Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Market Research Agency of the Year - Brainjuicer

Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Market Research Agency of the Year - Brainjuicer

Article excerpt

Continuing high levels of innovation, investment and business growth have led this mould-breaking research agency to scoop Marketing's title for the second successive year, writes Gemma Charles.

WINNER

Brainjuicer has been named Marketing's Market Research Agency of the Year for the second year running, following an impressive 12 months in which it not only grew its business, but also continued to invest in innovation and its people.

The judges were full of praise for the 12-year-old online research company. 'It is pleasing to see Brainjuicer continuing to drive forward the boundaries of effective research through great, creative methodologies, which clearly inspire its people and clients,' commented one. Across its four core competencies - ideas and insights, concepts, communications and customer satisfaction - Brainjuicer operates on the principle that market research should be 'mind-expanding and profit-enhancing rather than risk-reducing'. This is effective, it claims, because most research measures the wrong things, therefore wasting marketers' money. PepsiCo UK marketing director Lee Sargent is one of many clients to have bought into this philosophy; he engages with the agency when he needs 'step-change thinking'.

The approach has paid off for Brainjuicer; its most recent half-year figures show 26% revenue growth and operating profit growth of 24%. It has achieved this by nurturing existing clients, earning high levels of repeat business. Globally, the agency now has more than 165 clients, predominantly big consumer-facing companies, including 12 of the world's top 20 buyers of market research.

The agency is not standing still, however. Brainjuicer Labs, its R&D arm, is seeking to create tools to sit alongside 'Juicy' and 'Twist', its established ones. Areas of investigation in Labs include methodologies that apply 'gaming' principles to research, to encourage response rates and elicit greater and more reliable truths, and mobile ethnography. The latter has already informed an academic paper on binge-drinking in the UK, which found many factors fuelling the problem that may otherwise have been undiscovered by traditional methods.

Brainjuicer's people ethos is centred on three tenets: autonomy, mastery and purpose. These allow staff to control the way they work, support training and capability and nurture personal passions. The agency is also hardwiring the pursuit of client 'delight' into its employees' performance measures. From this year, staff at client director-level and below will be assessed on their teams' ability to achieve high levels of total customer satisfaction as expressed in a 'happiness' measure from its own customer-satisfaction tool.

The judges' verdict on this mould-breaking outfit: 'Many agencies catch fire, burn brightly and then fade, so to win for a second year running is testament to how good this organisation is.'

FOCUS ON GOOGLE

Brainjuicer collaborated with Contagious Communications and graphic facilitation firm Scriberia to produce an accurate picture of the mobile world for the internet and software company.

The market research agency was hired to carry out the preliminary research and brought together a community of about 60 Google employees from the UK, US, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Russia to collaborate and discuss their thinking on mobile.

Brainjuicer and Contagious, which had both moderated the debates, extracted the most-relevant and intriguing insights, then teamed up with Scriberia to host a workshop for the team. …

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