What we learnt at Quirk’s

We had a great couple of days down in north Greenwich where we were exhibiting and presenting at Quirk’s London 2021. It was fantastic to catch up with clients & suppliers, as well as meeting a few new faces and attending a whole host of interesting sessions. Here are three things we learnt at the show…

Insight teams are overloaded

Most brands have realised they can gain a competitive advantage by turning data into insight and using that insight to make better informed decisions. Supercharging your certainty as we like to say. The downside of this is that it has put increasing pressure on insight/research teams.

Burnout is very much an open secret in our industry. Insight teams are struggling to cope with unmanageable workloads, and despite many employers offering some sort of mental health support, this may only be sticking a plaster over a larger problem. We know a lot of our clients are struggling to juggle workloads, deadlines and expectations. We also know that outsourcing some of that workload is not a guarantee of a less stressful life. Finding and managing partners can be its own source of frustration and worry.

Here at Researchbods we work hard to set realistic expectations with our clients and deliver what we say, when we say. Yes we love a challenge, and yes we go that extra mile, but we also try to ensure that this is never at the expense of our team’s wellbeing.

The struggle for strategy

Most of us would like to think that insights are absolutely vital to our organisation. That we play a key role in shaping decisions. The reality is though that there is still a sizeable gap where insight lives inside a few teams, but not the whole organisation. Where the full commercial impact of insight is not recorded. Where research is still seen as a ‘gopher’ gathering information and not as a guiding force, key to strategy.

Insight teams need to understand the value exchange going on in their organisation and build from there. By assessing the impact of projects which included insight, and those which did not, it becomes easier to demonstrate the value of the work you’re doing. While tracking impact may seem like an layer of admin and increase your workload, without it, its difficult to show your importance.

Good stakeholder management and strong communication are also vital in reinforcing the value of insight. There is more than one way to skin a cat and insights professionals need to create rich outputs and interesting stories to truly capture interest. Whether this is animated videos, interactive websites or just a solid excel spreadsheet, knowing the info that different stakeholders need and presenting it nicely, is as important today as ever.

The art of failing fast

There was one word that kept cropping up, people were a little bit reluctant to say it actually, but ‘agile’ was still a big theme throughout the sessions. Being more ‘agile’ has somewhat defined both our personal and professional lives for the last two years. But agile is a term that is a little confusing, can easily be mistaken for agile methodology and is difficult to measure.

One of the key learnings we highlighted in our presentation on how clients Deliveroo navigated the pandemic was the concept of failing fast. Leveraging data, making the most informed decision that was possible at that time, and where something didn’t work, simply failing fast and taking another course of action. That entire journey is only possible with the right insight and analytical set-up to inform you every step of the way. But it was an approach which proved successful as Deliveroo grew their on-demand convenience service. The right insight can help inform decisions, but life will always be unpredictable!

We really enjoyed our time at Quirk’s. If you didn’t have the chance to pop over to the stand and meet our team, why not get in touch?

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