When projects kick off these days it’s rare that there is not a sharing of historical insight relating to the brief in question. This could be during the briefing itself to fuel the proposal and establish the foundation of knowledge, it might be a gentle dumping of documents to ‘get up to speed’ or it could be a considered ‘insight review’ where it’s a paid for initiative, hopefully reducing the amount of primary research that needs to be done.

There is a greater opportunity to be creative here but we need to be consistently more challenging in demanding more from what we already have. Let’s take a different mindset and give it the respect it deserves.

  • Ask the expert – your client’s job on research ROI is not done when the research drive is emptied of information and resting in your inbox. Ensure that the right questions are asked at the right time as you review the information. Be disruptive, ask different questions, consider new hypotheses and work them a little too
  • Tell new stories – don’t just read it – rework it and repurpose it to tell new stories of old data. Look to make it exciting and bring it back to life again. Assume that everyone has read it already and has obviously not learned enough. You need to get their attention
  • Add some colour – bring the stories to life with new ways of presenting the data and insights. Consider booklets, films, infographics etc as ways to grab attention and ensure that all project member are engaging as the insight review is critical in generating alignment before further stages of primary research
  • Mix it up – don’t just summarise the reports one by one. It’s all about the integration and what everything means together. It’s not just about some reports being better than others. It may be that the weaker projects are the best sources of insight as they have not been maximised already. Importantly, it’s having a workshop mindset as you go through. Use a room to create themes on walls and pin up observations with team mates. Challenge each other to create new hypotheses, solutions or ideas and work each report HARD
  • Keep it alive – all of this should continue to feed into the project. It’s not left behind as the new work begins but should be a constant source of knowledge, challenge and robust guidance as you continue along the new journey. As the agency it is your responsibility to know all of the research relating to this project, not just your client’s. Importantly you add more value and are relevant in more conversations by keeping all this research in your mind and in your reports

By being more active and mindful of the research that’s gone on previously and by bringing your creativity and challenging thinking to the fore we can make our ‘Rewinds’ work harder.

It just needed to be re-thought, re-packaged and re-wound.

Go back, go forth and go excite.