‹ 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

Tangle Teezer

Award-Winning PR | Hair-raising research tackles underrepresentation and wins hearts.

The brief

Tangle Teezer wanted to create an authentic emotional connection with the natural hair community. They hired Don’t Cry Wolf to create an activism campaign to celebrate Black and afro hair, engage the natural hair community, and improve representation.

Knowing that the right tone and angle would be crucial to the campaign, Don’t Cry Wolf commissioned Sapio Research to:

  • Understand perceptions of beauty and representation through media and literature.
  • Create content to support the launch of Tangle Teezer’s HairyTales.
  • Inform the creation of a new line of brushes for kids with Black heritage hairstyles.

Create an authentic emotional connection with the natural hair community

1,800 online interviews with self-identified Black parents and children (aged 6-17) across the UK and US

What we did

To reach the heart of the target audience, we conducted 1,800 online interviews with self-identified Black parents and children (aged 6-17) across the UK and US.

We used a series of images to gather perceptions of beauty from children of Black ethnicities aged 6-17 and their parents.

A considered analysis provided thought-provoking data and headline statistics to enable Tangle Teezer to start relevant conversations with their desired audience.

Key findings

The research revealed that more than half of Black parents in the US (51%) and the UK (59%) said Black characters in books usually play on stereotypes and negatively depict Black culture.

We also learned that the target audience comprises avid readers, with books and literature being their 5th most popular topic of conversation. But only 12% of children’s books in the US and 2% in the UK feature Black characters.

The outcome

Research insights inspired Don’t Cry Wolf to help children see more heroes who look like them through bedtime stories. The solution would engage the whole family and tackle the genuine problem of underrepresentation.

Enter HairyTales, a series of books that re-write classic fairy tales—placing Black protagonists and afro-textured hair centre stage.

Our research also enabled Tangle Teezer to launch a new hairbrush line alongside the PR campaign.

Best Selling, Multiple-Award-Winning Results

The campaign was a rip-roaring success!

  • 300 press and influencer coverage pieces, including three one-minute segments on ABC’s Good Morning America and BBC News.
  • Over 60,000 site visits to the publisher’s site following the TV segments.
  • A subsequent distribution deal with one of USA’s top department stores.
  • One of the books was adapted into an animated video with over 250,000 views on YouTube.
  • Don’t Cry Wolf report a 10 x bigger return on investment compared to other Tangle Teezer YouTube content.

“Over half a million people in our target audience took action by buying books, watching the film or engaging directly with it on social media.”

Don’t Cry Wolf

The campaign received numerous accolades:

The Drum Awards for Social Purpose

Campaign of the Year
(for profit)

Best PR Campaign

Chair Award


Best in Representation of Diversity & Inclusivity in a Campaign

Brand Film Awards

Consumer Goods

PRCA National Awards

Purpose Award

‹ Success Stories

Foxtrot Papa

Audience understanding to improve content impact.

The brief

Foxtrot Papa, an automotive content and experience agency wanted to raise their visibility among Comms Directors and Brand Directors in the Automotive sector. Foxtrot Papa needed to create their own thought leadership that demonstrated their understanding in their target market’s customer base and collect insights that would enable them to offer better counsel. So, Foxtrot Papa set out to potentially explore a number of topical issues but didn’t have direct access to their clients’ customer base.

Creating their own thought leadership that demonstrated their understanding in their target market’s customer base

Workshops and interviews with insights used as a basis for a launch event

What we did

After leading a number of workshops we focused on a topic that was both future facing and would generate information to overcome sales objections. We got around the lack of direct access to their clients’ customer base by selecting a topic that was relevant to the whole of the UK adult population, and using our specially selected panel partners. Once we had an agreed questionnaire, we completed over 1,000 interviews with UK consumers in less than a week. Outputs were reported in several stages, initially via Excel data tables with an annotated presentation highlighting significant differences and story lines, followed by additional data cuts. Sapio Research met again with Foxtrot Papa to run through the results and brainstorm on the storyline for the report, written by us, which Foxtrot Papa typeset and used as a basis for a launch event with supporting social content.

