The fact that the Insights landscape is changing is no longer in doubt, nor is the pace of that change. But what is driving change? Some point to technology, others to the needs and pressures faced by insights clients. Whatever the outcome of that debate, it is true that an amazing influx of venture capital has enabled the birth of an entire new generation of competitors – and that many of these competitors, specialized in the field of analytics, blur the distinction between insights generation and marketing implementation.
At the same time, the capital structure of the industry has changed dramatically. Not only is the new class of competition funded by billions in venture capital, but private equity is now a major player in a large part of the "established" industry. Put very simply, the "new" in the industry is funded by one type of capital while the larger, "old" part is funded by another. This has a number of implications for the shape of the industry in the future, not least that (1) new capital owners have little regard for the distinction between insights generation and marketing; and (2) the middle market, unable to access venture capital and yet of less interest to private equity, is faced with the need to retool in the face of change but without the ability to finance that retooling.
This presentation will examine the implications of change both in terms of business intent and market structure, and will ask "what does this mean for insights industry associations?" How does it affect the need for association consolidation, the definition of our industry, and the codes and guidelines that provide the frameworks under which we operate?
The presentation draws on a series of studies of the industry and profession, both globally and in North America – the BCG/Cambiar/Yale Study of Corporate Insights Management, Cambiar's Future of Research series, and the Cambiar Capital Funding Index. It will also reveal the results of recent work by BCG (Boston Consulting Group) and Cambiar on landscaping the Insights industry.
Managing Partner, Cambiar