New Market Research Skills You Should Know

We hear it everyday: “We are moving faster than ever before and the pressure to deliver on shorter and shorter timelines is always increasing.” Technology has enabled us to instantaneously source information, hold meetings, respond to work requests, and stay connected 24/7. This ever quickening pace of our world has put a very real pressure on market research teams.

Traditional research methodologies can take several weeks or months to gather the quality insights needed to allow our research teams to make educated decisions. Often this growing outdated timeline just doesn’t cut it anymore with the speed our business moves. So what’s the solution? We asked Nancy Luna, Director of Front End Innovation & Trends at Kraft Foods and she had some ideas around what new market research skills are needed to keep the pace.

Quality First.

In the world of market research the quality of our insights often determine the success of our engagements. So simply moving faster by cutting corners is never an option. The results must be in-depth and truly prescriptive rather than just anecdotal and diagnostic. A successful market research team need to incorporate:

  • Synthesis AND analysis
  • Empathy
  • Prescriptive AND diagnostic feedback
  • Context
“We don’t have much time to pull out the details from insights due to our overloaded work schedules. So companies like GutCheck helping our team with prescriptive results allows us to reach quality conclusions more quickly. Data visualization and dashboards are crucial – it helps us quickly see the most important information and draw critical conclusions.” – Nancy Luna, Director of Front End Innovation & Trends at Kraft Foods

In addition to being faster, our teams need to deliver more data, more efficiently, using less time and less money. A focus on quality results is essential to a successful market research team and should continue to remain a primary focus as our industry evolves toward gaining project objectives on increasingly accelerating timelines.

“We need to ask the RIGHT questions and doing research that helps us understand the true drivers behind the consumer’s behavior and needs. Just because you can ask a question doesn’t mean it gives you the right information or an answer.” Nancy Luna, Director of Front End Innovation & Trends, Kraft Foods

A project simply delivered on-time does not make for a successful engagement.

It’s the results that matter.

Faster. Better. Smarter.

Kraft is incorporating design thinking to improve the speed and success of their innovation. Design thinking helps decrease the risk of cost of your projects by framing the challenges correctly and focusing on designing solutions that work for the user. Innovation is maximized, gathering deep insights about value creation for your stakeholders, testing assumptions early and prototyping the concepts.

Here is a great example of Design Thinking vs. Business Thinking from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business:

B-School vs. D-School
Underlying Assumptions Rationally, Objectivity; Reality as fixed and quantifiable Subjective experience; Reality as socially constructed
Method Analysis aimed at providing one “best” answer Experimentation aimed at iterating toward a “better” answer
Process Planning Doing
Decision Drivers Logic
Numeric Models
Emotional Insight
Experimental Models
Values Pursuit of control and stability
Discomfort with uncertainty
Pursuit of novelty
Dislike of status quo
Level of Focus Abstract or particular Movement between abstract and particular


Whether you are screening copy or concept, refining product packaging, or just gathering shopper insights, there are skills essential to staying at the forefront:

  • Agile Research Teams – Give you the speed and the quality to deliver on-demand in-depth results
  • Design Thinking – Allows you to gain a deeper understanding of what motivates your consumers, identify their pain points and design quality solutions to their problems
  • Adaptability – Provides flexibility and ability to cope with project nuances and the unforeseen course corrections that are part of every engagement

Kraft LogoKraft Food is building these new market research skills and will be presenting the details of their success during this webinar on Thursday, October 16th at 2pm EST. This webinar, co-hosted by GutCheck and Quirks, will provide further details and specific case studies on how Kraft is using design thinking and agile market research to lead the insights market.

Watch Webinar Now