Get out of your comfort zone
Over the past decade we’ve seen the world of market research evolve rapidly, with consumers choosing collaboration over being researched, where we need to tap into their subconscious brains to get a grip on the world out there. And technology shifted from research enabler to a bare necessity in participant engagement.
At the same time, research deliverables have not made the same transition. Though we all like to believe differently, the majority of research reports remains long and dull, presentations are in many cases one-way lectures and research impact often does not go beyond planting a small seed of inspiration. And that is where the problem lies. Finding insights is only half the solution businesses need; the other half is ensuring that insights are turned into action.
So this is an open invitation to all customer-focused professionals out there: get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, your research agency and the industry.
Take decisions in an agile way
The future is fast and the competition is fierce. Brands and companies can only stay relevant if they have immediate access to data, insights and consumers. Research needs to be incorporated throughout all business processes to be truly impactful. Right here, right now. Or never.
Google consumer surveys allow companies to set up, run and report market research at the speed of light. By simply choosing your target audience and typing a few straightforward questions, you can see results within in a few hours of running in an automated dashboard. Via this service, Google democratizes research and allows any company to be as agile as they want to be.
Integrate streams of data
There are various sources of insights. From tapping into conversations on social media through transactional data from your own CRM systems to survey generated insights. All these streams of data need to blend in order to have a 360° perspective on consumers and the world.
Radian 6 is an exemplarily integrated marketing solution. It uses cloud services to automate customer journeys and manages experiences across all marketing, sales and service touchpoints. For customers, experiences become more personalized, ultimately impacting their relation with the brand and driving loyalty.
Make your insights bitesize
A new webpage is created every 15 seconds. We live in a world of abundance where data is piling up, making it more difficult than ever to find the right insights. There’s a growing need of bitesize data to activate co-workers across the organization. Solutions that help you digest all that information will become your biggest asset.
The Insight Activation Studio gives you that asset, by being your social meeting room. It displays curated consumer insights in a bitesize format on a device-agnostic and user-friendly platform. Users can discover insights by exploring the themed Walls and insight Tiles. They can supply additional observations & ideas and stay updated on the activity of colleagues through a real-time social feed.
Visualize results to tell your story
The days of long PowerPoint reports are over. Visualization is key in order to find the right perspective in the massive pile of data. Icons are already widely used, infographics become a standard and the number of data visualization tools is like never before.
To stand out from the mass, data should not only be presented in a bitesize way. It should also trigger your appetite to eat it. Learn from other industries to understand how to tell a compelling story. But think outside the box. Authors for instance are using short videos to summarize a management book they’ve been writing for months. Why? Because it makes people hungry for their content. Just watch how Charles Duhigg convinced me to participate in habit workshops. Try it for yourself and become more effective in telling your story.
Add a human touch
In a world of digitalization, human interactions become a scarcity. Your reports will only have an impact when they have a human touch. Interactive workshops put a step in the right direction, but we can do better.
At Climbing Managers for instance, they combine c-level workshops on leadership with a challenging sports performance. Human bonding is the magic ingredient that makes the format successful and impactful. So, maybe during your next workshop break, go for a short run with some co-workshoppers or kick some ball?
Experience things yourself
When facts & figures and even stories cannot bring the message across, you need to immerse in your consumers’ world to find the golden nugget. Ultimately, immersive experiences are the most impactful. It stimulates the senses and activates an audience to pay full attention. It evokes emotions and helps create memories. In the future, Virtual Reality will make immersion more scalable to a bigger audience. Instead of limiting the experience of an in-home ethnography to the happy few, VR could make this experience accessible to a whole organization. Looking for an example? Just watch the 360° video of my colleague Thomas Troch and learn about his tooth-brushing ritual!
Involve Artificial Intelligence
Finally, embrace Artificial Intelligence. Robotization has already revolutionized many sectors and is at the verge of doing the same with ours. But Artificial Intelligence will truly take things to the next level. In the future, we won’t need to look for insights, we will only need to ask the right questions. So start imagining Azuma Hikari as your next colleague. She’s everything what Siri and Alexa are, but better. It’s not just a voice service that allows you to interact with devices and to demand simple actions. It’s a humanized VR assistant and companion that takes Artificial Intelligence to the next level.
In the future, insights will come at the speed of light, in an integrated and automated way and in relevant chunks, with a human touch or as part of an experience. To get yourself ready for that future, get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. What would you like to get out of consumer collaboration? What do you truly expect from your research partner in terms of deliverables? How will you activate insights in your organization?!