Much is being made in the industry press about the need to reinvent the research industry. . . so it is probably useful to put that thought in context of how the insights actually serves the goal of driving clients’ business growth.
In any business there are two kinds of investments: working dollars and non-working dollars. Working dollars fuel the strategies that lead to sales and profitability. They enable results that are seen and are visible and meaningful to consumers and customers. They create the momentum from which businesses maintain market share. They create new value. They are the drivers of growth.
Non-working dollars are pure cost. Some non-working investments may be obligatory, like regulatory, compliance or insurance expenses. But clients resign themselves to these sorts of non-working dollars as necessary “evils”, rather than critical components of growth strategies.
Too often investment in insights and market research has been viewed as part of this second group, to the industry’s detriment.
Market research must reinvent itself most certainly. But the reinvention must be grounded in the clear objective that every dollar spent on research and insights can be justified as a working investment and not seen in the other category. We see it actually as essential to our survival as an industry.
This orientation is what drives us to live up to our history of always having an innovative mindset. The innovations in which PRS IN VIVO has invested and baked into our product developments over time have been instigated and inspired by this conviction.
From the eye-tracking methodology we invented decades ago to foundational investment in behavioral frameworks for optimizing product and shopper experiences, and most recently a totally holistic approach to understanding the Omni Channel shopper journey, our core motivation has been to innovate for the right reasons, enabling clients to truly understand THEIR consumers’ behaviors, sell more products more profitably, and grow their brands and businesses.
This week, GreenBook has launched the GRIT Survey; it is the basis for their annual Business and Innovations Edition of GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, a study designed to examine challenges and opportunities of the insights industry at large.
This study is significant as a barometer of the role insights play in guiding the trajectory of the world’s most successful brands, as well as recognizing importance of innovation . . . both in end clients and the partner insights agencies.
Last year’s report which includes the ranking of the most innovative clients, and top 50 most innovative agencies who serve them, is available here.
We are very proud to have debuted last year on the Top 50 Most Innovative Suppliers ranking as number 14th globally and in the Top 20 of 5 of the other subcategories including Most Innovative Full Service, Qualitative and Consultancy Partners. We see this as social proof that the industry recognizes PRS IN VIVO’s commitment and contribution to the reinvention of research as a working investment and not a nice-to-have insurance policy.
The GRIT Report allows everyone in the industry to have a voice and a vote, shaping the call to action for reinventing our industry. We urge you to take this year’s survey and identify the clients and suppliers you see as instrumental in this objective. It is an opportunity to nominate clients and suppliers who are part of the movement linking innovation to the imperative of driving business growth.
Here’s to transformative and profitable innovation in market research. . . let’s celebrate it for ALL the right reasons!
Alex Hunt is the CEO of PRS IN VIVO, a BVA Group company, which provides behaviorally driven consultancy in shopper and product experience. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexHunt84.