At ZappiStore, we have had the pleasure of meeting with insights departments small and large across many verticals. These tips are a culmination of some of the broad principles we see around the more agile, outcome focused groups. Hopefully insights teams will find these helpful – and if you are interested in learning more or holding an agile research workshop for your team, get in touch here.


1.What is the real business question?

Focus on what you need to learn to move the business conversation forward, reference existing data and explore an approach that will give you the greatest learning for the lowest effort and risk possible. If the business needs to know which colour resonates with consumers on a package, do you really need to run a full package test?


2. Why pay for a needle in the haystack when a readily available sample frame will give you an actionable and realistic answer?

Don’t cripple research by over engineering sample. We’ve seen it time and time again. ‘We’ve always sampled this way’, ‘ We have to have our boosts’. Fact is, your products are in a cluttered environment and just talking to the people who you have already sold to isn’t going to get you to the promised land. We’ve all read the Wisdom of the Crowds, correct? It’s been proven, yet we still test pizza ads targeted at consumers amongst over complicated typing tools and wonder why we have to wait weeks and spend ages balancing sample.


3. Know the consumer, intimately and keep them at your board room table every day. 

If you spend your time focusing on what truly makes consumers tick and their underlying emotion, running innovation, creative and brand based work can be simple and to the point. Don’t try to understand unmet needs while you evaluate an advertisement!


4. Leverage your partnerships and data to their maximum potential, not in silos. 

Use your pre-existing data and supplier partnerships together. We have often times teamed up with other agencies to marry insights from a community to a concept test we’ve done. It helps tell a full story and ultimately the business wants an answer, not a playback of the methods and suppliers you used, so make the story as impactful as possible.


5. Focus on the outcome, not having everything perfect; Good enough, is good enough in most cases. 

One of my teammates was just at the CRC conference and heard a phrase from Barry Jennings of MSFT: ‘Our senior leadership doesn’t give a crap about research. They care about business outcomes’. This statement rings true, we should focus on the outcome and the impact, not the design. If we look at the world around us today, we have seen an exponential rise in start-ups, technology players and platforms that have completely changed the world we know. They didn’t do this by being perfect, they did it by building viable techniques and enhancing them over time. Our insights function should be the same. Let’s stop letting perfect be the enemy of good enough!


Got any more points to add to this list? We always love to hear how the agile research approach is working out for you and your teams.

Ryan Barry

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Ryan Barry

Ryan Barry is the Chief Revenue Officer at ZappiStore.

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