In the GRIT survey, Greenbook invites research end-users, buyers, agencies, and suppliers, to contribute to a definitive study of trends shaping the industry and the role of innovation in MRX.
The GRIT Business and Innovation report also includes a ranking, based on the perception of the respondents, of the most innovative clients and agencies in the insights industry today. Given the circumstances of the last year, we thought it was worth describing what we at Behaviorally mean when we think about innovation!
The unprecedented experience of the COVID pandemic changed everything for consumers, brands, and retailers. In Behaviorally’s area of expertise, there has been a stunning shift to online shopping, accelerating trends that were already at work, but far exceeding expectations in terms of adoption. This has made innovation in shopper research even more imperative. To continue to support our clients’ growth goals, agencies such as Behaviorally have had to pivot, evolving services and methodologies rapidly and creatively in response to changing consumer and shopper behaviors.
Even before the pandemic, we had acted under the belief that in several years’ time, virtually all challenges our clients face in driving shopper growth will involve omnichannel retail and digital engagement. For Behaviorally, the events of the past year have translated into an even deeper commitment to a “digital-first” approach to support our clients. This criterion has helped us revolutionize how we define the context of shopper behavior, as well as evolve our ShopperLabs™ to be increasingly virtual and immersive. It has also refined our “diagnose” solutions for exploring the omnichannel path-to-purchase, leveraging big data and online shopper journey mapping.
We have also committed to making all innovations scalable, and thus truly useful for clients along their growth journey. The instinct of the passionate researcher is to celebrate when a client purchases an innovative and novel new service for the first time. Yet for Behaviorally there is an even most important KPI: would any clients use this approach more than once, adopting it for ongoing commercial advantage?
With this in mind, at Behaviorally, we have introduced digital improvements to our “define” suite of online pack and shopper marketing validations tools, PackFlash® and ShopperFlash™. Our metric for rating these innovations comes down to whether our clients continue to make them their default and come back for more. We are grateful to say they are, which is the real test for innovation in market research.
Lastly, innovation forces you to double down on what you know. You can’t develop truly impactful innovations without a clear understanding of the processes and outcomes you want to improve. For us, that means drawing on the years of experience we have since our inception in 1972 as Perception Research Service (PRS), and our heritage as behavioral experts, observing why and how consumers shop the way they do. As Behaviorally, we have committed to a focus on shopper marketing research, applying our simple behavioral framework to improve and innovate our methods within the singular objective of helping our clients deliver against their growth agenda.
Last year, when we were known as PRS IN VIVO USA, the organization of which we were part, ranked #4 in the GRIT “Top 50 Most Innovative Agencies” list. Regardless of this year’s score, our conviction is that the guiding principles described above will continue to drive us to be authentically innovative.
This was part of the impetus for why we rebranded PRS IN VIVO USA to Behaviorally in the first place. Behaviorally stands for the expertise we bring to clients in their evolution towards omnichannel retail. Our new brand promise is to apply a digital-first approach and our unique behavioral framework built on our decades of category experience to define and diagnose the factors that can drive shopper growth. If that doesn’t inspire you to strive for authentic innovation, what would?
P.S. Urge you all to take the GreenBook Survey and answer all the questions as thoughtfully as you can. The industry needs all our voices to get a genuine view of where we are and how we can keep raising the bar on performance. When it comes to choosing the clients and agencies you see as “most innovative”, start with your own definition of innovation, and nominate those companies who authentically meet that criteria.
Alex Hunt is the CEO of Behaviorally (formerly PRS).
Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexHunt84 or connect with him on LinkedIn.