10 Inspiring Quotes on Understanding & Insight


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Last December I shared 13 of my favourite marketing quotes; if you missed it you can read it HERE. The post received the most reads and likes of any I have published, ahead even of the list of my preferred Infographs (see HERE).

It seems we all love great quotes to inspire our thinking and motivate our actions. For this reason, I thought that as we have been discussing insight development for the last month, I would share my favourite quotes on the topic with you.

Quotes are a great way to start or end a marketing presentation or to bring home an important point to your audience. As before, I have added some actions inspired by each quote that you might want to take. Enjoy!

#1. “There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it” Charles F. Kettering (American inventor)

ACTION: This gets to the essential point of why we often struggle to get to insight. Take the time to make this important step from knowledge to understanding, before rushing into insight development.

#2. “Remember your past mistakes just long enough to profit by them” Dan Mckinnon (Author)

ACTION: In fact this could apply as much to successes as to failures. We really should start all attempts at understanding our customers, the market or a situation, by reviewing what knowledge is already available. This will ensure we don’t run unnecessary research and analysis.

#3. “Their lives are a lot different from ours. We want to gain an understanding of their daily lives” Ram Kolluri (Author)

ACTION: In most businesses, although we may be using our company’s products and services, we are generally not an “average” customer. Therefore don’t consider whether YOU like something or not, but rather whether your customers will.

#4. “If you understand everything, you must be misinformed” Japenese Proverb

ACTION: A nice reminder that we will never know everything, however long we work. In today’s rapidly changing environment, what we know about our customers is almost always out-of-date. Continuous monitoring, made easier today by social media, is an essential part of customer understanding.

#5. “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday” Pearl Buck (Nobel & Pulitzer Prize fiction writer)

ACTION: It is essential to be forward thinking in order to be prepared for future risks and opportunities. When market share or brand equity decline it is (almost) too late. Scenario planning is a great way to stay ahead of the curve, and makes trend following more competitive.

#6. “There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German poet)

ACTION: And the reverse is also true: insight without activity is just as worthless. Often we want to rush into action before really understanding a situation and taking the time to analyse, understand and develop a true actionable insight. If we do take the time, then the insight is deep and the actions to take clearly identifiable.

#7. “Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding” Burt Rutan (American Scientist)

ACTION: In today’s social world, we are all learning how to engage with the customer. It is therefore important to test and learn – repeatedly. If failure is accepted in a company, we are more likely to take (calculated) risks and sometimes to fail. However if we learn and benefit from them then we are stilladvancing. As another famous quote from John Maxwell says “If you‘re not failing, you‘re probably not really moving forward“.

#8. “The purpose of computing is insight not numbers” R.W. Hamming (American mathematician)

ACTION: How often do you complete an analysis and stop at the numbers? Market research and data are only of use if they are converted into knowledge and understanding, and then integrated to develop insight. Review how often you stop at the numbers alone and make it a habit to go those few steps further every time.

#9. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view” Harper Lee (American Author)

ACTION: This quote covers one of the basic foundations of customer centricity. Unless you can take your customers’ perspective, you will never really understand the issue or opportunity. Get out from behind your desk and talk to your customers as frequently as possible.

#10. “Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them” Adlai E Jr Stevenson (American Politician)

ACTION: Have you identified the human need your brand is addressing? If not, then you are missing a valuable key to success and growth. Take a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and think about the level your customers are on when using your brand or category. Then think about the way you communicate the benefits of your brand; do they correlate?

These are my ten favourite quotes on insight at the moment. Do you have others you would like to share? I would love to add them to the quotes section of the C3Centricity website. Our stock of inspiring quotes is constantly growing so why not check it out whenever you need a great start to a presentation or report?

For more information on insight development, please check out our website: http://www.c3centricity.com/c3c-solution/processes/insights/

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Denyse Drummond-Dunn
Denyse is the Creator of the Quantum Customer Centricity (QC2™) Model. QC2™ is the New CX for organisations that want to find atomic steps that deliver quantum results, attracting, delighting & retaining more customers. Denyse is Nestle’s former Global Head of Consumer Excellence and has >30 yrs’ experience as a Speaker, Advisor and Author. She delivers inspiring keynotes, motivational talks and actionable training. Her global business consultancy, C3Centricity, has expertise in over 125 countries! Check her website and connect to discuss if she would be a great fit for your next event.


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