We all know that every launch, market entry and growth plan starts and ends with research. To use a military metaphor, research insights map the terrain on which the battle is fought, and measure the contribution of each battle to the wider war after its conclusion. Research is not a substitute for leadership and insight; it is a test of intuitions. It builds consensus within the team by appealing to the one thing standing above each person and department’s biases and vested interests – the facts. This is what research can accomplish.
Good research, on the other hand, does much more. It calls out those “unknown unknowns” that will become evident after you gain a better understanding of the market. It generates ideas from customer and industry insights refracted through the prism of expertise and experience. Good research is far better than a litany of verbatim comments from customers, or a mass of statistics devoid of context, that is of no relevance. Good research is your best investment.
Three big barriers exist to impede good research in the 21st century:
The term “insights” could now be the most tired expression in the research industry. Many research vendors will present you with numerous data points, expecting you to draw your own insights. Some may provide you with data that has been analyzed for patterns – creating knowledge. Very few will draw conclusions for you – generating real insight. Spire will go further – offering advice on the foundation of genuine insights. We know of no other vendor that will – which is why Spire’s executives are acknowledged as consultants.
Most of what passes for research is purely consumer research, which is understandable. Customers, though the most important element in the business eco-system, are not the only element. Here in Spire, we possess capabilities in research across the business eco-system, from competitors and channels to government, opinion leaders and suppliers. Spire integrates insights from the customer, industry and macro-environment – presenting to you the voice of the customer in the context of what is possible, what has been tried and what we feel should be done.
Executing good research in emerging economies is different from doing so in the West. Emerging markets lack good published data as well as a widespread culture of co-operating with research. Its markets and value chains can be irregular and opaque, due to fragmented and unorganized retail, complex regulations and high penetration of grey and counterfeit products. This argues against the crude importing of fieldwork approaches, analytic paradigms, and even terminology from the developed West, when the project is done in an emerging economy. Only Spire focuses on solving research execution and analysis problems in global emerging markets across Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
Our success in building the only strategic research-based consultancy focused on emerging markets explains the many long-term relationships that Spire is privileged to have with world-leading corporations and government agencies, typically at the worldwide or region headquarters level.
Contact Spire today to find out more about our strategic research track record in your industry.