receives a daily digest of research alerts which she has customized for her position as VP/marketing at her credit union. She receives notification of new research on technology, financial institutions and marketing.
"To me, the daily alert is critical," Bowker said. "I know when there's new information out there that I’m interested in."
Equally important in terms of efficiency to Bowker is the format of the research she has access to. Like most professionals, she doesn't have time to wade through hundreds of pages of research, yet she needs volumes of information—information that’s usable and actionable.
"Forrester gives you data you can use," said Bowker. "It gives me solid information I can take to other members of senior management to back our decisions. We've implemented several initiatives, including improving the member experience, with help from Forrester."
"Customer advocacy data was also important, because this is how we saw ourselves as an organization," said Rick Long, VP/information technology. "Forrester's resources showed us how to position ourselves as an organization to become a customer advocate."
This valuable tool helped the credit union developed its own online banking system, according to Long. "We put a high priority on taking our products and services forward, especially with online banking and mobile banking," he explains. "We want to build as much functionality into those services as we can possibly imagine, so we can use the Forrester material as data to confirm if we’re moving in the right direction."
Both Bowker and Long look to Forrester when research requires an external, strategic view. Bowker sums up how her organization uses Forrester in its strategic planning efforts this way: "Forrester Research is consistently a credible source that gives us not just high-level insights, but insights that we can use."
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