Socialize Marketing Research to Share the Customer Story
Socialize Marketing Research to Share the Customer Story
Here’s a trick question.
What’s the single, most critical step in the marketing research process? Would you say it’s clearly defining the business problem at hand? What about ensuring you’re gathering feedback from the right target audience? Of course, you can’t underestimate the importance of asking questions in just the right way to get the information needed or verifying the quality and accuracy of your data.
The truth is that each of these steps is essential to the success of every marketing research study. However, the key to getting the most value from your marketing research initiatives hinges on one final step – to effectively communicate and socialize marketing research findings across your organization. To be truly useful, marketing research must do three things: educate, inspire, and motivate your internal stakeholders to make growth-oriented change happen.
Who’s the Hero of Your Brand Story?
No, this isn’t another trick question. To be truly customer-centric, everyone in your organization needs to see your customers as the heroes in your brand story and then understand how to help them meet their needs and achieve their goals. Your key stakeholders need to be knowledgeable about your customers’ experiences, both good and bad. More than that, they need to be personally invested in solving customer problems and removing pain points.
Cast Key Stakeholders as Supporting Characters
As your key stakeholders make sense of the story your marketing research is telling, they need to understand their role as ‘supporting characters’ to your ‘customer heroes.’ That requires they become empowered and motivated to act on the information.
Setting an expectation for action begins by bringing stakeholders into the marketing research process from the start. An effective study design needs to consider the business initiatives stakeholders are currently working on so that your research objectives can be aligned with their most pressing customer information needs. Plus, understanding how the research findings will be used helps ensure that the right questions will be asked. Identifying existing beliefs about customer attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors is also important. Partnering with internal stakeholders during the research design phase helps them see their role more clearly and builds genuine interest in the research outcomes.
Consider ways to formalize their role by assigning key individuals to serve as CX Champions. These are people who can lead their teams and ensure accountability for closing the loop on customer feedback by developing action plans, putting new initiatives in place, and reporting on the outcomes.
Once completed, the ways you choose to socialize marketing research can impact how quickly your key stakeholders understand their role, recognize what changes need to be made, and act to improve your products, services, and customer interactions. Here are just a few:
- Executive Summaries & Dashboards
Senior executives need to be informed about the state of your CX and brand health in order to provide the necessary support for the decision making and initiatives that result from smart, strategic research insights.
- Stakeholder Work Sessions
It isn’t enough to simply present marketing research findings with key stakeholders. They need to be co-collaborators in the process of identifying the most relevant insights, developing action plans, and prioritizing next steps. Facilitating marketing research work sessions is a great way to empower stakeholders to make strategic decisions with confidence based on their expanded customer knowledge.
- Stakeholder & Customer Dialogs
Host collaborative dialogs or co-creation sessions between key stakeholders and customers on core topics covered in your research to gain deeper insight.
- Centralized Knowledge-Sharing Platform
Giving stakeholders access to information in a central location democratizes your marketing research making it easy to retrieve important customer information right when they need it.
Bring Your Customer Story to Life
Ultimately, the most effective way for key stakeholders to process and make use of your research findings is by bringing your customer story to life. Give them multiple ways to discover who your customers are and what they need.
- Visualize insights with infographics
- Showcase your customers’ experience in videos
- Set-up physical spaces for CX installations
Every Employee Plays a Role in Your Brand Story
Raising awareness of your customers’ experiences and your brand’s health among all employees helps them see customers as the ‘heroes’ in your brand story and better understand the nature of their supporting role. Consider these tactics when looking for the right combination to meet your company-wide, internal communication needs:
- Town hall-style presentations
- Email or intranet updates
- Postings on internal monitors
- Department lunch & learn discussion sessions
The keys to a successful research socialization plan include tailoring the format to the specific audience, being clear about the objectives for sharing, as well as the expectations for what employees are meant to do with the knowledge.
What Are Your Employees Talking About?
“What gets talked about in an organization, and how it gets talked about, determines what will happen, or won’t.”
~Susan Scott, Founder, Fierce, Inc.
The story your research tells should make it easy for employees at all levels to recognize their role and determine what actions are required to improve the customer experience. Creating a process for socializing your marketing research has far-reaching benefits. It helps you create a culture of customer centricity by embedding customer truths, insights, and CX improvement opportunities front and center across your organization. Furthermore, it empowers employees to regularly seek out ways to improve their internal processes and external interactions with a common goal of helping customers improve the quality their lives, even in small ways.
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