Equipsuper will be rolling out a brand new insights program over the next year, based on new methodology to conduct member research.

Geoff Brooks, executive officer of strategic marketing and communications at Equipsuper, said the fund is conducting roundtable discussions to determine what they need to measure as a business and design research that will deliver those measurements.

“We’ve been tracking our member satisfaction in the same way since 2007. Apart from anything else, it’s a due diligence exercise to make sure that what we’re measuring is what we should be measuring, and examining the methodology and survey we’ve used for the past few years in the context of how the industry’s changed.”

External research businesses are presenting to the fund, but Brooks said there’s currently no brief.

“[We’re asking] what sort of research, methodology and metrics are going to result in us being able to focus our resources on doing the things that make a difference. You can spend an enormous amount of money doing things you think are important, but in fact they’re actually making no difference at all.”

The $5-billion super fund, which has 53,000 members, has been tracking member satisfaction with an annual survey conducted by Core Data since 2007.

Brooks said the new approach may not throw out everything the fund has previously done, but it may change the frequency, design, topics covered and the types of questions asked.

“We don’t know where this examination is going to end up, but certainly I expect that it will change the way we do it.”

According to Brooks, the fund is doing far more comparative analysis on how its scores compare with other funds, namely relative performance as well as other metrics across investment performance, fees, communications, member services and financial planning.

“There’s a multitude of things we can invest money in to improve member services and communications and so on. We take the member research quite seriously, we don’t just do it to gauge how people felt about us over the past year.”

The research provides insight into the priorities of members regarding improvement of services and communications, Brooks said.

It gives you some guidance in terms of building your business plan as to where to spend your money and where it will count most for members.”

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