How to Set Up an Agile Market Research Culture in Your Organization

Agile market research helps companies keep up with the times. However, it will only succeed with support from the right organizational culture.

Agility has been championed far and wide in recent years, allowing companies to quickly respond to new trends, keep up with ever-changing consumer habits, and carve out a genuine competitive advantage. But agility on its own counts for little.

Organizations must also ensure they are making the right strategic decisions, and responding to the latest, most relevant information. Enter agile market research. Unlike the “kitchen sink” approach—where companies conduct infrequent, wide-ranging consumer surveys—agile market research prioritizes rapid, iterative, frequent check-ins. 

This allows businesses to take their consumers’ pulse on an ongoing basis. With the pace of change at unprecedented levels, yesterday’s consumer research often no longer applies to today’s world. But by implementing the right culture within your organization, you can ensure your agile market research efforts will be a genuine value driver—not an unwelcome distraction.

Ready to Implement Agile Market Research? Here’s how…

Let’s dig into the crucial steps that your organization must take to create a sustainable agile market research culture.

Adopt a flexible enterprise survey software

This one’s a no-brainer—so you don’t want your market research to be constrained by limited, inflexible tools. Your survey software should offer a wide range of languages, different question types, pre-made templates that are ready to go in an instant, and advanced logic.

No two companies are the same—so you need to follow your own agile market research approach. This means you need software that allows you to ask however many questions you want, when you want, in the languages that you deem best. Better still, your software should offer a range of flexible pricing structures based around what your organization needs. 

Don’t settle for rigid offerings. Seek out software that is built with adaptability and flexibility at its core. This is essential for building a successful agile market research culture.

Rethink your team structure

If your team isn’t built with agility in mind, you’ll struggle to embrace agile methods of market research. But what exactly does this mean?

According to McKinsey, agile teams “operate with high standards of alignment, accountability, expertise, transparency, and collaboration.” They’re generally small and nimble, containing roughly 8–10 team members in total. Despite being small in size, this team should ideally possess a range of critical skills: strategy-setting, qualitative/quantitative research, qualitative/quantitative analysis, community moderation, and research presentation, among others. 

It might also be a good idea to look outside your team when devising surveys. Remember: each department has their own specific needs in the here and now. While one survey might throw up some fantastic insights for your product department, it might miss the mark in terms of what your branding team is looking for. Invite members from different departments to collaborate when devising (and analyzing) surveys. If you do, you’ll ensure that every single survey provides organization-wide benefits.

Integrate survey data and share your findings

57% of business leaders report that data is fragmented across their organization. Siloed data leads to subpar strategies, with varying departments all pursuing different goals based on contrasting information. 

Organizations looking to build an agile market research culture must therefore integrate—and democratize—their findings. The latest consumer insights must be readily shared throughout the business and integrated into all relevant tools: CRM systems, advertising accounts, marketing automation software, business intelligence tools, and so on.  

This will ensure that everybody is singing from the same song sheet. You’ll all be working with the latest, most accurate picture of your customers in mind—and you’ll be able to work collectively to serve them what they want/need. 

Keep on going!

Change can be hard. If your organization is used to sending out once-a-year mammoth market research surveys, it can be a real tough task trying to completely revamp your approach. Perhaps your leadership team has signed off on implementing a new, flexible agile market research tool. You’ve used it to send out three quick, short surveys in a matter of weeks. You’ve crunched the results and gained some killer insights—great, job done!

Not quite.

The most important part of building an agile market research culture is to remember that agile market research never stops. It’s an interactive, ongoing process. The results you receive today, as revealing and exciting as they are, won’t necessarily apply in 6 months’ time. 

So how do you know when they’re no longer applicable? By continuing to conduct ongoing agile market research. 

Novel trends and innovative technologies are reinventing society at a supersonic pace. The only way to make sure your organization doesn’t fall behind the curve is to keep your ear to the ground at all times.

Organizational culture: The key to successful agile market research

Culture underpins everything your organization does: The products and services it provides, the individuals it employs, and the impact it has on society. To reap the rewards from agile market research, your organization must build the right culture

Start by implementing smart, flexible enterprise survey software that adapts to the specific needs of both you and your audience. Then learn to integrate and democratize data, collaborating with multiple teams to guide the collection of data, and sharing crucial insights throughout the organization to ensure maximum benefit. Above all, it’s about being able to meet and engage with customers where they are. 

In short, agile market research is not a one-time strategic ploy; it’s an ongoing practice supported by a shift in organizational culture.

Key takeaways

  • Large-scale, infrequent, tell-all surveys are outdated and ineffective. To keep up with the pace of change, organizations must acquire fresh consumer insights on an ongoing basis.
  • This is where agile market research comes in. However, this practice can only succeed provided it is supported by the right organizational culture.
  • Flexible enterprise survey software adapts to both your organization and your consumers’ specific needs. This makes it an invaluable tool when building an agile market research culture. 
  • But this is just one piece of the puzzle. You must create agile teams as well as inviting regular input from various different departments—and the data you gather must then be shared throughout your organization for maximum impact. 
  • Remember: keep on going at all times. Consumer habits, behaviors, and beliefs can change in a flash. The only way you’ll find out when this happens is by regularly taking their pulse.

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