You need good information on your client’s customers and prospects. You must understand their market dynamics. You want ideas from users, and their feedback helps you succeed. That much is obvious. What might be less obvious is who should own the responsibility for gathering those insights.
We believe agencies should decide which insights they need. The typical practice of leaving research to the clients is counterproductive, and in need of change.
Here are three reasons why:
1. You know what you need.
If you needed a new pair of shoes, would you send someone else to try them on and buy them for you? How about a new car? Would you have someone else choose a car for you? Probably not.
You would not outsource these purchases, because you could not be sure you’d get what you wanted.
The same holds true for insights. The client can’t know exactly what you’re looking for. They can’t see the problem from inside your head. And they won’t be thinking ahead with the same perspective you have.
You know the game “broken telephone”? In it one person whispers a message to the ear of the next person through a line of people, until the last player announces the message to the entire group. By the end it’s usually morphed into something weirdly different, as people interpret and misinterpret the message along the way.
When you play broken telephone as a game the results can be hilarious. But when the same thing happens with your insights needs, it’s not funny at all.
2. You can plan ahead and line up the insights you need, throughout the engagement.
If you include insights as part of your pitch, you can be sure that you have the information you need, when you need it. Including insights in the pitch shows you are serious about being close to their business, and not just interested in your own ideas of the way things should be.
Plus if you include research in the pitch budget, it becomes more like a rounding error next to the media costs. It becomes something you don’t have to fund out of your agency fees.
That sounds like a winning idea.
3. You can choose the kind of information you really need.
Want to understand what the market potential is? Need information that supports the rationale for your ideas? Want proof that your idea will have positive ROI? Looking for fresh thinking on where to take the brand? Need intelligent and helpful feedback on your creative?
All these things, and a myriad more, are possible if you decide which insights you want.
In our e-book In the Pursuit: A survival guide to owning insights, we provide dozens of thought starters for the types of insights you can plan to include in your pitches.
Take control. Get the information you need.
Put the power in your hands. Own insights.