Wonder as an Investment

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Current Trends - Research Marketplace

Three trends in the research marketplace of which Wonder is a part include companies and brands wanting faster turnaround times, an increase in outsourced research, and a shift from companies looking for demographic data to wanting psychographic data instead. Details of these trends are below.

COMPANIES AND BRANDS WANT INSTANT RESULTS

  • According to GreenBook, an organization that connects marketers and market researchers with information to assist companies with consumer insights, the insights- or research-on-demand market "is not just going to be bigger than market research because it’s better. It will be bigger than market research because it’s broader."
  • In 2019, marketers and other companies will continue to search for "fast and qualitative insights."
  • In fact, 32% of companies interviewed for the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report indicated that they prioritize speed of results when considering the methods to use for their research projects. This is second only to quality of results (80%).
  • Interestingly, only 32% of companies were satisfied with the timeliness of deliverables from research suppliers in 2018, meaning there is a great opportunity for on-demand research firms that provide timely research to fill that need.
  • Companies are beginning to expect to gain consumer insights on more regular basis to ensure their business strategies are headed in the right direction.
  • Marketing and advertising professionals are facing a change in the way market research is conducted. They are now required to "execute campaigns at 10x the speed as they were done in the past," which means they need the research ten times as fast.
  • With consumers expecting companies to constantly deliver "personally tailored content," marketers have the difficult task of staying one step ahead of consumers and quick turn around time for research helps them do that.
  • In addition, the speed of information "creates constant and rapid shifts in consumer sentiment," which means that research must be conducted frequently and be delivered quickly to keep up with these shifts.
  • As such, "incremental improvements in market research and data collection have in many cases become insufficient to address these realities, which now demand an entirely new way of obtaining consumer insight." On-demand research provides a solution to this need for nearly instant consumer insights.
  • Crispin Beale, CEO of Chime Insight & Engagement Group, states that the "pressure is on to deliver faster, cheaper and better research for clients."
  • For this reason, automation is going to be a "game changer" for the research industry because it will enable "researchers to deliver faster and more cost-effective insight."

INCREASE IN OUTSOURCED RESEARCH

  • BCG states that dedicated research teams make companies more productive because the outsourced research teams "offer various kinds of research support services" that are both diversified and scalable.
  • A former McKinsey research agrees, stating, "Traditional ways of consulting included only one research member, an expert, and a journalist. Now we have an expanded team of researchers with diversification at every task."
  • About 46% of McKinsey's research team is outsourced, a portion of which is through dedicated on-demand research companies.
  • Martin Tronquit, Managing Partner at Infomineo, indicated that leading organizations are currently structuring their research operations using a three-tiered approach: "onshore operations, offshore operations, and use of outsourcing partners."
  • The outsourcing of research functions allows companies to "benefit from scale effects."
  • Using outsourced research allows companies to access not only more specialized resources, but also gives them the ability to "leverage lower costs."
  • According to MarketResearch.com, companies that were interviewed on why they are using third-party research companies stated that "third-party research shows you 'how the marketplace is being perceived' and provides an 'inside track on what’s happening.' When making important business decisions, market research is sometimes 'the deciding factor on whether to green light or hit the kill switch.'"
  • The GreenBook Research Industry Report indicated that for companies that decreased their research spending in 2018 did so because they are using "more versatile research vendors," which has created more value for the company.

