The 3 golden rules of consumer insight activation

Good insights lead to the discovery of something that is not yet obvious. A good insight should be recognizable and real and can be translated into actionable business opportunities. It unlocks brand potential, uncovers innovation and leads to more successful communication & consumer activation. Research can help you to detect new insights but it does not always produce the magic you are looking for. So how to find those golden nuggets?

1. If you would only knew what you already know

An important characteristic of an insight is its freshness. Fresh thinking requires a good understanding of the current knowledge and insights within the company. Too often we are collecting new data and observations while we’re already sitting on a pile of information. Therefore, a good consumer insight activation journey should start with an inventarization of existing knowledge. It is not only about knowing what you already know. It is also about capturing what you think you know. Many marketing decisions are based on assumptions about consumers. Confirming or rejecting those assumptions can be equally insightful.

2. You don’t know what you don’t know…but your consumer does

Too often companies innovate based on a technology or universal trends. We start from our own thinking, but we don’t know what we don’t know. Our thinking is biased by our own context. A good insight however should start with the consumer. Through Insight Communities and Multimedia Ethnography, we empower consumers to observe the consumer behavior of themselves and their environment. Bottom-up we are able to detect new needs or frictions. Let consumers also judge the insights by involving them in the insight validation. Finally, we believe in collaboration with consumers beyond data-collection. From previous research, we know that they can be involved as co-researchers. Through crowd-interpretation, we involve consumers in the analysis & interpretation of research data. Previous research has proven that involving crowds in the analysis of data can increase the number of insights found from the same data by 20 to even 40%

3. Make sure that everybody knows

Our final goal with Consumer Insight Activation is to create a business impact. We put a lot of effort in data-collection and interpretation but yet, too often, we present our results in boring charts and long powerpoint reports. A short movie summarizing the results, an infographic bundeling all the insights, a quiz to present the results… there are definitely more inspiring ways in triggering action within the company. We engage people only at the beginning or end of the research project whereas there are so many opportunities to also involve stakeholders during the research flow. Clearly, we consider ourselves still too much as market researchers but somewhere along the way we forget to apply marketing to our industry. When trying to change the business of our clients, we should probably first change ourselves.
We recently organised a Smartees Webinar on Consumer Insight Activation. The full presentation and webinar are available online:

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