In every great rock band worldwide, the bassist, the lead guitar, the keyboards, and the drums must play the same rhythm. If one of these core components fails, the entire song will collapse, leaving a red-faced singer and an angry crowd. The role of insights and marketing teams is not so different. When both work hand-in-hand with the same objective of serving the consumer’s needs, the outcome benefits everybody in the organization.
Suppose you would prefer to listen to this discussion from Zinklar´s Research Manager Rhys Clements and Product Marketing Manager, Andy Ainsworth. In that case, you can watch a recording of their recent webinar here.
Five top tips for marketers to become insights rockstars!
1. Plan effectively
There’s an old English phrase poor planning equals poor performance. Unfortunately, these words are often recited after a project has failed to deliver on its objectives. So how do you avoid hearing this phrase?
In market research, planning is not just important; it is critical to ensure the consumer is always at the heart of the decision-making process. For example, in an FMCG company, the insights team is likely working & planning projects based on an innovation pipeline for new or updated products and determining where the consumer’s voice is needed.
As a marketer, you first need to understand the whole product lifecycle, primarily if you work in an organization without a dedicated insights functionality. The next step is to build a plan that answers the following questions.
1. What is the overall objective of the study?
2. What type of study will best solve this problem?
3. Who is the target audience? Include the target country and ideal respondent profile.
It is essential to consider these three questions before jumping straight into survey creation. Many marketers told us they are often very time-poor and have competing projects, so they jump straight into survey creation from a limited brief. At Zinklar, our market research experts can guide building an effective market research brief and then the best questions to help discover compelling answers from the correct target audience.
2. Be proactive, not reactive
The level of consumer change over the past two to three years has been enormous. When we look back to January 2020, not many people predicted the tsunami of change that would happen from March onwards. The most proactive clients already had active research studies live, tracking consumer trends and behaviors. They could pivot their business plans and react quickly to the changes since they already had the data to make crucial decisions.
Other organizations had to react and react fast! We saw a general increase in studies as businesses tried to get information quickly on how consumer habits were changing, but they were always playing catch up.
Marketers should try and be proactive with their research and use tracking projects to react to market changes in real-time. The savviest marketers will create dashboards with continuous measurements of brand sentiment, brand consideration, purchase intent, and brand value perception. The advantage of this approach is that they can react in real-time to significant market changes and make decisions quickly to seize opportunities and close the gap on your competitors.
3. Be curious about everything!
The best insights professionals are born curious; they spend hours in the supermarket examining the packaging details, the advertising messages, and positioning statements of competitor brands – well, maybe not hours but until their significant other pulls them away. The point is that the insights team enjoys observing consumers’ reactions, spotting profiling trends, and thinking of the following question to ask a respondent. The challenge for marketers is often one of deadlines and time constraints. For example, a marketing brief might state, ‘We need to launch this new product in 6 months, and it needs to perform better than XY competitor’. The challenge is set, and the clock is ticking!
In the past, a significant research study could have taken four to six months – now, marketers must understand this world does not need to exist anymore. The birth of agile market research and Zinklar means it is much easier for marketers to become curious. The first set of results of an advertising test using a monadic design could be ready within days of setting the brief. At this point, the marketing and insights team can sit down and discuss/analyze the results before making a joint decision on the next steps.
4. Be Bold
The phrase ‘be bold’ could be a little vague and might mean many things to different people in many professions worldwide. In the case of marketers becoming expert market researchers, we liken the need to be bold with having conviction.
Even the most seasoned insights professionals will have to fight against the personal opinions of stakeholders across multiple teams. However, the person or team responsible for a research project is often the only group that has spent hours, days, or weeks getting to know the target audience. To be bold in this instance is to be brave and speak loudly about your results.
As a marketer responsible for a research project, you will need to own the voice of the customer. Focus on presenting the data from the project and then being open to answering questions from your colleagues or stakeholders. One of the best aspects of using an agile market research platform is that it removes the headache of informing stakeholders that there is no possibility of further questions in a study. The Zinklar Insights Platform lets you be more agile and quickly launch new surveys to any audience from 80 countries – all from one platform.
5. Expect to iterate
The first top tip for marketers to become insights rockstars was to plan effectively. And a significant part of planning is the ability to iterate on ideas and concepts.
Researchers often find something during the research that changes the way a product, concept, or advertising idea evolves. Often expert insight teams will be in situations where they find something out during the study that will impact how the product develops. For example, you could expect to find one winning product from a concept, but actually, consumers end up liking all of them.
Therefore, you need to be ready to re-test and ask more questions to consumers to make the best decisions. We worked with a leading brand, and they had this exact situation where two designs were equally as favorable after testing six new packages. The client quickly launched another test, asking more questions and directly comparing the packages to find the winner.
In summary, marketers should follow these five top tips to develop market research for their organisations. By using Zinklar marketers can create high-quality and intuitive surveys in minutes, gather responses in hours and deliver actionable insights the same day – all from one insights platform.