In most organizations, the market research or customer insight department is seen as a support pillar for multiple divisions and as a cost center.
Did you know the customer insight team can be a profit center? In the past, this would have been unheard of.
But today, the opportunity to provide a perspective on audience attitudes, emotion, and intent that can’t be uncovered in any other way enables insight professionals to differentiate their services, add value to their programs, and build robust, long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with stakeholders and even third parties.
This approach can be loosely defined as monetizing data.
There are three common ways to monetize insight:
Value-add partnership programs
In this model, companies differentiate their offers with a variety of data-enriched partnership programs based on the potential value of the advertiser’s programs.
Advertisers are looking for ROI, and insight teams can provide more than ad space, helping their companies become valued consultants to their partners and advertisers.
“Insight teams can provide more than ad space.”
For example, you can give your clients a way to pre-test their content or campaign with their intended audience.
Going one step further, you can also conduct more post-studies to close the ROI loop on a client’s campaign. With ongoing access to highly engaged customers, you can compare past and post-respondent data to determine the value of the partnership.
By vetting a partner’s content before it goes live and measuring the results after it’s aired, insight professionals can bring more value to the table and work with clients on a higher level.
Insight groups can offer access to focus groups, propriety data, niche customer segments, or private, online communities of highly engaged, carefully segmented customers who have opted-in to participate in ongoing survey activities.
In this model, customer insight teams work hand in hand with their sales teams to provide agile, real-time insight specific to the opportunity at hand. This is often known as insight selling.
One way to sell insights is to talk to your audience in real time and ask them about their favorite brands. Then, instead of trying to sell a partnership to every prospect under the sun, you can zero in on the brands your audience would like to be exposed to – with the customer insights to prove value.
Going into a corporate pitch with transactional data simply isn’t enough these days, especially when your competitors have direct access to their audiences and can learn, in real time, about their preferences, opinions and behaviors.
This approach allows the insights team to equate their value to revenue deal by deal. The insight team can help sales close more deals and retain existing clients. Customer insights can be the difference between winning and losing a million-dollar deal.
“By providing pre-sale insight, you can equate your value to revenue deal by deal.”
Selling intelligence and access
Progressive teams have ongoing access to well-qualified, highly engaged lists of opted-in customers. This access makes the teams uniquely positioned to develop a deep understanding of carefully segmented customer groups.
When you have access to customer segments that are traditionally hard to find and engage, you can offer significant value other companies would pay for. This is especially true if your audience is smaller and niche. Organizations might go to great lengths to tap into your sample. However, large-scale audience customer insights shouldn’t be discounted either. They can be effectively monetized if you become the “expert” on that audience.
These relationships are extremely valuable to both the company and its partners. It’s more expedient and efficient to offer access through a value-added reseller of insight. Some especially progressive teams provide their partners with access to intelligence hubs or dashboards that are updated in near real time, so they’re always working with the freshest insight while securing ongoing access to previous studies and results rather than relying on presentations and reports.
If you have external clients and an audience base this clientele can benefit from, you can successfully monetize research and drive new revenue. At the same time, you can demonstrate your value, future-proof your research role and help your organization gain a competitive edge.