Ask a group of insight professionals what kept them up at night in 2023, and you’ll get a range of answers – from concerns about declining data quality, anxiety about the impact of AI on the industry, to a sense of overwhelm trying to navigate a tsunami of new technologies. Yet, I would submit that the scariest questions of them all is ‘Are we actually doing anything with our insights?’

In an increasingly complex and fast-moving marketing landscape, marketers don’t need more information to make better decisions, but rather more clarity on what it all means and what to do about it. Too often even the best research never achieves its full potential for impact.

That’s why at Shapiro+Raj we don’t think of ourselves as simply an insights company, but rather an insights + inspiration company. The addition of inspiration is critical. It means we aim to not only deliver deep, novel insights but also inspire the team to see how the insights could come to life. This means our clients are not just informed but inspired – with the clarity and enthusiasm to take decisive action. Meaning, no more worries about if anything is being done with the insights.

How do we do it? We built a completely new kind of an insights + inspiration company grounded on four critical pillars:

Truly Unique Talent Mix

We have strategically designed our talent mix to deliver insights and inspiration for impact. We begin with social science researchers who leverage proven social science techniques to uncover the deep insights that move people. Teams are organized vertically to provide the necessary industry expertise to translate insights into bold solutions that make sense in the category. And finally, our dedicated team of strategists help close the gap between insight and action through inspiring activation that resonates with marketers and business leaders alike. This integrated team is able to deliver not just the what or the so-what, but to inspire clients to act on the now-what.

Distinct Philosophy on Technology

At Shapiro+Raj, we believe in a principle we call TechManity™. Simply put, this is the idea that technology alone is insufficient to discover and deliver the most impactful insights. Instead, we believe the most powerful insights require a perfect blend of technology AND humanity. Technology allows us to unearth insights that are deeper (e.g., voice emotional analysis), smarter (e.g., AI-powered language analysis) and faster (e.g., digital platforms, quali-quant tools). Yet critically, we leverage these tools with a human-first mindset. We carefully select technologies that will amplify our human capacities, not replace them. We use technology alongside social and behavioral science which allows us to expose deep human truths and interpret all data by applying our human empathy and intuition to achieve true insight. This human touch is critical to getting beyond information to insights that excite and inspire.

World Class Project Management Team

We cannot inspire with insights, if we cannot first inspire confidence in the data used to achieve those insights. We are one of the few consultancies that has a dedicated field and project management team to support the execution across all stages of each project. A critical component of this team’s role is ensuring high quality respondents and data. This expert team selects just the right partners to connect with the target audience, from traditional panels, expert networks, and other bespoke recruiting techniques. We’ve successfully recruited some of the hardest to reach audiences, from C-suite executives to the rarest of patient types. But they don’t stop there, this team vigorously vets the respondents and data. With technology and attentiveness, they weed out fraud and deliver confidence in data quality.

An Audacious Spirit

And finally, we do it all with a particular spirit – what we call Inspired Audacity. An audacious spirit is critical to push past common roadblocks and deliver insights and inspiration that truly drive action. Yet, unchecked audacity can be dangerous. Audacity rooted in ego can lead brands off track. Inspired Audacity, rather, is rooted in and inspired by a deep, empathic understanding of the situation or consumer. In a word, insight. With deep insight fueling our audacity we can inspire our clients to see the opportunities before them and foster their own audacity to tackle head-on.

So next time you’re lying awake at night worrying about the ins and outs of your research initiative, I challenge you to also consider how to ensure it be insightful, inspiring, and impactful. If you’re not sure, let us help. We’re built differently. With insights and inspiration, we’re built to help brands shape, not just react to the future. Give us a shout at [email protected].