‹ Success Stories


Audience understanding, content and thought leadership research to derive key insights and build expertise.

The business challenge

Crayon is a leading and full-service consultancy specialised in digital transformation. Based in Norway, they employ 3,300 employees in nearly 40 countries.

Crayon wanted to raise awareness around cost-optimised technology and digital transformation, showcasing their expertise in that space so they could captivate their audience with relevant and exciting content.

Crayon initially commissioned Sapio Research in 2022 to build an understanding of how IT decision-makers across the world experience and prioritise IT cost optimisation. A year later (2023), they decided to once again investigate the opportunities and challenges faced by IT decision-makers regarding how they manage and optimise their IT estates through the entire lifecycle.

Based on the results from the previous year and in collaboration with Crayon, we decided to dive deeper into some of the trends that we observed.

Raising awareness, building authority and generating great coverage by producing insightful, expert content.

Our research solution and approach

Quantitative research followed by content creation

In February 2023, Sapio Research conducted a survey among 2,008 IT decision-makers and buyers/procurement leaders in organisations with 200+ employees across 18 countries, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UAE, UK, and USA.

To ensure results were comparable to a similar survey conducted in 2022, we took every step and precaution to guarantee a close match with the sample.

The survey was conducted online using email invitations and an online survey.

Aside from conducting the research and delivering the data & insights, Crayon commissioned Sapio Research to produce valuable thought-leadership content.

The content was tailored to Crayon’s objectives and the research, helping them to engage their audience and position themselves as experts and leaders in their field.


The research

Crayon successfully raised awareness around IT cost optimisation, sharing their expertise on this topic and positioning themselves as a leader in their field:

  • Highlighting how important having an IT cost optimisation strategy is for organisations across the globe
  • Showcasing their expert understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations that adopt a cost optimisation mindset
  • Demonstrating how their audience can extract greater value from their ever-changing IT estates

Read more in the full report here.

Content creation

In addition the data and insights, Sapio Research provided the content for five blog posts. Some highlighting findings from 2023, some from 2022 and some comparing them. Here are some examples:

By producing key insights and writing expert, targeted blogs, Sapio Research enabled Crayon to:

  • connect with their target audience by providing valuable information about the challenges they face and trends and areas they can focus on
  • showcase their knowledge and position themselves as experts in their space
  • convince and convert, leading potential customers to consider them as their chosen service provider to support them in their journey towards IT cost optimisation

The insights generated by our research also provided endless possibilities and opportunities for content marketing, enabling Crayon to reuse and multipurpose the blogs that we initially created.

The research in detail – topics and key findings

The state of IT cost optimisation – Insights from IT decision-makers

Following the initial research conducted in 2022, additional markets and topics were explored. This included how organisations adapted and filled the gaps, and where the greatest support around cost optimisation can be provided.

Through the research, Crayon wanted to understand, analyse and evaluate the following trends and behaviours:

  • The need and pressure to reduce or optimise IT costs, and how the economic downturn has so far affected IT spending
  • The different methods used to optimise IT costs, specifically around cloud management practices (FinOps and Software Asset Management)
  • The challenges companies or individuals are facing, as well as potential pain points and blockers
  • The areas where organisations require support with the above, including attitudes to potential solutions
  • The extent to which organisations seek external support when it comes to optimising their IT estates, and what type of support they need

The survey clearly emphasised a need for cost optimisation due to a lack of understanding of organisations’ IT spending and IT decision makers believing there is room for improvement in managing their IT estate.

Despite this, organisations are striving to adopt a cost optimisation mindset, and the majority have already implemented a framework or clear guidelines to measure the success of cost management initiatives. They are engaging external consultants to help with cost optimisation and are starting to introduce FinOps and SAM practices to help improve capabilities and practices.

However, challenges persist in areas such as license management and cloud spend optimisation, creating opportunities for organisations to seek external support and expertise in these areas. By leveraging these insights, organisations can refine their cost optimisation strategies, drive efficiency, and maximise the value derived from their IT investments.

A rise of the cost optimisation mindset

There is an evident shift in focus towards finding efficient and cost-effective solutions in IT operations, highlighting the increased importance organisations place on managing and reducing their expenses in this area.

