Turning insights into impact

How does the life of an insight look in your company? Do they live at the heart of the organisation and does everybody keep them in mind? Or… are they simply locked up in PowerPoint reports, barely ever used? Chances are it’s the latter. A study by InSites Consulting has shown that only 45% of marketers and insight managers believe research changes marketers’ attitudes and decisions. With a budget of 43 billion dollar spent on market research every year, that’s pretty confronting, isn’t it? So instead of just throwing more money at it, how can we increase the ROI of insights?
Here are 3 tips to let your insights shine:

1. Educate the power of an insight

A fact, a simple truth is not an insight. It’s not actionable.” Jeroen Jacobs, International Market Research Manager at Stepstone

Most marketers haven’t a clue what an insight is. They see it as a nice-to-know fact, but will continue making decisions based on their gut feelings. Before having an impact with your insights, you first need to create belief among your marketers. Communicate and educate the power of an insight to them.
What is an insight?
At InSites Consulting, we found that a good insight is a unique combination of 3 key ingredients:
The insight formulaIT’S ME
First of all, an insight is recognizable and relevant to consumers if it really taps into their daily life. When you read it, you recognize yourself or someone around you in it. It gives people the feeling that you know them.

How do you eat an Oreo biscuit? Twist, lick and dunk? This is the insight behind the brand and is often used in their advertising. People love it, because they feel that they came up with it first and that the advertising is just a way of reminding them.

Second, insights make you look at things from a fresh perspective. It lets you discover something new or look at an existing reality in a new way. You realize it’s true the moment you hear it.
Last but not least, a good insight cannot be neutral. It should contain a passion, an emotional desire to change. This can be a friction or problem for consumers, or their wishes/ needs. Doing something about it should excite both consumers and employees.
The power of an insight
One strong consumer insight can be a real game changer – if you just believe in it. So is there still no buy-in? Immerse your marketers in the insights. Send them into the real world and let them experience what it’s about.

After an extensive global survey to reposition its Dove brand, Unilever found that only 2% of women would describe themselves as beautiful. And worse so, by frequently showing perfect women in their advertisements, they had a part in affecting women’s self-esteem. When being confronted with these insights, Dove’s executives didn’t believe it. So they were sent out to interview their own wives, daughters and nieces on beauty to hear it for themselves. The insight (and the belief in it) led to Dove’s highly successful Real Beauty campaign.

Dove real beauty campaign

2. Let insights flow in your organisation

“Working with insights is like swimming. At first you’re scared, but once you get on with it you notice it’s fun.” Sofie Bruggeman, Customer Experience Expert at Partena

After receiving the final results, what do we do with your insights? Lock them up in PowerPoint reports. Yes, results are shared. However, this is mostly boring one-way communication. We don’t look for any (re)action from the other side (#readonly). And what happens next? We forget about them.

“We come up with new insights and then it turns out they were already known. They re-invented the wheel, because only a few people knew.” Kris Cornelis, Marketing Research at Wolters Kluwer Belgium

How can we do it differently?

  • Act like a content manager
    Instead of pushing insights, trigger and challenge the whole organisation continuously with content. Share teasing consumer stories on posters in the coffee corner, organize an immersion week around a specific team, challenge with a consumer quiz, organize an ideation battle… Just remember, make it inspirational and fun ;-).
  • Use insights in the research process
    Do not limit the interaction with the insights. Involve the organisation before, during and after research. Harvest their current knowledge to map out gaps, share live updates from the field, link them back to everyday life… Let them experience the insights from the start and make them their own.

How can you easily organize this insight sharing and collaborating? To solve this issue, we created our Insight Activation Studio. It is a SaaS solution to unite and activate employees around consumer inspirations. Insights can be shared rapidly throughout the whole organization and are enriched with the employees’ own observations and ideas. Would you like to know more about our tool? Check out our way of working, our cases and our awards.
The Insight Activation Studio

3. Make it a habit

“Insights should be like a sunrise. A daily habit that brightens your day and gives you direction.” Florence Pauriac, Strategy & Insights Manager at Danone Dairy

Thinking with the consumer in mind should be part of your daily routine. But new habits aren’t adopted easily. So how do you get started? Chop it down into small units and do one thing at a time. Choose something easy enough and include this in a routine you already have. A few examples:

  • One month after receiving the final results, we sit together again and share what we have done with them.
  • During the presentation, everybody writes down that one insight that was most inspiring to him/her. Afterwards, we hang those up as a constant reminder.
  • Every Monday morning during our team meeting, we share our AHA moments.

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