Part 5: Engagement
Rolling out an insights engine may require changes to existing processes, team structures, and behaviors, as well as the introduction of new technology. In other words, it involves a whole lot of change. And while change can lead to innovation, increased productivity, and business growth, it can also come with uncertainty.
Make Insights Sharing as Easy as Possible Packaging insights for stakeholder consumption can require a lot of work, from synthesizing data across different sources to distilling the results to key takeaways that stakeholders can easily digest. While this work requires human input, technology can take on some of the heavy lifting, making it as easy (and repeatable) as possible for insights team members to share their knowledge. For example, you might adopt an insights management platform that automatically generates summaries of PDFs or other text-based documents to save team members from having to manually craft a summary for every report.
Keep Promoting Desired Behaviors It can take a while for people to establish new routines, and some of your team members or stakeholders may initially revert back to old behaviors after you launch your insights engine. When you see this happen, model and encourage the new desired behavior. For example, if a stakeholder sends you an email asking a research question, you could send them a link to a document answering their question in your insights management platform, or encourage them to post the question in the platform if it doesn’t have a documented answer.
Educate Stakeholders on Market Research with Self-Serve Resources In addition to sharing finalized research reports and insights, give your stakeholders an opportunity to learn more about what you’re working on. Consider sharing educational resources on different research methodologies, data sources, tools your insights function uses, and so on. Encourage stakeholders to ask questions in your insights management platform (and make sure your team answers them in a timely manner) so your organization’s collective intelligence continues to grow.
Offer Ongoing Training on Data-Driven Decision-Making According to research from Deloitte, more than two-thirds of business decision-makers express discomfort accessing or using data. Help your stakeholders overcome this discomfort by offering regular training sessions on using data and insights in decision-making. Between training sessions and self-serve resources, stakeholders should feel better equipped (and more empowered) to leverage your insights function’s findings.
A culture of insights sharing shouldn’t just exist at the distribution point of your research projects. Check out these recommendations to get your stakeholders engaged with your research early on so that they are fully invested when you share new insights.
While your insights team will be responsible for driving the project design, it can be valuable to bring stakeholders in at this stage so they have a chance to learn what you’ll be working on and share their own priorities and hypotheses. Not only is this an opportunity to get stakeholders invested early on, but it’s also an opportunity to better understand stakeholders needs and how to effectively communicate with them.
Give stakeholders a behind-the-scenes look at work in progress with brief, concise updates from the field. These updates can provide visibility into the work and effort involved in conducting research. They can also keep projects on your stakeholders’ radar and improve their understanding of the findings when you ultimately deliver them.
During the analysis stage, use what you know about the different audiences you will be delivering insights to. Where is their starting point? Are there multiple teams focused on different segments of the data? Are the data generating insights that challenge their assumptions? It’s important to frame and deliver the findings in ways that create value for each of your stakeholder groups. This might require you to create different modular deliverables that offer different key takeaways and action items for each group.