The most critical moment in the lifecycle of insights is often one that receives the least time and attention.

Is it understanding the objectives clearly?

Is it getting the sample design just right?

The executive summary?

All of these are critically important. Yet, even with each of these (and 100 other things) done right many initiatives still fall painfully short. Instead, the most critical moment is the transition between insight and activation. The transfer of the insight from the team that created it, and team(s) that will leverage it.

Why is it so hard? For years we’ve focused on ‘actionable insights’ and in some cases even held ‘activation sessions’ that bring people together to talk about what’s next. In doing so, we’ve missed a crucial step between insight and activation: inspiration. Without a team that is truly inspired, even great insights and good game plan get easily tossed by the wayside.

At Shapiro+Raj, we believe in the power of inspiration – in fact, we’ve created a powerful formula for igniting inspiration.


Let’s break that down:

CLARITY: Teams must be crystal clear about the opportunity the insights reveal. Traditional ‘activation workshops’ often jump to ideation or some other sort of undisciplined brainstorming. Meanwhile the team has never achieved a shared vision of the big-picture opportunity, nor has discussed prioritization in context of the broader business landscape. Without clarity, the session results in LOWER likelihood that real activation is achieved.

Instead, a successful session will be strategically designed to ensure your team achieves a shared vision of the opportunity at hand and is aligned around priorities for action. This looks a bit different in each session, but requires careful facilitation to uncover areas of disconnect, align on priorities (both where to focus and where NOT), and build true consensus.

ENERGY: The first step is always the hardest, generating initial energy and momentum is critical to a successful transition from insight team to end users. Traditional workshops often get stuck at the theoretical vs. practical level. Either the session is a lot of talking with little ‘workshopping’ or the activities feel disconnected from the real business context and decision making – feeling instead like busy work or unrealistic, ‘pie-in-the-sky’ discussions.

To avoid this pitfall requires strategically designed interactive exercises in which teams immediately apply insights to the business. Through marketing audits, message map creation, stop / start / continue, competitive landscape mapping and more, teams must take the first steps towards activation to build confidence and uncover areas of confusion to address in real time. By ‘flexing the muscle’ of applying new insights teams build the momentum and energy required.

We have seen time and time again that only when armed with both clarity and energy do teams achieve the type of true inspiration that drives strategic, consistent, and enthusiastic activation. In short, teams know where they are headed and are excited to get there.

You may still be asking yourself though, is this getting beyond the job of the insights team? Isn’t this what marketing teams should be doing on their own after insights are delivered?

Simply put, no. This transfer is THE critical moment. Having these sessions led by the individuals who can best speak to insight and bring the voice of the consumer directly into the room ensures impact. That way the insight doesn’t get misinterpreted, and teams remain firmly grounded in customer truth.

Want to put the power of an inspiration workshop to work for your team? Reach out to us today at [email protected] to learn more about how we can help ignite inspiration for your business and brands.