It’s more important than ever to guide strategic decisions with market research, and socializing consumer insights can give organizations a competitive edge by creating a consumer-centric culture.
Three key ways to socialize market research throughout an organization are to:
- Involve leaders and functional experts in the entire market research process to gain their buy-in and consumer empathy
- Identify impactful consumer insights to guide strategic decisions
- Socialize consumer insights throughout the entire organization to inspire innovation
Why It’s Important to Involve Decision Makers in the Market Research Process
Consumer-centric organizations are 60% more profitable according to a recent report by Deloitte, and involving leaders and functional experts in the market research process is an essential first step to keep your consumer front and center.
Ultimately, decision makers will gain a sense of consumer empathy. And being part of the research process also leads to buy-in, improves collaboration and ensures research projects identify the consumer insights and category drivers that decision makers need to know.
Integrating Consumer Insights Into Strategic Decisions is an Incremental Process:
Phase 1: Hearing
People will read and listen to information, and may ask questions about the market research process. However, they usually do not rely on consumer insights to make strategic decisions.
Phase 2: Understanding
People begin to talk about consumer insights, and often become interested in the market research process. They may challenge facts, and begin to base some decisions on consumer insights.
Phase 3: Internalizing
People buy into the market research process, and rely on consumer insights to make decisions. They may share information and encourage others to use insights to guide strategic decisions.
Five Key Questions Can Be Helpful to Ask During the Decision Making Process:
- Did we listen to our consumers and conduct recent market research?
- Are we fully aware of the implications and outcomes of our decisions from our consumers’ point of view?
- Are our decisions based upon assumptions, or data and consumer insights?
- Do our decisions and plans reflect the consumer perspective, in addition to our business objectives?
- Is there a strategic or other legitimate reason why the consumer perspective wasn’t considered in our decision-making process?
How to Identify Impactful Consumer Insights to Guide Strategic Decisions
Keeping the consumer at the core of every business decision drives innovation and growth, whether organizations are focusing on branding strategies, evolutionary business plans or a revolutionary transformation. A combination of quantitative data and qualitative consumer insights can explain how consumer behavior impacts the current state of the company, the competitive landscape and the economic outlook. Quick turn research can deliver actionable consumer insights faster.
Consumer Insights That Can Impact the Bottom Line:
- Inspire creative thinking, innovation and consumer-centric behavior throughout the organization
- Provide insights to turn consumer pain points or business challenges into opportunities
- Reveal information about the consumer rather than the product, service or experience
- Dig deeper to Identify the emotions that drive behavior, but may not always be articulated, rather than simply relying on what people say or think
- Focus on consumer behaviors and characteristics that are enduring or slow to change
Socialize and Communicate Consumer Insights Throughout the Entire Organization
At a time when nine out of 10 consumers have adopted new shopping habits, and nearly 75% of consumers are buying different brands, it’s important for everyone in the organization to have access to the consumer insights they need to make strategic decisions.
Establishing an ongoing communications plan to socialize impactful consumer insights throughout the organization fosters a customer-focused culture, and can inspire the entire organization to share innovative ideas to improve products, services and the customer experience.
Four Key Steps to Create a Consumer-Centric Culture by Socializing Consumer Insights Are:
Build Awareness and Communicate Consumer Insights Routinely
- Create a visual consumer digest that is accessible to everyone: Make it easy for everyone in the organization to reference key insights and trends related to your market segment, and your customers’ lifestyle, values, wants, needs, usage, habits and behaviors. Consider print and online resources like posters, flyers, laminated cards, booklets, PDF downloads or presentations.
- Bring your consumer to life with visuals and back stories about real people: Use a variety of mediums like newsletters, posters, infographics, videos and presentations to share consumer insights, and share letters and reviews received from your customers.
Encourage Consideration of Consumer Insights in Project & Strategy Meetings
- Develop accessible consumer insights resources for teams: Use immersion techniques like shopalongs and ethnographies to gain a true understanding of the people who are your consumers, and create resources like videos, PowerPoint presentations and infographics teams can access and use during project meetings.
- Create an inspiring and visually appealing ‘intel room’: Dedicate a space to all things consumer in a centrally located space to educate and remind everyone what makes your consumer tick.
- Introduce a “consumer review” session for key initiatives: Recruit a team to summarize and review impactful consumer insights with project teams, and develop a list of ‘sticky sound bites’ to make it easy to remember key consumer insights and guide strategic decisions with facts rather than assumptions.
Inspire Engagement: Make it Fun to Learn About Your Consumer
- Sponsor lunch and learns with a fun twist: Consumer trivia, consumer bingo, or a game of ‘family feud’ can make consumer insights memorable and fun to learn.
- Write a monthly letter to your company from your target consumer: Describe a recent experience they had with your products or services.
- Share success stories: Recognize people who champion consumer insights, and report business successes resulting from decisions guided by market research.
Change Behavior: Inspire a Consumer-centric Business Culture
- Establish a forum for anyone to share innovative ideas: Introduce an ‘Insights Moment’ during team meetings to discuss consumer insights and ideas.
- Encourage everyone to share innovative ideas or suggestions for improvements: Use a dedicated email box or consider the anonymity of a physical suggestion box.
- Celebrate innovations and improvements inspired by consumer insights: Recognize and celebrate the achievements of teams and individuals who share innovative ideas, or offer suggestions for improvements based on consumer insights. Share their stories during meetings, and feature their vision in employee communications.
Why Market Research Matters More Now
Consumer lifestyles, habits and values normally shift incrementally over a number of years, but the pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer behavior. Blending quantitative, qualitative and quick-turn market research solutions delivers actionable consumer insights in real time, and inspires sound strategic decisions and innovation.
Interested in Learning More About Consumer Insights?
Insights In Marketing is the market research firm that delivers in-depth and actionable insights so you can have every confidence your decisions are inspired by the consumer voice. Our team has decades of client and supplier side research experience, and our brand management and marketing expertise spans across various industries and consumer segments.
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Want to Learn More?
● How to Innovate, Grow and Gain a Competitive Edge by Listening to Consumers
● How to Socialize Information within Your Organization
● Consumer Empathy Connects Brands to People
● The Top 5 Ways to Tell if an Insight Really Matters
● How to Ensure Your Segmentation Research Doesn’t Go Unnoticed