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Kristen Ribero
Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Handshake October 29

Insights are extremely important and should always be an input into your messaging architecture or recommendation. Market and customer insights are one of the best ways to make a case for your recommendation, in fact. 

So you don't get stuck in an analysis paralysis state, I'd do a quick audit to understand the current state of data and insights as it pertains to your product/market/etc. Find out:

  • What research is complete and available? This could be something like a survey to your database that was run in the past, research you paid for, data and analysis from things like a TAM anaylsis, investor/board meetings, etc.
  • Where do you think the biggest gaps are that research would help you fill? Is that gap something qualitative or quantitative research could help you figure out. One example of this is understanding key performance motivators of a persona - you would probably get way more talking to 5 to 10 people live vs looking at quantitaive data here.
  • How much time do you have? Again you don't want to be stuck in analaysis for months and there are ways to accomplish developing these types of insights thoroughly or quickly.

From there, you can put a quick research plan together as part of your larger messaging project plan. Try tapping those in your company who've been there a while, have that tribal knowledge, as they may know where to point you for previously completed research and what customers/prospects to talk to. 

Connie Woo
Director of Product Marketing at OpenTable January 1

I don't think it's an either or (qualitative vs. quantitative), it really depends on how you use those insights throughout the recommendation process. I believe both are vital as you are brainstorming and ideating. Qualitative insights (user feedback, sales feedback, etc) may help jump start some ideas and identify some high-level trends, but quantitative insights will really help you validate and refine. With qualitative, I'd encourage you to focus on key customer/user pain points and needs (rather than their recommended solutions, features, value points they see in your product). I think this will help you really empathize with your target audience by understanding their core needs and push you to think more creatively about product messaging instead of just repeating what your users/customers are saying. 

As you are socializing and making your recommendations, the quantative becomes increasingly important - particularly with any product or more technical counterparts who really value the quant. When you're using qualitative to make your recommendation, try to use actual user or customer quotes instead of paraphrasing yourself. People love to see what real users/customers are saying!

When you're building out final messaging, stress testing with channel and sales stakeholders and getting more qualitative insights can become super useful for refining and making your final recommendation.

John Gargiulo
Head of Global Product Marketing at Airbnb November 30

Great question. Having a compelling insight into why a product is truly worth using is arguably the most important part of a launch. A launch is like building a tower. If the ground underneath is soft, it's not going to end well. Finding solid ground is easier said than done. Sometimes there is no quantitative data because no one has put out anything like what you're considering. In that case of course you lean on qualitative research and your instincts. Ideally though, there are lots of data points to sift through. As you synthesize the research, remember to keep it super simple. While you may have weeks to pore over things and get into the weeds, many of the stakeholders who will see your work will be seeing it for the first time. It's a hugely important skill to be able to boil all of what you learn down to a syrup. 

Dave Daniels
Founder at BrainKraft April 2

Qualitative gets you what you don't know. Quantitative tells you how many. From a messaging standpoint which problems, issues, needs have the biggest population? Let the quantitative guide you rather than opinions. 

Janet Standen
Co-Founder at Scoot Insights - Agile, Efficient, Effective. January 6

Nice thought John - the challenge of boiling down lots of different data sources into a concentrated syrup of goodness.  As an independent qualitative researcher, I couldn't agree more, BUT be sure to share your strategic context and clear objectives with your researcher so they know beyond a doubt, and feel, exactly what it is that might be the essence of a solution!

Ken Rutsky
Founder at Silicon Valley Go To Market Dojo May 18

There is art and science to messaging. Quantitative data AND qualitative input from the team is critical. You can't do this ina vacuum. There are in my mind 2 things, the story, and the value messages. The story is YOUR CUSTOMER'S story, how your offering TRANSFORMS their world, you are the magic, they are the hero. The value messages must articulate the value they recieve in trade for their time and money to acquire, deiploy and benefit from your offerring...