Why a Top 10 CPG Company Uses aytm for Agile, Iterative Market Research

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Posted Jan 25, 2021
Tiffany Mullin

For a multinational, top 10 consumer goods corporation with a large multi-faceted research organization known for supplying a wide range of consumer goods, staying in lock-step with rapidly shifting consumer perceptions is imperative for success.

But like many enterprises, this CPG heavyweight used to outsource market research to a full-service firm. Traditional MR firms typically take upwards of 4-6 weeks from survey design and programming to fielding to reporting and analysis.

And if the events of 2020 taught us anything, it showed us that the world can change at the drop of a dime. Whether it's a pandemic, social justice issues, a wild and whacky presidential election or all of the above, there's always something around the corner that can have a huge impact on consumer behavior.

Consequently, waiting a month or more to get the answers to your burning business questions before you pull the trigger on a big brand decision has become increasingly unrealistic.

Full-Service Market Research Firms Don't Allow You to be Agile

Luckily, this innovative CPG company was ahead of the curve by proactively adopting an iterative research approach that called for capturing consumer feedback early and often with the goal of minimizing waste in the product development cycle.

With this in mind, the client set out to find agile research options with varying levels of service to test ideas rapidly.

The team conducting the search was tasked with identifying new technology-focused platforms for the R&D research team. They sought out DIY & automation research platforms to supplement their in-house research team while empowering researchers to do more DIY quantitative research and transition away from full-service providers. Their goal was to reduce turnaround times and cut costs.

"Full-service market research often takes weeks or months, which is not synonymous with speed and agility. Partnering with DIY research suppliers would be a significant cost and time-saving opportunity,” said a senior researcher leading the search.

The CPG company's consumer insights platform requirements included:

  1. Automated MaxDiff
  2. Choice-Based Conjoint
  3. High-quality integrated panel
  4. Data outputs that were familiar and user-friendly
  5. High data quality standards

It was expected that the transition to DIY would require a cultural shift and additional skill development. So the client needed more than just a technology platform, but a flexible partner that could effectively provide training and support to hundreds of researchers globally, while empowering them towards self-service quickly.

You Don't Have to Comprise Quality for Speed

While at an industry conference, members of the CPG's team attended a presentation given by aytm CEO and co-founder, Lev Mazin on Choice-Based Conjoint research automation.

This began an exploration into aytm’s platform, panel, and research services team. The CPG client brought in internal experts, including researchers, programmers, and statisticians to extensively vet the aytm platform.

During the evaluation phase, a senior researcher ran a parallel study using aytm’s Maxdiff and a competitor's more traditional model.

"The results of both studies revealed the exact same preference ranking for the top four winning product names."

While initially drawn to aytm for research automation, the client was also impressed by how quickly the platform produced results and the quality of the data.

"In the past, the fastest we could field a MaxDiff or Conjoint was one week, but on average those tests tend to take 3-4 weeks. Now, with aytm we can go from programming to results in just 24 hours or less."

However, making the transition from full-service to self-service suppliers can be difficult to navigate, especially for large research teams. Often researchers need training and guidance as they make the move. Knowing this, aytm built a customized ongoing training program for the client’s researchers which included 1:1 research consultations as well as group training sessions for teams.

"Our account manager is responsive and attentive to our needs. She is patient with our new users and offers helpful suggestions for improving our surveys. AYTM has been a delight to work with and I look forward to our continued partnership."

Aytm also offered the CPG client access to their team of research automation experts. Our adaptive professional services program allows the client to tap into resources only as needed, giving them the flexibility of a DIY platform with access to additional research expertise.

Embracing Agile Research for Time and Cost Savings

Thanks to the partnership with aytm, the CPG client met their cost-cutting initiative goals while delivering the quality results needed for efficient, effective and timely decision making.

With faster access to insights and proven high-quality data output comparable to that of their internal team and past full-service research suppliers, the client is saving time and money without sacrificing quality.

"When it comes to balancing speed, cost, and quality, aytm delivers,” said a senior researcher.

(PS: Want tips for adopting agile into your research process? Our white paper, How Agile Transformation Increases the Influence of Insights Teams, has everything you need to remodel your research environment and get your stakeholders on board. Download here for free.)

Co-innovation at its best

Not only has aytm helped improve the research process for this CPG client, the partnership has also helped to enhance the aytm platform. One of the key requirements for the client was having automated MaxDiff capabilities. While aytm had automated MaxDiff using Maximum Likelihood Multinomial Logit modeling for several years, the client preferred Hierarchical Bayesian modeling, so they could analyze at the individual level.

"Aytm’s ability to rapidly deploy suggestions for features or new approaches continues our commitment to innovation beyond our own internal resources."

Having already deployed Hierarchical Bayesian in our Choice-Based Conjoint research test, aytm's product team was able to accelerate the development of MaxDiff HB, realizing the value it would bring to all clients. Within weeks, the CPG client’s team had access to MaxDiff HB, clearly showing aytm’s deep commitment to the partnership, which all aytm clients now benefit from as well.

Since 2017, aytm has become an extension of the CPG company's research team, helping them seamlessly make the transition from an expensive and inefficient full-service provider to conducting agile, iterative research on their own terms.

Want to achieve results like this top CPG client?

Contact us to learn how aytm can help you adopt an agile, iterative market research process.

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