Expert Consumer Research from Covance Food Solutions

The CEO Series: Andrew Reid of Vision Critical on The Future Of Insights CRM Systems

Things are getting really interesting the MROC world, and the repercussions are likely to be felt throughout the entire insights industry in the next few years.

We’ve been talking about data convergence for quite some time, and from there we shifted the industry conversation to multi-channel, single source, and multi-screen, even Big Data. All of these buzz terms are used to describe various angles of the same idea: all available consumer data (attitudinal, behavioral, transactional, explicit and implicit), through all touchpoints and devices, being brought together into a framework that allows for an ongoing relationship-based insights process.

A few years ago this was only a hypothetical model, but we’re seeing major steps towards bringing the vision to life from companies like Communispace, Insites Consulting, IpsosSMX, pureprofile, MetrixLab and Research Now, although each is certainly approaching it in different ways. Last week Vision Critical very quietly launched what I believe is their stake on the claim of developing the “Insights CRM” system (my description, not theirs) that is the logical culmination of this shift.

Vision Critical has been playing their mobile strategy close to their vests; honestly, it was beginning to appears as a weakness in their model. With the launch of their new platform agnostic (meaning it works on all devices and OS) mobile community and survey extension to Sparq they have addressed that concern and shed some light on where they see the future of insights heading.

It’s all well and good to make educated guesses about what a company intends to do based on observation, but I decided I’d go straight to the source and ask Andrew Reid, President of Vision Critical, about their new mobile platform and what it signals about their view of the direction of the insights industry. Being the nice guy that he is, he agreed even though he was on vacation with his family.

The interview below was done last Friday. There is the usual occasional very brief Skype glitchiness here and there, but is still an interesting and engaging chat with one of our visionary leaders that is leading the charge to transform the insights space. If you’re trying to get a feel for what the future holds, this is an important interview to pay attention to. The hints he drops about what’s next are particularly intriguing!



I’m so interested in this topic that I am lining up interviews with some of the others players involved in this push for a new model, so look for them over the next few weeks. I am increasingly convinced that all of the “variations on a theme” that we are seeing come to market are spot on and the era of the Insights CRM system, with communities being the hub of the platform, is upon us. It’s going to be interesting to watch this unfold!


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