An insightful new report from Boston Consulting Group reveals that “most companies have not yet unlocked the value of consumer insight.” The report is based on a quantitative survey of more than 800 executives from 40 global companies with at least $1.5 billion in sales. The survey was supplemented with around 200 qualitative interviews, and the participants included line managers as well as members of the consumer insight function in these companies.
The authors found that companies fall into one of four stages of consumer insight capability:
- traditional market research function
- business contribution team
- strategic insight organization
- strategic foresight organization.
The companies falling into the last two stages are getting the biggest return on their investments in consumer insight. However, according to this report, only about 10% of the surveyed companies are in one of these two stages of insight capability. In Stage 1 companies, the insight function is more or less an “order taker” relegated to “back room” status, and the focus is on tactical research. Things are a little better in Stage 2 companies in that sometimes projects are more strategic, but the insight function is still project-focused.
If the consumer insight function is relegated to back room status in the majority of companies, does that make research agencies a back room to the back room? (more…)