I just returned from keynoting a conference on the ROI of Market Research in Chicago. Prior to going, I expected to walk into a minefield of very divergent views on how market insights professionals can show their value. Instead, what I found was a “convergent validity” of the views forwarded by Forrester on how to show and build the value of research and insights.
What this means is that there is a clear future path for market insights. Market insights leaders at companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepperidge Farms, General Mills, Schwab, among others, are already getting on what Forrester is calling the insights value path and are positioning themselves to be able to jump over a high performance bar. What do high-performance market insights organizations know and do?
Run market insights like a business. Be accountable to your funders, be focused on being a value-driver (versus a cost center), and show the value you bring to the company.
Use ROI to optimize the business. Use ROI to show value-add but also to optimize efforts and insights (which avoids waste and creates a competitive advantage).
Focus on relationships as well as formulas. Build perceived value of research (through relationship-building and delivering insights aligned to stakeholder needs) while capturing tangible value through ROI calculations.