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Are you sitting comfortably?

Ensuring your insights have maximum impact has always been the goal of market research. The same is true for researchers in marketing and other fields. After all, why spend weeks on a client project if you can’t fully understand the knowledge you’ve collected ? The key to impactful research insights is often in the storytelling. However, how those stories are told will and should be different, depending on the audience. Understanding this can make a huge difference in the way you present your findings. 

Using the language of your audience themselves can often break down some barriers, particularly when it comes to communicating complex data. Presenting bite-sized chunks, using shorter sentences and not bombarding them with figures and statistics can keep people engaged; relying on data-heavy presentations can often do the opposite. 

Your storytelling needs to present a journey for the audience. You start with the obstacles, and your insights provide the successful paths around them, regardless of the field you operate in. Understanding your audience will help you tailor your storytelling accordingly, and each section of that audience will be looking for clear takeaways in very different ways. For example, as Andrew Maher noted in a good article on market research insights, your audience could be a mix of: 

  • CEO
  • Executives (C-Suite)
  • Department leaders (Operations, Support, Sales, Marketing, Product)
  • Frontline (those staff who work on the frontline and understand your story at a tactical level)
  • All staff (everyone in your organization is also an important consideration, especially as companies embrace enterprise wide communication)
  • Stakeholders (investors/board etc.)

Each will be differently affected by not just your insights, but how you deliver them. Your storytelling should take into consideration the different impacts your insights will have. Using simple storytelling techniques, with good visual aids, can often engage an audience more easily than a relentless flurry of statistics. Infographics combined with video clips of subject interviews (where applicable) can often have more impact than a simple graph, and give your narrative a more relatable feeling for the audience. 

Remember: your storytelling is leading the audience to one or a series of conclusions which will hopefully be actioned. How you take them on that journey can be key to whether your insights are taken on board.

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