If you’d like us to give you a call, leave your details here, or feel free to contact us using the details below.

If you’d like us to give you a call, leave your details here, or feel free to contact us using the details below.

Level 2, 18 Customs St East, Auckland, New Zealand

+64 9 379 8920

  Ben Parsons

Ben Parsons

Managing Director

If you’d like a quote fill out the following form, or feel free to contact us using the details below.

If you’d like a quote, fill out the form to the left, or feel free to contact us using the details below.

Level 2, 18 Customs St East, Auckland, New Zealand

+64 9 379 8920

  Ben Parsons

Ben Parsons

Managing Director

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How do you really empower customer service staff to take action, make that call, resolve that issue and consistently do the things that lead to good experiences for customers? And to do it genuinely, embracing a human-to-human (H2H) approach... Read more

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CRM’s are square pegs when it comes to the round hole of customer experience management. Get the most from your CEM programme by investing in the right tool.

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A smart Customer Experience Management programme provides actionable steps for improvement – make sure your CEM programme has these key aspects…

Renters left in the cold

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Mouldy homes aren’t healthy homes. See this Newshub story based on our latest research: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/mouldy-rental-homes-a-big-problem-2016071816

How creative can a researcher be?

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Most of us believe that only certain people are creative. These creative types are often broadly categorised by either who they are (i.e. musicians, artists, etc.) or what they do (i.e. graphic design, marketing, etc.). As it turns out, and most creativity experts tend to agree, this can’t be further from the truth. We are all creative in a certain way. In fact, we were all creativity experts once when we were children, making things out of play dough and drawing with crayons. Read More...

The authors of “Creative Confidence”, Tom and David Kelley believe you don’t need to make dramatic changes or take big steps towards becoming a creative person. Creative confidence can start with small actions such as picking up a marker and drawing something on a whiteboard. A lot of people have a fear of even approaching a whiteboard, let alone drawing something on it, and tend to insist that they “can’t draw”.

In their book, Tom and David Kelley refer to the work of visual thinker, Dan Roam who argues that if you can draw simple shapes such as a circle, square, triangle, line and blog, then you can draw. Sometimes just breaking the mental barrier and drawing something on a board, piece of paper or napkin can make you feel so empowered it becomes the catalyst for other small creative actions that can turn into a creative flow that will eventually become part of everything you do. Helping you solve all sorts of problems from simple to complex ones. The good news is that if you are not yet confident in expressing yourself through drawings, you are not alone. Dan Roam finds that most people are naturally confident only to go through others’ work with a red pen or highlighter. But you don’t have to be that person forever.


hand me the pen cartoon

© Dan Roam

Ladders and bananas

Cyriel Kortleven, a creativity expert from Belgium, believes that we rely on our logical thinking 95% of the time and are so used to following rules, processes, systems and agreements that often times we get stuck doing things the same way without questioning whether there is a different (better) way. He calls it a “ladders and bananas” syndrome.

ladders and bananas cartoon

© Cyriel Kortleven

It begins when a banana peel is dropped (i.e. a problem occurs) and someone (either you or someone else) decides to put up a ladder over it to prevent potential falls and injures (i.e. the solution is found). So what happens next is both too funny and all too familiar. Suddenly everyone around (including you) starts using the ladder to bypass the banana peel and the cycle continues until someone else (usually a newcomer to an organisation) points out that there might be a different way of solving the problem.

Cyriel urges everyone who wants to become more creative to spot those invisible ladders, come up with alternative solutions and most importantly act on them. The last step can be easier said than done but it’s a crucial one for gaining creative confidence.


yes and act cartoon

© Cyriel Kortleven

Even spotting the invisible ladders or barriers to creative thinking can be difficult. They come in all forms and shapes and can be both formal and informal. Some handy tips on how to spot them and how to turn them into positives can be found on the Idea Killers website that comes complete with downloadable versions of idea killer and idea booster compilations and loads of other useful information on creativity.

What about creativity in research?

