The Market Research Shift: How firms can build better client relationships

Madhav Mirani, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Ugam,

Market research firms are facing many challenges, from the way their end-clients want to consume data to the way survey participants want to take surveys. Regardless of the changes taking place in the industry, it’s important to remember why facing these challenges is worth the hassle. Delivering rich, actionable insights to customers is our primary goal, and focusing on the client’s needs is what makes us successful.

Need a reminder of why it’s important to focus on the client and deliver what they want when they want it? We’ve provided four real examples of challenges any market research firm will face and how focusing on client needs will lead to success.

Example #1: At 11am one morning, one of our market research clients called us, stating that they had a meeting with their client the very next day with an opportunity to displace another supplier for a particular book of work. They wanted to make a strong impression with their client, and it was crucial for them to go in to the meeting with some specific insights. So we fielded a study, collected and analyzed the data and created a report, delivering the information to our client before their meeting. The work we prepared not only enabled our client to easily add their own insights and conclusions, it put them in a position to make a strong impression and eventually win the book of work.

Example #2: Another one of our clients provides research and insights to a large IT company, and they were struggling to meet the needs of the IT client, who wanted the ability to analyze data and get insights in real-time without losing any service customization. Leveraging a combination of technology, process and people around the clock, we supported our client and helped them deliver for the IT company, building a more valuable client relationship in the process.

Example #3: One of our clients works with various retailers, one of whom wanted to receive insights from non-shoppers in real-time. Over 70% of their store traffic did not end up purchasing, so they wanted to understand the behavior of these non-shoppers and get more information on their buying-decisions. Since they did not want to conduct a recall-based survey, but still wanted insights in real-time, we partnered with a location analytics company and were able to engage with non-shoppers in real-time, providing some very valuable insights.

Example #4: One of our clients runs a large syndicated study where they reach out to thousands of respondents on a monthly basis. They had been seeing a decline in response rates and were running into challenges when it came to different devices and browsers. We were able to create a solution that ensured the syndicated survey worked on every device and every browser and every version of browsers. Now, the process is institutionalized and scalable for future surveys.

The list of  challenges market research firms face go on and on, but the nature of these challenges is changing, focusing more on speed and integrated data capabilities. To respond to these changing needs, market research firms need to change in some fundamental ways. They need more analytical talent to integrate different types of data. They also need to change their organization structures to be more external facing. In addition, they need to change their delivery interface to clients so they can provide insights in real-time. Finally, they must change their technology infrastructure to be more in-sync with client needs.

In this increasingly complex world, market research firms will be best served by investing in their core customer base. End clients come to market research firms to get insights and improve decision-making in order to impact their business. To effectively compete and differentiate themselves, market research firms should invest in the right type of analytical resources and a team that understands clients’ business problems and provides actionable insights.

Content from this article originally appeared on Greenbook Blog on September 2nd 2015


The Author:
With over 19 years of experience, Madhav is responsible for all sales, business development, and marketing initiatives. Prior to Ugam, Madhav led the Treasury function at Sakura Capital India. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering as well as a degree in Economics from The Wharton School.


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