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Is your desk research gaining value or losing momentum?
Best Practices 5 MIN READ

Is your desk research gaining value or losing momentum?

by Elizabeth Morgan
5 MIN READ

The fastest and most inexpensive way to deliver insights to your business is to leverage the market research you already own. But rather than simply handing over past research projects, many insights professionals add value by synthesizing relevant sources and adding context in a curated desk research piece.

The problem is the time it takes to access, organize, interpret, and deliver information from past research, syndicated sources, and other internal or external sources. Then, when desk research is complete, the product often ends up lost as a PDF in someone’s inbox, never to see the light of your C-suite’s eyes again. Inevitably, insights professionals duplicate their efforts when someone asks the same question later.

But when desk research is embedded within the ecosystem of a one-stop-shop insights platform, the research process is faster and injects value into your past, present, and future insights. This is because your research question gains value and momentum as it evolves through your insights platform’s integrated storytelling tools.

From a DIY self-service search to expert-driven desk research and curated knowledge zones, the ROI of your past, current, and future research increases, and your insights speak directly to your organization’s evolving needs, all in one easy-to-browse virtual space.

The evolution of a research question

Terah Putman, Director of Next Generation Insights at Kellogg’s, explains how market research questions gain value as they evolve through Kellogg’s “Ask Kiri” insights platform, powered by Market Logic.

“What happens over time is that we as insights partners get a feel for where the hot button topics are. Maybe the first time it’s a one-off question, then over time we realize it’s a question that has broader application, other people are asking about it, so we do some desk research and pull together resources for a more composed and curated answer. Then, as that starts to grow and become something we decide we need as a living document, we migrate it all the way into a knowledge zone, so it’s maintained and available to everyone,” Keira said.

With Ask Kiri’s whopping $420 million knowledge asset, including tens of thousands of syndicated reports, research projects, and documents, and 21 curated knowledge zones, Kellogg’s business managers can use the self-service search or browse knowledge zones to answer questions. Meanwhile, the insights team is free to deliver more desk-research value for questions that need an expert’s touch.

Quick desk research published and re-used

Before Colgate-Palmolive’s award-winning insights platform “DIG” was in the picture, when a c-suite executive asked an important question, Col-Pal’s insights team typically responded by taking a meeting and presenting a nice document. “But very often these presentations would get lost,” says Christian Niederauer, Colgate-Palmolive’s Director of Strategic Insights & Consumer Affairs in Europe.

Today, Christian says new desk research capabilities on the platform are supporting high-quality insights delivery to senior decision-makers. “Recently, our CTO asked, ‘What do we know about the role product packaging can play in our future?’ Which is an important question, because we tend to focus on the juice inside the toothpaste, and not really the delivery mechanism.”

“Now, with DIG, it’s super easy to curate content and deliver the result not only to one specific person but to others,” Christian says. “The moment a sales manager or marketing lead enters a description about the latest packaging colours into your online research brief, DIG pulls and presents relevant past research alongside the brief on the screen.”

As a result of doing desk research so quickly in DIG, experts have resources they can share, and others can pass on. For example, DIG now has a product packaging knowledge zone, with emerging topics like waterless products, sustainable packaging, and shopper journeys, available to everyone, all because of one executive’s question.

Desk research for nimble decision-making

Desk research in Prudential’s insights platform AiME revealed $500 thousand in relevant insights while cutting research time in half before the launch of a new program.

“Rather than doing new primary research that would take at least a month and cost $60K or more,” said Keith Golembiewski, Director of Strategic Insights, Workplace Solutions Group, “we used the vast resources we have to ‘know what we know’ from all our past research and news on employers, sponsors, demand, and supply, and we were able to synthesize more than half a million dollars worth of insights in a couple of weeks.”

Keith said the fast desk research using their all-in-one $40 million knowledge asset gave their business teams the support they needed to move forward with their program more quickly: “It allowed our business teams to create and validate their strategy, and to move forward with the Managed Advice program at Prudential that launched February 2021.”

Terah Putman, Keith Golembiewski and Christian Niederauer shared these desk research success stories at the Market Logic Insights Roundtable in March 2021.

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