Is it time to revise traditional industry identifiers such as “market research” and “consumer insights” (or as we call it "consumer understanding")?
It’s not that these phrases have outlasted their meaning. But at every turn, “communication” seems like it should be part of how we define our jobs. For starters, it’s crucial to communicate effectively with the consumers we’re trying to understand. If we can’t interest them and win their trust with a seamless, crystal clear survey experience, they’ll ignore us. Or, perhaps even worse, they’ll penalize poor communication by turning off their brains while they plow through a survey.
Attracting and hitting it off with the right consumers is just the start, however. Admirable data becomes useless if communication falters down the home stretch. There’s no payoff for a brilliant research project if the decision makers tune out because the presentation is confusing dull, and fails to anticipate the questions they really want answered. The presentation is like the ninth inning of a ballgame, when the team’s closer is called upon to hold a lead, clinch victory, and give value to everything that has come before.
A recent online piece for Quirks by Chris Jesurun, manager of consumer and brand insights at Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Shop, offers sound advice on how to communicate down the home-stretch by presenting research findings in ways that are structured to maintain interest and answer anticipated questions.
A key takeaway is the need to communicate with the decision-makers to understand what they need to accomplish – not during the presentation, but at a much earlier stage in the project. To continue the baseball analogy, there’s no point calling in your closer when you’re behind, and conducting a market research project without understanding its purpose isn’t likely to enter the ninth with a win in sight.
There’s an additional stage in your research when communication is just as critical: when you’re having a discussion with research vendors about how to organize and execute a project. At MFour, we call the people you’ll have those discussions with “solutions executives,” because they want to plug you into the research products and methods that will help you and your clients or stakeholders solve business problems, not just data collection problems. The more you can communicate your business aims along with your technical needs, the better the results will be when it comes time for you to close with a winning presentation.
To kick off a great communication process leading to a great research project, just get in touch and we’ll have a productive conversation about how to meet your specific projects’ needs. Just click here.