Looking ahead to 2014 – Industry trends and areas for growth

By 6 February, 2014Blog
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As 2014 gets underway, we’re taking stock of last year’s achievements and taking a look at the future to define the key ingredients for success and set goals for the year ahead.

Growth amidst a shifting climate in 2013

At the moment, we’re coming off a transition year for Cint and the industry overall. As a company, we gained traction and enjoyed a healthy focus on the bottom line and profitability. In 2013, work migrated from managed services to the platform and DIY as a whole, in fact we saw 70% growth in our DIY and automated sampling business year-on-year, which contributed significantly to improving our operational margin. With transactions up by 30% from January to December and project fulfillment up by 35% year-on-year, our numbers showed healthy growth across the board. For more insight into our performance last year, here’s a helpful infographic breaking down our achievements in 2013 by the numbers.

What does this mean for Cint in 2014?

Essentially, last year’s results confirm our feeling that the market is moving in our direction, and with 80% of projects now DIY, we’re positioned exactly where we’re meant to be, where we thrive. Cint is a horizontal player, and we’ve been set up as a platform-based exchange since the APIs were introduced in 2010. We see the evolution moving from managed services to DIY solutions to APIs for full automation of supply chain management and online sample procurement. Thus, we’re planning to shift substantial amounts of revenue and business to the platform and APIs this year. Additionally, we see untapped opportunity and a large upside in promoting Access, as it is a good fit for small and medium-sized agencies, which make up the biggest segment of our customer base.

Key ingredients for DIY success

Drawing from our experience and based on the changes taking place in the market, we see four primary elements as driving success for DIY market research in the year to come:

  • Liquidity: Supply and capacity are crucial; solutions must be available at the right price in the right markets.
  • Access: The availability and presentation of user interfaces is everything; they must be securely and reliably accessible anytime, anywhere.
  • Simplicity: While handling a heavy load, the platform must continue to make purchasing easy and pricing transparent. APIs will drive this too.
  • Price: Responding quickly to supply and demand in a fluctuating and shifting climate, pricing needs to be adaptive to guarantee buyers get the best value.

Goals for 2014

For next 12 months, we plan to focus on continued steady growth, sustained profitability, and extracting value from our current model. With luck, craft and investment, we should be able to reach these specific targets:

  • Add more than 3 million new active double-opt-in panellists to the platform.
  • Integrate with a further 20-30 partners via APIs, opening up access to potentially millions more respondents and complimentary tech partners
  • Do our utmost to ensure we retain the lion’s share of current client base while adding at least 20% in pure new business.
  • Capitalise on DIY growth in North America, 55% of our revenue there is now from DIY buyers, and continue to break into volume buyers in the US to mirror relationships in the EU.
  • Keep development and product evolution in pace with goals and market changes.

Overall, I believe the majority of our growth in the year to come will be led by more automated driven sales. That is likely to be a mix of clients logging into our Access system or through APIs. Our Link product on the buy-side of our platform has paved the way for broader API integrations, with more than 40 active today, and we expect an increasing number of bilateral API connections, given we now have close to 20 on the supply-side done too.

Despite January often being a slow and challenging month, the good news is that we, and the industries we service, seem to be off to a very fast start thus far in 2014. It feels like there is a sea of change happening that is making its way downstream. Is it a permanent shift? Only time will tell, but what is very apparent is that when it comes to collecting insight, gone are the days of doing anything effectively without good technology, simple access to respondents, and an efficient supply chain and procurement process.

For further information on Cint’s solutions suite contact us.

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