In customer-led companies, the market research team provides the critical customer intelligence needed to navigate industry disruptions. Customer insight helps brands outpace the competition, and researchers deliver that knowledge and understanding to the organization.
On a recent speaking tour in Australia, I shared some thoughts on how insight teams can boost their profile in the company, increase their influence and take their careers to the next level. The tips I shared were based on best practices from award-winning customer intelligence professionals who use insight communities in their practice.
Here are four ways insight teams can showcase their success and build their reputation both inside and outside of the company.
1. Create a compelling and consistent brand
A strong and distinct brand helps amplify the value you bring to the organization. So when it comes to communicating your success, think like a marketer. This includes considering the look and feel of your materials. Your colleagues in other departments should be able to recognize your work from ten yards away. For consistency, consider using a consistent color scheme across all of your presentations and reports to create and reinforce a brand identity.
Boosting your team members’ visibility at industry events is also a great idea. Speaking at conferences will position your team as sought-after thought leaders in your field, while writing articles for websites like GreenBook will expand your reach to a wider audience. Entering award competitions, including Vision Critical’s Visionary Awards, could give your work extra credibility from a third-party. All of these external branding efforts will ultimately increase your influence within your company as well, by demonstrating that you are industry experts worth listening to.
2. Embrace interdepartmental collaboration
There is more data, technology and fierce competition than ever before. As a result, many companies are turning to interdisciplinary teams to gain strategic advantages that could never be achieved in silos. Insight teams need to be included in this process because they represent the customer and have useful skills to add.
For the outputs from the insight team to be impactful across the organization, they need to be timely, clear and action-oriented. The specific materials will vary from one company to the next, but the key is to focus on what your stakeholders need. The more actionable the materials for your colleagues, the more value you’re providing and the more likely other departments will come to you for high-impact, collaborative projects.
3. Speak the language of your stakeholders
It’s not enough to do great work; your team also needs to demonstrate your impact in a way people understand. Instead of using research jargon, use the language of your decision-makers and stakeholders. For example, instead of talking about “changes in affinity,” you could demonstrate the impact of an insight project on revenue and other business metrics. Speaking the language of the business is an essential step to ensuring that your contributions are recognized.
Keeping a record of your contributions to the organization is also critical. If your company uses Salesforce, for instance, set up a field that records the involvement of your team in all contracts won. If customer feedback from an insight community led to a successful product development, that should also be captured through presentations to decision-makers, newsletters and other internal communications.
4. Celebrate success loudly
Take a cue from your colleagues in sales, and don’t be shy about celebrating success. When sales teams win a new deal, they usually have a tradition, whether it’s ringing a bell, going for drinks or throwing a big party. Instill similar rituals that you can adopt to recognize your team’s wins, and don’t forget to share your achievements within the company.
For more tips on how to boost your market research career, download The Must-have Toolkit for Market Researchers.