Researchers’ Choice: Socialize Insights Or Face Extinction
The pace of business is getting faster. In fact, it will never be slower than it is today. This new pace is impacting all aspects of a company, especially the Insights function. How does an Insights organization keep up with the ever-increasing speed of business? Seven years ago, when I was at P&G, it could require 6-12 weeks to do research. This timing is no longer acceptable to meet business demands. As a result, we see the rise in Do-It-Yourself (DIY) platforms. DIY technologies have helped us speed up the process of getting data, but that is only a piece in the full cycle from business question to action.
— Kristi and Lesley Frakes of Whirlpool will provide detailed advice on this topic at Converge, December 4-5 in Los Angeles. —
It is the job of Insights to drive revenue with consumer-driven decisions. The business rarely questions if a consumer insight will drive revenue. More often, it’s doubted that insights will be effectively used to drive revenue. According to the most recent Quirks report, one of the most common reasons why insights are not used is because people in the organization don’t know they exist inside their company.
To ensure the Insights function has maximum impact on revenue, we must socialize our insights and knowledge. Getting data and insights into the hands of decision makers at the right time is critical for our businesses to grow revenue and the Insights function to deliver the maximum value to the organization.
The risk of not socializing your insights across the organization is the extinction of the Insights function altogether.
If your research isn’t being used, your ROI to the business goes down and justification for the cost of an Insights group becomes difficult. Global Research Business Network (GRBN) and Boston Consulting Group completed a recent study and analysis (ROI of Insights) and found democratizing insights is a core characteristic among only the top performing Insights functions.
Socialization and democratization of our Insights is such an easy concept to execute when considering the high risk if we don’t. So why are many people in our industry so reluctant to do it? We found two major reasons why people are hesitant:
People will misuse the data.
The most common reason we hear Insights managers confess why they are resistant to democratization is because they are concerned their business partners will misuse the data. What we have found is that when data is misused it’s usually done intentionally. This is not something that will start or stop with democratization, especially with how much data is now accessible on the internet. If you don’t trust your stakeholders with data, it’s probable they will find it on their own. You are all well-educated and aligned with the core goals of the company. You are not competing with each other. You are on the same team. Put faith in your peers at your company and you all will win.
Does my job become irrelevant if my business partners have access to the data?
As the Insights function, you were hired to be the voice of the consumer in decisions. Data is not your competitive advantage. Anyone can get access to data. You were likely hired because you see patterns in data and have a gift to translate those patterns into business action. You likely have the ability to read between the lines to hear what consumers are really saying versus the words they are speaking. You are essentially a strategy consultant. If your job becomes irrelevant because others now have access to data, you weren’t doing an effective job in the first place. Start exercising your skills as a consumer strategy consultant. Data isn’t your competitive advantage, your brain is.
If you want to hear more about the democratization and socialization of data and insights, attend Converge, December 4-5 in Los Angeles where Whirlpool will be talking about how, through technology, they empower anyone to find answers from their research. With the newest in technologies, you can ensure your business partners see your true ROI.