In this blog, we have outlined the specific need for strategic research today, the significance of data-driven research in a market with growing sophistication and complexity, the role of strategic research in robust decision-making and identifying technology trends, and strategies for business organizations to use strategic research for maximizing ROI, and some insights on the implementation of strategic research, today and in future.
Have you ever wondered how leading organizations take game-changing business decisions, gauge risk with utmost efficiency, and tackle throat-cutting competition? One of their prized possessions is the vast quantity of insights derived through strategic research. When organizations undertake or assign the task of strategic research to third-party research teams, they are essentially aiming to obtain in-depth data-driven fact-based insights on current market trends and growing competition to take timely decisions for the growth of their business.
According to Piyush Dewangan, Director & Principal Analyst at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “Strategic research, backed by facts and insights, can help organizations plan and implement their growth strategies. It assists organizations in understanding hidden opportunities from multiple perspectives, such as geographical regions, industry verticals, customer segments, revenue types, and deployment types. Also, strategic research offers growth strategies that enable leaders to make informed business decisions. An innovative firm with access to strategic insights from third-party industry experts can tremendously accelerate growth momentum and leapfrog quickly to be recognized amongst the leaders at a much faster pace.”
The analyst team at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions defines strategic research as an approach to gaining valuable strategic insights based on comprehensive information to help organizations achieve their business transformation goals. Strategic research attempts to find solutions to the following problems:
- Identifying current market trends
- Gauging the scope for the market in new geographical locations
- Optimizing product features to ensure customer satisfaction
- Understanding the risk landscape
- Measuring the complexity of competitive differentiators
- Adopting relevant technology for efficient ROI
Strategic Research: The Story so far
The research team at Quadrant identifies strategic research as a user-centric set of services that cater to the unique needs of each organization’s business transformation goals. If market research is centered around the product or the service and its reception by the customers, strategic research caters to market evaluation to identify key trends impacting the business growth of organizations.
Strategic research widens the scope of market research to include multiple perspectives ranging from technologies, market landscape, competition, customer satisfaction, demographic and geographic information, and product functionalities. It also helps organizations identify best business practices based on the evolving technology trends and insights.
The analyst team at Quadrant identifies four steps in the process of strategic research:
Step 1: Identifying the users and suppliers of a specific market
Step 2: Sourcing Information through primary and secondary data
Step 3: Analyzing key market insights
Step 4: Depicting the extracted data in the form of interactive reports
Why do we need Strategic Research?
Divya Baranawal, Research Director at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, opines, “The increase in globalization has radically transformed the business ecosystem compelling organizations to face increased competition from global players while catering to a global customer base. Organizations adopt strategic research to cope with the tumultuous nature of market trends to take into account all the factors associated with market changes to plan for the future by setting actionable goals.”
Based on a survey conducted by Quadrant, leading analysts are likely to recommend fact-based data-driven strategic research for emerging business organizations today and in the future. They contend that fact-based strategic research is a key component in developing business strategies for estimating sales, business decisions, and competition. 92% of marketing professionals depend on strategic research for equipping their product descriptions with relevant messaging to satisfy the needs of customers. According to Ward Wrzenski, Global Analyst Relations, Radware, “Strategic research helps organizations like Radware identify and meet customer needs”.
The disruptions caused by AI/ML and advanced analytics has made it heavily complicated for emerging organizations to keep up with the pace of adopting advanced technology, hence the use of strategic research today and in the future helps emerging organizations gauge their impact in a new or existing market and better prepare themselves to tackle the competition and emerge as a leader in the industry at a much faster pace. With the emergence of a health crisis like COVID-19, the culture of remote work has burdened organizations with the need to enhance efficiency and strategic research helps them in identifying their pain points and offer strategies to tackle uncertainties more efficiently.
The Rise of Data-driven Strategic Research
Natalie Blake, Senior Manager, Analyst Relations & Market Research, Ping Identity, which offers intelligent identity solutions, strongly agrees that insights derived from strategic technology research help organizations in making informed decisions about existing enterprise operations such as business opportunities and expansion. Blake contends that strategic research helps organizations capture the nuances and the central themes across geographical regions. Leaders involved in the process of technology adoption cite strategic research to face complex business challenges, identify changing markets, and target the right audience through relevant marketing strategies.
