Research specialists from media organizations and retail companies explain how panels empower teams to increase their output while reducing costs.
2023 has been a year of challenges: with inflation soaring and the threat of a recession still looming, businesses across the board are taking a critical look at their spending. Since the competition is relentless and the market allows no breaks, the need for a more cost effective solution has never been more pressing. These three companies have bucked the trend and found in communities the answer to this hurdle.
Warner Bros. Discovery: Connecting the dots
Earlier in the year, the Vice President of Global Entertainment Insights, Warner Bros. Discovery, Natasha Hritzuk, was tasked with finding cost efficiencies and consolidating technologies.
With that goal in mind, the research team aligned under a single vendor: Alida. The savings were so noticeable, the CFO singled them out for driving the biggest savings across the business.
Thanks to the Alida platform, all of WBD business units’ research was conducted in one all-access community with 200k members, in house, quickly, and cheaply. The community became a testing ground for “big issues”: “We were able to identify common teams and connect the dots between different executive needs,” explains Hritzuk. “Less is more: do research that answers multiple questions instead of a single one.”
According to Hritzuk, for a community to succeed it has to remain authentic. Those running it must foster an environment where people can trust each other and develop long standing relationships.
Words of wisdom: “Being able to reduce our expenditure while driving more value from the insights has been so crucial for our business.”
YouTube TV and Primetime: Focusing on repeatable value
This year, YouTube TV became the home for NFL Sunday Ticket (the streaming TV package that lets football fans watch all out-of-market games during the regular season).
The head of UX Research for YouTube TV and Primetime, Heather Traher, had to find a way to match the scope of the acquisition: “We couldn’t invest in something that would only be used once. We had to focus on research with repeatable value. It started with identifying the top priorities of the business and thinking high-level.”
It soon became clear Alida Community provided that repeatable value and was a smart investment. To learn more about their customers, YouTube TV and Alida built a community to uncover how the fans were feeling about the broadcasting.
Another key direction had to do with measuring at the right time: “We had to figure out the right approach to capture how the product was landing after the first Sunday, the last one, and in between, and strike the right balance between immediate feedback and insight over time,” explains Traher
In order to achieve that balance, the YouTube TV research team developed a two-track approach. It also used what was coming from marketing’s pulse work and the support desk for guidance. Thanks to communities’ speedy feedback, they were able to follow up and gain further insight.
According to Traher, prioritizing insights democratization across the business is critical for the success of the program. It increases the buy-in for research and helps every area of the organization make better decisions: “By democratizing insights across (internal) teams we are able to drive more value and expand our qualitative research to more members of the team.”
Words of wisdom: “We’re able to put together nuggets so quickly that let us push weekly insights in a scalable way to our stakeholders.”
Away Travel: De-risking their strategy using communities
Away Travel is a New York-based luggage and travel accessories retailer founded in 2015. The company aimed to rebrand and reposition itself in the market more sustainably.
Away trusted Alida to turn results faster and more inexpensively than external research would. Christy Adler, Senior Manager of Customer Insights explains: “We have larger competitors moving faster than us, so we need to look closely at how our consumers are spending and make very strategic decisions. We can’t afford to get it wrong and the panel enables us to validate key business decisions.”
In their efforts to gain in efficiency, Away aims to connect the dots between teams. “From building a product to developing our GTM, the community lets us connect our insights across the business to make smarter decisions. It helps us de-risk our merchandising strategy and make sure we’re putting our money in the right places,” Adler expounds.
The results are in plain sight: Away ran a research study about their hero product and because of the insight collected, they slowed down the introduction of a new finish and were surprised by their customers’ preferred suitcase colors.
Words of wisdom: “Establish relationships with each internal team to understand their workstream, their objectives, and how they tie to the business goals.”
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