Our EVP John Bird’s latest article covers how market researchers can best navigate the delivery of insights, including the adoption of new technology, amidst increased expectations and headcount reductions.
In his new article for Research Live, a publication of the Market Research Society, our EVP John Bird writes about some of the forces at play in the data landscape that are affecting the way insights professionals deliver value. He calls out four forces in particular that are changing our landscape, including: more and more data coming into organizations; a push for data-driven decision making; talent shortages; and an economic downturn. Those in market research must “do far more with far less.” Technology adoption is one way to get there, but he acknowledges that this isn’t always as easy as it may seem.
He sets the stage by laying out the impact of the (potential) recession on both talent recruitment and IT spend - both things that can help prove the value of the insights function. When it comes to technology adoption, there really never is that “perfect time.” But John maintains that the cost of waiting can be “far more damaging to the business than the cost of implementing the project in the first place.” And, even as spending may decrease in the face of an economic downturn, there can still be room for IT investments - if you ask the right questions first.
Based on our 32 years in the market research industry, we’ve learned a few things about technology implementation. In the article, John gives an outline of questions you can ask to help identify which tools, solutions and technologies will make the greatest impact on your business.
What do you want to achieve and what capability gap do you need to fill? He encourages people to first define their business problem, and find a partner who’s capable and willing to help you address it directly. Greater clarity about the challenge that needs to be solved will make your choice of technology, and vendor, easier. Do I need an all-in-one or best-of-breed survey collection and analysis tools? There is a plethora of market research technology out there, and many solutions are highly specialized. You can piece them together, or find a supplier that provides a “soup to nuts” solution. Ask yourself what works best for your workflow, and for your team.
What about a generic or fit-for-purpose market research tool? IT teams are often in control of the platforms used at an organization, and sometimes those platforms are not suited to market research needs. If you want the outcomes you desire, that are accurate and easy to uncover without extensive workarounds, you might consider a tool that is designed specifically for market research data.
Do it yourself or outsourced implementation? DIY (or self-service) platforms in the insights space are really coming into their own, and “depending on the complexity of the tool and the competency of the teams, this can be a viable option.” But if your team needs greater support so they can carry on with their fast-paced daily jobs, then a tool with more support during implementation and beyond can be the best approach.
John concludes the article by reminding readers to never forget the value that market research delivers, and its role in important decision making at all kinds of organizations. He writes: “We are a barometer for the private and public sector, helping organizations better understand people to make the world a better place… Your insights team is being pressured to do more with less. Being thoughtful about the implementation of new technology to meet the demands of today has never been more critical.”