Back by popular demand, here is the second in our series of the Four Key Principles of Agility brought to life. As reference, check out this link for our original article, which provides an overview of these principles, and this link for the first in the series published a few days back on Agility Principle #1 – Be very specific about the business problem you need to solve.
The second important principle for Agility is to Squeeze the juice from your existing research. Every company has data from research done for their brands over time. Unfortunately, this data is consigned to the past and very rarely used. As teams attempt to become agile, their biggest opportunity is to leverage their existing longitudinal data because the experience of the past has the power to inform the present and inspire the future.
One of our clients (in the retail space) was under pressure to change the fortunes of their underperforming business. Despite heavy MR investments over the past few years, and strong marketing support, they struggled to deliver the expected growth targets. They reached out to commission a market mapping and customer segmentation project to plot their new strategy. And they needed these results in 90 days. A tough ask!
We did the very unusual thing, quite a disruptive move actually given the norms in the market research industry – not proposing new research! Instead, we asked to see work our client team had done in the prior three years. Lo and behold, we found that they had done market map and segmentation work twice during that period.
The Shapiro+Raj team on this assignment decided to synthesize the learnings, and dig for insights, before scoping a new learning agenda. We leveraged our proprietary ML/AI qualitative analytics app, S+R AQuA™, to interrogate past research. We explored common threads, consistent hypotheses, and dug deeper into unexpected themes and connections that the AI engine identified.
This intense synthesis helped us identify the key consumer issue. The brand had stopped delivering on their core value proposition. To find new markets and customers, they ignored their core customers, who in turn returned the favor. The brand did not need a new white space or a new customer segment. It just needed to recommit to its core customers and begin to deliver on its brand promise.
We got this analysis done in less than 6 weeks. The client saved almost 80% of the budget they had established for this project and deployed it into working media dollars. The business responded with sales up over 20% and market valuation +45% within 6 months.
A key learning for them and us: Do not imprison your data. Set it free. It will make you rich.
Hope this example, once again, brings to life how we think about agility and – more importantly – truly act on it, in service of our clients. Agility is about speed and efficiency. It is also about scientific rigor and strategic acumen. The Insight Economy™ requires this integrated approach. We would be happy to talk through this example, and others, if you need. Just let us know.