Getting leadership support — and keeping it — for internal market research

To make internal market research projects a success, it’s important to have leadership support and set the right expectations.

One of the internal expectations often is that market research happens fast! And, indeed, it can happen much faster than years ago.

  • Send out video surveys to your customers.
  • Get responses in moments.

But the data, even though it comes in highly digestible formats — transcripts, sentiment analysis — still needs to be analyzed.

“Data is fast, insight is not as fast,” said Elisabeth Trawinski, director of insights and analytics at Reckitt on an episode of “Reel Talk: The Customer Insights Show.”

“That doesn’t mean insight is slow,” she said. “Insight is something you come to that shines the light on something that not everyone knows.”

Also keep in mind that getting feedback isn’t that difficult — at its core — as long as you are willing to ask the right questions of the right people.

“Insight professionals just love learning,” Elisabeth said. “The key is to learn something new and not just keep repeating things.”

Elisabeth’s award-winning “Outside In” video surveys fall into that category. The company learns, on an ongoing basis, how customer rituals and behaviors change. It then shares that information internally.

“One of the things that has worked for us with this program is that it’s light touch and easy,” she said.

In the past, consumer insight projects were more intensive, she said, with:

  • Everyone having to go out into the field.
  • Then a day of work.
  • A debrief.

“It’s this whole thing, and I don’t say that to mean it doesn’t have value. It does have value, but it’s resource intensive in terms of people’s time, and it can be expensive.”

In Elisabeth’s video surveys’ project, they ask questions of their customers through the Voxpopme video surveys platform, and the responses are summarized in short videos presented to stakeholders.

“And they come out once a week or once every two weeks,” she said. “We are asking for a little time to give you a lot.”

Stakeholders and leadership often are stretched to the max with meetings, PowerPoints and the like. The ability to send them short videos makes your points quickly.get a demo

Making decisions off video survey insights

Elisabeth said these tidbits of ongoing, shared information can help stakeholders and leaders make decisions on a daily basis.

“It’s in those smaller everyday decisions — those gut decisions,” Elisabeth said. “There are so many decisions that we make every day. As a seasoned marketer, you can make those decisions and often be right, but what is informing your decision is your experience in the market.”

Remembering insights from customers can influence those decisions in a positive way.

Leaders — and, really, many people — often make decisions based on their own experiences, even when they aren’t exactly like their target customer. That can create problems, and hearing directly from customers through video can influence decisions beyond personal preference.

“That’s so true,” added Jenn Vogel, vice president of marketing at Voxpopme and host of “Reel Talk.” “When I have an opinion about something based on my own experience, I say ‘I’m a sample of one, but this is how I feel about this.’ ”

“There’s this thing in research where people sometimes say, ‘Well, that’s an outlier,’ ” Elisabeth said. “And they dismiss it. If it doesn’t connect with what I already know, then I’m going to dismiss it. And yes, sometimes you should, of course. But that’s really the interesting part to dig into.”

What insights are most helpful?

“Everything,” Elisabeth said. “I want to know everything about you, but I can’t, and I’m joking. It shouldn’t be about everything. And that’s part of what’s important about insight teams.”

What can be learned is what actually can make a difference in our decision-making and, ultimately, our business results, Elisabeth continued.

“And a lot of it is trying to figure out what will tell us something new,” she said. “What will be that new lens or that new understanding that will really unlock something.”

It’s not always easy to figure that out, but when it works, it’s another step to ongoing leadership support.

Remember that before even jumping into gathering data to determine what problem you are trying to address. What do you need to find out?

“What problem are we trying to solve?” Elisabeth said. “Is there an opportunity we are trying to take advantage of? What do we know about it already? What are the questions that, if we get answers to them, will make a difference?”

How to keep leaders and stakeholders informed

What really sticks with people is when they hear a story. That's where I think video surveys can help bring your insights to light.The substance of the information and the way it’s presented can be equally important. That can include the subject lines of emails sent to leaders.

“Results from survey 2021-21-55 are now available” might be technically correct but not very engaging.

“Top 10 improvements customers want NOW!” or “100 customers share their top features” might get more opens, for example.

Once a leader opens your communication, the insights need to be easily digestible, to the point and relevant.

“What really sticks with people is when they hear a story,” Elisabeth said. “And when they are in somebody’s home, that sticks with people for years sometimes.

“That’s where I think video surveys can help bring your insights to light,” she said. “Make people informed, but also make it stick in their brain a little bit better.”

Making insights easier to remember also makes them easier for people to play back. That can be a huge advantage. Imagine leaders and other stakeholders being able to easily share the successes and, with that, internally market the research product.

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