WHEN CHANGE IS DRIVEN BY CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

WHEN CHANGE IS DRIVEN BY CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

In 2016 we lost one of the greatest collaborators of all time. Arguably the key to David Bowie’s longevity was his ability to reinvent, not only through his own indisputable creative prowess…

BIG DATA

BIG DATA

Creeping digitisation of our world means life can be recorded and quantified in ways that would have been scarcely imaginable a decade ago.

SCRIPTING EVOLUTION

SCRIPTING EVOLUTION

Kadence International has recently partnered exclusively with Confirmit for our survey programming and data processing needs. Here, Boston’s own Constantin Rusu talks about the journey of adapting to the new platform and how it enhances our team’s creativity.

Quality Through Collaboration

Quality Through Collaboration

In the Strategy Day earlier in the year, everyone from the Kadence Singapore team met to discuss about the direction and strategies for the office in 2018.

The Luxury 'Iceberg'

The Luxury 'Iceberg'

What we define as ‘luxury’ can differ so much from person to person, let alone across markets and cultures.

GDPR – Fear, Follow or Flourish

GDPR – Fear, Follow or Flourish

2018 is going to see big changes to how Europe (and the world as a whole) will have to deal with peoples Personal Information with the replacement of multiple Data Protection Acts with a single encompassing General Data Protection Regulation that comes into effect on 25th May 2018.

How to manage the overflow of news!

How to manage the overflow of news!

Having recently had Chinese New Year, a celebration of clearing out the old to make way for the new – and as we approach Spring in the Western world, with the concept of a spring clean – I was reviewing my various news sources and taking stock. There is an enormous amount of content available. Every few minutes someone I follow is posting new content to their blogs, articles or in LinkedIn groups. I have 3 international and 2 local news apps on my phones. Facebook and Twitter also pop up constantly with news stories. Then there is the business press where I have a magazine subscription as well as articles sent to me by clients and colleagues. There is so so so much, it is hard to know how to focus attention. Much in the same way as my spring clean at home. I seem to accumulated some much stuff – but do I use it all? Its time to take action! 

An article in Forbes a few years ago looked at how much content you need to read to ‘be successful’. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brettnelson/2012/06/04/do-you-read-fast-enough-to-be-successful. Assuming to be ‘good’ at business, you need to read a few news stories, a few business articles and perhaps a good book once a month. But there is also Newsletters, breaking news, LinkedIn pages etc. 

At the average rate of 300 words per minute, to stay ‘up to date’ you would need to “set aside at least 2 hours of reading every day just to keep up.

This does not even include your work emails…or indeed actual work! The article does go on to say you can look to increase your average words per minute (and so be able to consume the content in less time) but where to start? 

Probably not with the news.

It turns out the news itself could actually be damaging our health. A recent article in Time magazine - http://time.com/5125894/is-reading-news-bad-for-you/ shows that more than half of Americans report that the news causes stress. “Many report feeling anxiety, fatigue or sleep loss as a result of the news” In the article Loretta Breuning, a former professor of management at the University of California, East Bay explains that “the human brain is attracted to troubling information because it’s programmed to detect threats, not to overlook them. This can make it hard for us to ignore the negatives and seek out the positives around us,” 

As such, a plan of attack is required. There is never enough time in the day – so how do we stay up to date with what matters, whilst not overloading and making ourselves ill? 

Here are my tips for successfully managing content around you. 

1. The most important aspect is to recognise what types of content there is and to come to terms with when you should read it. For me, these are the content types I look out for

  • Headlines & general news
  • Industry news
  • Specific client news
  • Wider business interest
  • Sport
  • Interesting articles
  • Leisure reading

2. For each of the types of content, I try to engage with them at different times of the day. And for a set period of time. I do this by dividing the content up by how ‘useful’ it is to me at a given time. 
- Time sensitive. Headlines, specific client news, sport are all only relevant in the moment. 
- Occasion dependent. Industry news, wider business interest. Interesting articles. Will all increase my overall knowledge – but are all far less time sensitive. Meaning I can fit them into a suitable occasion. 

For me the Time sensitive catch ups happen early morning, before work. I have 2 dogs so walking the dogs and catching up on the time sensitive news is my way of kick starting my day. Any follow ups etc I can set a reminder on my phone as I go. Around 30-45min is enough to get set for the day. 

Throughout the day I then have 3 potential periods to fit content in. 

  1. Mid-morning. I often try and complete some priority tasks when I first get into the office. However, around 11ish, it is time for a coffee and 10min to catch up on any industry news. 
  2. Lunchtime. I save interesting articles or more in-depth industry summaries to lunch time when I have more time.
  3. Evening – This is a time ear marked for leisure reading. Switching off and reading something that has nothing to do with work is a far better way of unwinding than anything that might spark an action point for work! 

Then when on long trips, holidays or weekends – this is the time to catch up on wider business interest books, articles or blogs.

