As soon as research organizations start running their operations on a marketing insights platform, they gain the transparency to save money in two ways, by preventing duplication of research projects and improving supplier management.
Three ways to stop needless duplication of research
Start with a proactive budget planning process. Create a learning plan by gathering requirements bottom-up: consulting with local researchers and stakeholders in-market and business lines. Then search for synergies and consolidate top-down to prevent redundancies and ensure scarce resources are focused on building knowledge.
Standardize research briefing templates and design methods by research type. Automation makes it easy to guarantee every researcher is using the same method and supplier if desired. As a consequence, results are easily compared across markets and business lines, so you can reduce overall volumes of research.
Introduce compulsory “know what we know” checks
As soon as research questions are formulated in the online briefing, your insights platform runs a pre-filtered search of past knowledge to see what is already known about the topic.
Knowing what you know gives you the choice to cancel redundant projects and deliver faster answers to the business, or to sharpen research questions to pursue fresh insight.
Market Logic clients report savings of 10% – 25% through these measures, depending on factors such as the degree of centralization in the management of the insights function, the number of business lines and countries where research is conducted.
For example, a highly regionalized CPG company with one dominant business line saw a 25% reduction in duplicated research projects, while a highly centralized research organization with 10 business lines saw savings of 15%.
Three ways to improve supplier management
Organize your supplier roster centrally by competencies and markets served. Be sure to include vendor numbers, NDAs and MSAs. Empower each supplier to keep their profile up to date. This enables your platform to recommend the best supplier for each project, when your research manager is requesting bids.
Configure your platform to automatically select the standard supplier for any research project type you’d like to benchmark (ad copy, new concepts, products, claims …). It’s a great way to guarantee economies of scale.
Introduce compulsory evaluations by your research manager as soon as each project is completed. Provide a standard rating system with dimensions for insight quality, timeliness, value for money and communications, and give your team the freedom to comment on their ratings. Automation means your research managers can refer to peer evaluations when they select and commission agencies for new work.
Client-side procurement teams report savings of 10% – 15% through these measures, depending on the extent of centralized oversight they already executed manually.
In addition to these easy to measure savings, research automation delivers a ton of soft-savings. In many instances, insights platforms have replaced three or more different reporting systems.
Most importantly for your insights managers, automation eliminates boring, non-productive hours spent managing bid communications, hunting for the latest version of a questionnaire, or trying to invent best practices when gold standards already exist.