Most of us were taught from a very young age that we can’t have everything we want - “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too”. During the pandemic we endured not only not having everything we wanted, but often lacking much of what we needed as well.
This was as true in our professional lives as it was in our personal lives. Many companies we work with were forced into making cuts and tradeoffs. While innovation is the lifeblood of many of our clients and they wanted to keep the innovation pipeline flowing, the need to redirect budgets to immediate revenue-driving activities meant insights and research teams and projects took a heavy hit.
Fast forward to today, and as innovation and insights budgets are thankfully rebounding, there is also an interesting shift in the kinds of providers being used to help support internal research efforts. As uncovered in the 2021 GRIT Business & Innovation Report, research teams are moving back to full-service suppliers to help them answer the critical questions around user and category exploration, unmet need identification, concept development, messaging development, and generally to help them get to deeper dimensions of human understanding.
This shift is likely happening for a number of reasons, including:
- Internal research and insights staff were cut during the pandemic, and bringing on board external resources is a quicker route back to filling the innovation pipeline
- The burden added to internal teams to plan, organize, execute, and analyze research projects is taking a toll – both in terms of workloads and, in some cases, quality
- Despite being able to answer some questions quickly, the in-house techniques being used rarely offer the same level of strategic analysis and deep insights required for sustainable competitive advantage
The tradeoff companies traditionally had to make when considering hiring a full-service insights or research agency was that it came at higher cost and lower speed. Those barriers are gone. Agile market research methodologies – those pioneered and refined by GutCheck – give companies the ability to work with a full-service agency that is tech-enabled to provide the speed; AND has the exceptional human-centric approach to provide empathy in the analysis ; AND combines qual and quant methodologies to uncover deeper levels of understanding; AND delivers the research within tight timeframes; AND is highly cost-effective when compared to traditional full-service research providers.
At GutCheck, we see opportunities where others force tradeoffs. We believe in the power of ‘AND’. So we say, “you can have your cake AND eat it, too”.