Something interesting has been happening in the market research world in the last few years. More and more we are seeing a transition in the mindset of market research leaders.
Whereas in the past, much like our ancestors with their geocentric worldview, market research departments have tended to place themselves at the center of their universe, with sales, marketing, business drivers, and business development revolving around the research objective.
Lately, however, we’ve noticed market researchers placing their company’s strategy and sustainability as the center of the universe.
As a result, they tend to focus on how other business elements do or do not intersect with their own role. In organizations with many layers and clearly defined functions, this most typically equates to sales and marketing. Historically, the market research function became stuck in a position of being a service function to the Marketing department.
In our previous blogs we have discussed the evolution of market research into an action-oriented role rather than an order-taking one. We’ve also discussed raising awareness that we represent strategic partners who bring the objective voice of the customer to the table. But we consistently think of our own department, function and capabilities as being at the core of our approach.
When we think of our company’s strategy and sustainability, which we will define as business drivers, as the center of the universe, we are then one of many functions, such as sales and marketing, business development and R&D, orbiting in parallel. When properly aligned, they keep the entire universe in balance. That means that, for us to properly define our orbit within other orbiting functions, we must understand the many factors in the external environment and how they are impacting the business drivers within our own organizations.