In late 2016, GRBN made the ROI of Insights a key strategic priority. We believe that demonstrating the business impact of Insights is one of the most critical challenges and biggest opportunities our sector currently has, and see four reasons for this?

Firstly, according to research by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), measuring ROI is one of the CEOs top priorities for the Insights function.

Secondly, research by BCG, Yale and Cambiar in 2015 indicated that only one-in-five Insights functions are perceived as strategic partners within their organizations. Those that are, are much more likely to measure their ROI.

Thirdly, we have heard from too many client-side Insights leaders that their budgets are being cut whilst simultaneously there is increased demand for their services, which is leading them, and the by extension the industry supplying them, into a downward spiral of “more for less”.

Finally, as more and more companies implement customer-centric growth strategies, we believe that Insights has a fantastic opportunity to become the fuel that drives that growth. In order to realise that opportunity, Insights teams must switch the paradigm from “more for less” to “more for more” so that they can effectively enable the organization to truly become a customer-insights-driven-decision-making organization. Insights has to earn its seat at the table and grow its budget, and we believe that demonstrating the business value of Insights is critical to both.

The GRBN Invest in Insights Handbook – Encouraging and Enabling Insights Teams to Measure their ROI

In early 2017, GRBN team up with Boston Consulting Group to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on the ROI of Insights: To what extent it is being measured? What are the benefits of, and barriers to, measurement? What role do agencies have to play?

Building on the hours we spent talking to client-side Insights leaders about demonstrating the business impact of Insights. we have crafted the Invest in Insights Handbook. The handbook presents a framework which Insights leaders can use to start measuring, or improve their measurement of, their ROI. The Handbook contains easy to use templates, practical examples, and tips & tricks on how to implement a ROI measurement process.

We have created a website dedicated this issue,, from where you can access the Handbook, as well as other resources on this topic. As we move forward with the initiative, we will continue to add to the knowledge hub and welcome your contributions.

High Hopes, High Targets

We have set high short- and medium-term targets for the initiative:

  1. To have at least 200 insights teams use this Handbook in 2018 to create their own ROI of Insights Report for senior management in their company
  2. By 2020, to double the number of Insights teams, from 20 to 40%[1], which are perceived within their companies as strategic insights partners or a source of competitive advantage


It is quite possible that we will fail to reach these targets, but it won’t be for lack of effort on our part. We believe that if all parties with a stake in the future of the Insights sector pull together that we can make a significant difference.

[1] Source: BCG, Yale CCI, and Cambiar 2015 Consumer Insights Benchmarking Study