In part one we introduced the idea of synthesis, or Insights 4.0. Today, let’s take a closer look at when this process might be right for you.
Before gathering your information assets, before organizing and cataloging the information, before anything gets analyzed, you must make sure that the effort of synthesis is appropriate for your situation. To make sure that Synthesis is the correct methodology for your research problem, you should ask yourself (and the others you have involved in the process):
What is the business need?
What questions are you trying to answer?
How will the answers help move the business forward or add to the strategy?
Are there resources available to help answer these questions? How many or how much?
Do you have enough information to bring some new insight to the table? Or will you need to do significant secondary research? If so, do you have the time and resources to accomplish this?
Next, you must answer this key question: ‘What is the objective of your synthesis? What is the ONE thing you want or need to learn from the synthesis?’ The answer to this question will guide you through gathering and analyzing the information. While it is difficult, being deliberate about your one question is critical because, without this focus, your synthesis runs the risk of not getting where you intended and need to go, giving you a synthesis that does not add value.
There are many market and business situations that can benefit from a synthesis. Here are just a few examples:
You have significant amounts of information on a specific topic, but no real understanding of impact or implication of that information
You have a hypothesis about a specific question, and you want to gather information and insights to support/refute it.
You have a message you want to convey internally, and you need facts.
The market has shifted, and you need to shift with it.
You are trying to answer a new question but already have months/years of information, and you want to know if the answer is already there somewhere. For example, your brand is doing additional clinical studies, and early results suggest that you might have efficacy in symptoms previously not addressed in the market. synthesis can help you evaluate whether this is a good brand opportunity, whether there is a need, and how to adjust your strategy to include this need.
You want to look at a subset of information (e.g., a particular market segment) within the larger context of a topic. For example, the team may have decided to market differently across physician specialties to grow the business in specific areas. synthesis allows you to pull out insights about the targeted subset of physicians of interest to determine a starting point for the new strategy.
You need to determine where the gaps in information/insights are to plan strategically for the next steps.
You want to refresh your knowledge on a topic that most are familiar with to ensure you are not missing any key insights.
You are building a new brand, and you need to onboard key team members to existing insights.
When done correctly and deliberately, syntheses can deliver valuable insights without investment in primary marketing research. Synthesis may certainly lead to additional marketing research, keep in mind that conducting synthesis first will keep you from reinventing the wheel and collecting information that you may already know by refining your information needs.
Let's talk about whether Insights 4.0 could help you with your business challenge!