It’s no secret that innovation is a driver of success. Our industry has seen the impact that automation and programmatic sampling has had on the world of online research. We’ve fundamentally changed the insights space by combining research with technology – and the results have been phenomenal. In fact, 75% of GRIT respondents’ organizations are actively exploring new methods, technologies, business models, and partners. 83% said their organizations are also focused on future growth strategy. So, it’s clear that innovation is the key to growth – the tricky part is identifying the right direction to drive that innovation.
It’s important to consider why market research innovation has been so successful in the first place. While innovation is impressive in its own right, the impact of technology goes beyond mere functionality. It’s made a real difference in our clients’ businesses. Programmatic sampling has made research more accessible to the masses, while enabling businesses to run faster, easier, more frequent studies. This has done more than improve the sample procurement process; it’s created new opportunities for researchers and sample suppliers across the globe.
However, new technology alone doesn’t guarantee business growth. Our continued growth is attributed to the ROI we provide to clients – and that means our clients’ needs should be leading the industry’s innovation efforts.
Interestingly, only 37% of GRIT respondents said their organizations measure the ROI of the projects they conduct. This is surprising, as client success ultimately determines our success. Clients use our technology for one simple reason: to increase ROI for their own businesses. If our solutions don’t meet those needs, we run the risk of becoming obsolete. Without measuring the ROI of these projects, it’s nearly impossible to identify nuances that can improve or inhibit our clients’ growth. Plus, without an in-depth understanding of current client ROI, market research organizations will struggle to penetrate new markets.
When approaching strategic work, it’s easy to take a step back, look at the most evident data in front of us, and outline a strategy based on those facts. While that approach clearly has merit, a strong strategy for innovation also requires taking a granular, scalable approach to identifying the benefits clients receive from our products. After all, they’re the ones using our products – so their needs should inform our innovation. Rather than always leading the client toward new technologies, we must allow them lead us as well.
Innovation is constantly evolving and requires ongoing effort. Technology that was once new has become the norm, and many organizations are wondering what’s next. I know this much is true: the first wave of market research innovation has already happened, and it’s time to prepare for the next one. Innovation won’t stop with programmatic and automation. I firmly believe that “what got you here won’t get you there” – if you’ve found a successful method for achieving your business goals, that’s great. However, continuing to implement that method, without innovating, will eventually render it unsuccessful. This is a valuable lesson that Lucid lives by, and it’s one that everyone in the insights space should put into action.
Originally featured in the 2019 GRIT Report.