Op4G's CEO, Frank Nappo, shares insights on adapting in the evolving market research industry. This article was originally shared in the latest issue of Quirk's Media Magazine.
There has been a clear shift in market research and consumer habits since the start of the pandemic. How has Op4G adapted its business practices?
Since our inception 10 years ago, Op4G has primarily focused on providing high-quality sample. Our unique recruitment model, which utilizes our relationships with nonprofits, will continue to be one of our greatest strengths. However, over the last few years we’ve found that clients are looking for advanced methodologies to assist in their research. This insight prompted us to pivot our offerings, focusing more on a consultative approach and capabilities across all steps in the research process. We’ve stacked our deck of cards by including more full-service capabilities and partnering with statisticians to fill in any remaining gaps.
What advice do you have for other market research companies?
The market research landscape is evolving rapidly, and remaining flexible and innovative is of the utmost importance. Avoid sticking to the business practices that you’ve found success with in the past – don’t be afraid to raise the stakes with new methods. Hire people who add a diverse set of skills to your team and sit down with each member of your organization to learn more about their strengths. For instance, one of our senior project managers has a graphic design background and we’ve learned she can utilize those skills to spearhead our new concept image enhancement offering. Play all the cards in your hand and deal in different team members when the opportunity arises. Invest in your existing team and offer growth opportunities.
Many companies have a high focus on price in order to remain competitive. Do you think pricing is still the highest priority for clients?
It’s important to stay within a client’s budget but faster and cheaper is not always better. If you are more focused on price, what sacrifices are you making when it comes to data quality? Building trusting relationships should always be the top priority. If a client comes to us with a tight budget, for example, we take a closer look at the survey design to see what can be optimized. Reducing aspects such as unnecessary LOI can cut costs and allow for higher-quality end results.
Clients also want to work with an innovative partner capable of devising creative solutions for difficult projects. Data quality is more than sample; it starts with survey design, optimization and programming. Analyzing the data is a completely different game. Whether it’s a TURF analysis, Kano, max-diff or something else entirely, focus on finding the most suitable methods for your client’s study. Becoming a valued partner is more than just being budget-conscious – it’s anticipating and understanding the needs of your client. After all, knowing which cards to play – and when to play them – is vital to securing a royal flush.