As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. This truism extends to how you source market research and competitive intelligence. Most professional market researchers know there is a very low ceiling on the amount of quality market research you can garner from free and open online sites. This is why most large businesses subscribe to a variety of costly premium content services, which supply a higher quality of in-depth information to inform market research and competitive intelligence efforts.
However, in many cases, these large companies have different departments utilizing this premium content. This leads to a variety of problems. Users may have to know logins and search market research firm sites one at a time, resulting in dramatically lowered content utilization of the expensive content. Different departments may subscribe to the same services leading to higher content costs for duplicate subscriptions, simply because one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing (or buying). Or different departments may buy the same report that has already been purchased over and over. If a tool like Microsoft’s SharePoint is in use as a document repository, unlimited numbers of content mini sites can be created, making it difficult for business leaders to keep tabs on exactly what reports have been purchased, and which content subscriptions are being utilized and which are not.
Then there is the compliance problem associated with using premium content internally. Often a market research report is downloaded without rights to distribute the report to non-subscribers. If the report is then distributed by being posted to an internal Microsoft SharePoint site, financial and legal consequences can follow. Northern Light is familiar with one case in which a well-meaning but clueless employee of a large IT network equipment supplier posted a report on a corporate intranet site that had been downloaded from a prominent seat-based subscription market research firm. When the market research firm found about it, they sent the company an invoice for $450,000 for the value of the report times the number of people that could have read it from the posted copy. Ouch!
This doesn’t happen when a platform like Northern Light’s SinglePoint is utilized by the organization. SinglePoint consolidates our client’s information under one umbrella, creating a more efficient and less expensive knowledge management system. We also make it as easy as possible for our clients to find what they’re looking for within that massive amount of content. Northern Light starts by building a single, comprehensive search index for all of a client’s licensed sources, applying uniform indexing, metadata, taxonomies, and text analytics to their data, so they can easily find what they’re looking for, as well as keep track of their entire content library, including both premium and non-premium material.
There are multiple benefits to be derived from SinglePoint’s process. An organization can search numerous sources at once, so results are more complete, and the best information in the most relevant documents is surfaced in every search. SinglePoint enforces the access rights so compliance is a breeze. Our machine learning (ML) and text analytics technology also allows searches to become smarter and more targeted over time, as the platform “learns” users’ preferences and incorporates them into its ongoing efforts to deliver the most relevant and targeted data.
SinglePoint also helps prevent costly duplicate purchases. Our clients can easily winnow expensive premium content that’s completely unnecessary — because they’re able to view usage data at a glance to determine which subscriptions provide value and which are expendable. This aids in making informed enterprise decisions as to which subscriptions can be discontinued, providing significant savings on content costs. Clients save millions on their content cost while also expanding the availability and utilization of their market research.
Finally, SinglePoint empowers our clients to search for syndicated research to answer their business questions before moving on to vastly more expensive primary research alternatives. One of our clients has had so much success with this cost-cutting method that it’s hard coded into their market research project management workflow.
A business’s mantra is to get the most for the least. When it comes to market research and competitive intelligence, the best way to fulfill this maxim is by consolidating it all under a knowledge management platform with the indexing, integrated search and machine learning capabilities SinglePoint possesses.