The market’s a rollercoaster. And with technology in the control room, chances are we’re not slowing down. The businesses who win and lose are defined by the decisions they make — and more importantly, the quality of the data that informs those decisions.
As reported by the Harvard Business Review, during the recessions of 1980, 1990, and 2000, 17% of 4,700 public companies studied went downhill. Yet just as striking, 9% of the companies flourished and outperformed competitors by at least 10% in sales and profit growth.
The piece also examined one key area of advice for business leaders looking to thrive in bear markets: decision making.
That’s why NewtonX was founded. We provide custom B2B insights so business leaders can make high stakes business decisions with confidence. It’s time to stop relying on easy data that’s not tailored for your business, or cheap data that cuts corners on finding the right professionals.
As stressed by Maarten Lagae, Executive Director of Insights & Analytics, Americas, at Landor & Fitch: “There is a risk of over-relying on ‘convenient data’ because it is readily available, but it can be irrelevant or potentially misleading to guide decisions. It requires more rigor, time and resources to find multi-faceted answers and develop solid business cases that unlock budgets, board approval and ultimately business growth.”
Read on for three ways that custom research futureproofs your business through any economic climate—and hear how global brands like Meta, Salesforce, Checkout.com and McKinsey use it to their advantage.
Research insures your decisions against risk
If your organization is disrupting the status quo, you’ll bear risk in both bear and bull markets. That’s why it’s especially critical to insure your strategy with insights delivered straight from customers, potential customers, and competitors.
If you’re not doing custom research and instead making educated guesses based on syndicated third party reports or public market data—you’re not equipping yourself with unique data to give you the edge needed to rise above the market.
Or, if you’re skimping on the research you do invest in, you’ll also ultimately lose. Decision-quality data costs a pretty penny and it’s worth every cent. If you’re going straight to the professionals with the exact expertise for your industry, product, or services, you need to fairly compensate for their time.
As shared by Jason Talwar, Insights Executive with 15+ years of experience (formerly Salesforce, Tableau, Microsoft), a poor quality $50k sample creates negative downstream effects. With poor data, $50k snowballs into $500k worth of strategy and opportunity costs—whereas a high quality $100k sample ensures return on investment. With good data, you have good strategy and execution. The data becomes an asset to your organization rather than a liability.
That said, you can also be strategic with sample size and research spend. Checkout.com Senior Customer Research & Insights Manager Matt Harris advises: “If you’ve got good quality data, you can get a statistically significant and valid sample with a much smaller N. So 70 spot-on, genuine professionals is better than 200 people who are off the mark. Reset how you think about sample size and you may find that you can deliver valuable research to your stakeholders for less than what you thought you needed.”
Research drives vision through any economic climate
It’s easy to fall into austerity-thinking when markets aren’t flush with cash. But that’s when it’s all the more important to keep thinking creatively, even given resource restraints and changing business goals.
For example, Meta had a goal to advance industry standards for anti-data scraping, and they came to NewtonX to design a research plan to champion the voice of the professional community. In a partnership with Meta’s Product Manager Kristoffer Nelson, he shares:
“There was definitely some risk here with this approach. Things went exceptionally well – I was surprised by how well this worked together with my broader program, and was thrilled with the impact it created. There was definitely a sense of magic.”
With a precise strategy, research plan, and clear expected outcomes, Meta built a credible and influential narrative around their cause—that could have only been executed with custom research.
Research insures you for the post-recession future
The good news is: the market’s going back up, in time. Do your homework to ensure you’re ready when the upswing comes back around.
For example, we partnered with McKinsey on a recurring tracker to support strategy recommendations on healthcare innovation. For industries that deal with changing customer priorities and legislation on top of market dynamics—it’s always time for research. Equip your business with ongoing benchmarks to fuel innovation for the long term.
Looking for insights to stay ahead through uncertain markets? Get a quote today.