The outcome

The event drew a packed house for a panel discussion formed off the back of the insights. The event was a lever to invite both current and potential clients not only to attend but participate in the panel too. The Electric is Now report received coverage in both the automotive and marketing press. It also resulted in a direct lead at the event itself.

A packed house for a panel discussion

‹ Success Stories


Discovering engaging headlines that convince parents about the benefits of using the novel toy-sharing service.

The brief

Whirli is a unique and new to the market toy subscription service. Consumers pay monthly for different sized ‘toy boxes’; they choose their toys and their children play with them at leisure. When toys are got bored of, grown out of or forgotten, they are sent back for a new set and so on, helping to reduce costs and waste. At the end of 2018 they started a trial service run with customers who had registered their interest with the service. At this same time Whirli were looking to run some research with parents of children aged 0-7 in order to generate some headline stats which could be used to showcase the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling toys. Whirli were also hoping to understanding a bit more about how their target audience buy, manage, play and dispose of toys. The brief included full questionnaire design and collaboration, a 2,000-consumer survey plus analysis.

Generating headline stats which can be used to showcase the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling toys

Questionnaire design and an online survey reaching 2,000 parents of 0-7 year olds

What we did

We met with Whirli in the first instance for a brainstorming session. This helped us understand exactly what was required and informed the questionnaire design process. The research had been pre-thought out and consequently there was flexible and sufficient timings to allow for a well-researched questionnaire design phase. Sapio Research created the first draft, then worked with Whirli and their own PR agency to refine the questions. Once this was finalised, fieldwork commenced using an online survey to reach 2,000 parents of 0-7 year olds.

The outcome

The findings have been used in numerous ways – both to talk to news outlets with, for Whirli’s own marketing messaging and on their website, showing just how versatile a single research project can be.

The findings have been used in numerous ways

As a novel start-up in a poorly-researched space, we needed to validate the problems Whirli is solving. Sapio Research were fantastic partners from start to finish – creative in brainstorming angles, careful in designing the questions, and rigorous in analysing the results. The research brought a wealth of insights, backed by hard figures, for our business decision making and for us to talk about publicly in the press.

Nigel Phan
‹ 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


Making a relevant and lasting impact to support the launch of a new line of products, enhancing the baker Kingsmill’s reputation.

The brief

Make a relevant and lasting impact to support the launch of a new line of products, enhancing the baker Kingsmill’s reputation. The original research stats needed to be a foundation, highlighting a problem upon which a partner influencer could base their story and go onto sharing handy lunchbox hints and tips aimed at the target audience.

Making a relevant and lasting impact to support the launch of a new line of products

An online survey with 1,000 UK parents

What we did

After checking the research participants and question structures were relevant for the kind of headlines sought we conducted an online survey with 1,000 UK parents. The team were new so we not only pulled out the results verbally but popped into the agency to give them a quick master class on how to read data tables.

The outcome

A snappy press release and briefing of media influencers lead to wide coverage in the Daily Mail and discussions on Good Morning Britain and Mumsnet, so comfortably meeting client KPIs.

Wide coverage

‹ 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
‹ Success Stories


Enterprise Mobility – The benefits delivered.

The brief

To help support their service set, Synchronoss, a provider of mobile software and platform solutions, wanted to show a relationship between enterprise mobility and business success.

Show a relationship between enterprise mobility and business success

526 “mobile maturity decision makers” working in IT departments within medium and large sized companies across the UK and US were interviewed

What we did

Sapio partnered with the clients PR agency to design a suitable questionnaire. 526 “mobile maturity decision makers” working in IT departments within medium and large sized companies across the UK and US were interviewed with an online survey. Sapio and the PR agency developed an analytics frameworks to show a relationship between business success measures (e.g. turnover as a percentage of gross profit) and the level of mobile maturity within organisations.

The outcome

The framework successfully showed that organisations with high mobile maturity performed better. The research received coverage in Business Wire and Beta News as well as being recognised by the Financial Times. A whitepaper was produced by Synchronoss to outline the findings.

The research received coverage in Business Wire and Beta News as well as being recognised by the Financial Times.

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