A leap of faith or a planned jump?

Is the man in this opening image going to land safely? Did he prepare properly and make an informed decision to jump in this failing light after checking the hazard out fully, or did he just go ahead in a rush at that time, as it seemed the only choice?
Like the man in the opening image is about to, corporate initiatives can fall short without proper preparation and information; and as a result, incur cost and time to rectify. Which could have been better spent on meeting/realising objectives. One wonders how the man in this image felt when the better option of a nearby footbridge was visible in the morning light.

The last 2-3 years have already seen customer behaviour becoming more fragmented and Covid-19 has added another layer of complexity into business decisions. Whether you are working client or agency-side, commercial success ultimately requires everyone to find mutual ground and to make the best decisions possible. But how can you achieve this?

This short post shares our observations and experiences over the last 2 decades about successful problem-definition and how insight engineers can help you to harmonise your commercial objectives to achieve in-market success.
There is a link to download a full PDF of this paper below.

  1. Why Do Problems Need Definition?

Before starting to work immediately on the apparent solution, most successful organisations have learnt to stand back first and invest time and effort to improve their understanding of their problem and associated objectives. As Einstein once said, “A well-defined problem is 90% solved”. But, do you sometimes find you are on a completely different wavelength to the other people you work with? Agreeing on a clear problem definition with colleagues can be extremely challenging – different people, in different disciplines and positions of responsibility, with different motivations and pain-points, will often focus their thinking on disparate solutions.

Research evidence helps everyone get on the same wavelength, neutrally. Carefully curated insights can create a strong narrative on the feelings and inclinations of your target market in management level discussions, bringing stakeholders together within a common language. And especially when this information & insights are part of a structured problem definition process. This framework helps clients to avoid relying on the past, gut feel & intuition or the strongest opinion, and helps plot the best course of action, especially in times of business pressures.

When the world has just fundamentally changed, it is logical that a fresh attitude and new input is needed to make decisions for solutions in the post Covid-19 situation. The importance of harmonising your objectives and defining your problem with the right questions has never been more important to get right.

  1. What Questions Should You Be Asking on the Client-Side?

A good client-side project manager will constantly look to improve their understanding of a problem and more importantly which decisions need to be made and what information is needed to assist in these decisions. The inputs that start this necessary comprehension stage relate to the familiar 5Ws – Who, What, Where, When and Why. Here are the initial 10 questions, logically ordered, that our clients start asking of themselves: –

You can download these 10 questions and the rest of the full article <here>

Wrap up
Whether you are client-side or working at another agency, the value of a systematic approach to defining your problem and the routes ahead, will help you make the best customer-centric decisions in alignment with the end objectives. Ultimately, success then requires the right core team working towards the shared vision and the identified success factors to drive sales. And to revisit the 5Ws as you progress; changing your plans if conditions change.

insight engineers are used to being part of such initiatives for future pipeline and sales. We work regularly, internationally, on understanding customer behaviour and response to concepts, ideas and propositions. Your tricky B2B and B2C questions are our calls to action. Beyond quality, speed and value, our role is to be a strong partner in the team, helping you to deliver on your objectives. We find a problem definition process, such as the one in this paper, always enhances the chances of success. Working well together, a project team will normally ask the right questions and turn resulting information into profitable wisdom. Wouldn’t it be great to be in such a team in the future saying “Without us, X would not have existed”?

To people who have not worked with us before, let’s talk. Nobody loses from opening a dialogue.

Jeff Deighton
(e) jeff.deighton@insight-engineers.com
(ddi) +44 1753 916 908

To everyone in these unprecedented times, a short message of understanding to you & your loved ones, colleagues and anyone who has sadly lost someone near & dear.
A big shout out to all the front line people working hard in unnerving situations to keep people fed, cared for, and not isolated – may you continue to do this for us all and stay safe yourself.

