Business expects more from research these days. Gone are the days of delivering data and expecting the business team to harvest the data to find the insight. Those who welcome this change will succeed, because they will enable the business to succeed. As the researcher, we must be responsible to the business by building high-quality research programs and delivering real, actionable insights. The business team wants knowledge and a belief in their direction forward. They want wisdom that enables them to get budget approval on a new product or new campaign. They want big ideas that help them set a vision. They want those big ideas to take flight, and they need our help to do it. Not through cross-tabs and PowerPoint decks, but by bringing the business closer to people (the consumer) so they can envision the future.
Here are five ways to ensure your team’s insights take off:
1. Be useful, don’t just be clever
2. Be willing to allow others to contribute and earn credit for their ideas.
3. Make connections between the brand and the broader cultural trends and deeper human truths (i.e. instincts and motivations). To do this, you must get out of the office to interact with the people the brand seeks to engage.
4. Make space for your mind to create/connect good ideas and be creative. HINT: you can’t do this in front of your computer or while on your blackberry. Set aside time each day to sit back, workout, or to do whatever activity allows your mind to explore freely.
5. Key to success is understanding the basics of human communication (or better yet, interaction). Know how to listen and be heard. Make time to improve your understanding of what triggers and levers are useful for illuminating the insight and action needed.