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The quick and the dead - A manifesto for change in consumer insight

The nature of speed in commerce is changing - changing because of technology, changing because of economics, and changing because of social and cultural phenomena. This change is having far-reaching and important consequences for commerce in general and the process of working with consumer insight and market research in particular.
The quick and the dead - A manifesto for change in consumer insight
In market research, the changes in speed are having a major impact on the services that companies want. Whilst market researchers receive pressure about cost, methodology, and depth of analysis, the key issue that today's C-Suite (particularly CMO's and CEO's) are highlighting is speed. There is a fundamental mismatch between the timelines for most market research and the speed that decision-makers need.

Here are four examples of market dynamics that are affecting the way the need for speed is impacting modern business
    1. The disposable executive
One of the consequences of the speed fixation, and one of its drivers, is the high turn-over of senior executives. As long ago as 2005, Ad Age published "CMOs, You Have 23 Months to Live", and Forbes highlighted in 2011 that Starbucks had changed their marketing chief five times in seven years and Coca-Cola theirs' four times in six years. There are many more local examples.

    2. The impact of Big Data
Big data and big data analytics has become
IBM, a large player in Big Data identifies four key elements:
  • Volume - IBM estimates that every day humankind creates 2,5 quintillion bytes of data and that 90% of the world's data was created in the last two years
  • Variety - Today's Big Data is not just traditional structured data but also video, images, audio and text of social media
  • Veracity - IBM estimates that one in three business leaders don't trust the information they use to make decisions
  • Velocity - With greater amounts of data in wider variety of forms, the race is on to organise it, verify it, and link it into decision making before it is just irrelevant history.
    3. Do It Yourself (DIY)
DIY and its business complement, disintermediation has spread from areas such as booking flights and withdrawing cash, to a wider range of business services typically based on SaaS (Software as a Service). Increasingly, disintermediation is spreading to web analytics, the management of social media, survey platforms and the use of communities to co-create and collaborate with customers and stakeholders. A big driver has been to be in control and to speed up the process from posing a question to receiving insight from customers.
    4. Business Agility
With so many factors changing at the same time, data overload and decisions needing to be made ever quicker, the key winners are not those who design and implement perfect five-year plans. The winners are those who can act on imperfect or incomplete information, be right on time more often than others and are who are prepared to change when necessary.
In today's business world, "right but late" is of no practical use.

"Always on research"

At the moment, the most powerful way to increase the speed of insight is to move to "Always on" research.

At nudge, we are all about the idea of speed. We use platforms from Vision Critical to compress four to six-week projects into two to ten-day projects. Vision Critical terms this "building for speed", a process of redesigning projects with a single-minded view to ensuring that quality insight can be produced fast enough to be useful. This can be achieved by focusing on four broad areas:
  1. Rapid Recruitment - Insight Communities are pre-recruited against an optimal distribution plan and by using a once-off profiling questionnaire
  2. Creating surveys faster - using Vision Critical's platform
  3. Faster fieldwork - surveys go directly to consumers who are motivated to self-compete
  4. Conveying findings faster - the trend is towards Infographics, Dashboards and Interactive reporting
The purpose of conducting research is to implement better decisions. The faster the research process can happen, the better the quality of decisions that can be made in agile organisations.

"Right but late is useless"

(Adapted from Ray Poynter's - "The Quick and the Dead - A manifesto for change in consumer insight")

13 Aug 2015 09:52