As the Insights industry continues to drive automation and DIY solutions to address the need for speed, ENGINE has embarked on a journey to create a different kind of Insights company, one we believe is going to change the way insights professionals, marketers, and product innovators engage with marketing research. We believe that brands do best when they understand their consumers deeply and can quickly fill knowledge gaps. While this concept is not controversial, there are several ways to achieve this.
Many automation tools help to facilitate customer understanding. And many advertisers are taking advantage of these tools, bringing them in-house and deploying a DIY model to their insights organizations, whose primary objective is to provide key business stakeholders with critical information to inform decision making. A DIY model can speed up cycle time to obtain the necessary insights, however, it creates some important, unintended consequences. These unintended consequences can be mitigated through a different type of model, one that ENGINE is delivering to clients today.
A DIY model changes the day-to-day job of the client-side market researcher from partner to implementer, with significantly more time spent on the technical aspects of research, such as survey programming and data aggregation. This results in client-side researchers who struggle to balance time between the technical implementation of the research and being thoughtful about the business implications of the research.
We also hear from clients whose organizations have implemented DIY tools that they lose the broader experience that a partner brings, creating blind spots and negatively impacting the quality of their work. Clients lose some connection to those in the industry who are focused most on methodologies, advanced and emerging analytics, and effective data integrations. And while going to conferences is educational, the first-hand experience a partner brings is critical to assessing the effectiveness of different approaches. Our clients say that when they don’t have it, the implementation and adoption of new approaches are slow, and when innovative tools are applied without expert support, results are mixed, at best.
At ENGINE we’re creating a new way to meet the insights needs and the cost and timing demands of the business. We do this in three ways. First, we continuously invest in tools and technology to speed up the research process. Some of this investment is in DIY and automation tools our clients are installing. This is purposeful. We believe that our clients should be focusing on the business issues and implications of findings, not programming surveys or aggregating data. By investing in DIY solutions ourselves, we can support our client’s timing and budget needs, while simultaneously creating space and time for our clients to focus their business.
Second, we have a curated ecosystem of capabilities that covers a wide range of approaches, to address a business need from multiple angles, either in combination or stand-alone. ENGINE has brought together quantitative and qualitative capabilities, access to a wide range of B2C and B2B audiences, robust analytic resources with a specialized secondary research team, and an expert network to create a one-of-a-kind collection of services. High-performing marketing and product teams take advantage of the combination of methodologies and capabilities by leaning on ENGINE to determine the best way to address the business challenges they face. Again, we place a priority on our client’s time, allowing them to focus on business issues and the solutions, while ENGINE implements a custom, fit-for-purpose approach to address the issues at hand.
Third, ENGINE has a senior, experienced team, some of whom have been on the client-side, to provide whatever support is needed along the way. Our Business Advisors understand the issues you’re facing – chances are they have worked through them before. They understand methodologies and analytics and provide recommendations on the most impactful and efficient way to get the insights you need fast. And, importantly, they help you avoid blind spots and see around the corner to what’s coming next. Advisors work closely with our in-house data scientists who specialize in applying analytics to drive business results.
At ENGINE we believe that value-add partnerships are growth drivers for our clients. We deliver that value by providing meaningful alternatives to a DIY model. Our clients can take advantage of the speed of a DIY solution while avoiding the limitations of being on your own. Over the coming weeks and months, we will share our experiences and lessons learned. Stay tuned to see how our clients accelerate their success optimizing their consumer research and insights work in new ways with ENGINE.
Written by David Albert, General Manager at ENGINE Insights.