SHIFT FROM DEMOGRAPHICS TO PSYCOGRAPHICS

  • Rather than wanting research on typical demographics such as age, income, gender, education, and family size, companies are beginning to delve deeper into "personality profiling" or psychographics of target groups.
  • Companies are looking to leverage data on "deeply individual triggers, barriers, worries, intentions, attitudes and habits" to cater to "specific personality profiles of the most viable buyer segments."
  • Analysis of social media posts, past purchases, friends networks, post likes, and videos people watch is becoming preferable to demographics for many companies.
  • Since these types of data points are available from secondary research, companies that offer such services are seeing an uptick in requests for psychographic information.
  • Social media listening has been identified as a major global trend in market research, which reinforces the idea that delving deeper into the personality profiles of consumers is considered critical to companies looking for insights into their customers.
  • According to the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, "traditional audience understanding," as with demographics, is insufficient for driving the "real-time, specific insights needed to compete in today’s dynamic market." Therefore, more companies are looking for deeper insights into psychographics to enable them to provide more personalized and consumer-based services and products.
  • In that same GreenBook report, it was found that 59% of companies surveyed were already using data from online communities to inform their business strategies and another 21% are considering using them.
  • Growth maps, which combine demographic and psycographic data, are becoming popular data presentations for companies to understand behaviors rather than just simple demand. According to Chris Enger, Periscope (McKinsey) Partner, growth maps decompose "drivers of consumer behavior and brings the consumer journey to life."

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To identify trends in the research marketplace, of which Wonder is a part, we looked into formal white papers and research reports from companies like GreenBook, MarketResearch.com, and Infiniti, among others. What we found is that there is little data on trends specific to research marketplaces. However, we were able to pinpoint three trends that directly impact the research marketplace niche in which Wonder operates. For instance, there has been an increase in demand for faster turnaround times, which is a key differentiating factor for marketplace research companies like Wonder. The increase in companies looking for third-party research partners (outsourcing) is impacting companies like Wonder because marketplace research companies rely on clients who are looking for others to conduct their research for them. The third trend, the shift from companies looking for demographics to looking for psychographics impacts companies like Wonder because psychographic data can be culled through secondary research, which is the type of research offered through marketplace research companies. This means there will likely be an increase in demand for secondary research from third-party vendors like Wonder.

In addition to formal research reports, we also used expert commentary from employees of consulting companies like McKinsey, BCG, IBC Consulting, and others to provide support for the trends identified in the formal studies. This was typically done by examining articles and blogs that quoted these employees in support of their own trend analysis. To verify the three trends we found, we also confirmed their presence on lists of top market research, general research, and outsourced research trends. This allowed us to ensure the trends we found are truly impacting the research marketplace industry, to include companies such as Wonder.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Wonder - Competitor Differentiations

Five ways in which Wonder differentiates itself from its competitors are turnaround time, pricing, a larger analyst network, specialization, and a simplified request process. Details of these differentiation factors are below.

WONDER HAS A FASTER TURNAROUND TIME

  • Wonder typically has turnaround time of 24-48 hours and often delivers completed research even faster.
  • Zursh's turnaround time is between 13 days and 12 months, depending on the size of the project.
  • 10EQS "mobilizes teams within 24 to 48 hours and runs projects in 3-4 week sprints."
  • Evalueserve does not indicate a turnaround time on its website, likely because it is custom to each project. The lack of information on this indicates the turnaround time is probably longer than what Wonder offers.
  • Likewise, Tyson Heinz does not indicate a turnaround time on its website. As with Evalueserve, this is probably due to the custom nature of its research projects and likely indicates that speed is not one of Tyson Heinz's priorities.
  • The Ravenry's turnaround time is a minimum of 48 hours.
  • Bransfeed's turnaround time is "within 48 hours."
  • Fancy Hands indicates they try their best to get tasks done as soon as they can and pride themselves on "being fast and thorough."
  • Time Etc., Upwork, and Leverage all have turnaround times based on individual projects and are often connected to price.

