We’ve seen it time and time again: insights teams undergoing substantial budget cuts. They’re faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of delivering the same output with fewer resources – and not letting the cuts affect the quality or quantity of their insights tasks. To help them address this challenge, and help them emerge with an insights organization that’s stronger than before, we focus on two main areas: 1) Substantially improving insights ROI, and 2) eliminating non-value adding tasks from their teams.
The two main ways to improve insights ROI
There are two main levers for improving your insights ROI: avoiding duplication of research and managing your supplier base more effectively. For both, you need technology to reach the required transparency level and to enforce policies.
To avoid duplication of research, you need to have a knowledge management system to easily find out what you know – so you can only commission a new piece of research after you have checked against your existing knowledge assets. To manage your supplier base more effectively, you also need powerful technology.
Focusing on preferred suppliers with the best rate cards for certain types of standardized research reduces spending substantially, but it’s even more effective to use last year’s output (quantity and quality of insights delivered as well as re-use rate) as an input to negotiate rate cards for the upcoming year.
Clients that have been most successful in this domain run all of their research on the Market Logic Software platform and involve purchasing departments to unlock hidden potential. Top performers among our clients have reduced their spend on ad hoc research by up to 25% per year, without making any compromise in the quality or quantity of insights delivered to the business.
Eliminate unnecessary tasks
When aiming to eliminate tasks from your team that don’t add value, typically the biggest lever is to enable your business partners to self-serve standard insight requests. Marketers should not have to reach out to an insight professional to find the latest segmentation and habits & attitudes study. Nor should they have to contact the insights team to find the most successful innovation concepts that were tested last year.
And they certainly shouldn’t have to pick up the phone or send an email to get the top three business drivers for their category, brand or country. There is technology for that – technology that makes finding insights faster and cheaper. Enabling insights professionals to focus where it really matters: making sure insights are curated and high-quality, and advising business partners on required research efforts and how best to apply insights into business decisions.
Budget cuts: challenge or opportunity?
The value created by these levers typically outperforms the budget cuts and the cost of deploying cutting-edge technology by leaps and bounds. Oftentimes, a budget cut served as the initial spark in our clients’ quest to re-define the insights department as an essential, high-value partner in their organizations.