More Bang for Your Buck: How to Maximize Your Market Research Budget

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    You established research goals, contracted a third party to conduct the research, and finally received the data back. You’re thrilled; the data allows you to glean new insights that could have a profound impact on your organization.

    But the rest of your company? They might be less enthusiastic about it — if they’re even aware it exists.

    Getting research in front of market research stakeholders within your organization can be the trickiest part of your job — but it’s an essential part. Following a recent insight project, Trudi Ford-Hutchinson, senior manager of customer experience at Avios, put it this way: “We spent 50% of our time doing the work, and the other 50% sharing what we were doing and what we’d found out.”

    Effectively disseminating market research takes more than simply sending a 200-page report to your entire company in an email that reads, “See attached.” To truly maximize your research, you have to be more strategic from start to finish. Here are a few methods to try. 

    Encourage an Ownership Mentality

    Effective distribution of your insights doesn’t start when you have the report in your hands, but rather, before you even get the ball rolling.  

    Digital agency RG+A recommends including market research stakeholders throughout the process using a strategy workshop approach. Before the research begins, involve individuals from across your internal teams in identifying goals, priorities, and knowledge gaps. This ensures that when the research comes back, it directly addresses what they think is important. And it will get them thinking about how they might leverage your research, before it’s even completed.

    Then, once you have the research in hand, ask those decision-makers to play a role in determining how to implement the research. This doesn’t only propel them to digest the research, but holds them accountable for actually using it within their departments.

    By instilling a sense of ownership, your stakeholders will want to see and understand the research — because they played a role in directing it. And that mindset can encourage them to stay engaged, become ambassadors for your team, and share the information with others in the organization.

    Provide Easy Access

    Providing access to your research requires more than sending a slide deck or report as an email attachment. Sure, that provides access, but it’s not effective access. Just think: if decision-makers wanted to review the research a few months down the road, how would they find it? By digging through their inboxes? Emailing your team and waiting for you to re-send it? That’s not efficient for you or your stakeholders and can often lead to using incorrect or outdated information when multiple versions exist.

    To get your research in front of the most eyes, it should be accessible to your stakeholders at any time and in an easy-to-navigate format. A knowledge sharing platform, for example, provides around-the-clock access. Users can search by subject or keyword, and find exactly what they need, when they need it — no inbox scouring required. 

    Make It Personal  

    Market research stakeholders within different departments value different things. An interesting insight to someone in the finance department could be meaningless to someone in the marketing department.

    To derive the information that’s most relevant to each stakeholder, make sure you’re addressing their needs as part of your initial project goals “There is … a vast amount of information captured in any market research effort, and many insights do not make the final publication,” explained Seth Cutler, energy and environment senior industry analyst, Frost & Sullivan. Dig into the analyst’s background information to make sure you have applicable insights.

    Then, take advantage of technology to get those personalized insights in front of decision-makers. For example, you could choose a knowledge sharing platform that offers personalized content recommendations based on content each person has already viewed, making it easy for stakeholders to find the new and historical research that’s most relevant to them. You could also send out personalized emails or newsletters, tailoring the content to each specific department.

    By personalizing  your knowledge and insights sharing strategy, you’ll be able to get the right message in front of the right people — keeping their interest and encouraging them to come back for more.

    Communicate In the Way Your Audience Prefers

    While you might have a deep appreciation for complex data and detailed charts, that isn’t necessarily the case for everyone in your organization. According to Rufus Weston, insight director at HarperCollins Publishers, “You need to be able to present your information in a way that suits the company and its people.” That means thinking about the communication formats that make the most sense for your company.

    Are your market research stakeholders avid Slack users? Try creating a channel for sharing market research, where you can regularly alert them of new or relevant takeaways. More of an email-based company culture? Offer to write a recurring column for your internal company newsletter, where you share insights on a consistent basis.

    Using these methods, you’ll have a better chance of getting your research in front of the decision-makers who can put it to use. But beyond that, you can begin to make knowledge sharing and customer insights an integral part of your company culture.

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