yay-3174939-digitalMarket research has traditionally been conceived of as reaching out to consumers for information about their needs and preferences. Market research drives numerous business programs from product development to advertising programs to customer service initiatives. It is often thought of as key to competitive edge.

But it’s expensive to stay competitive. Revenue in the market research industry exceeds $21 billion and identifying, engaging, and amassing input from consumers can be both expensive and slow – so much so that relevant information sometimes arrives too late.

So now market research is shifting a bit to accommodate methods beyond traditional consumer outreach – now numerous leading global companies are turning to internal market research.

This study defines internal market research as “ any study that uses internal employees to capture insights related to the core business or reflect key trends in the market.”

This method is particularly effective in businesses that employ workers who interface directly with the customer or end user. In addition to providing customer feedback and input from the frontlines, employees have expert information about the business – its goals, limitations, and capacities. Employees can provide product direction, cost savings ideas, offer directional insight and more and that is why more and more companies are launching employee feedback programs.

Princess Cruises benefitted from this very strategy when they launched their employee innovation program.

In 2014, Princess Cruises decided to launch a crowdsourced innovation initiative that invited employees to share their innovative ideas transparently with the entire organization. The community was called We Innovate and it was hosted using IdeaScale technology. And within a few short months, the community had generated over 2,000 ideas – many of which were slated for implementation right away.

When asked about why the program saw so much engagement in such a short span of time, the team replied that it is in the very nature of the hospitality industry to find new ways to advocate for the customer at every turn. Because the Princess Cruises employees specialize in this, they were particularly active in generating new ideas.

Internal market research and internal crowd-based innovation are becoming more and more common. Not only do they generate great ideas, they cut R&D program costs and they get those ideas to market faster. Has your team implemented an internal market research program yet?

To learn more about the Princess Cruises case study, download it here.