How to Get Buy-In From Your Boss or Client

I spoke with Alli Blum, a conversion copywriter for SaaS companies, who is obsessed with all things audience research and copy. Alli gave me 4 tips for convincing your boss or client that audience research is a must-have. 

1. Define what you mean by research

As marketers and copywriters, we know what *we* mean when we say research, but research is a fairly broad term that is used by product people, UX teams, Customer Experience, and marketing and is often very costly and time-intensive. 

For many SaaS companies, product marketers do research and everyone else does customer support or A/B testing. 

That’s why you should be very specific when discussing research. Rather than say, “I always start with research.” Let them know, “I’m going to ask a four-question survey.” or  “I’m going to speak with 15 customers.” Or “spend 5 hours of project time”.

Decide before you begin how you’re going to perform your research and frame your project timeline and scope in that way.

2. Deliver a solution, not research

Research nerds love to talk about research. We get excited about the process and the possibilities, but our clients and bosses… not so much. They want action, they want change, they want you to do the job they hired you to do. So, in order to meet their expectations, and perform the research required to meet them well, wrap your research up in a deliverable. 

Start with the problem they hired you to solve and let them know you can solve it by knowing the answers to these certain questions. 

3. Use what you’ve got

A response you’ll likely hear often is “we’ve got tons of research!” If you hear this, then ask to see the research. Sometimes, you can learn what you need to know by looking through the research they’ve already performed. 

4. Do the research anyways

I think this was one of the best pieces of advice Alli taught me. If you can’t seem to get any budget or time approval, and no one has any research to show you, then just do what you can on your own. Your boss/client can’t stop you from spending a couple hours reading through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Amazon, Glassdoor, G2, or Capterra. There are tons of places online where you can get a decent idea of what your customers are saying.

When you’ve got the A-OK to dig a little deeper and get some specific answers, what’s your next step? Qualitative research.

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