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Turning a Research Investment into Business-Building Action
Major advances in technology have made research more complicated and, perhaps, less accessible.
We often hear our clients ask how they can get their organization to recognize the value of their research and act on it? No business can afford to invest in a research project that uncovers compelling strategic implications that are ignored or gathering dust on a shelf. So, what have we learned from helping to answer this question?
1. Connecting with your audiences is critical: Getting the research noticed is the first step.
Whether you seek to understand your marketplace through the eyes of consumers, or shoppers, or customers, your organization is hungry for human feedback. So regardless of the label you use, understanding the people who are loyal to your brand (and those who are not) is critical. One of the most effective research tools we have in bringing customers to life is video. Using video as one of the delivery components makes the research more engaging and readily available to the stakeholders.
2. Your research, like an automobile, needs to be driven in order to get results.
Like a car battery that dies if the engine isn’t started, insights from research must be activated in order to have a positive impact on your business. Your research can be used as a call to action and to obtain buy-in for the “jobs to be done.” Workshop-style events can have the greatest impact for alignment, ensuring that branding, marketing, product development and senior stakeholders can agree on the implications and drive the business forward.
While there’s no one “right” way to build these events, cross-functional groups impact very well, especially if there’s an opportunity to include customer immersion exercises since it crystallizes strategic thinking. Online groups can be equally successful by creating a short-term consumer online community to provide input in the moment.
3. Create a powerful, positive alignment.
Like many things in life, it all comes down to balance, which can be hard to achieve. Providing companion datasets like sales volumes and values, as well as access to different business functions, and bringing in experts such as econometrics or creative teams, make the research insights a positive message, rather than competitive to other needs. One client described this as having, “one version of the truth.” Everything works in concert, creating powerful alignment within their business.
If you’d like to talk more about activating your research insights within your organization, please contact us.