Remote working has been imposed on everyone, it can he hard to adjust to.  I founded insight engineers as a virtual international network 17 years ago and we are proud to have conducted on-line Quant and both F2F & VOIP Qualitative work in over 40 countries in this time, using what has now become best workforce planning – split team working. We are used to project managing and delivering complex B2B and B2C projects in hard to reach target groups across countries, comfortable in using technology, tight procedures and clear communication to make all happen smoothly.

In the last month we have continued to migrate F2F Qualitative in Europe to on-line interviewing and found some previously hard-to-reach target groups willing to talk at short notice on VOIP channels during the day, evening and even weekends.

Businesses are emerging from the shock of recent weeks and our clients and their referrals are embracing a much stronger “can-do” attitude. We are working hard to help inform short-term tactical response to the effects of Covid-19 and longer-term strategic guidance on future purchasing mentalities. Our clients are switched on people, and those not on furlough, are already striving hard to plan how to emerge from these troubles with a clear view on how to market to target audiences; and especially how to sell in the second half of this year to recover losses this quarter.

We can support you similarly with Quality, Speed and Value. We promise you no loss of productivity and the delivery of grounded ICRs (Insights, Consequences, Recommendations) as we enter our 18th year.  Thank you to our long-standing clients for continuing to believe in the influence & power of our research at this time and for continuing to commission work with insight engineers (and in these turbulent times for actually paying us faster than usual!).

To people who have not worked with us before, let’s talk – nobody loses from opening a dialogue.

Please use the contact form on our website or reach out to me: Jeff Deighton, Managing Director: insights@insight-engineers.com

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

Market Entry

Finding & understanding available information to accelerate growth

Many organizations have a directive and need to plan to grow – but entering a new country and market sector is complex and challenging and will usually require significant time and monetary investment, even in these days of digital marketing and technological advance.

And this ambition has to be based on evidence and measurable data, not just gut-feeling. Typically, this ‘market entry’ ambition starts with the macro – wanting to prioritize which countries have the best chance of success and then requires the micro – detail on critical aspects for your specific sector – to build back up to the business plan internally.

We have been ‘engineering’ this type of ‘insight’ delivery for many years, utilizing low budget, high value ‘secondary desk’ research information and expert interviews to turn such public domain information into profitable wisdom specific to each client. The recent BREXIT years have only heightened the level of requests as many organizations – in East, West and the Americas – recognize the need to land new opportunities outside of home territories.

Some of requirements we have been approached with may well strike a chord with you:-

  • We need robust sector/category information to be able to create a reliable business plan and accurate forecasts
  • Who, or what type of customer/company/person will be interested in buying our product/service/idea?
  • How many of them are in Country A versus Company B?
  • Will our product/service/idea appeal only to our traditional customer groups or can you identify interest among new/different customer groups?
  • Who are the key competitors – are they local or global?
  • What has/has not worked for the current companies – and importantly, what are they planning?
  • What cost advantages do they enjoy in their supply chain?
  • What is the media landscape? Where and how do people inform themselves?
  • Does the Corporation Tax level in the country preclude or encourage our own subsidiary?
  • How will local regulations and labour laws impact how we would go about normal business?

We have written this paper with our partner, Benori Knowledge Solutions in India, based on our shared experiences of delivering solutions across multiple markets.  Projects have ranged from 1 to 40+ prospective markets & countries evaluated, with clients spanning B2B and B2C categories for established multi-nationals, local players wanting to expand, EU grant supported companies in New Energies, Education Bodies, Charities and new Start-ups with a good idea – from the obscure to the common.

The shared ingredients in the cake each company has sought to bake have been to understand the category landscape, relevant trends, competitive landscape, buying processes, regulatory and pricing situations across countries to help them decide how to best accelerate growth, before large-scale investment.

The most valuable insights about the entering new markets lie in four main aspects: –

  • Sector landscape
  • Competitive scenario
  • Cost & Pricing
  • Market Assessment Summary

You can download the full article with more details on these 4 sections <here>