How to Develop a Research Technology-Friendly Company Culture

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Learn how the Royal Bank of Canada shifted its culture to embrace research technology and improve marketing campaigns.

Challenge: Build Awareness of Services & Products for Royal Bank of Canada 

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is one of Canada’s biggest banks, serving more than 12 million customers and operating in 40 countries. RBC’s marketing team wanted to create more timely and relevant marketing experiences to improve awareness of the company’s services and product offerings, including new in-branch creative content that could support employees while also informing clients.

Yet, the marketing team knew the creative assets needed to be changed frequently to stay fresh and relevant to its clients. So, the team developed bi-monthly themes based on prior research but quickly encountered delays at each stage of the creative review process. This was due to the many stakeholders involved in providing feedback, each with his or her own subjective opinions, making it difficult to move forward in a timely manner. The team needed to find a faster, more efficient, and fact-based approach for managing its creative content.

Solution: Reduce Research Logjam, Leverage Agile Research to Improve Decision Making 

It was clear RBC was suffering from a common industry problem: a logjam of research requests and a limited number of in-house market researchers to manage those requests.  With the main problem identified, the team turned to the automated market research platform, Methodify. RBC engaged Methodify to help expedite the creative process while maintaining the integrity of the data collected and reported.

Methodify’s client success team worked closely with RBC to understand the impact the platform can have on its daily operations, specifically explaining:

  • How automation frees up time for researchers to focus on the insights rather than on operational matters.
  • The ability to engage customer throughout product and marketing development.
  • How it’s scalable, controls for bias unintentionally built into typical DIY surveys, and delivers results quickly, accelerating the creative development process.

The bank’s CMO quickly mandated that his department adopt agile research by testing all marketing efforts. Methodify conducted workshops and tutorials with RBC staff in marketing, research and insights roles to explain how consumer feedback can be gathered to inform more business decisions.

Outcome: Agile Research Transforms Culture & Decision Making 

After conducting the first concept test, the marketing team took one look at the results and could unequivocally discern the winning concept. Since that time, the bank chose its theme based on consumer feedback from creative tests run on Methodify. With these clear results delivered quickly, RBC could now apply this method to all of the bank’s marketing, not just the in-branch collateral.

In 2018, for example, the bank’s advertising agency proposed a creative concept aimed at a younger target audience. There was concern amongst the executives that the younger target audience wouldn’t understand the reference in the ad. The team launched a quick survey on Methodify, and within a few hours, there was a clear answer: The target audience was familiar with the reference.

RBC also used Methodify to test the talent options for the ad. The bank chose a prominent actor and comedian, based on how he ranked highest in key categories among the target group. This data helped ensure RBC invested wisely in the right celebrity endorsement. By enabling easy project testing typically left on the table, Methodify helped limit subjectivity in decision-making and taught senior executives they are often too close to the business to make judgments. This culture change would not have been possible without measurable proof.