Immersion, communication and action: The new insights equation


The view that market research is a necessity and nothing more to businesses is way past its prime. For too long, data and insights have been seen as hygiene factors, necessary but only capable of informing decisions and nothing else, when in reality, insights should be used to steer the direction of the brand, optimise customer experiences and futureproof any new ideas in the pipeline. To help insights reach their full potential in stakeholder organisations, there is a re-education needed on all things insights, and a reinvention of the relationship between stakeholders and insights experts to create more of a mutually beneficial partnership.


Building Better Partnerships

As it stands, insight experts arguably have to have one of the fullest understandings of the business in which their insights will operate to better tailor research experiences to the business’ needs; but this is quite a challenging objective if insight experts are agency-side and deal with a lot of clients and businesses, or even for in-house experts with the typical barriers that are still in place which work to silo the teams within a business. These challenges are the keys that stop stakeholders gaining a true understanding of research and insights, stop insight experts from obtaining a better understanding of their stakeholders, and ultimately stop any meaningful partnerships from evolving between the two parties.

The Impact of Inclusivity and Education
Better insight partnerships between researchers and stakeholders starts with inclusivity and education. More specifically, it starts by including stakeholders and clients in the research process from start to finish. For in-house experts, it means being in meetings and drawing attention to decisions that could use insights and then guiding stakeholders through the process of getting and activating those insights; and for agency-side researchers, it means drawing stakeholders in from the request stage and keeping them engaged throughout the process, encouraging input while protecting the integrity and maximising the impact of the research experience. While this might seem like a chore for stakeholders and a large challenge for insight teams, it’s a vital part of the process that will revolutionise the understanding of both researchers and stakeholders on what the demands on the other are in this part of the process.

Inclusivity such as this calls for the right tools to be added to an insight team’s arsenal. More specifically, it requires data generation, communication and activation tools that can be used easily by both researchers and stakeholders, so that while researchers take the onus on the research design and implementation, stakeholders can still influence the right areas of the experience to the right degree and positively impact the research project throughout.

These tools can be built individually into a custom research technology stack or insight teams can enlist the help of an insight platform such as FlexMR’s InsightHub where there are a myriad of insight generation, data analysis and activation tools all in one place. Stakeholders can even use the tools themselves to create minor research tasks they believe will generate the right insights or clarify the data generated form previous tasks, observe live research tasks in action or sift through records of actionable data stored on the platform in ActivateMR to create their own research reports that contains the data they need – this will free researchers up to focus more on the major tasks and data analysis, and build up stakeholder confidence and first hand knowledge of their consumers and market research.

Immersive Experiences and Vital Communication Tactics
One way to encourage education is through practical experiences as mentioned above. End-to-end research experiences are an incredible learning tools for stakeholders to take and run with, and researchers can have stakeholders as involved as is possible in different research projects to create the best immersive experience possible. Getting stakeholders actively involved with research will take some convincing, especially because stakeholders have their own workload to contend with in addition to the extra research tasks, but the pay off will be new first-hand knowledge of insight generation, the capabilities of their insights team, and a fresh connection to and understanding of their customers and consumers.

Communication will be the key to success or the path to failure throughout this process depending on how well it is implemented. If there isn’t enough communication throughout the immersion process, then stakeholders will only obtain a limited and partial view of the capabilities of market research and the research experiences they’re involved in could lose vital relevant contextual information.

To combat this, insight teams can use different channels for different purposes – understand which channels stakeholders use for what purpose and utilise those to communicate in different ways with stakeholders. For example, one channel used to check in regularly could be used for general regular updates on the research projects, another could be an educational channel so stakeholders know where to go to remind themselves on how to use a tool, and another could be an in-the-moment insight communication channel where insights are instantly available for stakeholders to see whenever and wherever they require them.

Enhance Insights Activation Through Partnerships

Building better insight partnerships naturally results in more insights activation throughout the stakeholder organisation, due to a better understanding of the research process, the capabilities of the insights team, and a clearer view of their customer and consumer base. Creating those immersive experiences for stakeholders to benefit from will be a challenge, but it will work towards this goal that insight experts across the world have been striving to achieve for decades.