Tenthwave is a four-year-old, full-service digital marketing agency specializing in digital, social and mobile brand experiences. Based in New York, it employs around 100 people and is focused on the CPG, insurance and financial services industries. Mintel ReportsMintel Trends This is our second year with Mintel. I traded our previous research provider for Mintel because of the way Mintel could help me do business on a day-to-day basis. I expected a lot and I got a lot. We use Mintel with the majority of our clients and in 30-plus new business pitches in 2014. We use it mostly in my department but we also use it in the strategy department. Plus we’re now seeing some use in the creative team also, which is really neat. Multiple logins are a big help in enabling the whole organization to embrace it. I wish all companies were set up that way. Competitioninsightvalue As a business, I think we are looking at one of the most competitive environments I have ever seen. There are other agencies trying to get our lunch; we are now competing with consultancies who have either bought agencies or made their own; and companies are tight on budgets. Internally, my main departmental challenge is about showing the value of our work and following it through from strategy to the creative brief to the final outcome, so that it doesn’t get lost that the whole campaign started from an original insight we found. Ben ZeidlerDirector, Research and Analytics I head up the customer analytics department, which has expanded from a pure research function to include customer analytics also. We don’t touch anything that isn’t digital and we’re in that mid-size sweet sport, so we’re very nimble. We’re now getting more work in retail and travel, but the chops are in CPG and insurance, which is great from a Mintel perspective. Knowledgestrategyspeed I need a micro view of many categories on a daily basis, and Mintel gives me that. There are research services that help you get smart about the big topics but that isn’t going to help you in a pitch. Then there are others that don’t necessarily get you smart but save you time. Finally there’s a third category that gets you smart about the major players and what the market is doing, and I have only really seen it from Mintel – I couldn’t hire someone for that amount of money to do all this. We were once working with a client trying to create rich media persuading people to switch insurance, so we picked up a Mintel report that was actually titled Insurance Purchasing Decisions, and which looked at not only why people purchase insurance but also why they switch. It was like a piece of heaven fell from the sky for us. It was job done! It had everything we needed, but I feel those things happening all the time. Coveragecontextservice The research process for me is an inverted pyramid. I start really broad – what are the big behaviors and where is this expected to go in the next five years. Then the middle tier is where I go to Mintel to find out how those bigger trends will impact the category I’m looking at. And finally, at the tip is our listening partner’s custom product that can look at anything I want, so if I’m working in the snack category I can see when people want a snack and the language they use. Together, that all gives me a view of the devices and behaviors that are most relevant, what the category looks like and what the major players are doing, and then what the customer’s specific needs are. You can’t just jump from the base of that pyramid to the tip – you need the backbone in between and that’s what Mintel offers. The other big differentiator that’s often overlooked is the strength of Mintel’s account services. A lot of times, business development will sell you a product and then you never see them again, but with Mintel we have a relationship. I have had one account manager the entire time – we regularly get a drink together, I follow them on Instagram. I can’t tell you the value of having a team that knows me, knows what I need, knows when to send me stuff. It was a huge factor in deciding to renew. Sometimes I forget they don’t actually work for us!