With the global marketplace evolving at an ever-increasing pace, companies are constantly needing to reassess their product and service offerings to stay abreast of the latest consumer trends and preferences. Remaining relevant and competitive in a modern world driven by innovation and speed requires fresh thinking and new ideas and the ability to act quickly and decisively. Having access to the right market data and insights therefore becomes critical to the success of any modern business. W. Edwards Deming once said: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”
Five Key Challenges
- The digital age has provided easier access to data but has also exponentially expanded the amount of data available, making it difficult for companies to isolate the right metrics to track and respond to. With so much information at their fingertips, many companies just don’t know how to ask the right questions.
- Most companies, including family offices, consider swift decision-making a priority focus but many businesses do not put the necessary structures, processes and governance in place to support strategic planning and decision-making at the right levels.
- Having the necessary insights and foresight to remain competitive into the future requires a deeper understanding of the consumer journey as well as consumer purchase patterns and drivers. Often, the emphasis on internal company data results in there being too little focus on understanding the evolving needs and dynamics of the consumer.
- Cost-conscious businesses are quick to reduce their spend on research which can prove costly in competitive playing fields where market share can quickly be lost. Consumer-centric companies who stay connected to the needs of their customer-base and who are willing to invest in insight-generation are more likely to remain leaders in their industry.
- Consumer research often takes the form of an ad-hoc project with an external agency. Although there is a strong case for employing specialist agencies to support research and strategic planning, often these agencies are kept at a distance and not embraced as business partners. Without an intimate knowledge of the business, products, consumers and competitor landscape, insights can be compromised.