I know what you’re thinking. It sounds a bit ‘stating the obvious’. Better insights = better campaigns. Tick, thank you, goodbye.
But knowing whether you’ve got the insight you need? That’s the not-so-obvious bit.
There’s no Super-Mario-style ‘ta-diiing’ that chimes every time a golden nugget of insight is uncovered. (Although wouldn’t that be amazing?!) No climbing score as you level up your research efforts. No fanfare to mark the end of the insights phase so you know it’s time to confidently move into strategy > activation > optimisation.
When you’re knee-deep in B2B marketing insights, you often can’t see the wood for the trees. Snippets of insight viewed in isolation aren’t very – for lack of a better word – insightful. So, how can you check that the research you’ve gathered is strong enough to build a successful campaign upon? It’s all about energy, well spent.
No research for research’s sake
Doing research just to say you’ve done it is a recipe for weak insights. The discovery process should be planned, productive and purposeful.
If you’re embarking on a new marketing campaign, it may be tempting to start afresh. And yes, keeping insights up-to-date is a must. But there’s no need to go back to the drawing board if you don’t have to. Instead, start by reviewing the insights you already have, and build a plan to fill the gaps, challenge assumptions and delve deeper.
For example, Perhaps you have some customer interview scripts from last year’s campaign. Unless perceptions have shifted dramatically in the last 12 months, these insights are likely to ring true today.
To strengthen the insight, you could reach out to the same segment to quickly validate the initial insight, before asking about their pain points, communication preferences or buying patterns.
Jot everything down. Insight that may seem insignificant in the moment could seriously strengthen your strategy – especially if a collective consensus emerges.
Asking an individual about their communication channels may appear mundane. But if a clear preference is shared across your audience, this could be the golden insight you need to tailor content syndication and paid channels to effectively connect with your audience – ensuring this often-expensive activity delivers significant return on investment.
Strength in numbers
Your planning team shouldn’t see themselves as The Great Gatekeepers of Insight. It may be their precious baby to swaddle and protect, but the full project team needs to be involved in the insights process from the get-go.
From content to creative – your teams should immerse themselves in the client’s product, brand and industry via kick-offs, workshops and interviews. They need to hear information straight from the horse’s mouth, so they can translate every neigh and whinny into insight-guided assets for your campaign.
The client team should be involved too. Hosting workshops is a great way to get everyone in the same space to unearth different points of view, uncover commonalities, and drive buy-in from across the business.
But gathering a broad consensus doesn’t automatically equal strength. B2B marketing insights need to be validated, analysed and contextualised so they make sense for your campaign.
Make it make sense
As every campaign is different, there’s no set structure for research rationalisation.
You may need to supplement market insight with desk research to create industry snapshots. Use digital tools to find patterns and commonalities in customer data. Build narratives using testimonials to understand what the insight is telling you. Do whatever it takes to make it make sense for your team.
No matter the final format, your insights will drive your direction, ground your ideas, and act as guidance your team can keep referring back to, so they need to be usable and useful for everyone.
At Don’t be Shy, we’re all about Big Deck Energy. We rationalise insights into slide decks that everyone can access and use throughout the project. It provides one easily digestible point of reference, helps us build a strong narrative, and ensures that everything we do is insights-first.
The deeper the insights, the bigger your ROI
Insights-first is a way of (agency) life. Strategy = guided by insights. Messaging = guided by insights. Creative? You guessed it = guided by insights.
Only by gettng to the golden insight can you make sure your campaign connects with your audience on a deeper level and, ultimately, achieves better results.
Is weak insight the greatest challenge in B2B marketing right now? Something else keeping you awake at night? We asked marketers across the country, 'What's the matter?' Here's what they had to say.