Why it matters

Booking.com’s decision to bring insight in-house while maintaining a consultancy-style relationship to the business it serves suggests a model of category-specific knowledge and quick turnarounds with a higher-level business focus in an increasingly insight-led (rather than just data-led) company.

Takeaways

  • Large dotcom companies often have a lot of website data, which is useful, but does not replace rich insights uncovered by professional researchers.
  • Internal experts, in both the category and research techniques, speed up the rate at which stakeholders can make decisions, not just gather research.
  • Find the right formula for attracting and keeping the right people: competition for talent is with agencies and tech firms rather than category competitors.

Often, start-ups are used to having all of their capabilities in-house – it’s part of what makes them fast. Dutch travel search company Booking.com, headquartered in Amsterdam, grew its in-house market research team from scratch beginning in 2015.