Jonathan La Greca
VP Strategic Growth, Hotspex

Thank you to everyone for participating in this year’s Greenbook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) survey and voting Hotspex among the Top 20 global most innovative insights consultancies for the fourth year in a row!

We are very proud to have doubled the number of votes we received in 2016, helping us rise to #16 in the face of fiercely increased competition and continued disruption. In fact, there were over 2000 unique companies mentioned in the 2017 survey, and several new entrants cracked this year’s Top 50 most innovative insights companies list.

In addition to this GRIT survey, which consists of responses of over 2600 research buyers and suppliers in over 50 countries playing the role of our industry’s brand tracker, it also helps both insights clients and supplier partners understand how our industry is changing and what we need to do to adapt to these changes.

At Hotspex we leverage these findings to inform and validate our own innovation strategy and as such, we would like to share the Hotspex perspective on the 2017 GRIT Report.

The “New Normal”- Low-Cost Agility Is Now A Table Stake

Perhaps one of the most important questions that the GRIT survey poses is what matters most to clients in identifying what research methodology they use to answer their business questions.

In 2017, the quality of the insight generated was considered the most important attribute in selecting a method for research projects, with speed and cost following as the second and third most important attributes respectively.

There is a “New Normal” emerging where agility and low cost are now considered table stakes for many clients who no longer believe they need to make trade-offs between quality, cost, and speed.

Technology continues to be an enabler of speed and agility, and many organizations have adopted automation platforms which include and are not limited to analysis of survey data, charting & infographics, sampling, and analysis of social media and text.

At Hotspex, we believe that as our industry adjusts to this “new normal” where cost, speed, and agility are considered table stakes, the next stage of evolution will be focused on how to improve the quality of the insights generated by leveraging the latest behavioral and marketing science advances.

The Next Evolution Towards Higher Quality Insights

The GRIT report analysis segmented the Top 50 most innovative insights providers into three types of companies:

  1. Tech Players
  2. Next Gen Consultancies
  3. Long-Standing Behemoths

Pursuant to the earlier discussion of the ‘New Normal’, we believe that the Tech Players will continue to drive lower cost, speed, and agility for clients through automation.

This will free up some resource load and budget which can then be invested in higher quality insights. We expect the areas of behavioral and marketing science to continue to flourish in line with what we are seeing with many of our global clients investing and building capability in these disciplines.

The GRIT report alluded to “an undercurrent of behavioral science” as another driver of innovation, but we feel that mentions of implicit, non-conscious, and behavioral sciences within the report were light, which indicates we are still at the early stage of the adoption curve. This was further reinforced by a talk at the IIeX Non-Conscious forum late in 2016 where it was stated that less than a quarter of client-side companies has experimented with any non-conscious or implicit measurement techniques.

At Hotspex, we believe the industry’s future growth will be fueled by investment in talent and capabilities that advance behavioral and marketing science methodologies.

While some Next Gen Consultancies have been well positioned for this, they will be under pressure as they face new entrants from management consulting firms and the Long-Standing Behemoths who are actively pursuing new talent and capabilities through hiring and acquisition.

How This Evolution Impacts Hotspex And Our Clients

While we have built quick turnaround tools and are continuing to invest in technology to ensure we continue to deliver the table stakes of speed, agility, and managing costs, our core competency is delivering high-quality insights. The purpose of these insights is to influence our clients’ stakeholders and impact the decision-making aperture to accelerate brand growth in the face of any category headwinds marketers are facing.

With our current vision of becoming the world’s most innovative and impactful brand builders, we are investing heavily in building and reinforcing our behavioral and marketing science expertise. As such we are proud to have had Dr. Dan Young, with 30 years of expertise applying cognitive psychology to P&G’s brands, join us as our Chief Behavioral Scientist.  Dan’s playing a critical leadership role in helping us build capability within our behavioral and marketing science team while advancing new methodologies focused on driving brand growth for our clients.

In closing, we are very grateful to everyone that participated in this year’s GRIT survey and are proud to have been ranked among the top 20 most innovative global insights consultancies for the fourth year in a row. We plan to continue to invest heavily in blending conscious & non-conscious tools with behavioural and marketing science principles to effectively address our clients’ business questions.

We are confident that we are very well positioned to help our clients uncover higher quality insights to influence their organizations, enrich consumer lives, and advance their careers into the foreseeable future and are committed to investing in the top talent, capabilities, and technology to ensure that. Again, thank you from your entire team at Hotspex for voting us among the top most innovative insights firms in the world for thehe fourth year in a row!

Author: Jonathan La Greca

About Hotspex: Voted among the top global insights consultancies for 4 years in a row, Hotspex is working with 15 of Top 20 advertisers in over 30 countries to apply cutting edge behavioral and marketing sciences. We apply System 1 implicit and System 2 explicit measurement in a holistic manner to uncover conscious and non-conscious drivers to understand WHY consumers behave the way they do.

From there, we apply marketing sciences, including the Laws of Growth, to help marketers determine HOW to apply consumer understanding to accelerate brand growth across a variety of brand strategy, communications, and shopper-based design challenges.