How insight activation requires a change in people’s hearts & minds
Fighting the casinofication of market research – more specifically the research users’ feeling of having only a 50% chance of gaining back their money invested in research – goes beyond the insights department. Increasing the return on insights is a company-wide challenge and responsibility. Yet in reality, CMI departments are often seen as separate silos, being both literally and figuratively detached from the rest of the business. As a consequence, researchers and non-researchers speak a different language and are disconnected from the rest of the business, resulting in frictions on both sides. Changing an organization’s mentality is thus an essential step when aiming for insight activation. This involves changing the hearts and minds of internal stakeholders.
Changing the minds
This first step is all about making sure that all stakeholders speak the same language, that there is a common understanding of what an insight is and how it can be used throughout the business. Consumer insights is one of the most misused terms in marketing and market research, with many wrongly using the notion when referring to a data point, research outcome or idea. Yet in essence, it is a statement reflecting a consumer need, a wish or a desire. In order to drive insight impact, all stakeholders must be trained on what an insight is, how it is written and how it can be used to transform a product, a brand and even an organization.
Changing the hearts
A second element in changing the stakeholders’ mentality is installing consumer empathy, namely making sure employees think, feel and make decisions with the consumer at heart. This can be done through consumer closeness programs, where employees are motivated to leave the company grounds and interact or observe actual consumers.
These programs closely link to the Japanese business philosophy of going gemba, which literally means “going to the real place”, with executives leaving their fancy desks and exploring a real factory floor, which is where the business is happening (in marketing, this is where the consumer is). Yet they often hardly lead to any impact, because of the small scale and frequency. Digitalizing this part of the process allows to make these initiatives more scalable, where more people can connect with consumers more frequently. It furthermore enables shareability across the organization, where stakeholders can share their observations with other teams by uploading them on a digital space such as an Activation Studio platform for example.
Great insights have the power to unlock marketing innovation on different levels: brand innovation, product innovation, service innovation, communication and consumer activation. Changing the hearts and minds of stakeholders forms a strategical pillar when aiming to increase the return of insights across the whole organization.
Wish to learn more on how to reach a better return on insights? Then download our new paper highlighting a 6-step framework towards insight activation, comprising six maturity levels with action points for today, tomorrow and the future.