I think we can collectively agree that the past year and a half has been challenging for many reasons. The pandemic created ambiguity and an immense amount of restrictions for companies. Nevertheless, during these challenging times, companies were able to shift many levels of operations by adopting technology. These adoptions not only supported research but also supported remote work. By empowering employees to continue to keep in contact with colleagues and friends, companies were able to combat employee isolation. For many, these technology adoptions felt like a lifesaver.
Read on to learn how a Fortune 500 insurance company managed to weather the storm of uncertainty with their technology adoption in research.
Before the pandemic, one of the biggest life insurance agencies in the US and a leading asset manager worldwide, had already begun the process of digital transformation. In the places they’d already moved to an agile research process, things within the company ran smoothly and without a hitch.
However, in the places where they hadn’t gone digital, the business had to rethink their strategy. Priorities like future purchase consideration needed to be put on the back burner, as they were difficult to predict. Business forecasting is all about collecting past data and analyzing it to find patterns, but with the onslaught of COVID-19, the entire world shut down. There was not much precedence for the research team to analyze and there was no telling when the pandemic would end. A cautious, forward approach would be better in the long run than a risky endeavor like purchase consideration.
The company’s insight team decided instead to look for research about product design and development since those insights would be more reliable. They wanted to do research on what people most needed during the pandemic. Long-term, traditional projects were paused before moving forward, and some were reimagined in order to adapt to the new circumstances.
“This crisis accelerated our digital transformation about 100 times faster than we were planning to. But we are surviving and thriving in this new work environment and figuring everything out.” -Insights leader at Fortune 500 insurance company
This insurance giant was able to field pulse studies to see how people were feeling and track their changed perceptions over time in order to monitor Americans’ financial wellness. Despite the research technique’s slightly reactive nature, the insight team provided actionable insights to the business in the moment because of their proactive and strategic approach to the data. They worked quickly to ensure that the responses to clients’ assessed needs were timely and beneficial to all. The business fine-tuned their research techniques as they integrated the newly-found data like a well-oiled machine.
“The way we’ve adapted is in our ability to provide bite-sized, snackable insights that are very sharp and quick and easily infused into the next sprint, next planning session, or the next iteration of the product or the message,” said the client.
In the same way that a lithe, agile sprinter brings an arm forward while their other leg is moving forward, the brain sending signals to their entire body to get it working to synchronized perfection, this global insurance company worked together to create a truly iterative testing approach. The research team – the brains of the operation – provides insight. The company acts upon that insight and then tests again. The company iterates again to get to the step-change rather than looking at each as a major impactful move. Each piece of the puzzle builds on itself and propels the company further – fluid synchronicity as opposed to clunky clumsiness.
This agile approach to market research has transformed the brand’s innovative process and brought them much closer to the voice and needs of the consumer. They are now able to quickly and efficiently assess needs, develop a strategy to solve those challenges and implement them: seamless cooperation at its finest.
The client summed it up this way: “Digital transformation is about being much more agile and quick and being able to feed into the product development and the marketing cycle in a very different way.”
If you’d like to adopt an iterative approach to market research for your organization, please consider contacting us today.