In research, we are so used to using logic that it might appear that creative thinking has no place. But if you make an effort you can bring creativity into research by making small changes in anything from the way you capture and analyse data through to how you report findings. So next time you are putting together a proposal for a client, think about how you can do things differently and perhaps more creatively. Think about how technology can help you become a more creative researcher.

There are many companies that specialise in interactive dashboard reporting, Buzz Channel’s Cemplicity platform being one of them. The combination of cutting-edge technology and beautiful design is what makes Cemplicity reports both powerful and incredibly attractive. So instead of static and boring Word reports that researchers used to deliver to clients for years, you can now take your clients’ data and turn it into something interactive and creative with the help of tools provided by companies like Cemplicity.


yes and act cartoon

This is just one of the examples of how you can infuse your research practices with a bit of creativity. How about using selfies to access research portals, capturing ad impressions data through SnapChat and adding Instagram photos taken by clients to research reports? In summary, we may not all be artists, but we can certainly be more creative researchers.

Traditional paid marketing is on a downward trend as consumers have the ability to select what they see, ignore banners and increasingly implement technology to block ads. Meanwhile content marketing - combining high quality content with a strong creative strategy - is on the rise. Not surprising since studies show that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many sales leads. (Source: DemandMetric). Read More...

Just like a Google mantra, it’s all about providing relevant content that consumers find valuable - and aligning your brand to that content. That way you’ll communicate with your target market by being valuable to them and providing content they love – your brand will look good and you’ll be rewarded with business and loyalty.

If you want to survive in 2016 and beyond, your content will need… to be better-researched, better-written, and more valuable to your audience.
-Jayson DeMers Inc.

So what does it take to create content that really hits the mark?

Good content starts with a deep understanding of your customer, what they’re into, how they feel and their perceptions of your brand. If you don’t have that, its nigh on impossible to create campaigns that will make your target market sit up, and say, ‘it’s like they read my mind!’

By understanding their key pain points and desires and showing up with your content in a way that speaks to that, you’ll demonstrate an interest in your customers, engender trust, and create healthy relationships and further engagement - from your website, to blogs, to social media.

Here’s what to focus on when undertaking research designed to generate great content:

  1. Focus on customer engagement research for more than just data and behaviour measures. Customer engagement will uncover the ‘why’ and delve into people’s rationale, their underlying motives, values and perceptions. Use this intelligence to form a deep understanding of your customers or potential customers.
  2. Find out about their perceptions of your brand or product - what they like, what they don’t, and what your brand or product actually means to customers. If it’s done right, you’ll get their thoughts and feelings about your product reflected back to you in their own words. Felicia Sphar, Copywriter and Founder of Instantly Irresistible, says she uses surveys to understand how her customers feel about a product, and often uses their exact wording in her copy:

    Hardly anyone will tell you this, but writing great copy is all about stealing. Literally, stealing the words from your customers’ mouths… which is why asking survey questions is so important. One of my favorites to ask that performs consistently well is: “If you had this information, what would it allow you to do? How would you feel?” I love to ask this question via email because people really open up, have time to think through their answers, and you’ll find a lot of ‘gold nuggets’ for your copy. This is how you get the ‘painted picture’ of what your product actually means to someone––as it’s never about the product itself. You have to uncover what’s ‘under the rug’ in order to move people with any copy you write––and then USE that exact language. Thankfully, there are no ‘copy police’ that get you for stealing. You’re only rewarded in sales.
  3. Consider using different techniques to get different types of consumer insight, such as:
    • Observational research to see/observe how your customers engage with content and/or your services and products
    • Discussions and interviews online or face to face
    • Video diaries, selfies, voice recording snippets using their smart phone – an easy and direct way for customers to share what’s on their mind right now (e.g. as they experience your brand offering)
    • Good old survey research – it could be as simple as two quick questions and can reveal a lot. Make it short and snappy - the days of longer = better are long gone.
  4. Measure characteristics – which aspects of your brand or offering stand out most, to a particular demographic or target group. This will help you to get really clear on the type of customer you want to attract based on a good knowledge of your existing ‘ideal customer’ type or buyer persona.
  5. Lastly, once you’ve created your content, you need to monitor and evaluate. Measure the impact of your content on their offline behaviour, so you can tweak what’s not working, focus on what is and make your content more and more irresistible over time.

