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Innovative CPG Company Finds Success Embracing Self-Service Over Full-Service

AYTM helped their CPG client gain faster access to insights and a comparable level of data quality to conduct iterative research with ease.

Editor’s Note: Every year, participants in the GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report survey vote for the most innovative companies in market research. In Insights That Work, these top companies share the real-life challenges and solutions of their biggest clients.


Research Challenge:

The client had adopted an iterative research approach that called for capturing customer feedback early and often with the goal of minimizing waste in the product development cycle. With this in mind, the client sought to find agile research options with varying levels of service to rapidly test ideas.

The goal was to identify DIY & automation research platforms to supplement their in-house research team while empowering researchers to do more DIY quantitative research while transitioning away from full-service providers to reduce turnaround times and cost. A senior researcher in charge of the search said, “Full service market research often takes weeks or months which is not synonymous with speed and agility. Partnering with DIY research suppliers would be a significant cost and time-saving opportunity.”

The client was specifically looking for a self-service research platform with MaxDiff and Choice-Based Conjoint automation and a high-quality integrated panel. It was also important that the platform had familiar and user-friendly data outputs, as well as quality data to meet the client’s high standards.

It was expected that the transition to DIY would also require a flexible partner that could effectively provide training and support to hundreds of researchers, while empowering them towards self-service quickly.

Research Solution:

Having identified AYTM for their expertise in research automation, the client brought in experts within their organization including researchers, programmers, and statisticians to put the platform to the test. During the evaluation phase, a parallel study using AYTM’s Maxdiff and a competitor’s more traditional model yielded comparable results, which led to a larger scale pilot program.

While initially drawn to AYTM for research automation, the client was also impressed by how quickly the platform produced quality results. They communicated that in the past, the average MaxDiff or Conjoint took 3-4 weeks. Now, with AYTM, they can go from programming to results in just 24 hours or less.

However, the transition from full service to self-service suppliers can be a challenge, especially for large research teams. Knowing this, AYTM built a customized training program for the client’s research team which included 1:1 research consultations as well as group training sessions.

AYTM also offered the client access to their team of research automation experts. AYTM’s adaptive professional services program allows the client to tap into resources, only as needed, giving them the flexibility of a DIY platform with access to additional research expertise.

Client Result:

Due to the partnership with AYTM, the client met their cost-cutting and time-saving goals while delivering the results needed for effective and timely decision making. With faster access to insights and a comparable level of data quality, the client is now able to conduct iterative research with ease.

Of the partnership, the client’s senior researcher said, “When it comes to balancing speed, cost, and quality, AYTM delivers.”

Today, dozens of researchers from the client’s global organization utilize AYTM to conduct self-service research that once required weeks or months to complete and the expense of a full-service research firm.

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2 responses to “Innovative CPG Company Finds Success Embracing Self-Service Over Full-Service

  1. While I have no doubt you’ve given the client a good solution, the amount of post-hoc rationalizing on your part is remarkable. The client wants new product development research to be iterative and, hopefully, agile (in the quick sense, not in the “let’s introduce crap and see what people tell us” sense). They would like a DIY solution because they think it will be faster and cheaper. This does not rule out a full-service . supplier – it may just rule out their current supplier. Somebody else may be faster and cheaper.

    They want this even though they don’t know what they are doing – which is why you have to be flexible, train them, and make the output look like something they want.

    If AYTM cut the time from 21 days (at best) to 1 day, the client was either clearly working with the wrong supplier, the supplier was stupid, or they are not comparing apples to apples. Are they actually looking at programming to completion times for the supplier?

    Did the client build in the cost of your custom training program into the cost of the research? Is the client including cost of access to your experts – we assume you are not giving away your experts’ time.

    Nobody conducts Max-Diff and Choice experiments with ease. They may be easy to create but to do it correctly, even in an automated environment, and to understand the results appropriately, is never easy, even for those with expertise. And clearly from your description the clients do not have this expertise.

    Again, not questioning how good your solution is, but the rationale and description in this puff piece of advertising is really bad.

    1. Stepping in here Steve because I have extensive background insight into AYTM (I am on the AB) and know the background of this specific client. Trust me, they spent a loooong time looking at their options and chose AYTM because they do have a unique capability to enable incredibly complex research (choice experiments) in an amazingly simple way, including analysis and recommendations. I know first hand in using that functionality in GRIT myself, and I think you would agree I am a pretty tough and discerning client! As far as I can tell, this combination of process automation, speed and cost efficiencies, and impactful reporting of results is unique and this client saw the same thing. Contrary to being a puff piece, this is a real case study that shows how new tools (and specifically AYTM since it was their project) really can change the game for very smart and experienced clients. This blog has been saying these results were coming for almost 10 years so no one should be surprised that it’s become reality. Does any of this remove the need for smart consultants to play a role in research (especially experts in specific business issues like you!)? No, tech companies like AYTM want to empower consultants just as much as they want to do the same for clients, but the traditional model has been disrupted and everyone must adapt to that reality, no matter how begrudgingly.

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