Most marketers and researchers want a perfect combination of innovative technology, credible social science design and analysis, and experienced business consulting expertise. They also want to ensure that the learnings deliver business impact. And they want all this done faster and cheaper.

As you can imagine, “innovation” and “agility” need to evolve from a pair of buzzwords to an operating imperative for insight firms of the future. How should that come to life? What is the model that makes sense?

It is not an easy question to answer considering these are broad terms with varied interpretations. More and more firms fall into one of two camps: “high tech” (DIY surveys, data collection apps, etc.) or “high touch” (legacy providers, qualitatively driven). This represents an old-world view, a choice no longer relevant in these times.

Which is why, at Shapiro+Raj, we have evolved to become a new agency for this new normal. With a curated technology stack for agility and efficiency connected with deep social science rigor and battle-tested brand strategists. All built to spark transformative outcomes for our clients. As we have evolved, we have identified four key principles for agile research that deliver high quality outcomes with high velocity.

Be very specific about the business problem you need to solve: The first step toward agility is to frame the problem with specificity. Too often, we see a litany of all possible issues that need to be addressed. By sacrificing the litany for clear business expectations, we can structure a tight, focused learning agenda.

Squeeze the juice from your existing research: The learnings from the past have the power to inform the present and inspire the future. Every company has data from research that has been done for their brands over time. Unfortunately, this data is consigned to the library and very rarely used. This is the biggest opportunity we see to help our clients as they attempt to become agile, responsive, and cost-conscious. Using longitudinal data helps us identify the gaps that then allows us to quickly build the most effective latitudinal learning agenda. Saving time and money.

Leverage the right technology stack: Technology is one of the biggest enablers of agility. However, with the plethora of apps and tools out there, it is very difficult to know which one is right for the job at hand, and which one will perform as billed. This is why Shapiro+Raj has built a strong and robust tech stack. In addition to our unique machine learning qual analysis app, S+R AQuA™, we have partnered with leading technology providers to amplify our proprietary BE-inspired methodologies.

Point insights toward actions and outcomes: The biggest single point of failure we see is the inability of marketers to activate insights. This is mostly because of the way insights are framed and presented. Like any good dish, the chef has to present it in a way that complements and enhances the entire meal. Shapiro+Raj strategists work closely with researchers to clearly articulate the “now what’s” so that our clients can get market-ready insights. Increasing speed to market.

In summary, agility is about speed. It is also about efficiency. But scientific rigor and clarity of objectives are critical. That is why we use these four proven principles to deliver powerful insights that deliver breakthroughs at the speed of business. With one goal – To help our clients win in the marketplace.