A staggering 91% of C-suite executives (IT decision makers) identified the optimisation of their cost structure as a high priority, and 87% of organisations have already adopted a cost optimisation mindset.

Approximately 62% of organisations have implemented a FinOps practice, which involves the integration of financial and operational aspects to optimise IT spending. Furthermore, 11% are already in the ‘run phase’ (continuously improving their FinOps capabilities and practices) and over three quarters in total (77%) have already implemented a Software Asset Management practice.

54% of all businesses report that they are now looking into IT spending more carefully and through a business value perspective.

A positive economic outlook for IT investments

Nearly half (48%) of the surveyed IT decision-makers expect the economic climate to have a positive effect on IT investments in the short term. This sentiment increases to 54% when considering the long term, specifically in 2024 and beyond. These findings indicate a growing confidence in the value and potential return on IT investments.

Opportunities and challenges for organisations across the world

The survey highlighted a clear need for organisations to be more in control over their unused software licences. Only 39% of organisations reported having 100% visibility and control over those, which highlights a significant area of opportunity for optimizing IT costs through better license management and utilisation.

As a result, the research highlighted a strong demand for external expertise and guidance when it comes to optimising and managing cloud-related expenses effectively. Among the various areas of cost optimisation, the sharing of knowledge on cloud spend optimisation emerged as the most popular area where organisations sought external consultants’ assistance, with 40% of respondents indicating working with a consultant to help them through the process.

If you’re keen to take a deep dive into your sector and produce eye-grabbing reports and content, then check out our Content Research page, or read more the benefits of conducting tech market research. 👀

‹ Success Stories


Audience understanding and branding research to improve customer perceptions

The brief

Equans is a global market leader in the sector with 74,000 employees leveraging 200 years of expertise. 

In the UK & Ireland, Equans is a provider of technical, FM, regeneration and energy services – with specialist capabilities in smart buildings, green mobility, district & embedded energy and decentralised renewables.

Equans’ 13,500 UK & Ireland employees combine these activities to help businesses, public sector organisations and government to embrace the energy transition towards net zero, and also the digital & industrial transitions that are redesigning the way we move, work and live.

The business had recently had a period of change – from a branding and ownership perspective.

In light of those changes, Equans was looking to better understand its strengths and weaknesses regarding:

  • service delivery & administration
  • brand perception, incl. identifying opportunities and evaluating the ‘value’ of the brand

Our research solution

In order to understand Equans audience and brand perceptions, Sapio conducted 20 online in-depth interviews with current Equans customers.

Contacts were provided by Equans and included customers across the UK from a variety of different sectors – including healthcare, mobile services, Central Government, and more.

Interviews lasted approximately 45 minutes and were conducted with individuals who held Management or Director level positions in a Facilities / Estates / Technical Services role.

Research outcomes and impact

Sapio undertook the design and execution of the work as well as the analysis of the data collected, presenting it back to Equans’ Executive Board.

The research helped to identify how customers perceived Equans, its key strengths and weaknesses, and also key opportunities for the business to explore.

Based on customers’ experiences, opinions and perceptions, we were able to help Equans identify key areas to achieve stand out among competitors and to help them improve customer experience.

As a result of the research, Equans has launched a company-wide project led by their Executive leadership team.

Using the key areas for improvement highlighted by the Sapio project, a number of work streams have been setup that will allow the business to track progress and make key improvements on the areas raised.

Richard Morgan, Head of Customer Experience at Equans UK & Ireland, commented:

The work Sapio carried out has given us clearer visibility on our customers views and perceptions. It has enabled our organisation to have an increased focus on the areas that really matter to our customers and to also celebrate the positive feedback that we received as part of the process.”

‹ Success Stories

Praxis Medicare

Understanding market opportunity for an AI-driven digital healthcare technology solution.

The brief

The start-up Praxis Medicare was looking to understand the market opportunity for a digital healthcare technology solution. Designed to help organisations (particularly SMEs), the system, which is based on historical healthcare data, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), plus employees’ responses to help minimise absenteeism, improve engagement, increase staff retention levels and attract high calibre members of staff.

