Editor’s Note: With the launch of the latest GRIT Business & Innovation Report, we have published a series of “sneak peeks” and excerpts of key analyses. Today, we present Gregg Archibald’s wrap up, where he discusses larger implications for the industry. The points Gregg makes on business impact and what value means to different people and organizations are important for us all to consider.
In every edition of the GRIT Report, we see positive news and we see challenges. This report is no exception to that history. Two themes keep coming to mind while reading this report: the first is that value means different things to different people, and second is that there is a LOT going on in our industry and it simply gets confusing.
First, the value question. In my early days of research, I ran the customer satisfaction research program for a division of a large (the largest at the time . . . now, not so much) telecom company. We defined value as “what you get for what you pay”. When companies operationalize this definition it works quite well if all the customers want the same “what you get”. However, if almost everyone has a different definition of “what you get”, it becomes very had to operationalize it. The “What You Get” part for our industry is quite diverse. As a buyer, you can “get” any of the following and much more:
- Faster – the value is that my organization can quickly get to a decision.
- Buy-in – means that I go through a process to include all the stakeholder and have fewer hurdles when the time come to operationalize insights.
- Data synthesis – the value is that the story looks at a variety of perspectives and gets me ‘closer to truth’.
- Real-time – the value is that I can understand the consumer closer to the moment of truth or support my client in their time of need.
I can go on and on with this – frameworks, data sources, stories, visualization, etc… But we need to beware that sometimes we lose the bigger story in all the detail. The core lesson is that all these things work together for one end goal – provide impact for
our clients. The easiest example of this is reviewing the main reasons for organizations’ budget or revenue growth – they provided value (either internally or externally).
As previously noted, value doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. So, the real question for all our clients is “what is valuable to you”? And that leads us into the next theme.
There is a proliferation of tools, platforms, methodologies, data sources, sample providers, and approaches in our industry. It is quite difficult to keep up with all the options. If we tried to keep up with all the changes and priorities, we would be left with no other job to do except ‘keep up’. And every organization is going through at least some change because of this proliferation. The key to success is not just knowing what you do as an organization, but more importantly – what you don’t do. While there are signs of improvement this year in the GRIT data, there is a lot of inconsistency on both the supplier and buyer sides about what the real role of the organization is. Are we the voice of the consumer? Are we strategists? Are we something else?
Until this question is answered in your organization, it will be almost impossible to focus on the right set of tools and skills to do your job to the best of your ability. And that focus comes from the question mentioned earlier. . . what is valuable to you?