Automation has long been touted as the answer for meeting the industry’s heightened need for value, quality and speed. These are still vital pillars in addressing the demands of a complex and ever-changing marketplace. Now is not the time to ignore the power of this technology.
One place in the research continuum where automated processes can have a huge impact is in the “middle” when it comes to sampling, field management, data collection and processing. This is arguably the most complex piece of the entire process, and it is becoming more so as the need for targeted insights from global populations rises. Companies that are using automation at this stage are finding vast efficiencies that allow them to focus on other company priorities, such as scalability and growth.
Common challenges that lead down the automation pathway
The reasons why a business may turn to a programmatic, or automated, approach when it comes to sample are varied. However, there is a central theme: they need to build efficiencies into their process or workflow. We’ve seen customers turn to comprehensive automated solutions to solve or eliminate common issues such as:
- Processes that require manual intervention
- Inability to quickly scale offerings
- Fragmented processes with multiple vendors
- Time-consuming sample sourcing using emails and spreadsheets
- Broken, outdated APIs that need constant maintenance
- Slow project launches and excessive time to insights
No matter the specific reason, the fact is that companies absolutely must automate in today’s environment, or they will be left behind. As digital transformation increases in myriad ways, finding a path to automation that works should be a priority. Many implementations that we’ve seen succeed include selecting the right tech stack that utilises best-in-class APIs, alongside existing tools and integrations. If the right flexible technology is chosen, efficiencies and scalability will be uncovered for any size business.
The results of implementing the right automation
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to automation, so flexibility is a key part of finding a successful equation. If increasing operational efficiency by 90% sounds like a solid win, it is. And the only way to get there is through the adoption of a more fully automated model.
We see a great example by examining a case study on Cint’s relationship with Zappi. When Zappi sought to deliver on customer demands for “faster, better, cheaper” they chose to take large steps toward improving sampling efficiency and speed of delivery. This meant leaving behind manual sample sourcing and other processes that were wasting time and resources.
They tapped into Cint’s advanced market research automation, in the form of its Buyer API, so they could instantly garner better coverage, the ability to reach more complex global audiences and other core efficiencies. Just a few specific results included the ability to:
- Run more than 85% of their Cint projects via a continuously optimized API, as opposed to manually.
- Close 97% of the projects running through the new integration automatically with no human intervention.
- Utilize a technological foundation that allows the creation of new products and further innovations to open doors for overall company growth.
This is just one example of how a fully automated solution allows precise targeting and instant decision making, taking time-consuming manual steps out of the equation. Smart automation implementation can lead to a drastic improvement in sampling efficiency and speed of delivery, leaving room to focus on more critical business objectives.
No longer a choice, the time to automate is now
Our current reality means that we must streamline operations for maximum efficiency, focusing on smart adoption plus increased control and flexibility. Automation provides a way to accomplish these goals. By embracing the speed and agility that this technology-driven approach can provide, the role of the market researcher increases in value, becoming more strategic and important to overall success.
The right automation implementation can digitally transform a business to prepare for the future by meeting demands of the trifecta: value, quality and speed. Implementing it to handle steps in the process where it can provide the most benefit leaves researchers free to do the strategic thinking, add expertise and discover the insights that are relevant to the business.
Author: Richard Thornton, Chief Commercial Officer, Cint
Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash