Aligning Priorities: The 2021 GRIT Business and Innovation Report

The GRIT report clearly illustrates where the focus needs to be for market research buyers and suppliers to meet current market demands in the insights space.

The recently released 2021 GRIT Business and Innovation Report shows that the market research industry continues to evolve quickly.  Editor in Chief Lenny Murphy dove into some of the high-level findings during Greenbook’s June 30 Forum, ranging from how companies in various industry segments are positioning themselves to the highest priorities for buyers and suppliers. 

One statistic that stood out to us was that 70% of client companies (buyers of research) are looking for partners with knowledge about their business. This was compared to only 56% of suppliers who thought this issue was a priority. We saw this kind of discrepancy across most “skill development emphasis” topics covered in the report, where buyers and suppliers are not fully aligned on which skills are the most critical for success. This is an important point. 

A valuable tool in bridging this gap, the GRIT report provides a clear picture of where the focus must be to meet current market demands in the insights space. Suppliers need to be willing to pivot to meet buyer needs and educate buyers about how underlying skills - like technical and market research expertise - plus innovative solutions can directly benefit their business. They may be reaping the benefits without knowing it. For example, automation may be speeding up time to insights, but it isn’t clearly correlated with outcomes, so it isn’t seen as a core necessity.

The GRIT report spotlights this misalignment with some of the data it uncovered. We have even written about part of this challenge for Greenbook in “The Growing Disconnect Inside Market Research” by our EVP John Bird. In this article, John writes about the need to give clients instant, dynamic access to insights. He says: “The disconnect continues to widen, and the only way to stop it is to start listening.”

Inside the GRIT report, our Group Services Director, Horst Feldhaeuser, contributed commentary on the data (page 85). While he does note that there is some symbiosis between buyer and supplier priorities, he writes more in-depth about areas that may require some work.

  • Synthesizing the data:
    Buyers believe that integrating data from multiple sources is of great importance. They are looking for partners that can offer a blend of expert service and the right (fit-for-purpose) technology solution to accomplish this goal. 
  • Prioritizing data quality:
    Horst writes that it is “our responsibility as research partners” to highlight the importance of data quality. Anything that positively impacts quality outcomes needs to “be on the table” for both buyers and suppliers. 
  • Aligning on ROI: Insights professionals on both sides of the marketplace need to focus on the long-term benefits of making investments in market research and how it can positively impact organizational bottom lines, rather than settling for a cheap short-term trade-off. 

Horst concludes, “As our industry continues to transform, there are pressures on both sides of the market research marketplace to meet new demands. Buyers and Sellers alike look to the data to find places to align and work together toward a future that delivers quality, value and understanding.”

You can read his full article here on page 85.

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