Market Research Company Innovates in Traditional Industry

Our client is an established market research company specializing in an industry that is slow to adopt change. They manage one of the leading annual surveys in the industry which created a steady base of revenue and visibility leading to other work.

The revenue created by the survey was difficult to manage since it only happened once a year, and many customers skipped years because they didn’t see the value in frequent updates. With international expansion plans and new competitors, it was time to grow beyond the past successes and low profitability. Furthermore, the specialized needs of the survey required custom software that was nearly a decade old and starting to show serious limitations.

The new opportunities came at a cost. There was better software that could be purchased. But even with six-figure annual licensing costs, it wouldn’t fully meet the needs. The process of creating reports for customers was time-consuming and expensive, and increasingly relied on benchmarks that were difficult to assemble.

The competition wasn’t overwhelming yet, but it was starting to grow. Other market research companies were targeting the key market while software development companies with years of effort already behind them were producing polished research tools with development budgets in the millions. Our client had to find a way to defend their position with a smaller budget.

We proceeded in two phases. First we built a fully interactive reporting dashboard to work with the existing survey data. This allowed customers to see automatically generated reports within days after their survey was completed, rather than waiting months for a labor-intensive analysis to be completed. It also allowed them to create their own reports using any of the survey data to answer internal questions about their market. This reporting dashboard changed the pricing structure to create more stable revenue.

In the first year of operation it was very well-received by customers who saw it as a new and more direct way to get what they wanted. The first international customers also signed up once the dashboard was available.

Following this, we continued to the next step in the progression. The survey system needed to be replaced to continue delivering better results. After reviewing the options we selected an open source system as a starting point to reduce development costs. We then heavily modified it to meet unique needs, develop a more modern interface (including full support for mobile surveys), and tie it into the reporting system with automated data processing.

This new system allowed the continued evolution of the surveys to better meet current needs and start building new research models that would open up opportunities for additional partnerships and revenue.

Following these steps, several further improvements were identified for the next stage. These include more reporting tools to allow valuable benchmarking that customers are asking for, as well as giving customers direct access to the survey system where they can create their own surveys or access and customize templates created by experts for specific needs. During the entire process we provided system support and maintenance to keep both the old and new systems operating smoothly, especially during peak times when a large part of their annual traffic happens within in a few weeks.

In the end the combination of unique software, specialized experience in the market, and broad data for comparison created a new way to approach these customers and increase the revenue from the traditional offerings. The end result stands apart from competitors, who are all missing one or more of the critical components in this package.

Where would your business go if it could break free from the past and find the opportunities waiting in the future? Contact us today to find out!

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