Incorporating agile research into your agency strategy

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Posted Oct 05, 2022
Laura DeCamillo

Technology is moving at the speed of light. Is your marketing agency keeping up? Traditional market research often takes weeks to produce results that are already, by then, stale. Your brands  can’t afford to stall their processes and decisions while waiting for your insights. Nowadays, RFPs are often sent out leaving  just a few days to respond with a proposal. Can you collect enough facts and data to build a successful pitch in that short time? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself. Fortunately, with agile market research, you can deliver rapid, high-quality results that will thrill your accounts and build better relationships with brands. Let’s look at a few of the many advantages that agile research can bring to agencies.

What is agile research?

Agile research applies the best practices of the agile methodology (first created by software developers in the 2000s) to market research. Simply put, it is the marriage of speed and quality. Agile research prioritizes innovation and encourages an environment where iteration and experimentation lead to newer, more efficient research methods. 

When we speak with agencies, one of the most common challenges we hear revolves around the need for faster, more affordable, and higher quality insights. And over the last several years, tools and technology have changed the game regarding how insights are realized, extracted, and analyzed. Agile research embraces these tools, using them to empower teams to accomplish more than ever before. 

But it’s important to remember that agile research doesn’t always mean DIY research. And although many companies may opt for a DIY approach, that doesn’t mean they're necessarily going at it alone. The key is that  agencies who find the right partner find more success by leveraging flexible support to promote greater agility.

How can your agency benefit from agile research?

  1. Consistency in speed, cost, and quality

Agile research puts you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to deliver results with far greater consistency in speed. With agile research platforms like aytm, you can often go from survey creation to results analysis at an incredible pace. Having the confidence that your survey can launch on Friday, field over the weekend, and deliver results on Monday gives you tons more control over your timelines.

Upfront, transparent pricing is key to keeping both your finance team and your accounts happy. Done correctly, agile research should allow you to manage the complexity of your sample, make quick adjustments, and drive more precision in your studies. Gaining control of your panels impacts your ability to manage the cost of each study with way more granularity, which makes for smarter initiatives that fit your research budget.

Finally, agile research can also help you be more consistent with the quality of your research. When it comes to data quality, automation is a game changer. The ability to build and leverage a variety of different tools into your agile research process can enhance the quality of your data—often yielding more granularity than traditional methods. 

The bottom line is that it’s tough for agencies to get fresh data with the protracted time frames of conventional market research. The quality of your samples may vary from survey to survey. With an agile platform like aytm, you can always access fresh data from a top ranked consumer panel of over 100 million people globally. Our panel is carefully crafted to ensure each member is an actual, breathing human being. After it passes the panel, aytm can then move your data through our proprietary automated cleaning engine, which rapidly spots and removes things like random or duplicate responses.  All of these features lead to far higher quality insights for your clients. 

  1. Better relationships with accounts

Clients come to agencies to help make decisions. And they need insights to help guide them. Over the last 100 years, market research has existed, and businesses have come to recognize that data-based decision-making is always better. However, if they wait too long to make their move, their competitors will beat them to the punch. What if you could deliver them results within days or even hours of their request? 

It’s easier to build better relationships with clients when they appreciate your timely service. They’ll want to rely on you more and more. But they’d be even happier if you could accomplish this at a reasonable cost and with a high degree of quality and consistency. This is all possible with the right platform. Contrary to myth, agile research doesn’t always have to mean simple, omnibus-styled surveys. With aytm’s tech, you have the ability to easily use sophisticated research methods to deliver precisely what your clients need when they need it. Furthermore, agile allows you to do research iteratively instead of the usual drawn-out six-month periods, meaning you can garner more relevant data for your clients. 

  1. Flexibility when things (inevitably) change

Marketing is all about people. And the goal is to understand behaviors, attitudes, and ultimately the drivers of action to fulfill the consumers’ need at any given point. Seems pretty straightforward, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Peoples’ preferences change constantly and are influenced by significant events around them. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic created massive changes in people's needs and preferences. This was an enormous shift across multiple industries that nobody could have predicted. To succeed, marketing agencies needed to be flexible and versatile. 

Agile market research gives you the ability to adapt. Instead of waiting weeks or months for data, you can make small decisions as your research develops. If anything comes up, you can easily use the tools at your disposal to shift the direction of your research. This also means that your research will be more efficient—no more wasted time, dollars, or data because consumer sentiment changed before you finished your report. 

  1. Evidence-based proposals

One of the biggest changes agile market research can bring to your agency is the ability to create evidence-based proposals. When you receive an RFP from a prospective client, you aim to impress the brand by demonstrating how well you understand their needs and business outcomes. The problem arises when you’re  only given a few days’ notice to prepare for the presentation. For many agencies, that’s not nearly enough time to perform  the due diligence needed to back your pitch work. Agile research can give you the speed to collect the data you need to create evidence-based proposals filled with facts instead of fluff. This will set you apart from the competition and dramatically increase your chances of winning the work. 

The aytm difference

It’s challenging to embrace the principles of agile research without the tools to put them into practice. One of the best platforms for accomplishing this transition is aytm. By partnering with aytm, you get access to a highly advanced suite of tools that allow you to build your own surveys and tests and send them out to customized global market segments. Furthermore, aytm also offers a flexible service model that goes from complete DIY to full-service market research, where we assist you through the entire process from survey creation to deliverables.

Download the agency guide to evidence-based proposals

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