Leveraging Strategic Narration at the Start of your Research

Early Advantage: Leveraging Strategic Narration at the Start of your Research Journey

by Chad Buecker

In a world brimming with information, research must strive to stand out amidst the sea of data. Enter Strategic Narration — a transformative approach that not only captivates audiences but also unlocks the true potential of your research. In this article, we’ll delve into the value of leveraging Strategic Narration, exploring how its early integration from a project’s inception can magnify the impact of your deliverables.

As a starting point, let’s define what Strategic Narration is. Think of it as Storytelling 2.0, leveraging all the aspects of an engaging story detailing great data — but increasing a report’s value through making connections, driving action, and helping move brands and businesses forward.

When exactly should Strategic Narration be applied to a research project? Strategic Narration isn’t something that begins once the field closes and data is in hand. Rather, Strategic Narration and its principles should be considered from the inception of a research project. This not only leads to a more efficient report creation process on the backend, but influences key aspects of the research before field starts.

Examples of Strategic Narration Inputs

While not an exhaustive list, here are some of important inputs to seek at a project’s kickoff:

Connection to the Broader Business

At a macro level, what is the brand/business trying to achieve? How is it trying to grow or move forward?

Target/Prime Prospects

Who is the brand/business targeting and what are they hoping to accomplish with them? – Increase frequency? Grow penetration? Keep from leaving/switching?

Strategic Priorities

Related to the business context, what are the main things the brand/business is focused on improving?

Research Stakeholders

Who are the research stakeholders? What motivates them? What are perceptions? What are barriers/hesitations?

These types of strategic inputs can help augment traditional recruiting and questionnaire development processes. For example, knowing more detail about the target prime prospects and what the business is trying to accomplish with them could affect the types and numbers of respondents to recruit.

Understanding the strategic priorities and broader business objectives could influence the kinds of questions to ask and/or the amount of real estate to give to a particular topic. The goal is to ensure a breadth and depth of data to answer important questions — questions that often go beyond more narrow research objectives.

While obtaining all this information might not always be possible, having these broader strategic discussions will get the team thinking more comprehensively about value-added action and implications. Ultimately, applying this Strategic Narration mindset from the start of your research journey will lead to breakthrough deliverables that drive relevance, connection, and action.

Chad Buecker, Senior Vice President, Strategic Narration, leverages over 25 years of experience to help client teams across brands, industries and strategic challenges create solid foundations and compelling narratives that drive their businesses forward. 

Interested in reading more? Check out Chad’s other article:

Connected Perspective: Charting the Way Forward Amid Today’s Sea of Data

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Sources: Feature Image – ©Gorodenkoff –


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