It may sound harsh, but it’s true—if your insights department fails to convey the value it brings to the business, you’ll have a hard time securing budget or getting stakeholder buy-in for your initiatives. The current economy is an unusual combination of rapid growth opportunities and high levels of risk. As competition increases and budgets tighten, organizational leadership has to make rapid-fire decisions, and traditional research can’t keep up.
Many strategic moves are being made without the data needed to back them up, giving the insights department the appearance of irrelevance. However, if your team uses the agile approach to market research, you already have the necessary speed to enable your leadership to make data-driven decisions. That’s why it’s vital to champion the benefits that agile research brings to the table. Here are five ways to do it.
Be clear about your purpose
If your team doesn’t understand its purpose and priorities, neither will anyone else. One of the first steps you need to take to communicate your value is to be clear about your team’s vision. Part of this is defining how your team’s efforts support the overall goals and objectives of the organization. Insights departments with clear goals tend to receive bigger budgets, get more leadership buy-in, and have a broader influence on the overall business.
Part of having a clear purpose is acting consistently with it. You need to walk the walk. Once you and your team are on the same page about your goals, ensuring that your communication and behavior align with that vision is crucial. Other members of the organization should be able to see that the Insights Department is a unified team striving towards specific goals that are clearly defined and are directly benefiting the company. This is where clarifying your priorities intersects with building your name and reputation within the business.
Pursue top-level executive buy-in
If you want other department heads to trust you, secure executive support. This is another way to expand the influence of your insights team and champion its worth. Take the time to talk to leadership and communicate to them the value that agile research can bring to the business. Turning one leader from a skeptic to an advocate can create huge impacts throughout the organization regarding building influence.
To achieve this, it makes sense to identify and engage leaders who are connected with and understand the value of customer insights. As with all of these tips, communication is essential. Ensure that leaders receive your insights reports. Get them the information they need. Then, when you have a conversation with them. Tell them a memorable story. This story demonstrates how agile research can deliver impressive results throughout the organization.
The insights your team uncovers are only meaningful if they are used to make decisions. When data contributes to making small-scale decisions, the word may get around, or it may not. However, the entire organization benefits when leadership uses your data and research to make decisions. That’s another reason securing executive buy-in is crucial to increasing awareness about your agile research department.
Effectively distribute your insights
Similar to our previous point, if people are not seeing your research, they’re not seeing your value. Sometimes, insights teams get into a situation where they are doing high-speed, high-value research that goes unnoticed by the people who could be using it. This, again, goes back to communication. Your team needs to be distributing your findings in a way that is memorable and impactful to various leaders across the organization. Think about producing bite-sized nuggets of data to make things understandable. It’s not enough to simply send an email with your data and PPT slides and hope someone sees it.
Some organizations even have a place to store market data and research, but if the department heads don’t know how to access that repository, that work merely sits idly. That’s why it is sometimes helpful to rely on a platform or system that can store and manage your insights so that anyone can access them anytime. Nonetheless, even with software like this, it’s still vital that your team does good research and finds ways to get this information to the right people in the business.
Embrace flexibility and versatility
The basic premise of the agile methodology is flexibility. The goal of the method is to move away from processes that are no longer efficient and embrace new ways of achieving strategic goals. Your agile research team must apply these principles in how you operate. We’re not just talking about agile market research but also about having agility with the way you communicate and deliver value to your organization.
Your team should strive to be versatile and proactive. Many think the insights department is little more than a reactive cost. An expensive place the business goes to when it is concerned about something. Instead, you should strive to present your team as a way to identify new strategies and opportunities that can help grow the business. The power of agile research enables you to answer questions before they’re asked. That’s the kind of value we need to be focused on delivering. Rather than thinking of insights as being for just one purpose, your team should embrace versatility so that you can create the maximum amount of ROI for the organization.
Demonstrate value through more than just ROI
We have repeatedly stated the necessity of conveying the value of your insights team. This is one of the essential aspects of championing agile research. However, many insights teams focus too heavily on ROI metrics when they can get a more accurate picture from both statistics and stories. When communicating how agile market research can benefit your company, it’s vital to include this diverse mixture of qualitative and quantitative in your discussion. For example, agile research can save the business a great deal of capital and time with the efficiencies it creates, but it also gets your organization closer to your customers. The first fact we shared is a traditional ROI metric, but the latter is a qualitative fact no less crucial to the organization’s success.
These are five of the best ways to champion the value of your agile market research team. The great benefit of going agile is that you are ideally suited to provide value in these rapidly changing times. By taking action to demonstrate your relevance, you can ensure that your hard work doesn’t go to waste. A platform like aytm can help your insights team move faster and deliver more valuable insights than ever before. Instead of waiting weeks for data, you can get information on your target audience in a matter of hours with our fully customizable survey creation features. Plus, our diverse panel consists of over 100 million people across the globe of every demographic possible. We make it easy to segment that panel down to the specific target audience you are interested in. Finally, with the charts and graphics aytm provides, sharing insights in a digestible format is easier than ever.