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Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), leading radio and TV distributor in Australia, connects with up to 95% of Australians each week. With increased saturation in the market, SCA has shifted its focus on ensuring content cuts through the noise by bringing the voice of its audience to the centre of decision-making.

For SCA, conversations with customers are critical—something Jasmine Beech, National Sales Research Manager has put her focus on as she works to provide continuous insights to sales teams, strategists, clients and the C-Suite across Australia.

With a fast-paced and comprehensive role, Jasmine took the time to share her company’s insight-driven ad strategy, how she has increased customer conversations by 15 times over the past seven years, and her experience working with a dozen internal teams to turn insight into action.

How does insight fit into the sales process at SCA?

We feed our sales teams with agile, ad hoc projects as well as continuous insight support across specific customer segments. From sales pitch through to ad launch, we have developed a unique methodology for measuring brand awareness, perception movements and actionable outcomes created by advertising in any main media.

For us, our insight communities are our secret weapon when we speak with prospective clients. The insight we generate to make iterative improvements in real-time has been unparalleled for sales growth.

The popular maxim goes, “Fast is better than perfect.” What’s your perspective on the value of agile insight generation over robust research projects?

“Fast-paced” is definitely the slogan when it comes to the advertising and media realm. Sometimes we may only have 24 hours to turn around a brief or a few hours to generate insight to support a pitch.

I’m a big believer in agile research, and our community enables us to do that. Traditional market research has always had the downside of taking weeks, if not months, to generate customer insight from research projects. Today, we generate insight in hours that we can effectively distribute across our teams to support client conversations.

Radio listeners are typically hard to reach. How do you deliver advertisers a comprehensive understanding of customers across a range of audiences?

Common feedback we receive from clients and ad agencies is “tell me about your audiences” or “why should I be targeting your audience?”

While radio ratings are readily available for advertisers, the benefit the communities offer us is we can deep dive into our audience’s values, attitudes, buyer graphics—anything you want to know, we can probably find it out.

Tell us about one of your most impactful projects with the community.

Where do I start? There have been so many!

Last November, we undertook a perceptual study for an insurance client to understand the path-to-purchase as well as the barriers to the brand. Through the communities, our sales team identified a mismatch between brand awareness and brand understanding. With this insight at hand, we were able to course correct with the stakeholder prior to launch and ensure its success by measuring impact over time to make iterative changes in market. Looking at the numbers, last year alone we generated over $15 million in ad revenue through community insight and we aren’t looking to slow down any time soon!

"Last year alone we generated over $15 million in ad revenue through community insight and we aren’t looking to slow down any time soon!"

Can you share one key learning around disseminating insight across multiple stakeholders and teams?

My one tip would be to tell a story around the insight. People don’t remember graphs or 30 slide decks—but they do remember stories.

Dealing with multiple stakeholders with varying agendas at SCA I’ve learnt to speak to their pains. With every insight project we conduct, I ensure it solves a challenge faced by the stakeholder, so I can meet them on a playing field that makes sense to them. It’s important to outline the “why” behind the customer need, explain the “So what?” around why it matters and always demonstrate the “Now what?’” to ensure the insight is actioned upon.

Big thanks to Jasmine for spending precious time chatting with us. Read Southern Cross Austereo’s full story and Q&A with John Musgrove, Head of Research at SCA, for a deep-dive into the role of insight for business growth in Insight-driven decision making: How top brands uncover market opportunities using ongoing customer feedback.

Insight-Driven Decision Making

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