What is a True Culture of Insight?

Emily James

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Sophie Grieve-Williams

    The simple answer, is that a culture of insight perpetuates customer-centricity throughout the organisation, and it’s a step into future success.

    Now that seems quite lofty for such a simple question, but think about it this way: when you go to make a decision in your daily life, you consult several factors without even knowing it. Say you’re choosing between two different types of snack - you consult your desire for each choice, the consequences of each choice and the need for each choice, all at the very least. Everyone makes thousands of these small decisions each day, and because they’re so small we don’t tend to notice them.

    But these small decisions on the part of customers and the general consumer population could be in reference to your business – which brand should they choose for a particular product or service, why should they choose your brand over the other, how would it look to others if they used your brand over a more popular brand maybe? These are all questions that go through a consumer’s mind whether consciously or subconsciously, and all have a great impact on the decision made.

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    A culture of insights is a step towards future success. Stakeholders who establish a culture of insight, they're allowing insights to flow around the business and impact decisions across the board.

    A culture of insight helps businesses discover the answers to these thoughts and consumer behaviours whenever and wherever they might want. A culture of insight will help businesses embed insights into the heart of decisions made across the business, allowing all teams to gain access into the minds of customers and consumers through the continuous access to market research for up-to-date, high-quality data.

    When making similar smaller and seemingly inconsequential decisions in a business that will impact the consumer and customer experiences, we typically only have access to this information only by conducting research and gathering those specific insights. To have a culture of insight means having the ability to request research as soon as the decision arises and use those insights to highlight the right choice.

    Creating a Culture of Insight

    So how do stakeholders create this culture of insight? Typically, with a business that doesn’t already have some semblance of customer-centricity within its process and strategy evaluation or regularly accessed in-house market research prowess, the drive for a culture of insights will come from the insight experts within the business.

    A designated insight team or insight professional has the knowledge and experience to create a culture within the business that values insights, understands their power, and regularly puts them to good use. How do they do that? By making insights accessible, relevant, and accurate.

    Accessible Insights

    Insight teams are the ones who conduct research. They are the ones who are in direct contact with customers and consumers for the most part, and when these insights and connections aren’t shared as much as they can be then that perpetuates the informational siloes typically found within organisations that don’t value the voice of the customer. But because insight teams have continuous access to customers and consumers, they are in prime position to create dedicated insight channels available to all to share the insights gathered on a regular basis.

    But making insights accessible doesn’t just mean sharing them around. Insight teams need to implement processes and strategies that make requesting insights just as accessible too. Making room for insight professionals in conversations that happen across the business can help with this; if insight experts or advocates are a part of everyday conversations and important meetings, then they can both share insights that are relevant to the decisions being made, or offer the choice of research to help inform those decisions further.

    Relevant and Accurate Insights

    No one in the business is going to use the insights research experts generate unless those insights are relevant to the task at hand and are an accurate reflection of the customer context and business situation.

    Relevance and accuracy are what make insights directly actionable, and there are a number of ways for insight teams to make sure that the insights generated are actionable; from tailoring the research experiences to the needs of the business and stakeholder to getting stakeholders directly involved so that the crucial contextual information that makes or breaks the resulting success can be embedded into the very fabric of the design.

    The more effort insight teams put into creating actionable insights, the more those insights will successfully inform decisions and then will gain a reputation across the business for being useful; this new view of insights will start a positive spiral throughout the business, and more teams will look to the insight team for guidance and information to feed into their decisions.

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    Empowering brands through customer data can be tough, but a properly embedded culture of insight can streamline the flow of data and unify everyone in the business under the umbrella of insight.

    Reaching the Finish Line

    Empowering the organisation through customer insights can be tough and there are challenges to overcome, but it is worth it in the end. Once the need for a culture of insights is recognised, and steps have been taken to implement one, the question then arises, how do we know when a business achieved a good culture of insights?

    A culture of insights will fuel a level of customer centricity across the business. Depending on how deep the roots of insight culture reaches in the level of customer-centricity that drives the teams within the business will reveal itself. Measuring the level of customer centricity within the organisation will help stakeholders understand how much of the organisation takes customer insights into account, and how successfully customer insights are being implemented into decision-making processes.

    Insights Empowerment

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