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Gaining Stakeholder Insights for ISU with Global Perception Research

The Client

International Salvage Union (ISU)

International Salvage Union (ISU) is the global trade association representing 55 marine salvage companies around the world. ISU’s members provide key services to the world’s maritime and insurance communities. Principle activities include marine casualty response, pollution defence, wreck removal, cargo recovery and towage activities.

Membership of the ISU is only awarded to companies with a proven track record of successful salvage and pollution prevention.

Business Need

ISU has been through a transitionary period in its positioning. During this time, they have carried out a consultation with their members, along with a review of their wider operating environment and their stakeholder requirements.

To address the points raised in the review, ISU leaders developed a group-wide strategic plan for the next four years (2019 - 2023). The core focus and detail of which was developed from information gathered during the consultation.

To sustain long-term relationships and member advocacy, it is essential that ISU achieve high levels of member satisfaction by delivering against their commitments and providing high quality member support services. In support of this, ISU established that they needed to conduct in-depth stakeholder research to evaluate its member base and industry stakeholder perceptions by applying an insightful, robust research and analysis process.

It was key that this high-value research programme was undertaken by a professional Market Research Society (MRS)-accredited agency, ensuring the highest standard of research and respondent confidentiality.

Solution: Global Stakeholder Perception Research

With member organisations and stakeholders spanning 34 countries, our research specialists developed a global survey solution with four key stages:

Stage 1 - Qualitative Research Phase

Qualitative research is the most effective method of identifying respondents’ needs and understanding the drivers of varied expectations amongst respondent groups.

Qualitative research was initially applied to identify and understand ISU’s stakeholder requirements and expectations. This involved conducting a series of detailed qualitative telephone interviews with stakeholders across the international markets in which ISU operate.

From the interviews, we were able to garner approximately 75 different attributes that contribute to stakeholder satisfaction. This initial research phase is extremely valuable, not only in terms of ISU’s research but for all our client programmes, as it ensures the subsequent quantitative questionnaire relates directly to stakeholders’ requirements, and questions are wholly relevant to each respondent. It also ensures each question set has clear, actionable outcomes, allowing organisations to plan and implement a robust improvement strategy to raise stakeholder satisfaction.

Stage 2 - Research Design Phase

Using the qualitative interview data, our expert designers developed a questionnaire capable of measuring stakeholders’ expectations and perceptions of ISU across all respondent groups. Alongside relevant question sets, the design enabled respondents to provide free-form feedback about their relationship and interactions with ISU, maximising the value of each response and extracting as much insight for ISU as possible.  

Applying an advanced interactive online research platform, we conducted a series of quantitative interviews. Our research platform solution offers several benefits, including enabling surveys to be routed according to respondent type – allowing us to accurately target key audience members - and delivering real-time insights to support the client’s research objectives, allowing us to alert them to trends and correlations quickly. It is also user-friendly with helpful features, such as allowing respondents to complete surveys in a few sittings without losing data. This helps optimise responses and smooths the process for respondents.

We can also track survey invitations and survey status, ensuring communication with stakeholders is carefully monitored and prompts can be issued, enhancing return numbers.    

Stage 3 – Data Analysis and Research Results

Over 100 surveys were collected, segmented across ISU’s international markets and respondent groups. Our analytics team processed the results using our enterprise-grade SPSS analytics solution to interrogate the data across each respondent group.

The reporting data was compiled into meaningful results groups and presented in a series of custom reports. As with all our results, findings are easy to read and interpret, and importantly, have actionable outcomes, showing stakeholders’ current perceptions and where ISU leaders can make changes that will make a tangible difference to satisfaction.

Research Outcomes

ISU’s results showed that they are perceived extremely positively across many of the areas they interact. Compared to other organisations providing similar global stakeholder services, ISU’s final score sits within the highest quartile, putting them ahead of many blue-chip organisations operating in alternate sectors, including Distribution and Telecommunications. 

Alongside high stakeholder satisfaction metrics, ISU received a high recommendation rating, plus almost all (96%) respondents said they saw value in their relationship with the trade organisation.

Overall the results reflect an organisation that is delivering high levels of relationship management, guidance and actions in the best interest of its stakeholders and members. The research shows that many of ISU’s strengths are strongly aligned with the achievement of satisfaction and loyalty, enabling them build on these attributes and enhance business results further.

TTi will continue ISU’s research programme until late 2020, when we will also deliver a further survey comparing latest findings with those delivered in 2019.

Client Feedback

ISU’s communications adviser, James Herbert said:

“TTi proved to be a great choice to help us with our research work. They interpreted our brief correctly and suggested an appropriate and cost-effective approach. All TTi staff were thoroughly professional, readily available and flexible. Importantly, senior staff remained directly involved at all times.

“The research was conducted efficiently, and the proprietary systems worked well and maintained the confidence of participants. The results were clearly presented and have proven to be most valuable. We will be repeating the exercise with TTi in about 18 months.”

Leading Stakeholder Research Providers

TTi Global, a division of GP Strategies, has over three decades’ experience of helping UK and overseas organisations, including trade associations and membership organisations, determine and improve their relationships with key stakeholders, opinion makers and influencers. We work across all sectors, including Automotive, Utilities, Housing, Retail, Engineering, Manufacturing and IT, helping companies assess the impact of their stakeholder activities and initiate changes that increases satisfaction and bottom line.

To find out how we can help your organisation, contact us using the form below.