How do I get others (not PMM) bought in on the value of market research?
First of all, *hugs*. I've worked on both the vendor and client sides of research, so I've had the opportunity to work with many different teams with varying levels of interest in market research. When I'm working with a team that isn't "bought-in" on the value of market research, it's usually due to one of the following reasons:
- They're in "start-up" mode and not creating space within their processes to leverage market research insights
- They haven't made it a priority to upskill their team on how and when to use market research insights
- They're focused on short-term growth and improvements over long-term investments and innovation
Much like market research, empathizing with your target audience is the first step to solving this problem. If a team says something like "Customers don't know what they want," or "We don't have time to take a step back," consider it an invitation to talk about what's working well in their process and what could be better. Learn what's working really well for them and where there are opportunities in their process. See if you can identify a problem they want to solve and make market research the solution.
For me, I usually have luck leveraging the forward-leaning strategic value of market research in the product development lifecycle in these kinds of situations. The best products stem from exposing a pain point in the market and developing an innovative solution. It's a lot more efficient to do the research and discover the pain points than it is to A/B test and hope for the best. Good luck!
Make key stakeholders part of the process before you launch studies, and afterwards, leverage internal communications channels and technology to bring the voice of the customer and your learnings alive for all teams.
- Get input on the interview guides/surveys and hypotheses you are testing
- Share quotes, graphs and charts
- Celebrate positive feedback
- Create video compellations with tools like Descript
- Summarize key learnings
- Hold an "open house" for all interested to hear the learnings
Research is an opportunity to help people feel more connected to the work and the impact they're making in the lives of their customers and prospects. Let the work shine.
Try to understand where any resitance might be coming from and be sure to tie your research to business outcomes.
Digital transformation in market research
A variety of self-serve tools exist today that weren't available even a decade ago! They save both time and money (vs. relying on an external agency)---your team just needs to learn how to use them:
- Messaging: run A/B tests with your LinkedIn campaigns and let the numbers speak for themselves! Version ads, landing pages, visuals, terminology, etc.
- Pricing, new concept tests, etc.: check out Quantilope, a research automation platform that exists to support Market Researchers in particular. Think Survey Monkey but on steroids. A fraction of the time and cost it previously took to run these types of studies.
- In-app user experience: run some user interviews on a platform like Userlytics.
Many of these platforms will also offer some level of professional services or can coach you along. And in the case where you don't have budget there are some 'scrappy' stop-gap solutions (do internal usability tests with employees, etc.).
Depending on the nature of your project, you (PMM) + DemandGen + Usability teams are more than capable of administering.
Tie research to existing investments and future projects
With product insights tools like Amplitude and Pendo getting more coverage, quantitative insights are a great place to start but don't tell the full story. They might tell you how many users are abandoning a workflow but won't tell you why or what needs to be done to improve it. Relate your needs for qualitative research to what the quantitative data is showing.
Above all, your reserach must deliver some actionable insight. Research findings should yield actions that will help increase conversion rates, contract size, retention rates or another tangible benefit for the business like higher NPS. Ideally, learnings feed into business case modeling (eg. at this price X% convert but at this other price, Y% convert).
Why do you want to do the research?
- For marketing content/reports? Show the CMO and CEO all of the ways that you'll be able to get value out of it e.g. packaging up into a report for demand gen, webinars, event presentations, etc. etc.
- For insights to influence product roadmap? I'd expect PMs to get pretty excited about having more market data to influence decision making
- Anything else: it's the why. Why should they care, how can your market research others do their job better and help the whole team/company succeed?