In a business context, the concept of “agile” has its roots in the software development world. It evolved out of a need among software developers to find a smarter, simpler and faster way to incorporate ongoing feedback, deliver emergent solutions, and establish transparency among all stakeholders including customers.
More recently, the concept has spread out to other industries and departments, and these days many businesses are applying agile approaches and frameworks to project management, product development, and indeed, market research.
Agile market research gives researchers the freedom to adjust their work based on feedback from their clients and results of their research. Because this gives project control to the market research experts, it helps your business get to the results you need through adapting strategy in response to trends and events. Further, agile market research typically works best when the insights needed may take multiple sessions of market research. If there will be several market research projects to reach a solution, a market research team can make efficient decisions through being agile.
Below, we highlight 4 key reasons why agile market research is on the rise:
- The traditional and linear sales cycle has given way to a non-linear buyer’s journey, where customers engage and re-engage through a multitude of touchpoints and channels. Market research teams need agile technologies and approaches to quickly and accurately capture insights in real-time, and essentially be in multiple places at once.
- The volume of data available to market research teams is enormous and unprecedented. The good news is that data mining can reveal extraordinarily valuable and profitable insights. The bad news — which agile market research seeks to resolve — is that it’s simply not possible or realistic for businesses to wait until “the data comes in” before they start analyzing and activating it. They must be prepared to capture and exploit it as it arrives, and while it is still valid.
- The pace of innovation and product development has never been faster, which means that businesses usually must implement product development and market research concurrently — which is a challenge that agile market research helps meet. This need is even more difficult in sectors like manufacturing, where marketing teams are typically given very little (and usually never enough) time to provide product developers and sales teams with critical marketplace and consumer insights.
- There is no longer just one type of customer that a business needs to engage and onboard. There are multiple buyer personas, as well as influencers and active customer stakeholders. Agile market research allows businesses to capture data about each of these types and groups, and integrate them to paint a more vivid and valuable picture. For example, a market research project that is focused on project managers, could reveal data that is applicable to a market research project focused that is on procurement managers.
The Need for Speed? Yes and No
As noted, the defining characteristic of agile market research (as with all other agile applications) is speed, speed and more speed. However, it is vital to keep in mind that the need for speed should not impede or obscure market research fundamentals. In other words: businesses cannot afford to cut market research corners in the name of speed, because the data they end up with will be unreliable — or outright misleading. So yes, there is certainly a benefit of dialing up the velocity, but not at the cost of undermining the principles of market research. Speed for the sake of speed is as counterproductive as generating data for the sake of data.
If you’re looking for an agile market research team who can be trustworthy decision makers, look no further than Communications For Research. Our research teams specialize in projects requiring flexible design, swift turnaround, and cost-effective management. With 20 years of experience, we conduct over 500 market research projects annually and have experience with a multitude of unique industries and research situations. Therefore, we know how to be agile and adapt our methodologies for optimal business success.
To learn more about leveraging agile market research in your business, contact the Communications For Research team today and speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber. He can help you determine whether you need a single market research project or an agile market research strategy. Plus he can also provide you with a timeline and a quote based on your budget and business goals!
For more information on the benefits of market research, including how it can help marketing agencies, download our FREE eBook: