The BCG / GRBN ROI of Insights study explored the role agencies can play to support end clients with measuring their ROI. The research indicates that there is both an opportunity and a threat to agencies with respect to ROI measurement. The key findings from the research are:
  1. Companies who measure ROI or have mature CI functions are more satisfied with agency insights quality
  2. As a result, the same groups are highly satisfied with the return on investment in these external research agencies
  3. Agencies tend to be involved in measurement with stage 4 companies, leading to higher trust
  4. Agencies can begin to build trust in the transition activities after a project
  5. Agencies risk being pigeon-holed as technical specialists without moving into trusted advisory roles
  6. Majority of companies have a desire for agencies to guide the measurement process
  7. To the benefit of agencies and partners, companies in stage 4 prefer to be bigger customers to their agencies
  Agencies need to be proactive when it comes to ROI measurement The results suggest that agencies should work hard to become trusted advisors to their clients, which involves proactively discussing, and feeding, into a ROI measurement process, which is focused on business impact and not Insights function resourcing. One key way in which agencies can assist clients with ROI measurement is through the collection and use of benchmark data. Also, agencies need to ensure they are asking for briefs, speaking to business partners and tying their own work back to the business objectives. Agencies should work proactively with their clients to identify how the client may start to measure the agency’s work on a project, business decision-making area and overall relationship level. Finally, agencies can advise clients on how to communicate about the business impact of their work to Executive Leadership Teams, CEOs and Boards. If agencies fail to convince their clients to measure the ROI of Insights on the basis of business impact, their is a risk that clients will do so on the basis of cost savings and take the work in-house. You can access the ROI of Insights Report as well as the Invest in Insights Handbook from