Great market research considers all sides of a business decision. It leads to tough choices and doesn’t dance around recommendations. Above all, it provides context and clarity.
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Businesses need clear direction. But the world is complex. Market research that ignores that complexity is often simplistic, superficial or wrong. We don’t cut through complexity. We deal with it. We factor it into our research. We filter and refine it.
Answers that resolve the divide between complexity and clarity. Answers that are correct. If this is interesting to you, read some stories of how and for whom Dig has worked. Or, see who’s behind Dig. Have complex questions? Need clear answers?
Dig brings market research into the real world. This requires us to integrate complexity – business questions, competitive contexts in which consumers make choices, and methodological decisions. We can do this because our senior consultants collaborate internally and with clients on every project to develop custom-designed solutions that address the business’ needs. Our methods are more labour intensive, but they deliver superior results.
We eagerly look outside of market research, and then integrate the opportunities we discover into advanced methodologies and ways of delivering data. We don’t ask people why they think or behave a certain way; we derive it. We don’t ask people what they will do; we create simulated decision environments and allow them to act. Wherever possible, the numbers we present are those that matter to the business: volume, revenue and profit.
A lot of market research lives in a parallel universe, where people know why they do what they do, where their choices are logical, where they can predict their own behaviour. It’s a place where methodologies developed years ago, that no longer reflect current thinking, are permitted to survive. This universe has its own language. A language of top two box scores and performance vs. normative databases that are filled with failed ideas. This language is divorced from the language of business.
This other universe exists because it benefits many market research vendors. It allows for simplistic, scalable methodologies managed by junior staff. But this universe does not benefit market research users. Those who enter it find that research often becomes an obstacle to change. We Dig people have all seen this universe, clocked its failings, and created a better one of our own. Have complex questions? Need clear answers?
We invest in our business and in our industry. Here are some of the things we are thinking about and working on.
We believe the marriage of big data and market research leads to deeper insights and action-oriented prescriptive analytics. This means getting a business’ behavioural, transactional, and social data out of their silos and combining it with customized primary research. To facilitate this integration, our data scientists have developed a suite of custom APIs and platforms like Dig Sandbox.
Integrating the latest in technology is one of Dig’s core values so our data scientists consistently use the latest machine learning and AI to refresh old methodologies and generate new ones.
Upsiide is a mobile app that engages the next generation in market research. It uses a swipe-left, swipe-right interface to assess ideas. The respondent task is simple, but it allows for sophisticated analytics.
We have used TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) to help companies make a variety of optimizations (menu, product line-up, coupon) since 2010. We now have an online tool that uses custom algorithms which allows for advanced analyses to be done quickly on a simple, self-serve interface.
We created tools to make data, particularly big data, easy to interpret. Network and correspondence maps can be created by our analysts, or by our clients, in a matter of minutes.
We are a multicultural company in a multicultural city. To further understand our world, we created the syndicated Newcomer Financial Monitor Report that helps Canadian financial institutions understand and assist newcomers.
We are delving into how perceptions on recreational marijuana are leading to legal and behavioural changes, and how legalization will cascade into adjacent industries: alcohol; quick serve restaurants, and consumer packaged goods. The Cannabis Culture Report helps us, and our clients, predict and prepare for this change.
To find out more about what Dig is thinking about and creating, please visit our blog.
We help our clients understand the market. We translate that understanding into action. We build a business case for change. And we speak in the language of business.
We have experienced strong growth since our launch in 2010. This creates opportunities for learning and career advancement. The roles we have listed here are our perspective on what we need. But we try to be open-minded. If you think you would be a great addition to the Dig team and have a different vision of what role you can play, please contact us.
We are focused on building a better market research agency. What does “better” mean? The most important thing to understand is that we have tools, approaches and a perspective on how research should be done, but we do not sell ‘canned’ methodologies. So if you want to manage an established process, Dig is not the place for you. People who succeed at Dig Insights either have a fantastic technical understanding of market research or are willing to build this understanding. Ideal team members are smart, creative and fun. They use quantitative research to work through complex questions and deliver clear answers. They question established research practices and are passionate about helping our clients to move their businesses forward. They are comfortable working in a fast moving, flat organization.
We are looking for people to fill these roles:
My career started 20 years ago at ABM Research where I learned the important basics. I pulled reports (from paper tables), did sig testing (with a calculator) and helped prepare presentations (on acetates).
I moved to Thompson Lightstone (later acquired by Maritz) and was fortunate to work almost exclusively for one major CPG client. I was soon managing full projects and presenting results (with a computer!).
Realizing the need to broaden my business knowledge, I completed my MBA at Ivey, after which I joined Ford of Canada in a management rotation program. With stops in marketing and sales, I saw firsthand how research was used in the trenches.
Wanting to get back into research, I became a Research Manager at Canadian Tire. (For non-Canadians, CT is a 500-store mass merchandiser… think Walmart + Home Depot + Pep Boys.) This was an amazing opportunity, as I worked on a range of fascinating projects with some of the best research suppliers in the business.
Eventually I returned to the supplier-side, where I have been for the last 10 years. In 2010 I started Dig with Ian, Paul and Michael.
At Dig we approach every project as a new challenge, not something to be squeezed into an established methodology.
While we certainly ask about attitudes, we always try to measure behaviour. So instead of showing a product in isolation and asking a 5-pt purchase intent question, we like respondents to make trade-offs from a competitive set.
We believe that reports should be tailored to a non-research audience, so we make use of infographics, videos and online dashboards.
My goal with every project is to exceed my client’s expectations through creative methodology, attentive project management and delivery of thoughtful and actionable recommendations.
More mobile: market research is heading further and further to mobile data collection; I love the idea of shorter surveys completed in-situ. Merging primary and secondary data: some of Dig’s best work has come when we are able to merge our primary research with secondary consumer data. I’m kind of tired of the term ‘big data’, but the power of combining multiple data sources is undeniable.
(Caveat – this answer assumes I don’t need to pay my mortgage or feed my kids)
Every year I build a really serious backyard ice rink for my four kids. It’s 68 feet long and 24 feet wide, with boards, netting, and lights. If I could turn this into a business, I would. In many ways building a rink is like executing a successful research project. I learn from my previous rinks. I collaborate with other “rink dads”. And like a good research study, building a great rink takes careful planning, creativity, hard work, and the ability to make adjustments on the fly.
But given the seasonal nature of rink building and the reliance on mother-nature, I think I will stick to research for my day job.