People don’t want words. They want pictures. They want hard numbers. They want a fully digital format with impact. Or do they?

Insight Discovery’s flagship Middle East Investment Panorama (MEIP) reports highlight what is involved with custom research. A number of partners finance a project that involves original research which looks into specific questions set by them. The research seeks to generate commercially valuable and actionable insights.

The partners benefit from the exercise in two ways. The cost of the research is spread over a number of parties. Through their association with the report, the partners can be seen as active players and thought leaders by the people who read the report: significant PR/ corporate communications advantages come at no additional cost.

As project organiser, Insight Discovery also gains corporate intelligence through early access to the questions that really matter to actual and potential clients. We also gain prestige and publicity. It is in our interest for the report to be read and appreciated by as many people as possible – after the partners have had ample opportunity to digest the data and insights gathered, of course.

Bearing this in mind, this year’s MEIP report was created in digital format, rather than as a printable PDF document that we have produced in the past. We minimised the word count. We reduced each element of the report to sufficiently small chunks. We asked our designers to give maximum emphasis to charts, tables and hard numbers.

Since then, we have received a stream of emails asking us when the PDF version – which we will produce – will be available.

This raises two possibilities. One is that custom research projects do not really lend themselves to fully digital reports. This may be because the messages are so numerous, complex and abstract that they cannot readily be conveyed in digital format. The other possibility is that some of our readers are, because of their age, so used to traditional PDF reports that they sometimes struggle with the digital version.

Please tell us what you think. All we need to know is two things:
• Whether you prefer a report like MEIP to be in DIGITAL or PDF form
• What age group you belong to: (a) under 40; (b) 40-49) (c) 50-59; (d) 60 or older