Last week I spoke about updating your market research toolbox and how to review your metrics. This week I want to take the next logical step by turning the knowledge you gather into actionable insights.
Insights are the pot of gold that many businesses dream of but rarely find. Why is that? Are you one of them? If so then I have some ideas on how you can get better at developing insights.
#1. Insight doesn’t come from a single market research study
Management often thinks that insight is “just another word for market research”. I remember one of my previous CEOs saying exactly that to me just before he addressed the whole team at our annual conference; you can imagine what a panic I was in as he walked up to the mike!
Insights are tough to develop and are rarely, if ever, developed from a single piece of market research. Each market research project that is conducted should be designed to gather information in order to answer one or more questions. Whilst it may enable a business to make a more informed decision based upon the objectives, insight development is quite a different process.
Insight development involves integrating, analysing and synthesising all the data and information you have about a category or segment user, summarising it into knowledge and understanding, and then developing the insight. All brands should have (at least) one insight on which its image, personality and communication is built. For example
- AXE (Lynx in UK): (young) men want to attract as many beautiful and sexy women as possible
- UK anti-smoking: smokers don’t want to have to live with the guilt of having damaged a child’s health through their smoking
Insight development will provide the basis on which you will define the actions that are needed to change the behaviour of your target audience.
#2. Insight development is based upon a desired behavioural change
When sales, marketing or management look to change a category, segment or brand customer’s behaviour, it is with the objective of improving their business results. For instance:
- From buying a competitive brand to purchasing yours
- From using your services once a month, to once a week
- Moving customers’ belief about your brand from a traditional to a more modern image
- Changing customers’ perceptions about your value from expensive to good value for money
Because insights are based on a desired behavioural change, they usually contain an emotional element that is communicated through advertising. The emotion that is shown in the advertisement is more likely to resonate with customers, who are then motivated to take the desired action.
#3. Insight development needs more than Insight professionals
Although this may sound counter-productive, insights really do benefit from working from differing perspectives to get to that “ah-ha” moment, that many refer to. A deep understanding of customers and their reasons for behaving in a certain way, comes from looking at all aspects of their lifestyle. If you only review the actual moment when they choose or use a product or service, it is highly unlikely that you will develop that deep understanding. What happens before and afterwards also lead to that choice or that of their next purchase.
This is why it is important to work as a team when developing insights. Depending upon the issue or opportunity identified, the team can be made up of people from marketing, sales, trade marketing, production, packaging, advertising, innovation, distribution. And these people don’t necessarily need to work on the category in question alone; sometimes it is by taking ideas from different categories that real insights are developed.
#4. Insights are usually based on a human truth
The insights that resonate best with people are those that are based upon a human truth. A human truth is a statement that refers to human beings, irrespective of race, colour or creed. It is a powerful and compelling fact of attitudes and behaviour that is rooted in fundamental human values. It is a fact that is obvious when quoted, but is often ignored or forgotten in daily business. Human truths are linked to human needs and although questioned in some circles today, Maslow’s hierarchy is still seen as one of the most relevant sources of classification of human needs.
Examples of human truths include:
- Parents want to protect their children
- Men and women want to find love
- Children want to be better than others
If you are struggling to find an insight, it can help to review the level of need of your target audience and see how your brand can respond to help answer it.
#5. Insights aren’t always category specific
Following on from the above points, it is particularly interesting that once found, an insight can be adapted to be used with different brands. There are many examples of this happening, particularly amongst major FMCG / CPG companies.
Insight: Parents want to protect their children so that they grow up happy and healthy
- Unilever’s Omo: shows that a good mother lets her child experiment and learn – even if this means getting dirty. If you don’t know their advertising, then check out one of their latest from this long-running campaign: Unilever Omo “Dirt is Good” ad on YouTube
- Nestlé’s Nido: illustrates this need as a mother providing the nourishment for healthy growth which allows her children to explore the outside world safely. If you would like to see a typical advertisement, check it out on YouTube here. Interestingly, Nestlé has used this same insight to develop advertising for its bottled water in Asia and pet food in the Americas too.
Insight: Young women want to be appreciated for who they are ie not models
- Unilever’s Dove was the first brand to recognise and benefit from this insight. Their famous Real Beauty campaign resonated so well with young women that many other brands copied it, especially their Evolution film. Here is one of their more recent ads that I’m sure will give you goosebumps.
- The Swiss Supermarket chain Migros has a store brand “I am” which uses the same insight across all the health and beauty products. Somewhat unusually, the brand name itself is based upon the same insight, and its advertising repeats it several times: “I am – what I am“.
So there you have them, the five ideas that I came up with to help you to develop better insights more easily. Although you probably already have your own process for creating them, I know from experience how hard it can be to find insights from all the information you gather. I hope this short article has assisted you in your search for those “golden nuggets”. Do share your own ideas for making insight development easier, I would love to hear from you.
For more information on Insight development, please check out our website here: http://www.c3centricity.com/c3c-solution/processes/insights/
Do you need help developing or updating your own Insight development process? C3Centricity offers a 1-Day Catalyst session, where we work with your team to review and revitalise your own insight process, or to define one if you do not as yet have a proprietary one.
Contact us for an informal chat about it. No obligation, just INSPIRATION!
Republished with author’s permission from original post.