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Bringing Life to Market Research Results

Have you ever delivered a big market research study, and had your internal clients completely ignore it?

It is an unfortunately common and painful experience.

Sometimes the challenge is that audience members find numbers too impersonal.  They see charts and graphs and they just don’t seem to represent living, breathing customers.  And nobody is going to take action based on market research data in which they don’t completely believe.

In many cases, bringing the data to life can be done easily.

Try conducting a handful of in-depth interviews with some of the research participants to capture verbatim quotes about some of the surprising results. Was there a result in the research that revealed customers are less satisfied than expected with a new product? Quoting an actual customer about this can make it feel more real.

Did research participants indicate a preference for competitor A’s packaging? Bring some samples to the final presentation—let your audience see and touch the packaging as you discuss the results. Of course, your audience is hopefully already familiar with competitive packaging, but having an example in hand during the presentation adds impact.

Did the research suggest that customers who receive your print catalog buy more from your online store than customers who do not receive your print catalog? Pass around the print catalog during the presentation. Engage the audience in a discussion of hypotheses as to why this might be the case.

While these are just a few simple examples, hopefully they will inspire you to add quotes or physical “evidence” to your presentations. Both techniques will help make your research results feel less theoretical, and more concrete. And that will help your audience take action.


Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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3 thoughts on “Bringing Life to Market Research Results”

  1. Hi Kathryn,

    I couldn’t agree more – it’s easy for clients to get lost in the numbers – particularly quant data. And who can blame them – it’s tough to make the connection between a complex line graph and a stressed out mom at home trying to decide on the right snack food for her kids!

    I hope you don’t mind me referencing our company QualVu – our vision to transform the way brands connect with consumers online, by delivering webcam video highlight reels as the output of any online research study. In addition to stand-along video diaries, we also make it easy for researchers to plug a video open-end in to any survey, capturing voice of the consumer insights via webcams.

    It’s a whole different ballgame for executive management (and all stakeholders) when they see and hear the raw emotions of their consumers, vs. a bullet point on a PowerPoint slide.

    Thanks for your post,

    John Williamson

  2. I couldn’t agree more. We’ve been using video clips embedded in the PowerPoint decks to highlight and emphasize key points for years. Similar to QualVu great product; we believe if a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth far more. In my experience, research that doesn’t get read and isn’t easily shared and broadcast internally, is a wasted effort.

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