In the age of brands having veritable lakes of data, how do you action and champion the story behind the data - how do you use it to bring real insight into who your customer is and what she wants? In this episode we sit down with Rachel Swanson, founder of Method + Mode, a market research firm, to take some of Future Commerce's own medicine - to listen to our audience and learn from the data that was generated from our first-ever audience survey.

Show Notes:

Main Takeaways:

  • Future Commerce conducted an audience survey study at the beginning of this year, and Rachel Swanson of Method + Mode is here to talk results.
  • Future Commerce is working to create a community around the content we produce.
  • What can the FC team learn from our incredible audience?
  • Data is more than just numbers, and proper implementation may require a facilitator to connect the dots.

Before Method + Mode: Data-Based Storytelling Can Change Everything:

  • Rachel Swanson from Method + Mode is here, and she breaks down the results of Future Commerce's first-ever audience survey.
  • Rachel started her career working at digital agencies in the era of split-testing (also known as A/B testing.
  • Then, over ten years ago, Rachel got a job working at Condé Nast, working in-house with Glamour, and W for three plus years each, honing the brand messaging and positioning for ad sales with a data-driven method.
  • What drove Rachel while working in partnerships with brands, was the innovation and the drive to bring out the white space, which ultimately pushed her to strike out on her own.
  • "Helping innovators Innovate is kind of how I see what I do."

Success & Failures: What We Can Learn From Our Audience:

  • This survey taught the FC team so much about our audience, and their feedback was invaluable to the development of our show.
  • Phillip points out two main problems that Future Commerce faced before this survey and our rebrand. One issue being our content was much better than our logo suggested, and two being that even though retail voices were listening to Future Commerce, we didn't know who they were.
  • Rachel discusses some of the key points from the survey, including that our listeners are 60/40 B2B-B2C focused, and that listeners are looking for more diversity in guests and topic discussion.
  • Also, thankfully listeners do seem to like the back-and-forth that Phillip and Brian engage in, which is probably a good thing.

Does Our Future Audience Want to See Phillip and Brian in HD?

  • Brian asks Rachel what our audience cares slightly-less about?
  • Apparently, our current listeners have little desire to Phillip and Brian on video, which seems to devalue Phillip's Ulta Beauty makeup haul.
  • Brian wonders whether future listeners may be more interested in video, mainly depending on the context.
  • Our audience does seem to respond well to our growing Instagram game.
  • Also, since we learned that our audience favors consistency, Phillip wants everyone to know our new episodes come out on Friday's.

Storytelling VS. Lakes of Data: Find Someone to Connect The Dots:

  • Brian asks Rachel if she can explain what makes for proper research?
  • Rachel explains though many people equate data and research, they aren't the same. Data becomes unless it is married with human connection is what drives standout work.
  • And as Rachel points out machine learning cannot derive everything, because it lacks that human connection.
  • These are all reasons to work with someone who can decipher that data and connect the dots, be it in-house or otherwise.
  • It's more than just lakes of data; it's about storytelling, and connection with your customers.
  • Rachel: "If you're not an expert on your customers or your audience you're not doing your job as an executive."

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Retail tech is moving fast, and Future Commerce is moving faster!

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