Market Insights and Analytics Research Team
Jan 06, 2020
One of the main goals for today’s research and analytics programs is to provide inspiration for new ideas. Yet too often the resulting ideas fail to gain traction due to organizational fear of the new. Organizational resistance to risk is the top barrier to marketing innovation, according to the Gartner Innovation Survey 2019. To overcome it, members of marketing innovation teams need to invest as much into gaining acceptance from prime stakeholders as they do to generating consumer insights and ideating on them.
One key priming activity is to pressure test high-potential ideas with stakeholders. Pressure testing takes place after innovation teams have used market insights to brainstorm ideas, and narrowed those ideas to a few high-potential recommendations. The marketing innovation team positions the recommendation in the context of the business problem or opportunity it can address and asks stakeholders to weigh in.
Questions to ask include: Does the idea have merit? Is it likely to solve the problem or capture the opportunity? Is it feasible? By presenting the recommendation to stakeholders in this way, the team helps people get familiar with a new concept and gathers ideas to more fully align the idea with business needs. This process also provides early insight into the likely attitudes of various stakeholders.
With those insights, the marketing innovation team can develop a plan for dealing with the internal environment. Map the stakeholder community according to each individual’s level of influence and their early expressed attitude. Then develop a plan to address stakeholder doubts. For example, gather experiential data and anecdotes to assuage doubts about the impact an idea will have on the corresponding business problem. For doubts related to the feasibility of the idea, develop a “lighter” version, or construct an implementation roadmap to address the source of concern. Use this information to move into the next phase of communicating recommendations and getting buy-in.