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Developing the High-Performance Market Research Function

ID: SM-169


40+ Info Graphics

55+ Data Graphics

450+ Metrics

75 Narratives

75 Best Practices

Pages: 170

Published: Pre-2013

Delivery Format: Shipped


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Market research departments increasingly face this challenge to their primary roles: evolving from providers of support-level data to highly-valued business advisors for strategic decision-making. This comprehensive report examines how dozens of companies have created exceptional market research operations. Performance-critical topics that are covered in depth include optimizing structure for maximum personnel and resource efficiency, ensuring value and relevance in market research findings, managing the performance of career and rotational staff professionals as well as rotational employees, achieving excellence in productivity and process. This report presents proven tactics to improve the impact, influence and efficiency of the market research function.

Pharma Market Research Report cites this study as a valuable tool for market research leaders: "The integrated insights of the "best of the best" create an improvement roadmap for a single company's current performance levels. This most intensive and insightful analysis of MRD activity, prowess and best practices in the last decade focuses notable attention on the global healthcare sector...."

Industries Profiled:
Pharmaceutical; Insurance; Medical Device; Telecommunications; Research; Health Care; Biotech; Shipping; Manufacturing; Consumer Products; Diagnostic; Chemical; Computer Hardware; Computers; High Tech; Electronics

Companies Profiled:
AstraZeneca; Sanofi-aventis; Zurich North American; Towers Perrin; Royal & SunAlliance; Raymond Corporation; Ranbaxy; Penn National Insurance; Alexion Pharmaceuticals; 3M Pharmaceuticals; Aliant Telecom; LexisNexis; Arrow International; aaiPharma; Centocor; Inc.; Abbott Laboratories; DSM Pharmaceutical; Mattson Jack Group; FedEx; GE Financial; Bayer; Genentech; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Hewlett-Packard; DuPont; IBM; Eli Lilly; Janssen; Ortho Biotech; Roche; Mead Corp; Merck; MetLife; NCR; Novartis; Novo Nordisk; Organon; Texas Instruments; Dow Chemical; Xerox

Study Snapshot

High-performing market research departments help senior leaders, brand heads and managers reach critical customer insights, successful new product launches, market growth opportunities and sustainable high performance. Less distinguished market research can confuse managers, cloud decisions, hamper forceful execution and consume valuable resources. This is a central challenge for market research departments across industries and companies.

In a rough-and-tumble global economy, companies and leaders who possess such market insights win an edge against competitors. Consequently, companies are increasingly challenged how to transform their Market Research departments from backward-looking support-service technicians into forward-looking valued business advisors who support growth, brand development and long-term economic health.

With interviews from executives at 11 top companies, extensive survey data and insight drawn from 85 surveyed companies and findings from site visits, this report explains how leading market research organizations increase their impact, influence and efficiency.

Key Findings

Best Practices LLC analysts identified several key elements that provide greater insight into developing high-performance market research functions. Some key findings include:

  • Optimize your structure through people, process and technology systems that embrace cross-unit coordination and sharing to enhance business impact and reduce redundancy: Market research leaders engage in a balancing act among three management variables: market research group structure, market research performance processes and market research staff.
  • Build market research impact through integrated management that balances staffing objectives, product category or therapeutic expertise, crisp market insights and powerful influence skills: The highest performing benchmark partners have developed integrated systems that align essential management factors.
  • Manage the market research function to leverage resources, balance planned and ad hoc projects, and maintain work productivity and effectiveness: The best market research departments take a comprehensive approach to determining performance and resource needs. These organizations consider a broad spectrum of factors when assessing workload requirements and then they plan accordingly, using templates and benchmark libraries to inform their planning. They also employ project valuation processes and various tools to effectively marshal staff resources and measure how staff professionals perform on each project.
  • Develop and cultivate people so market research becomes an esteemed career track and training ground for future business leaders: Savvy market research leaders develop integrated performance management systems for both career professionals and rotational employees.
Table of Contents

