Immerse Yourself



We’ve all been through the drill:
  • Draft the survey
  • Field the study
  • Gather data
  • Write the report
  • Present the data


The client leaves the meeting with the report/data sheets/PowerPoint slides…and we hope the findings inspire them to take action.


More than anything, as researchers we want the work we’re doing to be actionable! But it’s up to us to help tell the story, to help our clients interpret the data, and really make our end customers come alive through the data. To that end, an alternative to the scenario I outlined above has been on my mind recently: immersion experiences.


I’m not speaking of immersion in terms of doing the doing the (ethnographic, qualitative) research but about presenting the research to clients.


So, how to use an immersion experience to present data in such a way that really engages the client, helps them digest the data well, and inspire them to want to take action on it?


One example that has influenced me was a session I attended last year at TMRE by Heiko Schäfer, Vice President of Consumer & Market Insights at Henkel Consumer Goods (now Senior Director, Global Customer Insights & Analytics at Walmart).


In his presentation, Bringing the Consumer, Shopper and Customer to Life, Schäfer provided a fascinating case study of an immersion session he produced. The immersion experience was set in the company cafeteria (a place that his internal clients couldn’t avoid!), and contained a set of interactive (and insightful) games. From the feedback he received and documented, the immersion session looked like it was a great success in getting his clients to really react to customer data, feedback, and experiences.


During that TMRE last year session, Schäfer shared something that really resonated with me as it pertains to creating immersion experiences: “We’ve become journalists, storytellers, videographers, entertainers…it’s important to bring in the voice of the customer every day.”


Some other immersion experience ideas I’ve been hearing about and kicking around include:
  • An ‘immersion room’ at corporate headquarters with the walls lined with customer data, stories, and feedback presented in a visually impactful way. After an initial introduction and mini-presentation, clients can walk through at their leisure…especially when they need inspiration!
  • An engaging video presentation that brings customer data to life via visuals and storytelling.
  • An experience designed in a virtual reality space that allows clients to “walk through” a customer daily routine, pain points about a product, or experience at an event, for example.


What else, what am I missing? What other creative and interesting ways of immersing clients in the data can you think of? I’d love to hear your stories.


Inspired to learn more? (I am!) Here are a few of the sessions I’m considering attending at TMRE this year that focus on immersing clients in the research findings:
  1. The Art of Storytelling: Getting Traction and Action, given by Sara Bergson of PepsiCo
  2. Bringing Research to Life through Collaborative, Engaging and Inspiring Work Sessions, given by Maisha Cobb of Logitech and Jason Kramer of Vital Findings
  3. Using Data and Insights for Storytelling by Jeremy Murrell of Brown-Forman
For more on these sessions, download the TMRE brochure.