An impression of our Consumer Insightment Smartees

Two weeks ago, we organised our Consumer Insightment Smartees Seminar at our Ghent HQ. Being part of the programme committee myself, I couldn’t help but consider the fact that what the people were about to witness that day was not only going to be the sharing of interesting cases for AirFrance KLM and AB InBev, but also slide decks and contributions packed with complex concepts and marketing buzz words.
As future forward market researchers and marketeers we tend to find new names for new solutions almost as frequently as we change our clothes. So to lighten this burden we kicked off the afternoon with a short ‘b*llshit bingo’ multiple choice quiz. Had you already heard about IWIKs for example? Do you think it stands for ‘Insight Writing Intelligent Knowledge’ or ‘I Wish I Knew’? Tweet me @hakimzemni, if you think you know the answer.
On a more serious note, our in-home insightment expert and business director Ashley Smith very clearly explained the path we follow at InSites Consulting to uncover deep and potent insights. In a nutshell: insighting is a verb! It’s a process involving 4 phases (admittedly these phases score high on the b*llshit bingo scale):

  1. Leveraging what you already know, through well-structured workshops & brainstorms
  2. Immersing and getting under the consumer’s skin, through ethnographic observational multimedia research tools
  3. Insighting and coming to deeper understanding, through online connections with consumers and in-company workshops
  4. Validating the insights, through surveying and polling potential and current target groups quantitatively

Insighting takes a lot of time, energy and efforts but ultimately an insight can be seen as the mother or father of hundreds of ideas. An insight is much more than a conclusion or observation; it’s a platform or springboard of inspiration. Ideally it’s something timeless and trend-proof. In order to distinguish the good insights from the bad, Ashley also shared InSites’ own definition of a good insight:

‘Aha! x it’s me x !!! = € or $ or £’

‘B*llshit bingo!’ I hear you think?
Well, here’s the explanation:
Imagine you hear somebody (a market researcher during a study debrief, for example :) ) explain why a consumer makes a certain choice or has a certain behaviour. Now consider that ‘insight’ and run these 3 simple questions through your head:
“Aha!” means “is it something new?”
“it’s me” means “is this relevant to me or to others only, do I recognize the insight?”
“!!!” stands for “talkability, buzz and conversations: is it something I’d share and talk about now I’ve heard it?”
The idea is to score 3 out of 3 to have an insight worth deepening and exploring. Of course this is something you can’t do by yourself alone; ideally you involve (potential) consumers.
Regardless of the complexity of the subject matter, Ashley’s insights into the world of insights were new, relevant and created a buzz altogether during the break, so: mission accomplished.
In a second part of the afternoon we demonstrated this long and winding road to insights through two client case: Pieter De Vuyst, Tom De Ruyck, Annelies Verhaeghe and Thomas Troch shared their AirFrance/KLM transfer insightment project in an unedited and original way. Pieter introduced the project from a business perspective, telling us why Air France/KLM is interested in consumer behaviour in airports during transfer and how we tackled this project setting up amongst other solutions an online community with frequent flyers. But the original part came from our R&D team: Annelies, Thomas & Tom went into a true role-playing game. All 3 of them dispersed into the room and became “gate agents”. An airport receptionist summoned the attendees to proceed to gate A, B or C through the speakers and people were then immersed into three different stories of 10 minutes highlighting how ground-breaking this project really is in terms of crossing the boundaries of market research in time, method and reporting formats. Yes, we were flying high with this one.
After the break, Caroline Stout, head of consumer insights Benefralux at AB InBev explained the Forza! Community case, together with InSites’ research manager Sophie Van Neck. For AB InBev the Force carbonated soft drinks are a true game-changer being non-alcoholic and a new category the beverage giant is moving into. With new products come new markets and new needs for insights of course. Sophie & Caroline talked us through the Forza! community and its in-depth techniques exploring individual, subconscious and habitual soft drinking behaviour. Observational and contextual assignments in our 3-week community involving 50 men delivered 1000+ pictures and/or consumer stories. This smorgasbord of meaningful observations (BINGO!) was distilled through different analysis techniques to 5 insight platforms (BINGO!) which AbInBev is working on as we ‘speak’. Yet another great case of how online consumer connections can lead to very tangible innovations and input.
Finally, in true Smartees tradition, we had ample opportunity to network and chitchat over a glass of champagne and snacks.
It’s a delight to see our Smartees formula is really catching on with again 40+ people attending from all types and sizes of companies and sectors. Despite the somewhat technical/methodological programme this time around, we’re happy in the meantime to have received very positive feedback on our satisfaction survey we sent out the day after. So: are you interested in more of these types of events too? Then keep an eye on our upcoming Smartees and join us soon! Or take a look at the full presentation of our Consumer Insightment Smartees Seminar below:

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