You can’t force innovation. Doing so is like sticking a Post-It note on your monitor that says “Be Innovative!” It just doesn’t work (I may have tried…). It also leads to a very common trap: attempting to push the innovation frontier at the wrong stage.
Innovating at the delivery juncture in the research stream is becoming just as imperative as innovating at the onset.
The origination and ideation steps in market research often receive the most affection. What tools to use and research techniques to employ matter. How we excavate information to find gems of understanding about consumer behavior matters. Methodology matters. Accordingly, how to curate insightful dialogue occupies the brunt of how we spend our time, money, and mindshare.
Consequently, however, the delivery and consumption of these insights is often an after-thought. A click of the button. A foregone conclusion that everything sent is read. How information is delivered is not given enough innovative consideration. Yet, it’s just as tantamount as the insight itself.
When innovation is the game, content consumption is becoming just as important as content creation.
For hundreds of years, spoons have been the best utensil to slurp soup with. Not because other tools haven’t been fashioned in attempts to improve the experience, but because the standard structure still works. Incremental innovation on the basic spoon design (wooden to metal to plastic) has had monumental impact over time, yet radical change to its fundamental format has not.
Similarly, newer forms of research methodology can offer unparalleled tracks of thought starters, yet they still won’t displace the need to think critically about what design option makes the most sense for the research objective at hand. And if, after weighing the possibilities, a tried and true (albeit older) research method and design works the best that shouldn’t matter.
What is becoming more and more critical is how content is served up and ultimately consumed. How do we iterate on the spoon we use to deliver insights?
To succeed in an increasingly noisy and crowded marketplace of ideas we’ve got to adapt our storytelling and our story sharing.
We’re seeing a phenomenon of content consumption that champions a motto of “the right screen for the right time”, with “sound bites”, “snackable”, and “multi-devicing” emerging as the buzz words du jour. This presents a unique challenge: how can already customized and stylized content be made even more digestible on different consumption platforms without forgoing vital substance?
Put simply, infusing innovation into the delivery and content consumption phase is critical.
We are inundated by paper in all of its forms. Physically and digitally we are drowning in information overload. And so are our clients. This latter content consumption stage in the research lifecycle no longer just deserves more innovative attention, it’s demanding it.