What are some helpful advice, insights, and tips you can share for effective communication to multiple stakeholders (in different departments) on findings after market research is done?
First, stakeholders should be involved in your market research before it is even started. Get their buy-in on what the goal is, key learning objectives, and the questions you’ll be asking / data you’ll be uncovering. If you are doing any qualitative interviews, ask stakeholders to be notetakers or just listen in; I’ve found creating a google sign up sheet and then inviting people to the calendar invite has been pretty helpful.
Once your research is done, share it out and set up time to discuss it all together. It can also be helpful to give certain stakeholders a preview first to get a sense of implications from different teams. Encourage people to ask questions/make comments in any documents you produce.
Effectively communicating market research findings across the organization is critical to the success of any Product Marketing team. Here are some tips to do this well:
Understand the needs of your audience: Begin by understanding which insights are vital to each team or individual and why. For instance, in some cases the product team may be interested in whether a new set of features is differentiated in the market, while the sales team may be more invested in knowing how to speak to the value of these new features to close the deal. Recognizing the nuances of what you need to share for each audience ensures that the insights are relevant and impactful.
Synthesize and tailor information based on the audience: Once you know exactly what each audience needs, now you can distill the research data into digestible chunks that are tailored for that audience. Clearly highlight and present information that aligns with the interests and concerns of that individual and function. Instead of bombarding everyone with all findings, highlight what’s directly relevant to them and only proactively share content that the audience will care about. This makes your insights actionable and avoids information overload (and being subsequently tuned out).
Make it easy to find the latest insights by leveraging data repositories: With so many insights from market research collected on an ongoing basis, it's helpful to have an organized system where this data can be stored, accessed, and referred to with ease. Use shared drives, wikis, or other data management tools to create a comprehensive repository that can be easily searched and accessed by different teams. This not only ensures that your stakeholders have round-the-clock access to the latest insights but also encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing. Moreover, having a single source of truth helps prevent misalignment due to information asymmetry across individuals and functions.
Iterate based on feedback: Communication is a two-way street. After sharing your findings, proactively collect feedback from key stakeholders. Understand which insights proved valuable, what presentation formats were most engaging, and where there were gaps or ambiguities. This feedback helps you to adjust your market research methodologies, focus areas, and how the information is presented to better enable everyone to succeed.
By following these steps, Product Marketers can ensure that their market research truly drives informed decision-making to improve outcomes across the organization.
Ah the cross-functional socialization challenge! I've answered this in another section but adding my two cents here again just given how critical this is for value casting.
Socialize: Schedule time (e.g. quarterly cadence) for “Lunch and learn” sessions that anyone across the org can join to hear directly from customers/prospects (ideally) or for a shareout by PMMs. This could serve as a beta version of a future ‘Customer Advisory Board’.
Synthesize! Not everything you learn will be of value. Determining which insights could be potential needle movers is the secret sauce that skilled PMMs bring to the fore.
Create a knowledge hub: Create a “Customer Insights” newsletter, build a wiki page, and socialize case studies with stakeholders to showcase insights and how the learnings were applied to strategic business initiatives to diffuse customer insights throughout the org.
Find X-functional champions to serve as ambassadors of the VOC program across teams. Involve them in sourcing customers, survey design, and interview sessions to keep them involved in the build phase of the VOC program.