The final step in any market research project is to present and use the marketing research findings.
When you've finished collecting and analyzing marketing information about your target market, the competition and the viability of your plans to solve the challenge at hand, you'll want present it to the decision makers of the business.
You'll do great, as long as you reference these five best practices for presenting market research.
#1 Tailor the Presentation to the Audience
Does your CEO prefer charts or interview verbatims with prospective customers?
Knowing the types of analysis that your audience prefers should inform your final market research presentation.
If you overwhelm someone with charts when they would have preferred to hear customer quotes, the presentation isn't likely to be received well.
If there's a mix of numbers people and non-numbers people in the room, you'll want to strike a balance in the presentation.
#2 Start with an Overview
While it's tempting to just jump into the results, your audience will appreciate some setup. The market research project may have been on your mind 24/7 the last couple of months, but they may forgotten it was even underway.
So, begin with the rationale for the project. Why did you conduct your marketing research project? What business problems or marketing problems were you looking at?
Then, show them your approach and methodology. If you had a timeline and a budget, you may as well take some credit if the project came in on time and on budget, Put that in a slide.
#3 Don't Hold Feedback and Questions Until the End
As you walk through your market research analysis and findings, engage the audience by asking questions like these to prompt discussions:
- Does this align with what you would have expected?
- Does anyone have any questions on this?
- Is anyone else drawing a different conclusion from this data?
When things are quiet, you never know whether the audience agrees with what you or saying or if they are subconsciously ripping apart your findings.
It's best to get these things out in the open early in the presentation so you can address them and adjust if necessary, or, in the best case, just know that you've got buy-in on what you've been saying.
#4 End Early, with Time for Questions
The people in the room may be short on time, and you won't have a second chance to get your market research findings and recommendations in front of them.
Make sure you avoid the worst-case scenario of only getting through half of your slides.
Time yourself giving the presentation to make sure you can get it done with at least ten minutes for discussion. Cut slides if you have to. You can always give people a PDF document with additional material to include things you don't have time to cover.
#5 Don't Limit Your Presentation of Market Research to a Slide Deck
We've talked a lot about slides, but your market research outputs can be leveraged in many other places.
For example, you may want to report your findings in the market analysis section of your business plan. Also, you may want to familiarize your sales and marketing departments with the data or conduct a company-wide informational training seminar using the information.
In summary, the resulting data was created to help guide your business decisions, so it needs to be readily accessible to the decision makers, outside of your slide decks.