To find out more about customer engagement research, visit www.buzzchannel.co.nz

The science of building a good research panel

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Producing good quality research data isn’t easy. In order to get a good cross section of the population to take part in surveys, you need to apply a lot of hard work, science and a good understanding of human behaviour. Behind the community of people that take part in online panels, there’s a science involved in building, managing and keeping fresh a panel designed to garner good research outcomes. As with any science, we know there’s some key factors that need to be understood in order to create a good quality online research panel. Read More...

Here are the most important:

  • A high quality research panel should not only be representative of the population in terms of demographics, it should also be representative of the population in terms of attitudes. That means having a range of people taking part in surveys, and doing so for quite different reasons.
  • Recruit people onto the panel using a wide range of techniques – online and offline, and promoted through different channels to ensure diversity.
  • Make participation convenient, easy, even fun, by ensuring surveys can be completed anytime, on any device, without overburdening people with long repetitive question sets.
  • Avoid survey junkies – the reasons are fairly obvious, ultimately poor research data.
  • Make sure you get the incentives right - provide a range of incentives that will appeal to the broad variety of people you’d like to attract.
  • Good response rates – find ways to keep people involved, help them feel committed.

Our online research panel buzzthepeople gives panellists the opportunity to earn points for themselves or donate their points to support a charity, school or community group. Almost half of panellists choose the latter. This aspect to our panel membership is vital in terms of achieving that attitudinal balance, and providing a broad base of well-rounded and committed people.

This unique panel sourcing and incentivisation model overcomes limitations sometimes associated with research panels because members don’t just join purely for the cash and prizes offered. We have panellists who are contributing to their child’s school or sports team. They’re from a broad cross section of the population and because they’re contributing to their community they tend to be more committed.

Why is this important? Now’s probably a good time to note how important quality respondents are to good research. The quality of respondents will largely determine the robustness of the answers you get in surveys. In order for clients to make decisions based on the research results, it’s important to be confident you’re talking to the right people; people who are the same as your market in their age, gender, wealth, location and attitudes.

Buzz Channel regularly review our processes and panel management approaches against international Best Practice.

For more information go to www.buzzchannel.co.nz or contact

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In order for your business to innovate and thrive, understanding what your most valuable clients think and need is vital.

But high level executives and senior managers don’t have the time or inclination to take part in surveys – even if you actually manage to fend off the gate keepers and make it to their inboxes. Frustratingly, the people whose opinions matter the most and whose perceptions can make or break your business are the least likely to engage with your research.

So, how do you tackle the seemingly herculean task of finding out what smart, busy, high level managers think about your products or services?

Here’s five things to consider before conducting your research with senior executives:   Read More...

1. Know your audience and establish rapport

  • Don’t just ask for a bunch of information from them, use language that provides context, speaks directly to the user and presents questions as an opportunity for participants to provide valuable insight.
  • Treat it as an important opportunity to start a two-way conversation that you can both benefit from, a way of building a valuable relationship. Show how their input will be used to improve the service or product you provide, and how they will ultimately benefit.
  • Make it unique, personalised, interactive and well thought out.
  • Consider sending the survey request from an equivalent senior level in your organisation – you’ll create the feeling of an exclusive club and the sense of a high level conversation amongst peers.

2. Aim to get the whole story – not just the answers

It’s a good mantra to live by when conducting any research, but particularly with senior level executives where it’s crucial to get the deep insight this opportunity can yield. While online surveys are an efficient and streamlined approach to engaging with executives there are other options that might be better suited to this group.

