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Insight Activation – what it is and what it isn’t

Insight Activation - Rocket shooting up

First you set up a great piece of consumer research which leads to interesting results and powerful insights. The next step is all about putting those insights into action across the business to create impact. But what is insight activation all about? Is it merely about presenting results? And how do you encourage stakeholders to act upon them?

Blog written in collaboration with Gongos, part of InSites Consulting.

What is insight activation?

Insight activation is high on the agenda of many companies, yet it might mean different things depending on the situation and context. So, let’s take a step back and define what insight activation is.

 

1. Activation is more than summarizing and sharing insights

Insight activation goes beyond merely summarizing insights and sharing these with internal stakeholders. To empower the business to act upon insights, we need to move beyond synthesizing. It’s about filtering out the most critical messages and form a point of view, align on that perspective, and then focus efforts going forward.

2. The application of an activation initiative is tailored to the business need

Every activation program needs to be tailored to the project type, its importance, the available budget, and of course the kind of stakeholders involved. For more strategic-oriented projects, for example, it’s vital to collaborate with a broad range of internal stakeholders across different levels and teams to create impact. For other projects, a smaller group of internal stakeholders will be sufficient. Depending on the business need, activation programs can therefore be big or small.

3. Activation marries research and implementation

Too often do we tend to see a situation through one lens. We might have great consumer research. Or interesting trends about what’s happening in a category. Or we have exceptional solutions for what we can put out into the marketplace. Yet, the power lies in marrying those lenses, forming connections, and identifying themes. Only then can we truly prioritize what we focus on for the future.

4. It matters how we package our message and efforts

There are four characteristics to consider when communicating with internal stakeholders.

  • Use multiple touchpoints: we need to think like advertisers, sharing our message repeatedly and in different formats to make it stick.
  • Make it short and sharp: as we’re living in a time where we are confronted with an information overload, people prefer snackable content. Keep your message short and sharp.
  • Turn it into a learning experience: impactful activation should be an experience. It’s not only about internal stakeholders listening or reading your content, but also about collaborating in workshops or co-creation sessions. Or even about directly confronting them with consumers or supporting them to step into their consumers’ shoes. Such experiences are sticky and have more potential to impact your stakeholders’ hearts, minds, and actions.
  • Curated insights: ultimately, for a message to stick, it should be based on curated, actionable insights that reflect what matters the most to internal stakeholders at that particular moment.

 5. It is contagious when the momentum gets going

When the momentum is there, insight-activation programs are contagious, and people will ask for more. True magic lies in cross-functional teams that start collaborating and bridge insights with strategy.

Want to know more about insight activation? Get in touch with Lisa McFarland or Tom De Ruyck to discuss how we can support your next activation initiative.

Impact is the (new) name of the game

Impact is the (new) name of the game

Turning insights into action. Why is it that marketing research is struggling to drive impact? Are research professionals stuck in an executional role? How do we change the role of insight professionals within the organization and turn the CMI team into a valuable business partner?

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