When we talk about the research world, partnerships are important, but great partnerships are invaluable. To maximise the impact of research and get better results, many small agencies join forces to broaden their services and offer their clients more solutions. For boobook, it has always been a modus operandi, both in terms of receiving as well as offering services. Finding the right partners to fill in the gaps where needed proves to be a great, long-term strategy that helps deliver many extensive projects on both ends.
One of the agencies we regularly work with is Creative Medical Research, an innovative medical device market research company with over 20 years of experience. The CMR team delivers research for their clients through the entire medical device lifecycle from product development, price strategy to helping with conveying the right messaging. On top of research, CMR also covers all aspects of the research participant recruitment processes.
We reached out to George Ashford, CEO at CMR, to discuss his company and the collaboration with boobook. Considering their focus is solely on medical devices, they understand what works and what can work for services, accessories and marketing necessary to launch a new device to the market.
“Generally, medical device manufacturers that we work with come to us at specific points in the product life cycle. They might want to know the unmet needs in a particular therapy area. It could be a prototype, or it might be a device that’s been in the market for a long time, and a new competitor has launched a similar solution. We also do pricing research which is where we work with boobook. They help us define the optimal price of the product,” explains George.
Currently, his team consists of 20 people with various skills and different backgrounds. “Some team members come from a medical research background, but most of us came from more generic consumer research or similar marketing areas. We make a great team with complementary skills and knowledge,” says George.
CMR and boobook have been partners since 2014. The value of this partnership is vast because we reinforce each other and grow together. As experts in different fields, by combining our skills and knowledge, we can offer better services. George is well aware of the benefits that come with collaborating with other great companies.
“Partnerships are crucial, firstly because we can’t do everything by ourselves. Secondly, there is a great amount of freedom to choose to work with other experts and agencies. This rarely happens in a large company, where you are obliged to work exclusively with departments within your company. With small companies, you’re free to choose who you work with based on cultural fit, technical capabilities, experience level, etc.,” describes George.
When George and Nicole (CEO of boobook) connected, they instantly clicked because they understood how their skills and expertise complement each other. “At CMR, we understand quantitative research, but we don’t do what we’d regard as complex data science. Considering boobook is focused on quantitative analysis and can deliver in-depth insights that go beyond data analytics, it was a perfect match,” confirms George.
Thanks to the unique mix of skills and considerable experience in the field, boobook supports the CMR team by helping them to analyse research data correctly and translate analysis output into insights.
“This is crucial and very helpful for the next steps in the project. They extract the most important insights and help us understand the data thoroughly, which allows us to give our clients in-depth insights,” explains George.
One of the critical elements in partnership research is shared responsibility and reliance throughout collaboration. CMR can rely on boobook’s guidance from the very start of a new project. “When we get requests from our clients where we know there’s something to work together with boobook, we consult them to see their ideas on the topic. They advise us on the right approach or tell us to adjust the strategy. For example, they can help us out with fieldwork materials and the questionnaire, ensuring that we’ve got everything optimised,” says George.
Even though the collaboration goes through many project phases, boobook’s ability to deep dive into data and extract the key takeaways makes a difference for CMR.
As George points out: “The boobook team does their magic with the data analysis. We can always rely on boobook to help us understand the analytics and resulting insights and guide us through the reporting period. They really focus on the important takeaways.”
In agile teams, the collaboration goes smoother, communication is more efficient, and the project moves faster. For George, it’s essential to rely on partners with a similar style of working. “At CMR, being agile and flexible are our strong points, so naturally, we search for partners with similar workstyle. Sometimes a small team has some drawbacks in ensuring that there are sufficient resources, but boobook always finds a way to be available when we need their help, just as we do for our clients” explains George.
All good partnerships expand beyond “just” the working relationship. The foundation of successful collaboration is trust and respect, which is deeply embedded in CMR and boobook values. Having confidence in each other opens up space for referrals and recommendations, which helps to expand our networks and build new partnerships.
“A partnership has to work on all levels, not just a professional one. With boobook, we trust each other and cultivate open communication, which is the best foundation for a good, long-term and friendly collaboration. A good partnership makes everything easier,” concludes George.