The anatomy of a modern market research engine

Every strategist worth their salt knows you’re only as good as the information you have.

It’s like attempting to cook a gourmet dish…with stale ingredients.
Or fly a plane…with no flight path.

No matter the time, money, or effort you throw at the situation, you’ll only get so far.

So we spent the better part of Q1 leveling up our knowledge by tearing down “research.” Specifically, how leading strategists and innovators are doing it in 2024.

I recently broke down key findings on “Now That’s Significant,” an Ipsos / Infotools podcast. 

The full 32-minute conversation is worth a listen (and that's saying something considering I hate the sound of my own voice 🥴), but here are 5 highlights:

1. High-performing teams prioritize asking the right questions

They emphasize understanding stakeholders' needs and framing inquiries effectively to ensure relevant, actionable, and – most importantly – impactful outcomes.

2. Successful teams embrace a diverse research stack

They leverage a blend of primary, secondary, behavioral, and product data to gain a comprehensive understanding of their target audience (and existing customers).

3. Leading organizations maintain a healthy research cadence

They balance quick ad-hoc inquiries with ongoing monitoring and larger-scale projects to stay agile and informed.

4. AI tools are transforming research workflows

While researchers acknowledge AI's potential, there remain (very valid) concerns about data privacy, accuracy, biases, and the need for human oversight in analysis and decision-making.

5. Winning teams are rethinking how they stay on top of fundamentals

Combining a more agile approach to insights gathering (see 2 and 3) with a culture of curiosity empowers teams to more actively – and proactively – explore ideas and validate opportunities.    

One thing that hasn’t changed (and probably won’t ever)? 

The types of research strategy and innovation leaders prioritize.

Who is my audience? 
Who are my competitors?
What’s affecting my category?
What trends or dynamics are affecting all of the above?

Which means the future will be won NOT by latching on to the latest shiny object, but by doubling down on these fundamentals – and doing them better, smarter, and more consistently than the next guy.


P.S. If you or someone on your team is frustrated by the time, money, and/or effort you’re putting into doing any of these fundamentals correctly, let’s chat! I’m always game to lift the hood on this research, Wonder's HITL approach to tackling this type of research, and/or my own experience in the trenches to game plan how to better get the insights you need.