4 major priorities for the new insights leader

14 November 2019 | 3 min read | Written by Mitch Scott

Bright lights, big city—and even bigger takeaways.

The Rival team attended The Market Research Event (TMRE) last week alongside our sister company Reach3 Insights. And amidst the entertainment, food, gambling and Elvis impersonators (this conference was no exception 😂) we connected with some really inspiring people and learned about the changing role that is the insights leader.

As we’re about to enter a new decade, changes to market research follow suit and are forcing us to re-write some of the rules of connecting with consumers. That said, it’s interesting that some of the key themes we saw at TMRE have been around for decades.

Go past the what and get to the why

Themes from Simon Sineck’s “Origin of the Why/Golden Circle” 2009 TED Talk were at the heart of many topics discussed at TMRE 2019 – 10 years later.

"People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” - Simon Sineck

Consumer motivations are changing, and companies like Kraft Heinz Company, Dunkin Brands, Chipotle and Talking Rain have to adapt. Today’s consumer values local, special, and good-for-the-planet goods and services. Companies are forced to re-frame their value proposition to address the why. Why should anyone invest in what you’re doing, rather than what you’re selling? If that means replacing 20,000,000 plastic straws with paper ones to decrease your carbon footprint as a company for double the cost so people will appreciate your culture and greater purpose as a company—so be it!

Be a good storyteller

One of the most talked about storytellers at TMRE was notorious Hollywood producer Brian Grazer teaching the value of curiosity and storytelling to capture human emotion. If you missed his session, I can guarantee he was very much on brand. But what we can take away from this is how transferable this message of storytelling can be in consumer marketing.

Insights professionals are in the feelings business.

If you’ve ever seen a Dove campaign shared on social media or someone smile during a Coca-Cola Christmas spot, you’ve witnessed the power of storytelling at its best: these companies selling soap and carbonated sugar water know how to turn the consumption of their products into an emotional, memorable experience.

Insights professionals are in the feelings business. No matter what you sell, storytelling is the key to piquing the curiosity of your customers.

Do more with less

With our technology tool belt giving us access to information better, faster and at higher volumes than ever before, it’s tempting to spit it out in the volume that it comes in. But sometimes we forget who we’re speaking to and what they actually want to hear.

Researchers need to rethink traditional ways of reporting data to their stakeholders.

Of course that’s applicable when speaking to your customers, but it’s also relevant for communicating internally to stakeholders, such as sharing your insights to the C-suite. Researchers need to rethink traditional ways of reporting data to their stakeholders. After completing a multi-phase research project, if you share a 20-page report to your execs it isn’t going to be read. Let go of formalities and processes of your past to connect with the fast-paced, mobile-first world with digestible content. After all, if you wouldn’t feed it to your customers, why would you feed it to your collogues? 😏

Speed matters 

Speed matters because customers give more honest insights when they're not forced to recall.

CPG giant Kimberley Clark's session brought forward a resonating idea that we have entered the third wave market research in the digital space. Wave #1 being email MR, wave #2 being the rise of the online community and wave #3 being connecting with customers in real time where they are hanging out - on their mobile devices. 

Speed matters because customers give more honest insights when they're not forced to recall. And Reach3 insights, our sister company who co-presented with Kimberly-Clark, says the way to do this is with real-time conversational chats as oppose to long-drawn surveys.

The Kimberly-Clark presentation, lead by Kimberly-Clark's Laura Plaukovich and Reach3's Jon Dore, garnered some attention last month when they presented similar content on driving sales with conversational insights at the Corporate Researchers' Conference in Orlando, Florida. The pair were the crowd-voted winners of the EXPLOR award for the research project that utilized selfie videos, conversational chats and other approaches to address areas of improvement on click-and-collect sales.   

I’m curious – whether you attended TMRE or not this year—what does the new insights leader mean to you? Drop a comment below 👇

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Written by Mitch Scott

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