Chris Martin on the Art of Decision Making in Research World
On November 5th 2019, ESOMAR’s online publication, Research World, has published an article written by FlexMR’s CMO, Chris Martin. In the piece, Internalising Insight: The Role of Art in Driving Informed Decisions, Chris explores how and why creative reporting of insight such as art forms can impact the retention of insights in senior decision makers.
With the main reporting methods within market research being written reports, it’s come to no surprise that data and insight retention and action has dropped over the years, and data is still typically trapped in departmental silos, meaning that they’re not having the opportunity to influence any other areas of the organisation. Storytelling is a technique that has been adopted in recent years to enhance the written and graphical reports, but is it the best way to activate insights? And is it still enough to engage stakeholders?
Internalising Insight: The Role of Art in Driving Informed Marketing Decisions
Chris starts by examining the psychological effects of art; our minds constantly seek out shapes and patterns in everything that happens to us and around us, interpreting incomplete information in a way we can understand and remember for the future. This process of creating meaning from art stimulates the mind in a way that requires more cognitive effort and as such we retain the information we get from the art for longer, and is one of the reasons why art would be a brilliant tactic to use within research reports.
However, Chris states correctly that art has limitations that aren’t an obstacle with written reports. Art communicates relatively less information, and is a more restricted medium in that it relies on the interpretation of the audience in order for information to be understood. However, it is much more engaging and effective at communicating insights when the audience has to be actively involved in the interpretation, which is something that is not as necessary in written reports.
Because of its limitations, art should not be viewed as just another storytelling technique within market research. It should be a complementary medium that serves to enhance the written report, communicating much more on a more personal level than the written word ever could in this context. But creating memorable art from insights is a skill, and Chris lays out four key themes that researchers should consider when attempting this:
- Memorability is boosted by the presence of the unexpected
- Art with a single subject or focus is widely considered more memorable
- Viewers should exert a small amount of cognitive effort to understand the message
- To achieve embodied cognition, representations of motion or energy are required
To find out more, check out the full article on Research World here.
About Research World
Thinking from the data, research & business intelligence industry. Published by ESOMAR, the global voice of the data, research and insights community, Research World focuses on innovation and best practice in market, opinion and social research and data analytics, helping readers stay abreast of the latest developments in tools, technology and applications.