Developing the High-Performance Market Research Function

Business Background and Overview 1
Study Objectives 1
Figure S.1-Study Overview 2
Benchmark Class 2
Figure S.2-Universe of Learning 3
Figure S.3-Drill-Down Interviews & Site Visit Partner Companies 3
Participating Managers 4
Figure S.4-Broad Perspectives & Insights 4
Key Findings 4
Report Structure & Organization 10

Overview 14
Making Your Structure Work 15
Figure 1.1-Making Your Structure Work 15
Structure Trends: Working with Your Corporate DNA 17
Figure 1.2-Influences on Structure 18
Figure 1.3-Market Research Structure Trends 19
Figure 1.4-Hybrid Market Research Structure: Decentralized 20
Figure 1.5-Decentralized Market Research Structures: Country
& Therapeutic Focus 21
Figure 1.6-Centralized Global Market Research Structure 21
Figure 1.7-Market Research Sub-Structure Trends 23
Figure 1.8-Focusing Market Research Authority 24
Figure 1.9-Market Research Leadership Reporting Lines 25
Communicating the Importance of Market Research: How Rank
Signals Status 27
Figure 1.10-Market Research Reporting Relationships 27
Figure 1.11-Market Research Leadership Rank Signals Status 28
Figure 1.12-Market Research Group Deployment Strategies 30
Leadership’s Role in Championing Coordination and Sharing 31
Figure 1.13-Setting Collaboration Groundwork 32
Figure 1.14-Fostering Collaboration 33
Figure 1.15-Knowledge Sharing Across Market Research Units 35
Figure 1.16-Communication Mechanisms 36
Figure 1.17-Budget for Global Market Research 39
Minimizing Cross-Unit Redundancy 40
Figure 1.18-Tactics to Minimize Redundancy 41
Figure 1.19-Avoiding the Communications Chasm 42
Figure 1.20-Market Research Budgeting Insights 47

Overview 52
Figure 2.1-Span of Market Research Responsibilities 53
Figure 2.2-Insight and Impact Management 54
Building Credibility with Senior Leadership 57
Figure 2.3-Winning Management Support 57
Figure 2.4-Influence & Interaction with Market Research Leadership 58
Figure 2.5-Communication Mechanisms that Drive Business Effectiveness 59
Figure 2.6-Communication Mechanisms 60
Figure 2.7-Market Research Influence Benchmarks 61
Figure 2.8-Influence Differences across Sectors 62
Figure 2.9-Influencing Key Decisions & Processes 63
Figure 2.10-Demonstrating Market Research Value 64
Figure 2.11-Designing Successful Market Research Projects 66
Figure 2.12-Business, Customer & Market Factors 67
Providing Value-Added Services to All Constituents 69
Figure 2.13-Serve All Internal Constituents 70
Turning Data into Intelligence & Market Insights 71
Figure 2.14-Marry Market & Competitor Views 72
Figure 2.15-Steps to Turning Data into Intelligence 73
Figure 2.16-Forging Break-Through Insights 73
Figure 2.17-Developing Critical Thinking Skills 76
Figure 2.18-Top Market Research Project Skills/Competencies 79
Figure 2.19-Secondary Market Research Project Skills/Competencies 80
Communicating Market Insights that Guide & Grow the Business 88
Figure 2.20-Market Research Info Packaging for Optimal Impact 89
Figure 2.21-Value-Added Formats 90
Figure 2.22-Developing Proactive Market Insights 91
Figure 2.23-Identifying Business Opportunities 92

Overview 98
Figure 3.1-Market Research Productivity Management 99
Assessing Workloads & Resource Requirements 100
Figure 3.2-Product Coverage 101
Figure 3.3-Product Coverage per Professional 103
Figure 3.4-Market Research Investment per Professional 108
Managing Staff & Projects 111
Figure 3.5-Market Research Project per Professional 111
Figure 3.6-Market Research Project Staffing Strategy 112
Figure 3.7-Prioritization Tools & Techniques 114
Figure 3.8-Research Balancing Techniques 115
Figure 3.9-Intelligence Management 120
Managing Vendors and Outsourcing 122
Figure 3.10-Core Competency Projects 122
Figure 3.11-Top Outsourced Market Research Projects 123
Figure 3.12-Outsourcing of Market Research Processes 124
Figure 3.13-Managing Vendors & The “Intelligence Chain” 127
Figure 3.14-Partnering on Market Research Projects 129

