My first “home visit”, a market research methodology very rigorously followed at Procter and Gamble (and I am sure at all major consumer facing companies) was a revelation. 3 of my colleagues and I walked into a Japanese household to speak with the lady of the house, looking for cues which would help us come up with a blockbuster creative concept.
I was new to consumer research and was there more to observe and learn. I saw my experienced colleagues engage the consumer in every-day banter about a range of things, navigating deftly from one topic of conversation to the other. The kind of informal conversation you’d have with your friend or colleague – with the purpose of understanding the person better.
By the time we left, it was amazing to see the amount of ‘non-obvious’ insights we had gathered. While understanding the consumer’s mindset, her product use context, perceived benefits from using different products were at the core of it, we left her home with several nuanced insights. What were her motivations in life, her feelings while she went about doing her seemingly mundane chores, and the like. The insights led to a creative concept which in turn led to our massively successful campaign. Our business moved 2 places up in terms of market share! I witnessed, first hand, how consumer insights can make a campaign, and eventually the brand!
This initiation into the amazing world of research has now, almost 15 years later, culminated into creating alternative methods to derive consumer insights – the gold mine which every marketing professional wants to explore. Giri, Yashwant & I, all experienced marketing professionals (& entrepreneurs) started GenY Labs to find ways to augment conventional research, leveraging the chatter that is already out there. Siva joined along, and then there were four. More joined in.
Our simple thesis has been as follows. We’d make an impact on the way research is done if we accomplished the following:
- Can we get actual consumer views expressed on the Internet and mine them?
- Can we accomplish this at a speed which is significantly better than conventional – think seconds and minutes vs. weeks?
- Can we get a significantly higher sample size, so that we are confident of the findings?
- Can we do this at a cost which is a fraction compared to conventional research?
- Can we make it easy to do, so that every marketing professional, in organizations big and small, can benefit from these consumer insights?
In the past few months, we are seeing the green-shoots of success. Auris, our insights platform is out and is being accepted and appreciated by customers across industry verticals. I believe we are onto something significant.
– Ravi (Co-founder, GenY Labs)