By definition, the word “agile” simply means to move quickly and easily. Technology and social media make our environment more dynamic than ever, so clients must be agile in order to adapt and change to the fast-paced, ever-changing customer environment. Tighter budgets and shorter timelines add to the need for agility. Market research suppliers must be able to adapt to the clients’ needs, which often means being able to provide quality insights at a lower cost and within a shorter period of time (versus more traditional research).
Is fast and cheap agile? In a way, it is. But by our definition, it’s not truly agile research.
Offering clients fast and cheap methodologies is one of several ways market research suppliers can demonstrate agility. More broadly, though, market researchers are agile when they have the ability to better manage unexpected events, such as a needed change in advertising copy as a result of shifting market dynamics.
A better description…While time-critical questions or limited budgets are expected uses for agile research methodologies, many clients use agile research for the sequential development of new products and marketing initiatives. By integrating a series of small and quick research projects on the front end of the learning plan, concepts and initiatives can be optimized prior to the more rigorous traditional research phases such as product testing or volume forecasting. The steps taken on the front end help set initiatives up for success in the long run.