Top-Shelf Tip No. 007:

"If you do the right thing for the customer, it's always the right thing for the company, financially."

Justin King

The Value Of Stakeholder Interviews, Part 3

This week, Promotional Consultant Today has been discussing the importance of holding interviews with company stakeholders. This is an important step in the discovery process—or market research—required to identify opportunities, needs and core value points. Once this is defined, it then serves as the foundation for developing new marketing and brand strategies.

Earlier this week, we explained tips for managing stakeholder interviews as well as key questions to ask your various stakeholders. Today we're sharing what to do with all this information and insight once your interviews are complete, as explained by San Francisco-based marketing agency Suite Seven.

First, start by re-reading all your notes. If you've recorded your interviews, then review the transcripts. As you read through your notes or transcripts, pull out passages that stand out to you—high-level concepts you want to remember or key quotes that embody an idea or sentiment that seems important. As you do this, take these steps:

Find and group common themes. Begin to group together notes about these themes, highlighting quotes or well-articulated summaries of them you can use later to support the findings.

Watch for contradicting ideas too. Sometimes in the course of interviews, it becomes apparent that stakeholders disagree on a strategy. These conflicts may negatively affect the future outcome of your project—so identifying them and addressing them now, as part of the discovery phase, is ideal.

Piece together the story of the business and the brand. All the information you collect can start to come together into a narrative about what's happening today with the business, the brand, the market and the customer—and where the business needs to go. Begin to write this narrative from the information you've collected. Writing it out will help you start seeing where there might be gaps or confusion in what you've collected so far.

Build support for your recommendations. Highlight some of the strongest quotes from the stakeholder interviews. These quotes will be powerful for supporting your recommendations for a strategy later on.

Next, consider additional research needed to help support your story, whether it's a competitive analysis, a communications audit or market research and market sizing. Utilize this combined data to develop a strategy framework that aligns with business goals and customer gaps and needs. Once a strategy is outlined, then the next logical steps are to develop the marketing strategies to get the story out to the market and draft the key messages that support the strategies and resonate with the needs of the customers.

Whether it's the senior leadership of your organizations, field sales representatives, current customers or prospects, stakeholder interviews are a critical step to defining the future of your business.

Source: Suite Seven is a marketing agency that builds successful brand, marketing and content strategies for organizations. It helps businesses conduct an in-depth discovery phase that includes discovery interviews, communication and content audits, and competitive analyses. Then, it develops in-depth strategies that provide a blueprint for how to engage with customers.

Compiled by: Cassandra Johnson

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