WONDER'S PRICES ARE UPFRONT AND LOWER

  • Wonder's pricing starts at $29 per hour and clients know the price of their project upfront.
  • 10EQS' projects typically range in price from $20,000 to $100,000.
  • While Zursh allows clients to "name their own price," it appears from posted budgets that the cost to hire a researcher is much higher on this platform (average budget from the first page of proposals is $422).
  • Most other competitors, such as EvalueServe and Tyson Heinz, do not post their prices as they are determined on a per-project basis.
  • ResearchFly offers a half report (a data dump) for $50 and a full report for $100.
  • Leverage's services start at $40 for admin tasks and increase to $80 per hour for marketing and operations tasks.
  • While Fancy Hands' pricing starts at $12 per hour ($4 per 20 minutes of work), requests that are expected to take longer than 20 minutes require assessment from a Fancy Hands assistant to determine the actual pricing.
  • The Ravenry has a base price of SGD 99, which converts to about $135.
  • Brainsfeed, which has a business model very similar to Wonder, does not disclose its pricing upfront. It requires potential clients to submit a form to the company before receiving pricing information.
  • Maven allows its freelancers to set their own hourly fee, which means the client must spend more time searching for an expert with the right qualifications and price.

WONDER HAS ACCESS TO MORE RESEARCHERS

  • Wonder has an analyst base of over 6,000.
  • Zursh does not disclose the number of researchers it has available for selection, but indicates it is in the thousands.
  • ResearchFly also does not disclose the number of researchers is has at its disposal, but says it has "thousands of vetted, highly-qualified analysts available on-demand."
  • 10EQS has a "global network of 1,000 contingent consultants."
  • EvalueServe has a researcher base of 3,500.
  • Tyson Heinz also does not disclose the number of researchers it has available to clients, but it is likely a much smaller pool given that the company only works with one company per industry at a time.
  • Leverage has over 300 team members, but not all of them specialize in research.
  • Time Etc. has over 500 virtual assistants, but not all of them specialize in research.
  • Brainsfeed has 1,000+ vetted analysts.

WONDER SPECIALIZES IN SECONDARY RESEARCH

  • Wonder focuses only on secondary research, which allows it to produce a consistent, high quality product every time.
  • Unlike competitors like Fancy Hands, Upwork, Time Etc., and Leverage, all of which use freelancers, Wonder focuses on research only, which means its freelance analysts are all focused on research only.
  • As stated in Investopedia, "specialization can lead to economies of scale because it allows for increased output. Economic theory indicates that specialization is conducive to growth."
  • When a company focuses on a single task, such as performing secondary research, it allows its workers to become more efficient at that task, which then increases productivity.
  • This concept is linked to the fast turnaround times Wonder has compared to other companies in the market that are not specialized.
  • Moreover, Wonder's assembly line of knowledge allows each analyst to focus on their own specialized tasks, which again has proven to increase efficiency and production.
  • Companies like Tyson Heinz and EvalueServe conduct primary research in addition to secondary research, which drives up costs and delays turnaround time.

WONDER REQUIRES NO PROPOSALS OR NEGOTIATIONS ON PRICE

  • Wonder clients simply post their request and Wonder takes care of assigning a researcher and completing the research without any further action on the clients' behalf.
  • Competitors like Zursh require clients to post research requests to the marketplace and evaluate proposals from thousands of researchers.
  • Upwork requires clients to seek out freelancers by posting an available job, accepting and reviewing proposals, and selecting a freelancer based on potential quality and price.
  • With companies such as Evalueserve, Tyson Heinz, and Brainsfeed, the pricing is based on the type and size of the project, which means since their prices are not set, negotiation is likely part of the process. This means more involvement on behalf of the client.
  • Maven freelancers set their own price, and even though there is a matching system, clients still must spend time vetting experts for price and quality.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To provide detailed examples of how Wonder is different from its competitors, we first identified the companies that operate in competition with Wonder in terms of on-demand marketplace research. Once the competitors were identified, we then closely examined each company's website to pinpoint areas of operation that are different from Wonder. Finally, we provided a comparison of services that illustrate the differentiation factors that set Wonder apart from its competitors. Please note that information on each factor was not always available for all companies. We assumed that when Wonder advertised a specific service that other companies did not, that it was a differentiation factor because companies would certainly want to make it known when they offer a unique service.
Sources
Sources