Strategy Activation Workshops: A Great Way to Maximize Your ROI on Your Research Dollars

Filed Under: Best Practices, Market Research, Tools & Techniques, Strategy Workshops


Kat Figatner

Senior Vice President, In-Person Qualitative Research

You just invested coveted research dollars in a project, and it turned out great. The insights uncovered a newer, deeper perspective on your category and brand than ever before.  But what’s next? How do you ensure that your organization truly benefits from this great research? That it’s not just put aside on a virtual shelf and forgotten about, only to have the same initial questions drive another, similar study down the road?

Given today’s competitive environment, maximizing your research investment is more important than ever, and a great way to stretch your investment is by conducting a Strategy Activation Workshop. With a Strategy Activation Workshop, you can disseminate the learnings among internal teams in a way that’s both meaningful and memorable so that the research lives on. You can also amplify the research in a way that helps stakeholders get aligned on the implications and what next steps should be taken.

A recent WSJ article indicates that “On Wall Street today, investors are looking for growth from food companies. That requires spending on innovation to keep up with rapidly changing consumer tastes, as well as investments in marketing.” What better way for the research to live on and be able to ideate innovative ideas based on consumer feedback than through Strategy Activation Workshops?

The most efficient way to incorporate a Strategy Activation Workshop into your marketing plan is to tack it onto the research presentation.  This can be a small (think an extra 1-2 hours beyond the typical presentation time) or large (a full day session). Regardless of how much time your team can commit, it’s a chance for stakeholders to reflect on what the research means for your business and what should be done as a result.

For example, a client came to us with a pretty big challenge – their brand had been around for almost 5 decades, but sales had been declining for the past several years. They wanted to understand why and how to reverse this position.  We conducted multi-modal qualitative research with current users to understand what was keeping them loyal to the brand (its “magic sauce” that makes it unique) as well as with lapsed users to identify reasons for defecting. We sent consumers off on shopping missions to explore their purchase drivers and then engaged with them both in-person through focus groups as well as online through community discussions. We learned that consumers’ engagement with the category has been evolving, and what they look for at shelf isn’t being communicated by the brand.

We included several actionable recommendations in the report for the brand to become more relevant to consumers, but it would be too easy for a client team member to skim over this and not fully “get” the implications.  So, at the conclusion of the project, we led the team through a Strategy Activation Workshop to fully unpack the learnings and resulting implications. 

At the end of the workshop, the client team not only walked away with concrete ideas and action steps to guide them on the brand’s path to success but also were able to internalize the research insights as a result of the workshop experience.  Read more about this case study here.

So, consider a Strategy Activation Workshop the next time you have a project where the stakes are high, and you want to get the most out of the research and maximize your ROI on your research investment.

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