by Cindy Blackstock
At SIVO, our team of insights experts have honed their skills over many years of market research and the lessons gained along the way now prove to be invaluable. We have learned that insights are just useless facts unless they can be applied to the business in a way that drives action among our client teams and growth on their businesses. So, in the spirit of sharing useful content and a bit of our “secret sauce” with our valued clients and partners, here are 5 Keys for Turning Consumer Insights into Action.
Start with the End in Mind
As market researchers in search of consumer insights, the SIVO team must understand how the results will possibly be used, what actions will be taken by our clients and how our clients intend to influence and have impact in their organization using our research. When we are equipped with the business objective and the actions that might stem from the results, we become clear on the research objectives and design. We all know that best consumer insights experts can envision how the research results need to come to life before starting the research. When we do this, we avoid two big pitfalls in research – first, the fatal one, missing a key question and second, the sloppy one, asking questions that don’t need to be answered or are already known.
Conduct a “Get Smart” Session
By facilitating a “Get Smart” Session with the client team, SIVO can mine existing information and surface institutional knowledge. There are 3 key reasons for the session:
- To provide context and grounding to the SIVO experts as they design the learning plan
- To uncover client team knowledge gaps, a.k.a., figure out what is known and what the client team still needs to learn
- Level everyone up – the entire client team has the same in-going perspective
Plan for Quality Input to Get Quality Output
It has been said that the quality of the output is only as good as the quality of the input. This is very true when designing market research. SIVO experts start with detailed learning plans to outline how the business objectives translate to the learning objectives and market research approach. This is where we align with the client team by defining things like sample composition and size, key measures, and of course, the action standards. Action standards outline the “if/then” scenarios for research outcomes and the follow-up actions. For example, if the results indicate X, then the action to be taken is Y. Documenting the action standards, before the research is executed, forces both the SIVO and client teams to think through the possible actions for each hypothesized outcome.
Report the Key Findings (and, all the rest too!)
Some client teams want an at-a-glance Executive Summary of results that they can quickly act upon, and others want all the details for a more thorough understanding before taking action. SIVO provides both, either in one report or in two separate deliverables. We must be clear on the delivery of the topline summary versus the full report with the detailed findings (supporting data, quotes, video clips, images, etc.) for future reference.
Make Clear Recommendations
It’s critical to turn data into insights and insights into actions. Too often professionals in the insights industry are hesitant to make bold recommendations on potential actions to take. However, client teams are looking for more than data and insights. They need courageous recommendations that inform their decisions. To drive action, SIVO puts a stake in the ground! It is, however, important to point out that recommendations are an educated opinion or point-of-view, based on the insights and findings of the research. Clients will then use research recommendations, in conjunction with other external factors, to guide or inform their actions and decisions. The best way to be confident about the recommendations is to circle back to Step 1! Start with the end in mind!