Overview 138
Figure 4.1-Driving Continuous Improvement 139
Figure 4.2-Creating Market Research Experts & Leaders 140
Creating a Market Research-Focused Culture 141
Figure 4.3-Market Research Culture 142
Figure 4.4-Market Research Staffing for Balance & Health 145
Figure 4.5-Develop Cross-Functional Culture 146
Figure 4.6-Rotational Market Research Staff 147
Figure 4.7-Market Research Educational Backgrounds 148
Figure 4.8-Market Research Co-Location Tactics 149
Developing Market Research Talent 152
Figure 4.9-Market Researchers Competencies 153
Employing Career Paths 158
Figure 4.10-Market Research Career Path Planning Across Industries 158
Figure 4.11-Market Research Career Path Planning in Pharma 158
Figure 4.12-Market Research Career Path Development 159
Figure 4.13-Market Research Career Path Ladders 160
Figure 4.14-High-Performing Market Research Managers 162
Training & Developing Market Research Competencies & Capabilities 163
Figure 4.15-Top Market Research Project Skills & Competencies 164
Figure 4.16-2nd Tier Market Research Project Skills & Competencies 165
Figure 4.17-Preparing Market Research Managers 166
Figure 4.18-Top Market Research Process Skills & Competencies 167
Figure 4.19-Market Research Training Duration 168
Figure 4.20-High Performing Market Research Professionals 169

List of Charts & Exhibits

Making Your Structure Work
Influences on Structure
Market Research Structure Trends
Hybrid Structure: Decentralized
Decentralized Structures: Country & Therapeutic Focus
Centralized Global Structure
Market Research Sub-Structure Trends
Focusing Market Research Authority
Leadership Reporting Lines
Reporting Relationships
Leadership Rank Signals Status
Group Deployment Strategies
Setting Collaboration Groundwork
Fostering Collaboration
Knowledge Sharing Across Units
Communication Mechanisms
Budget for Global Market Research
Tactics to Minimize Redundancy
Avoiding the Communication Chasm
Budgeting Insights
Span of Research Responsibilities
Insight & Impact Mgt.
Winning Management Support
Influence & Interaction With Leadership
Communication Mechanisms That Drive Business Effectiveness
Communication Mechanisms
Influence Benchmarks
Influence Differences Across Sectors
Influencing Key Decisions & Processes
Demonstrating Market Research Value
Designing Successful Projects
Business, Customer & Market Factors
Serve All Internal Constituents
Marry Market & Competitor Views
Steps to Turning Data into Intelligence
Forging Break-through Insights
Developing Critical Thinking Skills
Top Project Skills/Competencies
Secondary Project Skills/Competencies
Info Packaging For Optimal Impact
Value-Added Formats
Developing Proactive Market Insight
Identifying Business Opportunities
Productivity Management
Product Coverage
Product Coverage per Professional
M.R. Investment Per Professional
Project Coverage Per Professional
Project Staffing Strategy
Prioritization Tools & Techniques
Research Balancing Techniques
Intelligence Management
Core Competency Projects
Top Outsourced Research Projects
Outsourcing of Research Processes
Managing Vendors & The “Intelligence Chain”
Partnering On Research Projects
Driving Continuous Improvement
Creating Experts & Leaders
Market Research Culture
Staffing for Balance & Health
Develop Cross-Functional Culture
Rotational Staff
Educational Backgrounds
Co-location Tactics
Market Researchers Competencies
Career Path Planning Across Industries
Career Path Planning in Pharma
Career Path Development
Career Path Ladders
High-Performing Research Managers
Top Project Skills & Competencies
2nd Tier Project Skills & Competencies
Preparing Research Managers
Top Process Skills & Competencies
Training Duration
High Performing Professionals