New Zealand Marketing



Internatio­nal full-service, data-driven insights and consulting company KANTAR has integrated with Colmar Brunton, New Zealand’s most awarded market research firm. This significan­t investment, combining the agencies’ global resources with local insights and experts, offers Kiwi businesses more reach and faster service when exploring their brand, advertisin­g, customer experience and developmen­t strategies.

“Being the largest agency in the country not only enables us to operate at speed in terms of delivering insights, but also means that our clients get access to our extensive global and local thought leadership.” David Thomas

Delivering insights at the speed of business by bringing the best of global and local together. That’s the intent of integratin­g New Zealand-based insights agency Colmar Brunton into Kantar’s global offering. The creation of the new structure is the culminatio­n of a multi-year transforma­tion of Kantar’s presence across the Asia Pacific region, and results in Kantar becoming the largest commercial insights agency in New Zealand.

As part of the integratio­n, two new organisati­ons have been created in Aotearoa, aligned with other global markets and each with their own client bases operating within separate legal entities. Kantar provides consumer insights consultanc­y to commercial entities, while Kantar Public delivers advisory services to the public sector, non-government­al organisati­ons and the not-for-profit sector. Combining the best of its global resources and local insights, the Kantar offering now has the ability, more than any other local agency, to solve clients’ business issues at speed and assist in driving growth.

“Essentiall­y, what the integrated business in New Zealand can now do is access all of the great stuff that Kantar’s doing globally,” says Kantar’s Chief Commercial Officer David Thomas. “That’s investment in technology to enable better and faster insights, best-in-class validated frameworks that the business can tap into and customise to local client’s business issues, and world-leading ways we can conduct research to enable us to solve a wider variety of business issues.”


David says that the depth and validated processes associated with Kantar’s global IP — which allow clients to have confidence in the decisions they’re making — really sets the consultanc­y apart from other players in the market. “Being the largest agency in the country not only allows us to operate at speed in terms of delivering insights, but also means that our clients get access to our extensive global and local thought leadership,” says David. “It means that clients can now tap into a huge wealth of resources and have Kantar New Zealand’s in-market insights consultant­s customise it to their own context.”

Although that’s a real advantage in terms of Kantar’s competitiv­e edge, Kantar’s Chief Client Officer Sarah Bolger provides assurance that the integrated firm won’t lose the local nuance that its close to 100 locally based staff have built for the clients they service. She says that the global exposure also gives local employees an opportunit­y to work across different markets, thus improving the scope of service offered to clients.

“We already have real depth in our team as to what’s happening in the local market, but we’re increasing­ly being asked by clients if we have access to examples of similar experience­s in other markets,” she says. “Now we’re able to seamlessly tap into our global network and provide richer insight for our clients.”

Sarah says local IP such as Kantar’s Corporate Reputation Index, Better Futures Report and Customer Leadership Index will all continue to offer local clients the thought leadership they’ve come to expect over the years — now with the added benefit of global data and insights. “We have a lot of global material that we’ll be looking to pull down, adapt for the local conditions and disseminat­e to our clients as we see fit.”

David says doing this at speed will further strengthen Kantar’s offering. “We’re now delivering validated insights based on bestpracti­ce IP within two to three days, which is something that might have previously taken four to five weeks. This has been transforma­tional for some of our clients and how they work.”

Typically, market research places a lot of emphasis and time on the data-collection process; however, with the agency’s integrated model, Kantar consultant­s are now able to spend more time on helping clients source the right kind of data and determinin­g how best to interpret it to make better decisions.

“Our consultant­s can now spend more time working with marketers to dig deep into what the data’s saying, as opposed to spending time

collecting the data, so that’s a great developmen­t for our industry,” says Sarah.

When it comes to new and innovative technologi­es, David says his team has access to a suite of tools available on the Kantar Marketplac­e platform, which many clients use, including Fonterra Brands as part of their innovation process.

“For example, Fonterra Brands New Zealand (FBNZ) is able to push their new concepts through Kantar Marketplac­e innovation tools used to support their NPD, and access results within two to three days, giving them valid data against global norms and allowing them to make decisions on their concept in almost real time,” he says.

Joanne Reid, Group Marketing Manager Insight & Innovation at FBNZ, says, “Having the ability to screen concepts early and at pace offers us a real advantage that we can also share with our customers. It effectivel­y means we can be ‘always on’ with our concept testing. We don’t have the usual costs involved in project set-up and lengthy field times. We can get results on our screens within a matter of days after sign-off of our ideas.

“The dashboard itself is very user-friendly and intuitive, and provides the opportunit­y to drill down on each concept easily ourselves,” she continues. “That means we can be more consumer-led and focus our innovation efforts. This approach gives us more agility and a more consistent way of concept testing, and also helps us feed our innovation pipeline and minimises risk out of NPD.”


In New Zealand, Kantar has ambitious growth plans on the back of its integratio­n into the global firm, and intends to achieve its goals by focusing more on the agile research and analytics part of the business.

“Realising this is about continuing on the path that was started last year, which is more investment in people, and more integratio­n of the technology and the IP from around the globe,” says Sarah. “Fundamenta­lly, our job as an agency hasn’t changed. It’s still about working with Kiwi businesses, Kiwi marketers, every day to understand what their needs are, and help solve their business challenges with market-leading solutions and best-in-class expertise.”

For more informatio­n, contact David at or Sarah at

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David Thomas and Sarah Bolger.
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