March 7, 2018

Recent Sensemaker project roundup

Over the last year we've had the opportunity to do a couple of really interesting Sensemaker projects.  For those who are interested in South African cases, here's a summary:

Financial services:

We have gotten a lot of traction in the customer insights space, specfically in the financial services industry.  This industry operates in a very complex environment that is highly regulated but also highly competitive.  Customer insight is therefore becoming more and more important to ensure competitive advantage, especially in light of FinTech's disrupting traditional models.


  • Insight into the trade-offs people make when they make decisions involving money: for example lifestyle vs creating wealth vs security.  Insights from this project directly informed market positioning and messages.  We also applied Jobs-to-be-done theory to the results to inform product development strategy.*
  • How do millenials view money?  How do they make financial decisions?  Are the stereotypes true, or more nuanced.
  • Understanding the realities of Financial Advisors in a context that is in flux.  Results challenged assumptions about what the real obstacles were to FA performance and engagement.


  • Brand perception to inform the brand repositioning strategy of a large commercial banking group across several African countries. *
  • Understanding switching behaviour i.e. why do clients trade one bank for another and how can they be retained.*
  • How consumers think about and choose credit and how best to position a new credit product.*

Other sectors:

  • Sanparks:  Understanding adaptive management practices and assessing how the overall adaptive capcity and learning agilty in the various parts of the organisation.
  • Understanding what matters to parents when choosing a primary school for their children.  Insights were used to inform the market positioning for a progressive school.*
  • StudieTrust: Student experience of bursary holders for Studietrust.  The objectives of this project is to understand the challenges that bursars face as they make the various transitions they need to make e.g school to first year; first to second year and finally university to workplace.  Insights gained from this project directly inform interventions to help them navigate these transitions and ensure increase throughput.
  • Rockefeller Foundation and IQ Business: Understanding the dynamics of College and Industry partnerships in the context of youth employment.  This project is part of a larger one funded by the Rockefeller Foundation that involves the promotion, adoption and scaling of a Demand Driven Training Toolkit in South Africa.

Independent Research (these are both ongoing):

  • Understanding the changing retirement landscape: We are partnering with KLA and The Refirement Network to research how people aged 45+ view their next season (the next 10-15 years) from a holistic perspective. The plan is to publish the results in a syndicated report.*
  • Next Generation Leadership: We are also conducting research into how South African Youth thinks about leadership.  The results from this study will be presented at the International Leadership Association conference in Pretoria in May.  We will also publish academic and insight reports.*

*  In partnership with KLA

If you are interested in exploring how Sensemaker can be utilised in your business to gain insight into intractable challenges like employee engagement, culture or customer insight contact us for a free demo.  

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