It goes without saying that a great piece of research both informs and guides an organization through the steps needed to positively impact their business. However, research can come back looking more like a collection of facts and data points than a cohesive story for moving the business forward. Our experience has shown that there are 3 key things you can do to ensure your research gets transformed into an actionable go forward strategy and connects to desired business outcomes.
1. Get your stakeholders involved early
Connecting with the key players early in the process ensures the scope of the work will drive the future outcomes your team has identified as goals. Align with your stakeholders on these points:
- Confirm that the objectives are relevant and are being communicated properly
- Uncover additional, underlying objectives or goals that were not explicitly stated, but are crucial to success
- Discover information sources that are relevant to the project, such as internal sales data, new company initiatives, market forces/trends, etc.
- Understand the ways in which the data and/or findings from the study will ultimately be used, ensuring the ability to impact outcomes
Gaining a deep and clear understanding of the business issues that need to be solved and how the team would like to take the results forward is paramount to ultimate success.
2. Share information about your business
To generate deep, meaningful insights that will direct strategy, it’s valuable to have as much information about your business as you can share. Those “ah-ha!” moments are often the result of combining several pieces of outside information with the data gathered in research. Some additional information to share with your insights team includes market share information, media placement and spend, any planned changes to products and services, and other internal initiatives around customer service.
Whatever the objectives, having a window into your business will enhance the ability of the research to connect with in-market results.
3. Have a post-research plan
Research offers you a strategic path for realizing your business goals. However, you must also put in place a way to measure your progress so you can truly assess the ROI of your efforts. Measuring and monitoring KPIs will allow you to assess how you are impacting the marketplace and create a feedback system for making agile adjustments. Measurement might be as simple as a year-long tracking study to monitor your brand’s health or something more advanced such as scoring your current and future customer database with segmentation codes to determine effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Want to discuss more about ensuring your research has a clear and strategic connection to your go-forward strategy?