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Revealing ‘just in time working’ in global campaign research

Revealing ‘just in time working’ in global campaign research
"Vanson Bourne’s approach was very professional and helpful. They were easy to work with and very responsive on anything from research themes to presenting results back to us as well as fact-checking on our press materials."

Grant Currie
Head of Technology Practice, Porter Novelli


Objective: global insight into work on the move

When international PR company Porter Novelli planned a global launch for a technology firm’s new mobile device, it needed to obtain senior executives’ and mobile employees’ views on a question that has bedevilled technology markets in the online age: are you more or less productive when travelling on business or working on the move?

With so many organisations increasingly mobilising or empowering their workforces, the PR experts wanted to lift the lid on mobile managers’ feelings about work as well as the way they communicate and collaborate with colleagues during fast-changing office and field operations. And they needed to deal with the issue at the heart of it all: does time spent out of direct team contact, or out of the office, represent a prime opportunity to catch up with e-mail, reports and administration?

The client organisation wanted in particular to understand two key audience categories across Europe:

  1. Corporate executive traveller – executives travelling abroad at least twice per month
  2. ‘Road warrior’ mobile worker – the field-based mobile manager spending over half their time on the road and working in sales, construction, health care and housing


From ‘wish list’ to framework

After Porter Novelli submitted a ‘wish list’ of research topics – based partly on corporate travel pressure points (connectivity, security, network access and battery life) as well as device users’ different work ‘states of mind’ when working on the move – Vanson Bourne researchers turned these themes and audiences into a research methodology and targets. The result was a comprehensive survey of 600 executives and managers across nine European countries comprising Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Vanson Bourne conducted research interviews in June 2013 and in the following month its researchers delivered data tables, a written summary of key data points and an overview presentation for Porter Novelli. Vanson Bourne’s analysis and interpretation included a Europe-level overview, separate analysis for ‘core’ Western European countries and interpretation by different types of employee.


Just in time: the inside track on a life on the move

Vanson Bourne’s research provided Porter Novelli and its client with the inside track on how business habits are changing and the positive, motivational aspects of mobile working – as well as some of the pitfalls.

An overwhelming majority (88%) of interviewees said they could get ahead or be more productive by catching up on email and other channels on different tablets and devices, leading to the designation of mobile teams and frequent flyer executives as ‘just-in-time’ workers.

The survey also revealed fascinating comparative statistics about different nationalities’ attitudes to mobile working – with UK executives most likely to feel they encounter slow or inconsistent internet connectivity while French travelling executives are most likely to do additional work while travelling.

It also showed clear contrasts between managers over what they regarded as effective and productive working – frequent flyer corporate executives are more likely to be using tablet and laptop computers than ‘road warriors’, but in output terms, both groups are spend almost exactly the same time on the same kind of tasks. The data also confirmed that the majority of senior executives face ‘pressure points’ such as lack of connectivity and inability to access to different wireless networks when they are travelling.

"Vanson Bourne’s research team worked closely with us throughout. They were very adept at assessing the brief and then identifying different avenues for the research programme."

Grant Currie
Head of Technology Practice, Porter Novelli


International insight and media coverage

Building on the survey’s identification of ‘just in time’ working, Porter Novelli has delivered a range of different marketing collateral from the original research data as well as generating widespread UK and overseas business, technology and social media coverage.

The UK-based global campaign team used country-level data to develop a ‘grid’ of key findings and statistics from which local PR and creative agencies could develop local news, discussion points and shareable material such as infographics.

And for the UK launch, Porter Novelli’s account team staged a round table involving senior client executives, mobile working experts and technology media journalists, to review the findings as the springboard to achieving wide technology, business and national media coverage.

About Porter Novelli

Porter Novelli is one of the world’s leading public relations agencies. With 90 offices in nearly 60 countries, Porter Novelli delivers best-in-class service to clients around the globe. As the agency that pioneered social marketing, Porter Novelli’s heritage is grounded in influence – motivating people to change deeply ingrained behaviours that are rooted in cultural and social norms. This is achieved by identifying and activating against key insights that drive transformational change-- going beyond just “solving a problem”. The result is greater than just influencing people – Porter Novelli makes them believe. For additional information, please visit www.porternovelli. com. Porter Novelli is a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc.