In marketing research, a lot of effort goes into putting together focus groups, designing surveys and analyzing data sets. Ultimately, all of this work leads to you and your team making recommendations based on the work that's been done. By the end of this lesson, you should be able to explain why recommendations are important. Discuss what teams are generally looking for when it comes to recommendations, and discuss how to develop recommendations from your findings. So let's talk about recommendations. Recommendations are the key component of your marketing research results. Recommendations are important because they allow people to make actionable decisions about their business or organization. Recommendations should be clear, concise and unbiased. For example, imagine a company has conducted research about a new printer. You've asked a variety of questions, such as how interested would you be in this printer? This is an example of concept testing. How likely are you to purchase this printer at $149? This is an example of pricing. How important are the following feature sets, for example, ease of installation, ability to print photos, ability to fax, ability to scan, ability to make copies and long lasting ink? This is an example of a feature set question. Other things you might want to ask in your survey are, when considering a printer what aspects are important? Quality, reputation, cost, environmental focus of value or design? These are often questions that are about the brand or about the product in general. The engineers at the company are likely to be more interested in what customers think about the product feature sets. For example, easy to install and ability to print, whereas a marketing team is likely to be more interested in what customers think about pricing or positioning or brand insights. For example, 75% of customers are interested in quality and purchasing, and they would purchase it at $149. With all that in mind, a recommendation for engineers could look like this. Focus on the top features such as ease of installation, ability to print photos, ability to scan and long lasting ink. On the other hand, a recommendation for marketing could be consider pricing your product at $149 as a competitively priced quality printer. As I alluded to in the explanation I just gave, different groups within an organization have different priorities and points of view when it comes to how they think they can help the business succeed. This means that members of a marketing team are focused on a separate set of insights than an engineering team. So when you're putting together your recommendations, think about the teams and the individuals you're ultimately have to present these recommendations to. Are you purely presenting to a marketing team? Is the marketing team going to bring the engineering team on in meetings so they can find ways that they can collaborate together and improve the product? These are very important things to consider because at the end of the day, your recommendations need to be tailored to these respective audiences. Let's go through some of the different types of teams and individuals that you may have to present findings to and discuss what typically interests them in a set of recommendations. For example, let's take my marketing team. So a marketing team are generally interested in insights that will help them position and advertise the product. Obviously, it's marketing. They want to market the product successfully. These findings are usually communications related. When you're creating recommendations for marketing teams, make sure to focus on areas, such as the aforementioned that are actionable for them. Conversely, engineering teams are generally looking for ways to improve their product, how the product is designed, for example, or how it will work or how it will be installed. Now, executive teams are much different. Executive teams are really looking at a larger picture. They're generally focused on ways to help the company grow, to help the company be successful. Sometimes that will be a mix of marketing and engineering findings. Sometimes it might be brand insights. You really have to make sure that you're tailoring accordingly to these key audiences. As you're putting together the recommendations, remember, keep in mind that you want them to be clear and you want them to reinforce their priorities. Most of these teams will have priorities. For example, the engineering team might have it as a set roadmap priority to make a more efficient printer, but the marketing folks might have a different priority that might be just to sell more printers. The executives might really look at, for example, increasing market share in the competitive space. So you really need to think about what those priorities are for each of those respective teams before you actually put together your findings. It's never a good idea to not know what those teams want. I've seen it in my experience before, where you present to a team and they say, "No, no, no. We're not interested in this. We're interested in this." And so you really should think about your end user, who's reading this report or this presentation and what do they really want to get out of it. Typically, it will only be, I would say, three to six key findings will help them grow their respective part of the business or the overall business. So as I mentioned before, provide no more than a dozen recommendations in a presentation or report. And the recommendations that you do should be prioritized according to these respective user needs. In some cases, a study that has multiple constituents may have different recommendations or different priorities. So there have been times for example, in my experience, where I've had to put together two or three different decks, a deck meaning a PowerPoint presentation. One presentation for the marketing team, one presentation for the engineering team and then one presentation for the executive team. Again, the goal is making sure that your key audiences understand the research and they can use the research to be actionable. So let's talk about who are those key audiences, not only from organizational structure but personality. Personality is a really key point. For example, you've probably encountered people in your life who really just want the results short and simple, "Just give it to me like this." That's often the personality type of an executive, someone who doesn't have a lot of time and really just wants quick insights. However, there are lots of other different personality types. For example, often I've seen with engineering or studio folks, they really want to delve into the data. So they don't want a quick answer. They want to understand, "Okay. How did you get to that answer? Why is this feature set important? Can you walk me through the research? Can you tell me why this is statistically significant?" That's really important because what you're seeing there are two very diverse personality types and two different types and how they integrate research into their own learnings. So what you've got to do is understand, "Okay. Is this somebody that wants the insights quickly and concisely? Is this someone who really needs some context?" It might also be that you encounter someone who really just likes talking through things. So maybe not so much that they need all the data, but they might say, "Oh, okay. So if we function on, let's say, quality, then how will that affect our advertising?" So you really have to understand, who is that personality type, especially as it relates to their organizational role in the company, so that you can make sure that you again are tailoring these research findings to their needs. So let's talk about what happens when somebody doesn't agree with your findings. Now, this happens a lot. Sometimes it happens when it's the CEO and they're challenging you. Sometimes it's just someone who's on, let's say, a marketing or an engineering team. The first thing to recognize is that everybody has the right to question your findings. You may feel, "Wow. I'd put all this work into this project. Why are they questioning me?" The key is to take your ego off the table and really understand why are they questioning your findings. What is it that they don't either understand or don't like about the findings? Now I said like, you're saying, "Okay, why would it be like?" Because let's imagine that you're presenting to a CEO, that is really excited about this project, that is going to increase their market share by let's say 50%. But you've done all this research and it just so happens that the research says that the consumers hate the product. Well, the CEO has just invested a lot of time and energy into this project, so he doesn't necessarily want to hear that consumers don't like it. But that's the fact. As a researcher, as I mentioned before, you need to be impartial. You need to communicate the findings as it reflects consumers. So what you've got to do is walk your reader or your viewer or your listener through the findings, and let them understand how you actually got to those findings. Now, it really again depends on how in-depth your audience wants to get into the findings. But what you really want to make sure, when you're presenting, when someone is questioning your findings, is that you're providing context that shows that the research was done in a methodologically appropriate way, that the research reflects consumer insights and that the research is actionable. Those are three key components. If you can say, "We did the right research. This is what the consumer said, and we know that this is predictive." Then you're building a pretty tight case, to say the research is going to help your business, for better or for worse. And sometimes it is. Sometimes you have to be the one person that says, "I'm sorry, your baby is ugly." Remember, recommendations are a key component of delivering market research insights. They are the piece that brings all of the research and analysis together into actionable steps that can have a significant impact on your organization. Keeping your audience in mind, as you write your recommendations, increases the chances that your audience will be receptive to your ideas, and limiting the number of recommendations to no more than 10 to 12 helps you deliver a focus message to your audience.