Four Ways Expert Insights Can Help Companies Win in Recession

Flore Loisel is responsible for the operational and strategic success of AlphaSights’ Corporate business unit in Europe, supporting the industry research needs of Fortune 500 companies, fast-growing SMEs and startups across all industries.

As economic uncertainty builds, we understand your research needs are changing. Based on our conversations with clients across a range of industries, we’ve identified how expert insights can help you weather the downturn.

Every day, we speak with companies across a range of industries – from healthcare, tech, finance to manufacturing who are facing increasingly tough spending decisions. As the world braces for the possibility of a global recession, their mood is one of caution.

While some cutbacks in corporate budgets are inevitable, cost reductions must be weighed against the benefits of spending to get through this crisis and emerge ready to capitalise on the inevitable recovery.

Nowhere is this need for balance more apparent than when reviewing budgets for research and innovation. Companies under pressure to find efficiency gains internally may view these resources as an easy target for cuts. While this offers a short-term saving, it may have serious consequences for their future.

As a leading provider of knowledge on-demand, we help corporates find the expertise they need to make better informed decisions and engineer future growth. In fact, the experience of previous downturns taught many of our clients that maintaining a budget to better understand their customers, and any other factors that may impact their business, leads to better medium and long-term outcomes.

Many of our clients have opted to spare and even increase their investment in accessing unique market insights, and asked us to help them fill their knowledge gaps through sourcing relevant experts with the intel they need. This has ranged from a one hour phone call through to a large-scale targeted survey initiative. Through high-impact conversations with experts, we help them build conviction in their decisions, and the insight they need to stay in tune with the market and maintain a healthy innovation pipeline.

Below are a few observations of how expert insights have been used to evolve corporate strategies in the last six months: 


1. Expert insights are informing smarter growth

In an environment where expanding the wrong product line or investing in an upgrade at a bad time can have disastrous consequences, companies are hungry for insights to help them identify the right growth opportunities. We provide many of our clients with condensed expertise in the form of workshops and on-site meetings with key subject-matter experts, giving them the tools to make quick decisions on the likes of product investment or market expansion.

Companies are focusing on smart solutions, particularly in traditional manufacturing. Recently, a consumer electronics company reached out to us as they were looking to improve their operational efficiency. We helped them leverage targeted insights to incorporate automation solutions into their supply chain and explore the benefits of digitalisation. Across industries, we’re helping a number of clients rethink their logistics by integrating new technologies, including cloud computing and analytics throughout their operations.


2. Clients are strengthening customer retention strategies

As global interest rates continue to rise, financing remains a hot topic. Many companies are forced to restructure just as investment is being pulled.

This has made businesses keener than ever to understand how to retain and grow their customer base. 50% of the projects we’ve undertaken in the last three months have been voice of customer exercises. Across industries, our clients want to know what will make their customers stick to them, and through conversations we set up with key decision makers in their industry, they can reassess what works and what doesn’t. Recently, we have facilitated a number of user testing exercises for our B2B technology clients. By connecting them to key customers, they were able to identify product shortcomings and improvement opportunities which will make them more competitive on the market.  


3. Future-proofing supply chains

Challenges to supply chains apparent since the pandemic have been made worse by geo-political tensions and rising energy costs. Many of our clients in the material and resources industry, for example, are very dependent on a steady and cheap supply of raw materials and energy to keep the lights on. This has exposed the fragilities in their supply chains, at a time when businesses also face pressure from consumers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. 

Many companies are looking into how they can create more sustainable supply chains, coming to us to help them understand who they should partner with. This type of intentional spending often reveals the best ways to save on energy, trim material usage and reduce waste.


4. Staying ahead of the competition

In some industries such as pharma, biotech and life sciences, the market remains very dynamic, with new companies continually emerging and pushing innovative and breakthrough ideas. We’ve observed high demand for market mapping in particular as companies, keen to identify new opportunities, jostle to stay on top of new developments. Many heads of M&A have utilised our service to speak to seasoned experts in the healthcare industry and gain insights on potential investment targets. Overall, this sector has seen the most significant increase in spend. 

As the environment gets tougher, companies need to become smarter, nimbler, and better prepared. While the desire to cut costs is understandable, investment in tailored and unique insights from subject matter experts allows companies to avoid time-consuming and costly processes, and to build much-needed confidence in an uncertain market. It’s an investment that may, in the long run, not just help them survive, but thrive.

Contact us to learn more about how expert insights can support you or reach out to me directly at [email protected].

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