Practicing What We Preach: Understanding the Modern Research Experience
Perspectives > Blog Post

Practicing What We Preach: Understanding the Modern Research Experience

April 7, 2015

Alison Servi

More than ever before, organizations are currently under pressure to deliver a stronger insights foundation that is actionable, forward-looking, and “game changing.” Whether client or agency side, not only are the expectations higher, but the need to deliver these insights quickly is critical. The Modern Research Experience is defined by a focus on better insights from the outset.

As insights professionals, we’re constantly focused on dynamics and trends affecting behaviors, mindsets and evolving needs of consumers. At the core of our value system is the belief that companies need foundational, forwardlooking insights to navigate an increasingly shifting and competitive landscape.

While our daytoday focuses on the external environment of consumers, our own landscape is no exception to dynamic changes and shifting priorities.

More than ever before, organizations are currently under pressure to deliver a stronger insights foundation that is actionable, forward-looking, and “game changing.” Whether client or agency side, not only are the expectations higher, but the need to deliver these insights quickly is critical.  The Modern Research Experience is defined by a focus on better insights from the outset.

How did we get here?  Perhaps more importantly, how do we tactically plan for the future? That’s something we’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  We looked at a host of trends on insights and business and they seem to fall into five connected categories:

More From Less: Post-recession economics are a “permanent’ state of affairs—companies are seeking to get more from less, whether in innovation, productivity or research.

Fast & Furious Consumers: Consumers are the other side of the coin—they are also living through faster product cycles, while also gaining a much stronger voice AND power to shift business strategies.  Consumer feedback is coming in at all times, from many directions.

Big Datafication: Organizations realize they are swimming in a rapidly growing sea of data and increasingly have the research and strategy tools that allow them to utilize it.

Intuition & Vision: While data is scaling rapidly, one (possibly counter) reaction is to go small—and intimate. Smaller samples, more qualitative engagement, and working with ideas over data is seen as a more human-centered path to innovation.

Tools, Tools, Tools! All of the changes at higher levels of the market result in a need to have a POV and make choices: whether and how to integrate, what tools and IP to create internally, and how best to attract and use talent to support these and other activities.

Understanding these themes helped us refine our practice and talk to partners about models for the future.  We took that thinking into a workshop that we’ve started sharing with some of our clients – the  Modern Research Experience Workshop.  If you’re interested in discussing or learning more, feel free to email me directly or reach out to [email protected]

Alison Servi

Partner, Strategy & Learning

With a deep understanding of both organizational and marketing strategy, Alison connects the desire for actionable research insights with an understanding of what it takes from both a process and...

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