Reflecting on our time at The Market Research Event (TMRE) held in Denver, CO, we repeatedly heard about the power of insights communities and the role that qualitative research plays in helping businesses achieve meaningful insights in 2024 and beyond.
The role of insights communities at TMRE
Companies are looking for ways to understand their customers that adds more value to their business decisions. And at TMRE, the role of insights communities stood out as a valuable tool for executives at companies looking to transform data into impactful, actionable feedback and results.
Takeaway #1: Qualitative research offers deeper human insights
With the explosion of data available, qualitative research is rising in importance. Companies are looking for deeper human insights that can help them develop and maintain empathy with their customers. Insights communities were widely lauded at TMRE as a key way to engage with customers and gain valuable insights.
In a panel on building an Insights function from the ground up, executive leadership at Energizer, Voya Financial, and Nordstrom highlighted the ways they ensure their insight communities provide relevant information and how they bridge research back to organizational strategy. By engaging with their customers in an ongoing way, these companies were able to gain deeper insights and make more informed business decisions.
Takeaway #2: AI is disrupting agile market research
Agile qualitative methods supported by AI were also a hot topic at TMRE, with multiple sessions and talks focused on the ways AI is disrupting market research. With speed being a critical factor, researchers are turning to AI to help them process data more quickly.
These methods are particularly useful when it comes to analyzing large amounts of data or identifying patterns and trends. However, despite all the innovation in tools, there are still timeless challenges that insights professionals must overcome.
Takeaway #3: Insights professionals must know how to navigate data
One of the biggest challenges is credibility. With so much data available, it can be difficult to know where to focus. Insights professionals need to stay aligned with the broader business goals and prioritize what is most important.
They must also have a solid understanding of the human side of the internal process, as well as the external research process. To be successful, researchers need to bring natural curiosity, an ability to focus, empathy, and a customer-focused mindset to their work.
Insights professionals must also navigate a noisy conversation due to the abundance of data. Having a “seat at the table” is more important than ever, and the insights function must be tightly aligned with business goals.
This requires ongoing engagement with stakeholders and a willingness to be proactive in identifying new opportunities. It also requires a deep understanding of the customer and a willingness to look beyond the data.
Insights Communities Are Here to Stay
The sessions and conversations at TMRE reinforced that insights communities remain a powerful tool for gaining deeper human insights and engaging with customers in an ongoing way. Agile qualitative methods supported by AI are becoming increasingly important, particularly when it comes to analyzing large amounts of data.
Despite all the innovation in tools, timeless challenges remain when it comes to the credibility of the insights function. To succeed, insights professionals need to stay tightly aligned with the broader business goals, prioritize what is most important, and have a deep understanding of the human side of the internal and external research process.
By bringing a natural curiosity, an ability to focus their learnings, empathy, and a customer-focused mindset to their work, insights professionals can elevate their impact and drive meaningful business outcomes. Contact our experts at Finch Brands today to learn more!
Finch Brands is a real-world brand consultancy that specializes in insights, strategy, and design, and has helped dozens of clients build successful post-M&A brands. We do this by helping clients win when it matters most by helping them own the change moment.