Meet the finalists: Magenta - changing the value of research in a global business
Sarah Jenkins had risen through the ranks in qualitative research, at agencies big and small. Keen to get more hands-on again, she set up independent strategic agency Magenta in 2016. She hasn’t looked back since!
As consumer behaviour is continuously evolving, Sarah believes that researchers need to constantly adapt and be creative. She relishes working with clients who are able and willing to experiment. ‘As an independent, I can be agile,’ she says. ‘If a client wants to do something and it makes sense, we just do it. I can put together the best team for the client, not just a team of agency resources that happen to be available.’
As she has built her relationships with clients over the last couple of years, Sarah has found herself becoming a trusted partner, being brought in to short-turnaround, global projects.
She pulls in extra resource and expertise in a collaborative way when she needs it, including graduates, senior freelancers and quantitative partners. For this type of help, Sarah will turn to her own network and to ICG members.
The impact of one independent on a global organisation
Magenta is shortlisted for work which has changed the way one client, in particular, approaches and uses research. The following three examples provide an idea of the impact that was delivered across many different projects:
- Evaluation framework for collectible toys. As briefed, Magenta carried out a full evaluation of each toy. However, they took the brief further, providing an over-arching framework, which can be applied to all collectible toys, now and in the future. This framework is being communicated globally, reducing wastage and better targeting spend.
- Creative solutions to connect with participants and identify new opportunities. The client was pitching a new idea to a licensor and needed to evidence consumer need. The project involved understanding how children play. With no time or budget for a full ethnographic study, Magenta turned to technology so mums could send videos of children playing at home. Supported with a face-to-face play session, the research demonstrated not only an opportunity for the initial idea but also identified an additional idea which was immediately given the go-ahead.
- Powerful outputs that have opened new doors. The client gave Magenta an open brief to find out what’s important to supermarket shoppers. The research identified ways that supermarkets could encourage mums to shop with them, rather than with competitors. Armed with this insight, the client has been able to work with, or open conversations with, new end-clients and those they haven’t worked with for some time.
Overall, Magenta helped the client transition from a transactional supplier, to using insight and knowledge to be much more strategic - highlighting the impact that one independent can have on a global organisation.
A great team of independents
Since joining the ICG, Sarah says she has been ‘bowled over’ by the community aspect, the support and the willingness to share ideas and contacts.
‘I can’t quite believe how generous the community is,’ she says. ‘Having access to a conference call number makes me feel more professional. And, if I fell ill and needed a moderator at short notice, I’m confident I’d find someone. I feel I have a great team behind me.’
About The Independents’ Day Award
Magenta is one of four independent research consultancies shortlisted for the 2018 Independents’ Day Award. The Award, run jointly by the Independent Consultants Group (ICG) and the Market Research Society (MRS), is designed to recognise the contribution of researchers working as independents.
The winner will be announced at the annual MRS Awards dinner on Monday 3 December.
Magenta website: https://www.magentaresearch.co.uk/