The advanced digital health risk analytics programme was awarded a grant by Innovate UK to test its commercial feasibility as it fitted into the Government brief of:

  • improving patient outcomes
  • offering new approaches to healthcare that transform its delivery
  • reducing the demand on the health system

This feasibility project specifically set-out to understand the required tonality of an AI proposition and its resonance if the output was Productivity/Econometrics based or Employee Engagement/Retention focused.

Understanding the market opportunity for a digital healthcare technology solution

A series of exploratory in-depth face-to-face interviews and a quantitative research phase

What we did

A series of exploratory in-depth face-to-face interviews, using professionally developed customer journey stimulus and story boards, were completed to explain the concept and help to understand the potential issues and perceived benefits. This was then complemented by a quantitative research phase to validate the findings and help develop a go-to-market strategy. Particular insight was provided around dashboard UX/tonality, price point analysis and the characteristics that prospects needed to exhibit. All of the interviews were completed with business managers in high churn industries with specific responsibly for HR and talent acquisition.

The outcome

The project gave Praxis the evidence it needed to meet the review criteria of Innovate UK, the insight required to develop the system further and a route map to take the solution to market.

‹ Success Stories


Power Buy the Hour - Using audience understanding to get true impact and innovation.

The brief

Jungheinrich, the leading intralogistics solution provider in Europe wanted to understand the market opportunity for an initiative, using the UK as a test bed. It was an entirely new truck acquisition and charging model based on the use of Telematics data; a technology which has the possibility of redefining the short term rental market for Fork Lift Trucks. Project requirements were two fold, not only generating strategic insights, but also forming part of a thought leadership campaign.

Understanding market opportunity

300 interviews with managers and directors responsible for Fork Lift truck fleets

What we did

Working with Jungheinrich to map out and define the challenges, using the principles of design thinking, Sapio designed the project. Sapio completed 300 interviews with managers and directors responsible for Fork Lift truck fleets. The research, which looked at three key principles of innovation: Desirability, Viability and Feasibility, highlighted the issues that would both encourage and inhibit adoption.

The outcome

The research showed how the complex proposition could be broken down, developed and marketed around three key pillars:

  1. Emotional Innovation
  2. Functional Innovation
  3. Process Innovation

It provided a route map that helped Jungheinrich evaluate the opportunity. The report included price point analysis, recommendations on the proposition structure and tactics on taking the product to market. Within the first six months, a new app was created and launch targets smashed. The pilot launch quickly identified internal training requirements, led to business restructuring and redefining of the brand promise. The new proposition was adopted throughout Europe within nine months. An amazingly agile response from a global giant.

Discovery of 3 marketing pillars

Coverage success

The new proposition was received well by market influencers with many pieces of coverage such as in Logistics Manager. The supporting PR campaign was one of the client’s most successful, even before it pitched its Thought Leadership paper.

The insight findings were presented at the Market Research Society (MRS) conference “Driving Transformation Through Insight”. The presentation summarising key findings is available as a download. A White Paper on the research and proposition is available as a PDF report with the findings published by Research Live.

‹ Success Stories

Maths – No Problem!

Enabling a disruptor in Education Publishing.

The brief

Maths – No Problem!, a family owned publisher offering a teaching maths for mastery programme consisting of a print, digital and CPD offering, is on the brink of becoming one of the biggest disruptors in its space.

As the only provider to be approved for the Government’s Maths Mastery programme (a £41 million Government investment, match funding mastery textbooks for 8,000 Primary Schools), Maths – No Problem! wanted to fully harness this opportunity, whilst maintaining the integrity of its programme. Maths – No Problem! wanted to understand the competitive landscape, what drives schools to choose its programme, what’s working well and understand areas for potential improvement. Although the feedback needed to be from users, it couldn’t be a conventional customer survey as the users are not yet experts in the new maths system; their opinions needed to viewed from a different perspective as Maths – No Problem! drives programmes that will impact the leaders of tomorrow.

