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Market research: The missing piece of the growth pivot

Market research: The missing piece of the growth pivot

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This post is brought to you by YAMADA Consulting & Spire (Y&S).

As economic headwinds continue to create uncertainty and volatility in the global economy, many firms are seeking to establish a pivot towards higher growth – and the missing piece of that growth pivot could be market research, says Japnit Singh, Chief Operating Officer at YAMADA Consulting & Spire (Y&S).

As the world adapts to the gradual decline of inflation and interest rates, and geopolitical tensions reorder global supply chains, many businesses have set their sights on growing their top and bottom lines as fast as they can to keep up with the top performers on the stock markets so as to preserve returns on capital.

Global uncertainties

Standing in their way is the fact that the prospects for growth remain rocky, despite promising signs of recovery. World Economic Forum economists forecast that factors such as geopolitical rifts and suboptimal financial conditions will continue to dampen economic growth worldwide.

The expected Fed rate cuts may not be as big or come as early as was previously thought. Geopolitical tensions are pressuring companies to build fresh supply chains outside of China.

In search of a growth pivot – organic and inorganic

Against this backdrop, many organisations are going back to basics to grow their businesses through organic growth or through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The alternative is seeing their valuations left behind against major stock market indices buoyed by the tech giants, which will lower their return to capital.

To this end, many companies are seeking a growth pivot – namely, a strategic move that lifts growth to a higher plane – from an acquisition or new partnership, or through greenfield expansion into new markets, brand re-engineering or launching new products.

Many executives will understand the challenges they face on this path – deploying AI to lower costs and enhance innovation, managing cash flow issues, maintaining company culture as the organisation expands, and so on. These are factors within their control.

One factor that is not within a company’s control is external changes in the market, and being able to anticipate, for example, changing consumer preferences, new competitor business models, and shifting regulatory environments. This is where many companies’ growth strategies may stumble.

This is especially true in the current climate, where the competitive game is changing profoundly. AI is forcing companies to upend traditional back-office and R&D functions. The green transition is stoking volatility in commodity prices, while expanding markets in new categories such as autonomous EVs. And geopolitical tensions are nudging companies to seek new locations for markets and back offices/production outside of China.

Market research is often missed at pivot points

What is often missing as companies embark on the search for a growth pivot is market research, which is crucial for understanding market trends, customer preferences, and competitor activities.

Growth pivot exercises are inevitably fraught with risk. Holistic market research encompassing customers, suppliers, value chains, competitors and regulators helps businesses define their growth pivot strategy in a way that responds to future realities and not past ones.

By providing valuable insights to support growth pivot exercises, market research supports creative ideation, reduces uncertainty, and supports successful post-merger integration and expansion efforts. For example, customer research that forecasts market segments and stickiness is vital before taking major steps that may affect customer loyalty.

Thankfully, companies do not have to go it alone. Market research consultancies can provide them with holistic and predictive insights. Ultimately, there are a number of factors that you should look at when choosing a consultancy to partner.

Holistic market research integrated into other strategy work streams

A good consultancy should be able to support your growth journey with a strong integration of capabilities, not only in market research, but in growth and M&A consulting as well.

In 2016, YAMADA Consulting Group, Japan’s premier independent consultants, began to integrate with market research experts Spire Research and Consulting to form YAMADA Consulting & Spire (Y&S). Our new branding was unveiled this year.

Our objective is to deliver exactly this sort of holistic synergy to our clients who are looking to partner with an agency with a strong track record and expertise across multiple fields – growth and M&A consulting, underpinned by market research – to support their growth pivots.

We combined the DNA of both parent companies to provide diversified and quality consulting services to international companies seeking market growth in the region as well as local Asian firms internationalising their business.

Beyond breadth of expertise, look for true depth of experience in your consultants. This is where we believe Y&S stands out from the competition. We cover virtually every industry and vertical – from agriculture to manufacturing, from public sector to services – providing strong and integrated support in multiple locations.

We have shared our expertise with clients in more than 110 cities in 35 countries – from Asia Pacific to the emerging market regions of the Middle East and Latin America.

For example, we have worked with Japanese conglomerates seeking to acquire manufacturing companies in Vietnam; prototyped business models for technology firms to try out in Indonesia; and advised a food manufacturer in its globalisation across multiple markets.

For each of our more than 2,000 clients, the Y&S difference has been to deliver them with solid, actionable, award-winning consultancy services, supported by strong data, rigorous research, and priceless deep local knowledge of the intangibles, the unforeseen, and the unexpected forces in the markets they want to grow in.

Japnit Singh is the chief operating officer of YAMADA Consulting & Spire. Find out more at

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