A New Type of Research Agency, Inspired by Stan Sthanunathan, Coca Cola VP of Global Insights

[Note: this is a re-post of a blog I wrote for the AMA‘s Marketing Research Conference site earlier this week]

While Stan was presenting at the AMA’s Marketing Research Conference this week, he shared his view that for market research agencies to make the leap to being truly valuable to clients, they need to do more synthesis and make proactive recommendations.  OK, coming from the guy who buys market research for Coca Cola, that sounds great. But is there broader demand for market researchers who can synthesize and be proactive?

But wait, there’s more.

He also wants to, and plans to start doing this, pay for research on a performance basis. Yup, market research agencies working with Coca Cola will soon be negotiating for pay-for-performance compensation. (By coincidence, I wrote on this recently for Research-Live: LINK). Alas, he was not very specific on how this would work–how “value” would be judged.  But he was quite firm that this is what he would be doing.

So is there a business opportunity? Would a new agency that positioned itself around synthesis and recommendations (perhaps not even conducting primary research!) make money? How about if it had a pay-for-performance model?

What do you think? Should we give it a try?

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