Understanding the competitive landscape, what drives schools to choose its programme, what’s working well and understand areas for potential improvement

Twelve tele-depth interviews


A phased, mixed methodology was designed which complemented the customer immersion work already being undertaken by the organisation. Twelve tele-depth interviews were conducted with maths leads in new and old accounts that covered a range of primary school demographics. While many findings were expected a number threw a curved ball into the understanding of the competitive landscape. The programme progressed to the quantification stage as planned, but upon reflection of the insights its focus was quite different. There followed 147 online interviews were subsequently conducted online.

The outcome

Not only did the programme produce a raft of insights relevant to product development needs, but insights around platform UX, marketing campaigns and customer service were also identified. The results solidified current thinking and took it way beyond the project’s initial objectives; the qualitative stage alone being credited as being more helpful in terms of strategy development than the outputs of a conventional consultant commissioned a little earlier.

Although the use of the insights is in its early stages, Maths No Problem! is already well on the way to smashing renewal and new business targets, and its Net Promotor Score is outstanding. It’s also won the IPG Independent Publishing Award for Education Publisher of the year 2017 and the disquiet among competitors suggests that it’s a disruptor to be reckoned with.

The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series is now the only recommended textbook for schools on the mastery programme.

The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series is now the only recommended textbook for schools on the mastery programme

‹ Success Stories

Charles Russell Speechlys

Policy recommendations based on insights from the Social Care Sector to reinforce the firm's positive reputation.

The brief

Reinforce the law firm, Charles Russell Speechlys’ positive reputation and offer Partners a platform from which to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. Insights also needed to inform a division’s business and relationship development strategy, and lead to content that could be shared publicly. Given the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote the adult social care sector was one such sector where the impact of leaving the EU needed to be understood and expertise shared.

Reinforce the firm’s positive reputation

19 in-depth interviews

What we did

Sapio Research devised a programme of 19 in-depth interviews via phone with care home directors and owners, covering more than 1,300 elderly, domiciliary and specialist care homes, within excess of 39,000 beds. The work identified the proportion of non-UK nationals working in the sector and estimated the impact on future recruitment and retention. We identified best practice in this area and elements within the landscape that were likely to exasperate things, even identifying specific calls to action.

The outcome

Our client was able to confidently enter into the immigration debate recommending that the Government put carers on the skills shortage list, open up Tier 2 to ‘non skilled care workers’ and that simplifying the process was essential to maintaining a good quality care standard with availability. The point of view (which was published in a white paper) led to invitations to present at vertically targeted conferences and interviews on The Today programme Radio 4. The outputs were even referenced in House of Common debates and client relationships were strengthened.

Confidently enter into the immigration debate with policy recommendations

‹ Success Stories

Kimberly-Clark Professional

Validating user preference to support new product launch.

The brief

Kimberly-Clark Professional partners with businesses to create “Exceptional Workplaces”, helping make them healthier, safer and more productive. It manufactures and supplies out of home washroom, industrial wiping and PPE products, and introduces innovations into the market regularly. Although its own work identifies strengths K-CP recognises the power of having independent, objective proof that its products are better than the competition. To support product launches it’s essential that it has robust claims that can withstand legal scrutiny if necessary and be useable in a range of marketing content. Overcome the fact that customers and distributors have been used to using, buying and selling folded towels, and didn’t “think rolled”.

To support product launches with robust claim

Taking desired marketing claims, converting them into consumer research statements, and running them through an analysis framework

What we did

A large scale utility, performance and user preference testing project was designed. This took 200 office and healthcare workers through the process of simulating activities, testing and evaluating 10 separate products covering client and competitor samples, in a hall test environment.

Sapio have developed a pro forma that efficiently takes the desired marketing claims, converts them into consumer research statements, and runs them through an analysis framework. The project planning stage is also streamline and standardised.

As part of the approach Sapio has also devised a way of efficiently setting up and managing the tests with supervisors and interviewers who are trained and familiar with the type of simulations, rotation schemes, respondents and subject area. The approach allows us to deliver the results smoothly within 5 weeks of briefing.

The outcome

The results supported the successful launch of the product at the Cleaning Show 2017 and has since received coverage in highly targeted vertical press such as Cleaning & Maintenance Magazine. They have also formed the basis of proof for sales support collateral including YouTube videos and flyers.

