Best of Breed B2B Customer Research in Banking
Since 1987, East & Partners has delivered the most rigorous, accurate and trusted demand-side research within business banking markets. The basis of that research through-out has been the integrity of the firm’s research methodology.
Over that time, the analysis and insights based on the customer centric data we report to clients has been subjected to close interrogation by clients, challenging the data itself. The result of this continuous interaction is extremely robust and well-tested analytics that are “bullet proof” and timely.
All of East’s programs are underpinned by the ‘bottom up’ research methodologies the firm has developed and refined over more than three decades.
Globally, East conducts more than 75,000 interviews each year, and has built up a deep database of businesses in the markets it researches.
Strict Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are entered into with all interviewees where asked for, ensuring honest and confidential dialogue. East has never given incentives for businesses to participate in its research and has never needed to.
Some fundamental principles of this research:
These principles drive the firm's market intelligence and data gathering programs and represent the "open book" approach we have to this work.
Natural, High Quality Sampling
Natural sampling of every market we research. When East executes a research project a rigorous process is used to define the target population based on location, industry sector and size which delivers sample results referenced to the population at large. This means that once the field work is done, there are no imbalances in the sample which then need re-weightings.
The scale of our sampling is extensive. In some programs there is a near census approach, such as the Institutional programs in Australia – where around 90 percent of the country’s Top 500 corporates are directly interviewed – and the Asian Transaction Banking program, which interviews the same percentage of Asia’s Top 1000 Institutions. In Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) research, East achieves an effective coverage rate of around 0.2 percent of the Australian SME population. This means that of the estimated 1.9 million SMEs in Australia, East will typically interview 2500 businesses. In terms of ongoing SME research programs, a percentage of the sample from the previous research is re-interviewed as a means of auditing interviewee responses and outcomes. The process maintains consistency and also ensures that the research results are representative of the target group. East will also never deliver results which we believe are based on inadequate underlying N counts in a particular sample cell.
Actual interviewees selected are randomised. East uses a variety of secondary sources including list brokers and data base houses to provide lists of company names which we then run against the sample frame for a particular research program, ensuring that any criteria targets in terms of numbers, geography or business sector are met in full.
Interviewee Engagement – Low Rejection Rates
East achieves a very high level of active participation from interviewees in its primary fieldwork with businesses across the region, with rejection rates extremely low. This has a critical impact on the ultimate quality and integrity of the research. An engaged interviewee will always deliver better quality information and insights than an interviewee engaged under sufferance. East’s interviews are either conducted ‘face to face’ or over the telephone with key business decision makers including CFOs, treasurers, finance directors and business owners. Having tested and trialled alternate primary research channels many times, East does not see that online surveys or self-completion, ‘form filling’ delivers credible or trusted results. Problems encountered with such alternative approaches to “the interviewee” include an inability to check for inconsistencies in interviewee response, impossible to pre-frame structured samples and response rates are uncontrollable. We understand that many research firms collect their information via email, post and fax, similar to conducting readership and opinion polls – East does not.
Strict Anonymity – No Names = Better Response Quality
The names of the companies which are interviewed are not provided to clients. East never asks its client banks for customer lists to pad out its multi-client research. We select the enterprises we interview based on best practice sample framing and coverage – and eliminate the risk of results being manipulated by inappropriate interviewee selection or influenced by clients. Unlike some research houses, who are given the names of businesses to interview by their clients, East maintains the strict anonymity of its data base. Target sample correlation can be provided upon request, but East cannot allow the matching of any process which identifies interviewees with their responses, believing that this contaminates the integrity of the responses and compromises the interviewees.
The focus of East’s research is on financial institutions and their relationships with customers, not on individuals within those institutions. Many of our corporate interviewees are reluctant to rate individuals within their banking relationships and such information detracts from the ultimate integrity of the research, the aim of which is to produce bullet proof market data on institutions.
All results from East & Partners research programs can be used, with our consent, in the media and the wider community. We stand by our research, have a commitment to transparency and, where appropriate, welcome the opportunity for our data to be publicly available. East welcomes close scrutiny of its research results and methodology, and is engaged daily with external stakeholders in the public arena.
A driving principle of East’s work is to produce research and analytics which clients can use strategically to improve targeted areas of their business. East has strong credentials in providing research which has helped clients improve their market share and share of wallet, drive customer retention, improve relationship management and successfully launch new business lines. Some of East’s data can be used for promotional purposes and in the media, but the overarching principle is to deliver insights which can be used by clients for both strategic and tactical purposes, either internally or for use in external Thought Leadership programs.
These principles drive the firm’s markets intelligence and data gathering programs and represent the ‘open book’ approach to its work:
> Direct interviewing only
> Structured sample framing
> Independent interviewee populating of samples
> Industry-experienced research team
> High completion levels (low rejection rates)