I love market research. I love the tangibility of what it does, the people, the clients, the constant changing nature of every brief, and every client issue. And when you love something as much as this, you passionately want it to succeed.
As a team at 4twenty2 we have the privilege of working with agencies large and small and in all corners of the world. We also have the privilege of working with, and developing, people who are full of passion, armed with wonderful solutions and a sense of pride in the work that is being carried out.
But we’re a bit concerned. (’What are you concerned about, Dave?’ I hear you all asking in your thousands)
Well quite simply, is that enough anymore?
We have been out talking to clients who buy research and there is a clear theme coming out of the conversations. The expectations of what they want from their agencies is accelerating faster than we have ever seen before, and faster than most agencies are keeping up with.
Now the most challenging part of running a business is changing your go-to-market strategy, especially one that has been working so well for so long. Below are the ingredients that we believe will future proof market research and keep clients investing:
- Value the relationship more than the project – research is no longer about just delivering insight but about going on to support clients to make better decisions. Staying with your clients all the way through the journey will become increasingly important
- See thinking and planning time as critical – market dynamics are changing so rapidly that looking at new ways of working internally and with clients is now the norm. This requires agencies to press the pause button more often and plan for what they will do differently
- Can listen better than they can present – if agencies are to truly understand how to deliver value, feedback from clients is that they need to listen more. Take time to get behind the real issues before designing their solutions
- Know what they are famous for – As time pressures mount agencies need to become easier to buy. Knowing not only what you do, but more importantly why you do it, is a big step forward to making this happen
- Do research! – to stay relevant. Clients don’t want followers they want agencies that are so immersed in their sector and their business that they are a key part of the team that is driving their business forward
Those that manage to align their teams behind this new culture, support and develop them to adapt to the future, and recruit new people with this philosophy are the ones who we believe are going to win