Where do insights come from? Insights are based on the analysis and interpretation of information. Information can come from primary or secondary research into the consumer, brand, category or competition.
To get to an insight, start with an observation derived from one of the four areas above. Something like “many men like spicy food” or “red cars get more speeding tickets than cars of other colors.” Observations are easy to come by. I bet you could think of 100 right now. To turn observations into insights look beyond the observation and ask, “Why is this?” Why do many men like spicy food? Why do red cars get more speeding tickets? The key is to find the root cause. Many times the answer is found by decoding and understanding human nature.
Why do many men like spicy food? Because it’s an area of competition and esteem, withstanding the intensity of spicy food is a sign of toughness.
Why do red cars get more speeding tickets? Because, like the flames of a fire, red objects appear to move quicker and be more dangerous than objects of another color.
Good marketing is based on insight and the strategy that leverages it; essentially this is what Planners bring to the table in their work. Here is an example from a famous campaign.
Why do people litter? Because when keeping the environment clean is everyone’s responsibility, there is no motivation for any one person to act. Leveraging this consumer insight, GSD&M created the “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign that positioned littering as a personal slight to every Texan with state pride.
Next time you are looking for insight, remember that an insight is simply an observation waiting to be decoded. Seek to understand the why behind the action.