As an Insights Professional, you are charged with delivering research that provides clear direction on a pressing business challenge. Most likely, this challenge is complex, and solving it will require strategic shifts and new actions from functions throughout the organization.
That’s why it only makes sense to embed cross-functional teams as part of your strategic research initiative. These teams elevate the insights work for two key reasons:
1. They capture a more holistic view of the business challenges you face, as well as the potential solutions you can deliver, by bringing in varying perspectives that enable more successful outcomes.
2. They enable you to make critical business decisions more quickly and efficiently, saving time and money by streamlining internal processes, reducing efforts and maximizing resources.
When are cross-functional teams necessary?
It’s essential to bring teams together for projects that will inform strategic plans and influence the direction of the organization. These often center around category or product innovation, brand positioning, go-to-market strategy, purchase journey, or target definition.
It’s essential to bring teams together for projects that will inform strategic plans and influence the direction of the organization.”
Who should be on the team?
If possible, we highly recommend including your agency partners (whether it be creative, packaging design, media, e-commerce, etc.), as these groups also play a critical role in the adoption and implementation of insights coming out of your research.
The success rate of your insights works increases when you involve a range of key stakeholders, since these team members are often needed to weigh in on critical decisions that can hinder or derail the necessary strategic efforts.
Keeping your cross-functional teams engaged along the journey will also help you leverage their expertise. You’ll discover that the value they bring to the research will result in more robust outcomes, maximizing their impact on the research and enabling you to more easily deploy findings throughout your organization.
A research project at its best arms the organization with strategic firepower. Your cross-functional team members can become tremendous advocates and passionate ambassadors of the insights work.”
Tips for getting the most out of your cross-functional team:
- Embrace and leverage diversity of opinions and skill sets
- Align early on the business challenge at hand and what the research is meant to answer
- Identify potential pitfalls or differences in opinion and address at the beginning
- Involve key stakeholders on the research scope and key the success criteria
- Involve cross-functional team members in the research, when possible, to get them in front of your customers. This helps them build empathy toward your customers
- Set clear goals and expectations for all team members
- Keep them informed along the learning journey
Empower insights ambassadors.
A research project at its best arms the organization with strategic firepower. Your cross-functional team members can become tremendous advocates and passionate ambassadors of the insights work. They will share stories and champion the research throughout the organization, ensuring it guides the strategic decisions that will drive greater success for your brand.