In times of adversity, stability in Market Research is vital

Thought Leadership

Change is about all we can depend on right now. Hour to hour, minute to minute, change is happening faster than we’ve ever seen before. Consumers are shifting behaviour at record speed. Everyone who is newly working from home can attest to this, interacting with technology differently and struggling to make changes to accommodate new needs. Food and drink consumption is changing drastically, as restaurants and bars shut their doors around the world and more of us are cooking at home.

Brands need to keep up with both actions like these, alongside the feelings and the mindset of their audiences, so they can adapt quickly to deliver what people need in this kind of upheaval. It’s part of us all working together to get through these challenging times.

When facing massive uncertainty, finding stability is a breath of fresh air. In the market research industry, consumer insights can help us keep up but only if the infrastructure for obtaining data remains stable. At Cint, our core values of accountability, collaboration and innovation provide a foundation for continuous stability for our clients.

Stability of data

Consumers are changing habits. Maybe not permanently, but there’s no doubt that the COVID-19 situation will change us all for good, on a level that promises to surpass most other historical events. Armed with the right data, brands can successfully navigate this new reality. Monitoring behaviours, day by day, week by week, is more important than ever before. Times like this call for adaptability and making decisions based firmly in data, for the benefit of everyone.

Equally important is that brands don’t make a misstep in a time when people are experiencing all the “feels.” People are emotionally charged in times of crisis, and empathy is vital. Tracking sentiment and avoiding actions that are not in line with the emotional pulse of a population can mean all the difference. For example, when a company with a CEO that is worth billions suggests that its minimum-wage employees donate PTO to other minimum-wage employees, it’s not likely to go over well in trying times like these. Companies need stable, quality data to help make important decisions like these that align with audience sentiment, instead of alienating audiences. This includes the stability of supply sources and sample blending on exchanges, ensuring the supplier mix in terms of traffic contribution is stable and meeting established “norms.” This is especially important, especially for the continuous-based tracking studies.

Stability of pricing

Businesses are also struggling to adapt right now, whether they sit on the demand or supply side of the value chain. The last thing they need is to have to guess at what their costs will be or how their budget will be impacted. When it comes to sample, Cint has always had a consistent pricing model for buyers and suppliers and that’s not changing. No fluctuations, no increased commissions, no sudden changes in revenue shares or CPIs, no surprises. As always, our supply side maintains a consistent CPI so all of our clients know that the pricing will be the same today as it will in the future.

While this may seem like a no brainer, it’s easy to see how pricing models could change in times of stress. One need only to look to the current “black market” for hand sanitizer and toilet paper to understand the concept. Because of demand, stores are charging more for these highly sought-after items. Not exactly ethical, but it is happening anyway. Here at Cint, we’re sticking to our consistent commercial model and making sure our clients have access to all the supply, with no guesswork.

Stability of services

As indicated in a recent letter from our CCO, Richard Thornton, regarding the COVID-19 crisis, all of our employees are now working from home. He writes “you will be happy to hear that the flexibility and innovation for which Cint is known extends to the way our employees work. We are confident we can keep your projects running smoothly with no interruptions. At Cint, business will continue as usual.”

We’ve put the money where our mouth is on this front. All our employees have been empowered to secure the technology that they need to efficiently and effectively work from home. Our teams have been engaging with one another, and with our clients and partners, via digital and telecommunications channels. There has been no interruption in monitoring either client orders and sampling activities, or in monitoring the behaviour of our 100+ million available respondent base.

In short, as Richard writes, “you can continue to count on us for all your consumer insights projects. As always, we are here to help support your important business decisions with high-quality data. Nothing has changed…all of us at Cint are fully prepared for the long haul in terms of risk mitigation plans and ability to maintain our high-quality standards of data integrity and project delivery.”

Stability of platform

Technology is top of mind for most of us these days, whether it has to do with keeping business projects and programs running smoothly or making sure we have adequate bandwidth to stream video for our homebound family members. The good news is that at Cint, our focus on innovation and technology prepared us for platform stability well before any crisis was on the horizon!

In fact, after coming together with programmatic sample company P2Sample last year, we knew major growth was on the horizon. As some of us like to put it, we knew 1 + 1 was going to equal much more than 2 when it came to combining the two companies. Our platform was poised to grow exponentially. Our already efficient model is intrinsically bolstered by advanced technology integration.

We also have the leadership in place to oversee this level of stability. We recently announced the addition of Helene Stafferöd Westerlund as our Chief Technology Officer, who will be using her significant amount of experience and expertise to head up our global technology objectives. She and her global team have been working hard on the platform integration, creating the infrastructure needed for continued growth and innovation. Look for a formal update on this soon!

In times of adversity, it’s nice to find solid ground you can count on. When you bring together stability to underpin essential pieces of your market research program, from data to technology, it’s one less thing to worry about.

Don’t be distracted by offers that can easily throw your market research dynamics off balance!

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