How effective research and insights de-risk your growth ambitions


In a phase of high growth,you can find yourself starting a project in the middle and working towards either end – the desired outcome, seemingly somewhere in the distance, and the programme brief, slowly unravellingas yougradually question its original purpose.

Especially in larger organisations with multiple moving parts, teams and budgets, it can become increasingly difficult to give research the importance it deserves.And yet, understanding the context ofeach goal before getting started is crucial.

This is where analysis and insightsare key to creating a steadfast brief that successfully guides you towards achieving the goal – ultimately de-risking the project in its entirety.  

Separating presumption from fact

How often have you found yourself in an ideation meeting where most sentences in the room start with the phrase “I think”?

Whilst well-intentioned, and sometimes true, it’s all too easy toblurpersonal experiences and assumptions with important context like market understanding or persona insight. This is a risky approach to base any growth strategy or demand generation campaign on.Through trusted data and discoveringnew insights, you can be sure that every action is informed, and budget is spent on only relevantpursuits that will make a return on investment. 

There’s certainly a place for that ‘thinking’ – but this should come in the form of ideas,afterunderstandingthe factual context of your competition, market and audiences. 

Making sure you’re solving the right problems

The purposeof a research phase is not only to make sure we understand the facts, but also to ensure we’re answering the right questions and solving the core challenge. With effective business growth, thereare oftenambitious goals to achieve, with big budgets on the line to make it happen. 

A discovery stage helps you to give the most important insights theattention and focus they deserve, versus trying to boil the ocean. When it comes to growth-focused and demand generation activities, havingfacts anddata to back upyour personas and market understanding ensures that you’re not only solving the right problems for your needs, but for your audience too. 

It makes sense that strategic marketingprogrammes are directly influenced by thebusiness growthgoals. However, thiscan put you at risk ofonlyseeing the challenge from the inside-out, corporate point of view. Turning these challenges into audience goals,determined byyour established research and insights,ensureswe don’t risk missing therealproblem to solve.

If you don't know exactly where you're going, or need to go, it's hard to know when you've arrived.

A little can go a long way 

Talking of ‘boiling the ocean’, whilst vitally important in the de-risking of your business growth strategy, discovery and insights needn’t always be a huge undertaking.Of course, for large scale challenges, the more in depth you go the better understanding you’ll have to de-risk your project byderiving accurate and specific insights.Butit can be pretty simple to get started in making sure you’re making decisions based on truths.

Industry insight

Speak to a handful of analysts within the industry. This third-party expert knowledge can provide an abundance of understanding from a non-biased perspective.

Audience profiling

Set up 1-1 conversations with a variety of your customers. Generally, they’re happy to give feedbackand whilst simple to do, these insights often get overlooked. For an even better response, consider using a third-party agency to conduct these surveys for you for the most honest conversations.

Digital competitive research

Use tools such as SEMrush to determine how you’re competing in the market. Often, this kind of analysis may highlight other businesses who you don’t classify as a traditional competitor, but who are capturing the attention of your audience, and taking up valuable digital real-estate.

Getting started

At Merchant, we understand that sometimes research and insight can even feel uncomfortable. After all, you mightuncoversomething that challengesa previously agreed decision orgoes againstthemost popularidea in the room. 

Our experts can guide you through this process. We offer an initialdiscovery session to determine your vision andthe widerunderstandingneededto ensure you maximise ROI and don’t risk missing the target on your business growth.

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Our team can support your research and insights to leverage growth.

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