Staying in synch with your market
In today's fast-moving landscape, market intelligence must become more dynamic to enable rapid strategy development and iterative action. As a result, many organizations are rethinking how they approach research to fuel the insatiable demand for fast insights about competitors and customers. Researchers are turning to flexible, quick-turn data collection methods including online surveys and blog mining, as well as immersive methodologies such as ethnographic research, to help them gain deeper insight about customers.
Companies are also investing in powerful analytics platforms to streamline the sense-making process. But collecting and aggregating insight is only half the challenge. It's not enough to answer the question of "What's happening" — research also has to facilitate discussions around "What should we do about it?" Piles of data buried in 100-slide PowerPoint decks won't cut it — busy executives need a concise summary of just the facts that will help them make more informed decisions.
A truly dynamic approach puts intelligence in context of actions to allow the organization to operationalize the insight. This requires a new skill set that is both analytical and intuitive, both strategic and tactical. The next-gen marketing strategist needs to be able to penetrate both hard and soft data to synthesize meaning, draw conclusions, and clarify priorities.
Converting aha!s into action
These three techniques can help you drive adoption of insight across your organization:
- Actionalize intelligence by going beyond reporting the facts to framing up possible actions. Attach to every finding an implication that makes clear the strategic options inherent in the data.
- Facilitate knowledge sharing through "communities of practice" that connect like-minded thinkers inside your organization. Consider wikis and portals to accelerate cross-pollination within and across teams.
- Align insight into workflows by publishing insights in the context of internal user needs. For instance, reconstitute competitive intelligence into weekly news alerts for executives, battlecards for the field, and category trend reports for product marketing.