It was the first Category Story, engaging internal and channel stakeholders alike. Kleenex® and Scott® Rolled Hand Towel was their fastest and most effective launch ever, in over 20 countries in 12 languages in just 2 months. The marketing campaign was shortlisted for a B2B marketing award.

Successful launch of the product

‹ Success Stories


Demonstrating DocuSign's thought leadership and ability to aid global Digital Transformation by helping them understand what consumers expect.

The brief

To demonstrate DocuSign’s thought leadership and ability to aid global Digital Transformation, by helping them understand what consumers expected from organisations and the challenges they faced. The study needed to understand whether there was a gap between expectations and execution, how these differed by region and where priorities lay.

Demonstrate DocuSign’s thought leadership

Understanding the state of the market and evaluate the issues that were being uncovered by the research

What we did

Initially a UK only study was conducted to test the campaign approach, understand the state of the market and evaluate the issues that were being uncovered by the research. These were then reflected in a global study of over 10,000 consumers and 2,000 Business Decision Makers in: Legal, HR, Sales, Finance and IT Departments across 10 countries. A common set of questions for all the markets was used along with country specific questions for added local insight.

The outcome

Results from the study were developed into a White Paper by Made By Chameleon, presented through Webinar’s and discussed at a round table event with senior executives from key accounts and featured across different media channels such as The Raconteur.

A White Paper discussed at a round table event with senior executives

Sapio Research has been a wonderful partner to work with. They listened closely to our business goals and objectives and created a research design that best fit our needs.

Jamie Bothwell
Director of Marketing (Northern Europe)

When insights are required to drive engaging content that delivers actual business outcomes, Sapio Research have been invaluable.

Tom Buttle
President & Managing Director
MWW London
‹ Success Stories


Initiating a conversation to understand what was causing gender imbalance in the Fit Out sector.

The brief

BW was aware of the gender “in balance” that existed in the Fit Out sector and wanted to initiate a conversation by understanding what was causing it, what could be done to help improve the situation and how more women could be attracted into the Industry. The initiative needed to be positive, focused on the importance of “balance” and be something that key employers in the industry could align with.

Initiate a conversation by understanding what was causing gender imbalance

A series of workshops with women of different ages and seniority from the range of disciplines

What we did

A series of workshops with women of different ages and seniority from the range of disciplines that make up the Fit Out Industry: Architects, Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Office Designers, Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) consultants etc. The workshops, which were run under “Chatham House”, rules set out to: understand the issues, identify potential sources of prejudice and identify ways in which the industry could be promoted in a more positive light. While convectional facilitation processes were used these were complemented by projective techniques to help make the outputs as creative as possible.

The outcome

A different perspective on the causes of the gender “in balance” challenges facing the industry and a series of actions that could be taken to help improve the situation. Combined with the momentum and goodwill engendered by the workshops BW was in an excellent position to lead a campaign and help bring about change in the Fit Out Industry.

A different perspective

‹ Success Stories


Generating insight that to help position OpenText as thought leaders on Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 in the Manufacturing sectors in the UK and Nordics.

The brief

To generate insight that would help position OpenText as thought leaders on Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 in the Manufacturing sectors in the UK and Nordics. The research needed to be insightful, build on what was already published, be interesting enough to present as part of OpenText’s Innovation Tour in London and Stockholm and provide collateral for a White Paper.

Generate insight that would help position OpenText as thought leaders

Extensive secondary research to identify topics

What we did

Extensive secondary research to identify topics and issues that had already been covered – and were trending – and then, in conjunction with OpenText, developed themes that would benefit from further original research. The original research needed to build on what was known, be of interest and help OpenText establish a Point of View.

The outcome

A telephone research study of 150 “C” suite decision makers that identified the drivers and challenges manufacturers were experiencing on their Digital Transformation journeys. While technology was a challenge it wasn’t necessarily the one people expected and the study also identified a whole new set of people orientated challenges that hadn’t necessarily been anticipated – the new skills shortage. The results were presented as part of OpenText’s Global Innovation tour, developed into a Thought Leadership piece and summarised in an Infographic.

Identified undiscovered challenges

We were very pleased to discover their approach to developing and building out our brief and delivering additional assets to the project.

Tom Leeson
Industry & Value Marketing Strategist

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