Thoughtfully Incorporating DEI Principles into Insights Generation

By Alexandra Compare and Emily Collier

HawkPartners led a session at the Intellus Worldwide Summit, providing considerations to help brands approach market research more thoughtfully when respondents from underrepresented identities are sought. The session inspired thought-provoking discussion among attendees, and we’re looking forward to ongoing conversation around this important topic.

Reach out to schedule a discussion on key considerations to improve the inclusiveness of your research initiatives

Why is Diversity and Inclusion Important When Gathering Insights?

A well-thought-out market research sample is one which, at a minimum, mirrors the target customer/stakeholder population that marketing initiatives are intended to reach. This target almost always includes a wide array of identities consistent with the makeup of the U.S. population (or any other geographic audience of interest).

Recently we have begun to acknowledge that historically there has not been enough focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion within insights.

But this idea is not necessarily just about designing representative samples. Diversity and inclusion in customer insights includes working to:

  • Amplify the voices of under-represented and traditionally under-researched audiences.
  • Design an approach that treats respondents with respect and gives them space to feel seen and heard, enabling them to share their candid perspectives.

In other words, we need to look at the end-to-end insights experience to ensure that under-represented voices can participate fully and authentically. After all, if we don’t include and foster an array of perspectives of our customers in research as input to our marketing development efforts, how can we expect to create the breakthrough and influence needed to impact the brands we represent positively?

Unpacking the “Diversity” Ask: Understanding the Strategic Need

Today, teams are striving to incorporate DEI best practices into insights generation while learning about DEI principles in real time. We know it can take a few tries to “get it right” regarding concepts or language.
When faced with a request to help a client explore customer insights that include the concept of diversity, HawkPartners approaches the discussion using the following framework:

  • Engage: Where in the organization is this coming from? What imperatives might it tie back to – For the brand? For the company?
  • Explore: Who specifically do we need to reach in this research? Is this a fit for “traditional” recruiting and research methodologies, or do we need to get creative?
  • Stay Curious: How can we approach this topic in the most open-minded way to access authentic insights?

The Intellus session included case studies from HawkPartners’ work with pharmaceutical clients to bring to life how this framework can be applied to various audiences, including consumers/patients and healthcare professionals. The case studies provided concreate examples for the audience to think through how they could apply the framework in their roles, and ways they can foster conversation within their teams.

Session leaders Alexandra Compare and Emily Collier are now hosting on demand, client-specific workshops to share more about how to thoughtfully incorporating DEI principles into insights generation that can help brands to gather richer, more actionable learnings.

If interested in discussing the implications on your research and marketing initiatives, please reach out to the team to schedule a discussion.

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