Delivering a compelling, story-driven insights report…
Integrating your research results into your business…
Getting your stakeholders engaged with, and excited by, your insights…
In all likelihood these topics are on your mind for most, if not all, of the insights work you conduct as they are key to getting the most out of your research investment.
The challenge we see many of our clients wrestling with, and maybe you’re wrestling with as well, is trying to figure out whether the research partner they want to work with can really deliver on these needs.
Strategic stories show you the way forward.
Over the past few months, we’ve provided you with a range of information on storytelling in research. This has included, among other things, best practices for crafting compelling stories, ideas related to integrating visualizations to drive the story, and thoughts on how to craft a compelling Executive Summary.
While we hope that what we’ve shared has proven useful in informing your storytelling and visualization efforts; we understand that it can still be challenging to know ahead of time whether a research partner can help you meet your storytelling, visualization, and activation goals.
With that in mind, as a final piece to our storytelling series, we wanted to provide you with some things to look for and questions to ask that will help you make this assessment early in the RFP and proposal process. We hope this can serve as a valuable tool/checklist for the next time you’re evaluating partners.
Four key drivers to explore with potential insights partners during discussions about research needs:
1. Broad Thinking
- Are they asking about other related data or info that led to the current request?
- Do they seek information about how different parts of the organization might take actions based on the results?
2. Strategic Perspective
- Do they inquire about who your stakeholders are and what needs they are seeking to address?
- Do they ask about broader strategic implications of the work you’re looking to do?
- Are they asking about how you want the work to be utilized on the back end?
3. Action-Oriented Mindset
- Are they suggesting stakeholder discussions as part of the initial phases of the work?
- Are they sharing thoughts on integration of results and ideas for engaging stakeholders on the back end?
- Does the proposal speak to stakeholder engagement and ideas for acting on the research?
4. Design Capability
- Is there proposal laid out in a story-driven manner; does it have a narrative?
- Are there strong visuals in the proposal, and is the design of a quality that you feel will work for your team?
Odds are that if your partner is checking the box on most, or all, of these questions then they are thinking about the best way to deliver results and are anticipating what your storytelling and activation needs are right from the start. This tends to be a good indicator that they will be able to deliver on your needs.
If your partner is checking the box on most, or all, of these questions then they are thinking about the best way to deliver results and are anticipating what your storytelling and activation needs are right from the start.”
6 important questions to ask your insights partners during the initial discussions about a research need:
- How do they approach the reporting process?
- What is their philosophy when it comes to delivering an Executive Summary?
- What guidelines do they have in place for crafting a story-driven deliverable?
- Can they share examples of visualizations?
- What experience do they have in helping to integrate research for other clients?
- Are there references they can share that speak to their story-telling capabilities and their ability to help clients act on the results?
The responses to these questions will give you a good sense of what they are likely to deliver for you and your stakeholders.
As you consider what you require from a partner and evaluate that partner in the context of the questions laid out above, you can be much more confident that what you receive on the back end of a project will meet your needs for storytelling and insights integration.
Explore our storytelling hub to learn more about our approach to strategic storytelling.
Want to ask us about our approach?