There is so much content available – but only at certain times can I get around to the ones that are genuinely interesting. But what I need to get around to right now – is spring cleaning my house that I have been putting off!


Experiences from the Insight Show

Experiences from the Insight Show

Taking part in a panel discussion at the Insight Show was a great opportunity to talk about current trends in our industry, and discuss what the future holds.

Getting To Know My New Home

Getting To Know My New Home

When I arrived in Hong Kong last September to lead the Kadence office I had a pretty good sense of the city I was about to call home.

Our new home in Hong Kong

Our new home in Hong Kong

At the beginning of February we moved into new offices in Wan Chai, two blocks from Wan Chai station.

Travel Trends

Travel Trends

In today’s world, we are bombarded with inspiration for the next great ‘getaway’. Our Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of friends and family posting images (#nofilter!) of exotic trips, we see constant adverts on TV and Youtube from holiday companies trying to get our $$$ and showbiz news is full of the latest must visit location of the rich and famous.

One of the great pleasures in our lives is the ‘Inspiration’ stage of holidays. Kadence have conducted a number of research studies into travel and tourism over the last 12 months and regardless of the age, demographic or country of origin – the part that brings the greatest pleasure is often searching for inspiration. The actual planning part comes next – working out which cities, which itineraries and which sites we want to tick off our bucket list. This can be time consuming, and sucks some of the pleasure out of the process, but is still full of the potential and also a good chance for brands to influence spend.

However, we then move into the ‘booking stage’. A phase that causes great frustrations – pretty much whenever we have researched it. People struggle to organize themselves. They have to set aside time to actually book. The realization of exactly how much it will cost sets is. Balancing the special deals, public holidays. Airport locations and transfers. But above all, the actual process of the websites, apps and travel agents causes genuine frustration.

Across Asia, the same global brands of booking sites appear as the most used. Agoda, Expedia, Trivago, Booking.com, Hotels.com are all used frequently. Tripadvisor is also consulted regularly as a way to book the best deals. Despite Air BnB and Homeaway becoming more popular – there is still a tendency for people to book through their ‘trusted’ site. Regardless of the accommodation chosen, people feel that this provides an element of trust.

The notable exception is Japan. Where Japan-specific travel agencies take precedence. Rakuten, JTB, HIS are all geared up to the Japanese (often domestically focused) traveler.

Indeed some people book direct with hotels rather than using an aggregated site believing that they get better loyalty bonus and cost savings.

Regardless of the method used – the frustrations are the same. Conflicting information, slow process, inability to tie all the trip details under one site. The implications for businesses is that a poor booking experience actually turns people to change their plans. You can spend millions of dollars on promoting your resort, town or country, but if people get frustrated with the booking – they will stop and rethink their plans. Integration, time saving and the use of ‘value add ons’ will help make the process smoother.

As more and more people take their inspirations from their mobile orientated social media – the booking process needs to mimic this journey. 

Travel businesses need to ensure that they are not only mobile ready, but mobile first.

Innovative research methods - what does that mean in Asia?

Innovative research methods - what does that mean in Asia?

As the year is coming to a close, and as I take stock of projects I’ve worked on and proposals that we should have won, this is a question that I’m increasingly thinking about, and am seeking a perspective on.

This is certainly not a new subject, and as an industry, we have peers who have already proven themselves to be ‘innovative’, at least according to the survey results of this particular report from Green Book (GRIT 2017).

I’m not here to dispute the findings or question the rankings, but as an experienced qualitative researcher, it is second nature to me to want to understand the meaning of such labels as ‘innovative’ and to contextualize it within the specific region that I work in

The greater importance cannot be stressed enough: as an organization, Kadence seeks to raise the status of market research within the region, by delivering insights that inspire and impact businesses. With that as the key focus, 

it is then important to ask whether ‘Innovation’, however it is defined, is truly necessary in the first place.

In the spirit of ‘knowing what you know, and not knowing what you don’t’, it is thus time to fully explore the question, so we can consider how it then fits into the overall narrative of ‘insights that inspire and impact’, rather than for its own sake

To be precise, these are the questions that I’m seeking to answer, in order to truly make sense of the subject:

  1. Can we apply conventional definitions of ‘innovation’ (e.g. disruption, novel/new, creativity, etc.) common to other industries to our own, given that its narrative may/may not be directly applicable?
  2. Even if we can define ‘innovative research’, how does it need to be implemented?
  3. What kinds of ‘research innovation’ does Asia need that is the most relevant and pertinent to how the region is developing?
  4. Ultimately, who benefits more from ‘innovative research’, clients or agencies, and why?

This will be the first of a series of articles on the topic, as I explore its multifaceted nature. I’m hoping that through interacting with my colleagues, peers and clients, I’ll be that much closer to an answer.

Stay tuned for the next article, as I share my immediate findings on the explorations.