Last month our team attended The Insights Association Corporate Researchers Conference in Chicago. With its focus on compelling industry leaders, innovative techniques and the tangible impact of research on business, this event provided valuable opportunities to form connections, expand our industry knowledge and gain exposure to new market trends.
The conference was especially valuable for the light it shed on the evolving role of corporate researchers. So, what did we learn from CRC 2017?
- Corporate researchers have the most influence when insights are directly linked to business impact.
When you can connect insights to key business decisions- like strategic planning, brand positioning, and marketing strategy- the results deliver tangible ROI to the entire organization. Failing to establish this connection risks research feeling like a cost rather than an investment. Companies with the ability to link insights work to metrics like customer loyalty and growth rates are more satisfied with insights vendors because the research is designed with the needs of the business in mind. Corporate researchers are successful in establishing themselves as thought leaders inside their organizations when the business impact of insights-driven decisions is deliberately measured.
Our team uses an ROI compass as the guiding light for all research projects, as our success is a measure of our clients’ success. The first step we do is ask questions to define the business objectives upfront that will serve as the foundation of the ROI compass that the entire project will tie back to. Consumer insights are meaningless outside of research if we can’t help other stakeholders understand how to utilize that information to foster business growth, increase revenue, and amplify return on investment.
CRC presented a variety of topics, from the effective use of storytelling for customer segmentation to activating the senses through neuroscience. These sessions had a common focus: to help corporate researchers evolve their skill sets, elevate the insights mission and solidify insights departments as strategic partners inside their organization. As technology continues to advance and our ability to measure results and business impact is enhanced, the role of corporate researchers becomes more complex, but also significantly more important. It’s an exciting time for corporate researchers and the partners who support them!