Kantar, a global full-service, data-driven insights and consulting company has integrated with Colmar Brunton – New Zealand’s most awarded market research firm. This significant investment combining the agencies’ global resources with local insights and experts, offers Kiwi businesses more reach and faster service when exploring their brand, advertising, customer experience and development strategies.
In line with Kantar’s global strategy of one brand, its New Zealand-based research firm Colmar Brunton was integrated into the global offering in July 2021. The creation of the new structure is the culmination of a multi-year transformation of Kantar’s presence across the Asia Pacific region, and results in Kantar being the largest commercial insights agency in New Zealand.
As part of the integration, two new organisations have been created in New Zealand aligned with other global markets, each with their own client bases operating within separate legal entities. Kantar provides consumer insights consultancy to commercial entities while Kantar Public delivers advisory services to the public sector, non-Governmental organisations, and the not-for-profit sector.
Combining the best of its global resources and local insights, the new integrated offering now has the ability, more than any other local agency, to solve clients’ business issues at speed and assist in driving growth.
“Essentially, what the integrated business in New Zealand can now do is access all of the great stuff that Kantar is doing globally. So, that’s investment in technology to enable better and faster insights, best in class validated frameworks that the business can tap into and customise to local client’s business issues, and world leading ways we can conduct research enabling us to solve a wider variety of business issues,” explains David Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer at Kantar.
David says that the depth and validated processes associated with Kantar’s global IP – enabling clients to have confidence in the decisions that they’re making – really sets the consultancy apart from other players in the market.
“Being the largest agency in the country not only enables us to operate at speed in terms of delivering insights, but also means that our clients get access to our extensive global and local thought leadership. It means that clients can now tap into a huge wealth of resource and have Kantar New Zealand’s in-market insights consultants customise it to their own context,” says David.
And while that’s a real advantage in terms of Kantar’s competitive edge, Sarah Bolger, Chief Client Officer at Kantar says that the integrated firm won’t lose the local nuance that its close to 100 locally based staff have built for the clients they service. She says that the global exposure also gives local employees an opportunity to work across different markets, thus improving the scope of service offered to clients.
“We already have real depth in our team as to what’s happening in the local market, but we are increasingly being asked by clients if we have access to examples of similar experiences in other markets. Now we are able to seamlessly tap into our global network and provide richer insight for our clients,” says Sarah.
Local IP such as Kantar’s Corporate Reputation Index, Better Futures Report and Customer Leadership Index, Sarah says will all continue to offer local clients the thought leadership they’ve come to expect over the years – but now with the added benefit of global data and insights.
“We have a lot of global material that we will be looking to pull down, adapt for the local conditions and disseminate to our clients as we see fit.”
Doing this at speed, David says will further strengthen Kantar’s offering. “We are now delivering validated insights based on best practice IP within two-three days, something that might have taken four to five weeks previously. This has been transformational for some of our clients and how they work.”
Typically, market research places a lot of emphasis and time on the data collection process. However, with the agency’s integrated model, Kantar consultants are now able to spend more time on helping clients source the right kind of data and how best to interpret it to help make better decisions.
“Our consultants can now spend more time working with marketers to dig deep into what the data is saying, as opposed to spending time collecting the data. So that’s a great development for our industry,” says Sarah.
When it comes to new and innovating technologies, David says his team have access to a suite of tools available on the Kantar Marketplace platform, which many clients use, including Fonterra Brands using it as part of their innovation process.
“For example, Fonterra Brands New Zealand (FBNZ) is able to push their new concepts through Kantar Marketplace Innovation tools used to support their NPD, and access results within two-three days, giving them valid data against global norms and allows them to make decisions on their concept in almost real-time,” he says.
Joanne Reid, Group Marketing Manager – Insight & Innovation at FBNZ says: “Having the ability to screen concepts early and at pace offers us a real advantage which we can also share with our customers. It effectively means we can be ‘always on’ with our concept testing – we don’t have the usual costs involved in project set up and lengthy field times. We can get results on our screens within a matter of days from signoff of our ideas.
“The dashboard itself is very user friendly and intuitive and provides the opportunity to drill down on each concept easily ourselves. This means we can be more consumer led and focus our innovation efforts.
“This approach gives us more agility and a more consistent way of concept testing. It also helps us feed our innovation pipeline and minimises risk out of NPD.
Kantar in New Zealand has ambitious growth plans on the back of its integration into the global firm and plans to achieve this by focusing more on the agile research and analytics part of the business.
“Realising this is about continuing on the path that was started last year, which is more investment in people, more integration of the technology and the IP from around the globe. Fundamentally, our job as an agency hasn’t changed. It’s still about working with Kiwi businesses, Kiwi marketers, every day to understand what their needs are and help solve their business challenges with market leading solutions and best in class expertise,” says Sarah.