According to Shruti Jadhav, Associate Director, Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “Data-driven strategic research helps organizations gain a comprehensive perspective regarding the key market drivers, trends, competition landscape, global growth opportunities, and necessary investments allowing them to predict future market disruptions, gain forecasts analysis, and plan growth strategies”.
Strategies for Organizations Implementing Strategic Research
Strategic research is a vast domain that exists with multiple internal inconsistencies. It isn’t a “one size fits all” in the sense that organizations are advised to stay cautioned while adopting strategic research approaches to identify relevant market trends. Based on a survey conducted by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, the following are some strategies that help organizations in navigating the ever-shifting terrain of implementing strategic research to make informed business decisions:
- While differentiating third-party providers of strategic research reports, it is advised to delve into the methodology and identify if the research teams are sourcing information through both primary and secondary data.
- The technology and content management platforms implemented by strategic research enterprises are identified as major game changers in coming up with verifiable reports that reflect the needs of the organizations.
- The integration of data collection methods and data sources provides a holistic view of the existing market dynamic as well as in predicting the disruptions in the future.
- Strategic research that produces meaningful business insights with ease and efficiency through advanced predictive analysis and behavioral data is recommended for emerging organizations.
- Organizations implementing strategic research through third-party research teams need to ensure the level of transparency in the process of producing market insights and the ease of access.
- Strategic research thrives when customized according to the unique needs of an organization delivering an enhanced user experience and providing an opportunity to form deeper connections with the derived results.
- With the advent of online panels, surveys, and customer testimonies collected through an omnichannel environment such as mobile applications, website, and social media, strategic research teams that focus on creating unique ways to visualize and analyze relevant data helps organizations in deriving valuable insights.
The Impact of COVID-19
Organizations currently are estimating growth with the use of strategic research as a guide during the time of uncertainty stirred due to COVID-19. Factors such as changing customer needs, business patterns, and organizational structures necessitate the role of fact-based strategic research in a post-pandemic era. Currently, business organizations expect strategic research to help them navigate the dramatic changes due to COVID-19 by accommodating a more disparate licensing model to encourage individual researchers and larger research teams in publishing reports on time.
“Strategic research helps vendors in understanding the market landscape, competitive dynamics and entrants, and highest priority use cases of customers in different industrial verticals. It helps customers establish which vendors and software solutions are the best fit to meet their specific business needs and goals. Research makes visible what needs have been exposed due to a lack of on-site collaboration. COVID-19 has unveiled the importance of using sophisticated IT/OT infrastructure to connect factory and field operations”, says Coray Thibaut, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, PTC.
Rapid shifts in customer sentiments and behavior due to the pandemic have made it inevitable for organizations to adopt strategic research that is built on an omni-channel model of data collection.
How will Strategic Research evolve Today & in Future: A Roadmap
According to Apoorva Dawalbhakta, Associate Director, Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “with the advent of digitization, the global business economies are interlinked like never before. There is a bombardment/overload of data from multiple sources, and thus, picking & retaining the right data points from the required data sources remains a challenge posed before all. Strategic research, in this background, would greatly assist in streamlining and cutting across the unnecessary noise of data and would promote a harmonious approach toward data processing, analysis, and decision making by providing a strong foundation base of relevant and precise knowledge for clients to work upon.”
The following are integral components of the roadmap envisioned by the research team at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions for strategic research in 2022 & beyond:
- Transparency in data collection and documentation will be a priority for organizations investing in strategic research based on robust sources.
- Investment in relevant training for analysts will help organizations maximize their research output.
- Strategic research will focus on the convergences across markets and incorporate innovative approaches to deriving insights such as including statistics in qualitative analysis.
- Organizations expect continuous innovation to eradicate existing gaps in strategic research.
- Strategic research transformation includes the adoption of real-time data collection and reports generation to create interactive dashboards reflecting resourceful insights.
Sam Black, Analyst Relations Manager at Entrust, contends that “tailored specific and credible strategic research is invaluable in making wise business decisions in today’s market, especially when there is so much noise and marketing fluff with whitepapers, webinars, and conferences that have such a wide range of value these days”.
In this article, we have attempted to make a case for the need for strategic research today & in the future, with a special focus on how adopting strategic research supports organizations in identifying areas of improvement for minimizing risk, understanding the changing terrain of customer needs, finding growth opportunities, and staying updated with industry-specific trends.