May 04, 2016

Better engagement = greater insights. How Attest is disrupting the £4.8 billion UK market research industry


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“All organisations strive to be constantly customer-centric & data-driven… they’re just lacking a way to actually do it. Demand for information & insight has never been higher”. –Attest

Market research could (and should) be so much bigger:

This is a large and important industry. Organisations spent roughly £4.8 billion on market research “Business of Evidence” in 2015 in the U.K. alone. All companies & organisations constantly strive to know more about markets and customers. Demand for information, capacity to process information and ambition to use facts has never been greater.

However, the supply of market research and insights hasn’t evolved at the same pace. This is not only unfortunate, but genuinely damaging. Organisations are left frustrated in the absence of information they need.

Market research is big and important, but new models are required to deliver what the market really wants (and needs) – high­ volume, with high ­quality, and the ability to use research constantly.

We heard remarkably consistent problems, so we decided to actually do something about it.

The 4 major demand problems:

In mid-2015, we spoke with over 50 companies. Some big, some small. A mix of U.K., E.U. and U.S. Different types of people across each company. Sometimes multiple people within each company. Fascinatingly, despite their diversity and wide range of needs, all cited remarkably similar issues with how market research works:

  • Speed: Long set-up, execution and processing times. Frequently out-of-date by the time results are available. Crucial information not available when it’s most needed.
  • Quality: Responses typically come from only small parts of the population, with little transparency on true underlying sources. Credibility lacking or lost in translation. Methods limited to a fixed range of traditional styles. All leading to biased or compromised outputs.
  • Access: Sheer expense limits the number of possible projects. Incumbents focus on a larger companies and/or individual senior buyers. Many organisations and individuals who need insights have nowhere to go.
  • Scale: Fragmented and incompatible network of providers and approaches. Hard to use outputs. Far too involved, resource-intensive and complicated to use every day.

These 4 problems combine with the result that most organisations use market research far less than they want to or should. It’s a real shame, as good research helps companies make better decisions, and reduce waste. Everyone should have the ability to use detailed and tailored research much more frequently, but this just hasn’t been possible.

The 3 major supply problems:

Then we also took a totally new look at supply of market research. How and why should people participate, giving up their useful time and thoughts? After all, that’s the point of research, to hear real, unbiased input from real people. Again, after a lot of conversations and analysing existing approaches, we heard remarkably similar shortcomings:

  • Motivation: Most surveys are boring, repetitive and sometimes even invasive. There’s usually no real reason to respond, and no reason to respond accurately. Even worse, after you’ve decided to help and dedicate your valuable time, research can continually revisit identical questions or reject you part-way through, which is just plain annoying.
  • Transparency: Respondents worry about data security & where the information goes. Purpose & context are poorly communicated, leaving respondents in the dark.
  • Reach: Regular respondents tend to have disproportionate time (e.g., students) or inclination (e.g., enthusiasts) to participate. Most surveys run through a limited range of channels (e.g., receiving emails, responding on desktop computers) and with inconvenient timing (e.g., >30mins), further limiting appeal to respondents. These sub-populations are useful to many, but often don’t represent the whole truth that many organisations are trying to understand.

These 3 problems combine with the result that many valuable groups of respondents don’t participate in market research, therefore severely limiting insights available to organisations. Also a real shame, as many people love sharing their opinions and helping organisations improve, they just lack a platform to do it in a way that suits them.

What Attest is doing about it

We believe that it’s only possible to improve market research by solving both these sets of problems at the same time. That’s exactly what we’re doing at Attest. It’s hard to do, but we know that we need to keep it simple (and keep making it simpler).

Research & insights should be open to everyone, accurate, simple, transparent, fair & efficient. The industry needs a new approach at its very core, to deliver entirely new levels of performance and new types of insights.

We’re giving organisations the ability to explore many more ideas and make better decisions, with greater accuracy, scale and transparency than any ever before. We’re giving respondents new ways of engaging, which are much more user-friendly, secure and purposeful.

Our goal at Attest is to let you constantly place customers and data at the heart of your decision making. It’s a total reinvention of how market research works. We’re challenging and over-turning some long-held assumptions about how market research operates.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us today.