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Amanda Keller-Grill
SVP, Global Innovation & Product Strategy

How can insights keep up with the rapid changes in consumerism?

In such a short time, the human experience has changed exponentially.  Things we did not consider two years ago are now required for everyday business.  Drive-up groceries, app-enabled checkout, contactless payments, free deliveries – the list goes on. In just the last five years, the speed of package delivery has increased by over 100% with companies like Amazon. And I know personally, as a consumer, I require my packages (diapers specifically) to have a two-day delivery window or I won’t even consider buying from that retailer. Products and services no longer have the comfort of time; speed prioritization is imperative for success. 

Technology-first products and solutions will continue to revolutionize the way we consume services throughout all industries, and only companies who truly understand their customers will succeed. To match the pace, there is a rising demand for the evolution of the research experience to meet the needs of a changing and growing customer base.  New trends are disrupting business models and forcing tech-enabled and customer-centric solutions to pick up the pace.    

The days of waiting, elongated A/B testing and waterfall-released products now create too many delays.  By the time the product (or your research) launches, customer needs have changed or more nimble competitors have already captured the market.   

The challenge is we must offer a product or service that customers cannot resist and that the competition cannot beat. The trick is finding a way to achieve quality without prohibitive cost and offer solutions that are both user-friendly and scalable for future change.  Strategies must evolve  with  our customers and the world, as what makes you great today will not necessarily keep you great tomorrow.  Research can empower you to act on those trends, faster. 

Steve Jobs notably stated,  “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology, you cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it.”  So, whether you sell technology, or some other product or service, the underlying message here rings true. You must understand your customers and their journey intimately.  If you don’t, someone else will, so make sure to future-proof your business with a vision and a strategy for quick and actionable change, alongside a deep understanding of your evolving customer. 

Ask yourself and your team honestly: Where are our customers coming from?  Why do they need our service?  What are the expectations they have? What obstacles will they encounter along the way?  And most importantly, what will they need next? 

When was the last time you asked them exactly what they want? It’s time we start truly prioritizing the answers.