In a world of ever-increasing complexity, many brands have great frameworks in place to collect and interrogate data. Millions are spent on brand tracking programmes, hundreds of slides are produced and a sizeable number of meeting hours are booked for companies to go through reams of insights. But after these meetings, the insights typically gather dust and are often not meaningfully incorporated into day-to-day actions and strategy.

Considering the expense and effort, it’s time for a paradigm shift – a move towards a more prescriptive and focused approach to seamlessly transform data comprehension into successful implementation from organisations. Here is an approach that makes the process of data comprehension and implementation seamless:

Ensure comprehension

Begin by recognising that data cannot achieve everything in a single sweep. Initial insights and analytics debriefs should prioritise full understanding of the results. Data needs time to be fully absorbed; only when it is truly absorbed can it be acted on. Always start with deep comprehension before tackling implementation. 

Model Data for Clarity

Navigating through vast datasets becomes effective when models are employed to cut through complexity and highlight priorities. This not only aids in data comprehension but also aligns teams on growth objectives. Models serve as a guiding light, enabling stakeholders to see the broader picture and prioritise efforts for driving success.

Play up implementation and use workshops to bed this in

It’s vital for brands to have descriptive statistics that give a clear landscape of the competitive marketplace. This type of data also allows people to have a good foundation for further exposure to more complex analysis. But often this is where most companies stop after an insights and analytics debrief; people go back to their desks and carry on as before. After insights are delivered, allow a brief period for teams to absorb and reflect. Following this, initiate implementation workshops, dedicating time to map out changes in different business units based on the insights gained. This interactive process, involving stakeholders and setting measurable actions against timelines, ensures a strategic hierarchy of efforts.

Set aside time and budget for curating insights

Start with triangulating all relevant data to get an overview. This sounds seemingly simple, but only a small minority of organisations do it in any impactful way. The most successful teams work across disciplines and business units to set out what data they have and what the common business actions are. Investing in a copy-writing and creative resource to curate the key insights and actions is a must. Data has to inspire people and give them a better handle on priorities. Producing a beautifully designed annual insights compendium is a great way to condense and show what the key priorities and actions are. 

Foster a long-term vision

Produce a three-year data plan that shows what insight commissions are on the horizon, this will inspire teams to pre-plan what challenges new commissions can solve for them. Long-term planning often helps with engagement and empowers employees by making them feel more proactive than reactive. 

Re-measure and keep the focus on continuous improvement

Evaluate changes made by stakeholders a year later, gauging improvements in brand equity, market share, and more. Successful outcomes provide motivation to sustain focus on deployment, optimising insight and analytics budgets for ongoing success.

In conclusion, the key to turning insights into action lies not only in what organisations do but also in how they do it. A strategic and comprehensive implementation process, following the outlined steps, enables organisations to navigate the data deluge purposefully, ensuring valuable insights translate into tangible improvements and sustained success in the dynamic world of marketing.

This article is written by Taj Samson, executive director for brand performance in APAC at Landor

The insight is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series under What’s NEXT 2023-2024What’s NEXT 2023-2024 is a multi-platform industry initiative which features marketing and industry leaders in APAC sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year.