Having a research specialist interview (rather than survey) a small number of executive customers separately and in person can be invaluable in terms of building relationships and providing the kind of meaty, useful and actionable insight you’re looking for. Interviews are particularly useful because:

  • They allow the researcher to uncover insights that underlie the facts and outcomes
  • They provide a greater opportunity to clarify questions and follow-up on answers, allowing the interviewer to capture examples, and stories, and collect feedback on ideas you might not have thought of before
  • Participants might actually prefer a short face-to-face meeting or phone call to express their views
  • Buy-in can sometimes be greater as executives are inclined to see it as more important

3. What’s it worth?

Top level executives aren’t likely to be enticed by a relatively small amount of money or other commonly offered incentives. Plus, they may actually be prohibited from accepting incentives. Other options might be better:

  • A donation to a charity, especially one they or the company has a personal connection with
  • Offer to share the research findings – this is industry intelligence that’s relatively difficult to come by so has a unique value

4. Timing is everything

Particularly in terms of online surveys, make it quick, easy and mobile optimised. Senior level executives tend to travel more, move quickly and, of course are especially pressed for time.

  • Use design and language to create the easiest most efficient experience for users
  • Consider the best day of the week and time of day to send the survey. In some cases it might be more appropriate to send on a Saturday when there’s more time to complete it and less competing email traffic. Run tests, and adapt your approach depending on response rates on different days and times of day.

5. Design with the end in mind

A well-designed research process will get the answers needed, so spend some time making sure you’re targeting the right people and have the right research staff involved.

  • Ensure it (in the case of a survey) reaches the right people at the right level and that they’re asked the right questions – you only have one shot at getting this right. Tangible outcomes are vital – there has to be a “so what” that comes from your research data and that is highly dependent on your questions
  • Agree on your targets – information from the people who report directly to the most senior executives in an organisation can sometimes be useful as well
  • Employ the right research professional to conduct the research – someone who has some business nous, and can flag issues where they see them.

Using the right techniques, language, approach, timing and incentives can encourage greater uptake among this important target group.

For more information go to www.buzzchannel.co.nz or contact

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Sometimes it can seem like the process of community engagement can have a very specific and one-dimensional function. It usually goes something like this; engage a bunch of people on a particular topic, get their input, make the decision and move on. Then the next project comes along, so you repeat the process. Meanwhile someone else from another part of the organisation is doing the same, often involving the same community members in their process.

While this approach can work for the specific project at hand, it’s inefficient at an organisational level, leads to ‘consultation fatigue’ among the community and really isn’t making the most out of the important relationships you have with your stakeholders.

By establishing an online community panel, you can develop an on-going two-way dialogue with your community over time. They get to know what you’re planning and how you make decisions, and can get involved in the decisions that most interest or affect them without being over-contacted by your organisation. You get to know your panellists and their needs, and can coordinate the activities that involve the panel, to minimise duplication. The organisation makes more informed, transparent decisions, which builds trust and confidence.   Read More...

There are many benefits of an online community panel – both to panel members and your organisation. Here’s seven of them:

  1. gives a recognised and consistent means for the community to participate in decisions, and allows people to get involved quickly and easily, with a low barrier to participation
  2. demonstrates an openness and willingness to involve the community, stakeholders, residents and customers in the organisation’s decisions, and build relationships over time
  3. increases public awareness and understanding of the organisation, its services, processes plans and decisions
  4. provides a simple mechanism for the organisation to ‘close the loop’, show the community that you actively listen and demonstrate the extent to which public opinions have shaped decisions
  5. gives the community increased trust confidence in the organisation’s decision-making over time (provided the organisation does genuinely listen and provides balanced information on how it is using public input to make decisions…)
  6. acts as a catalyst for broad organisational collaboration and coordination between the various teams (i.e. a central hub) to increase efficiency and minimise duplication and fatigue
  7. makes it easy to publicise and recruit people for other consultation/engagement/research opportunities e.g. co-design processes, workshops, events, forums, open days, interviews, and specific media campaigns etc.

Check out more about online community panels here