What the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has highlighted is the need for businesses to transform digitally. Ironically, BMi Research had embarked on a journey of organisational redesign prior to the onset of the pandemic in order to better position the business for its next phase of growth, which forms part of our 2025 strategy.
From the outset our intention was to adapt to a more forward-looking approach; one which repositioned the business to be more digitally focused in order to enable more online activities while at the same time focusing to a greater extent on above the line activities.
Restructuring the business necessitated relooking who we are. To this end we amended our positioning statement to ‘Valued Insights Partner’. We also considered where we want to be, how we plan to get there and, most importantly, who we will partner with along the way.
I firmly believe that not only is BMi Research’s new structure highly innovative but that it provides the business with an opportunity to differentiate itself from its competitors.
The new look BMi Research boasts two divisions: Consumer Behaviour and Business Insights, headed by Jenni-Ruth Coggin; and Pricing Insights and Growth Revenue Management, headed by Cindi Collett. The sales and commercial division of BMi Research continues to be headed by Danie Botha.
While continuing to offer the traditional sector-focused advertising approaches, going forward the Consumer Behaviour and Business Insights division will have an aggressive focus on consumer research with a particular emphasis on partnerships with digital panel providers. This elevates the business allowing it to provide vastly expanded deliverables compared to those we have traditionally offered.
We are excited about our latest innovations and in particular Ad-Apt, which incorporates an advertising testing solution which utilises an eye-tracking and a neuroscience approach.
Ad-Apt looks at how consumers engage with an advert, the impact that advertising has on them, and how this translates into a sale. While ad testing in itself is nothing new, what we plan to bring to the market is an ability to adapt to a complex situation. As such, we will be testing social media platforms along with the feasibility and viability of advertising and advertorials through this new technique which uses eye-tracking through digital technologies.
A CX online solution allows us to assess e-commerce websites, focusing in particular on the online ordering process, transaction process, the delivery experience, website functionality, ease of navigation and compliance. Essentially, CX Online explores the online shopping experience of consumers.
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had been investigating online panel focused data collection methodologies. The lockdown imposed in South Africa merely accelerated the drive to offer online, digital and mobile approaches given that the traditional face-to-face approach is increasingly being questioned.
The Pricing Insights and Growth Revenue Management division, while continuing to offer in-store research, will be aligning itself to the conversations that are happening in the marketplace. It will focus in particular on pricing, pricing intelligence and revenue growth. In addition, we will continue to offer Webprice, a web scraping approach, which quickly and accurately trawls websites to understand competitor pricing and branding, providing essential pricing intelligence in the online environment.
One of the consequences of the lockdown has been a rise in web surfing and online shopping. As a result, agile businesses are quickly shifting their focus to e-commerce. It is expected that online advertising will have a growing role to play in terms of brand and brand presence. The Pricing Insights and Growth Revenue Management division is now ideally positioned to capitalise on this shift.
BMi Research’s new organisational structure positions the business optimally both for a Covid-19 world and a post Covid-19 world and I’m very excited about the opportunities this poses for the business.
| Kevin Kruger, CEO