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Why true insight should change the way you serve your target market

Published 04 Dec 2018 2 minute read

Strategic Thinking

Researchers, strategists, planners and marketers alike all band around the term ‘insight’, but break into a discussion in an attempt to define what a true insight is and all heavens will open.

It promises depth, detail, eureka moments, but all too often the insight that is delivered is little more than a new observation or a validation of what we already know, or worse still, a finding at the end of a process.

At Further we define a true insight as being a revelatory breakthrough in your understanding of people, their lives and relationships that signals a new way to create value for them.

We describe it as 'revelatory' and ‘breakthrough’ because we view anything less than that as a mere observation. But be warned, revelations don’t just happen, nor do they appear on a regular basis without going through a few pain barriers.

So how do you know when you’ve hit bullseye and got a true insight?

What you come up with will be surprising for those involved, but it will be painfully obvious as well. Their reaction tends to be a deep sigh, a lean back, and the words ‘of course, I knew it!’. You know you are there when it makes sense and fits within the framework of what you already know and understand about people and their behaviour.

Most marketers and professionals have been operating in their category for many years, resulting in them often being blinded by their own knowledge. It’s this blindness that triggers the freshness of the insight.

A golden example of this that we often reference is Pampers.

Everyone “knew" that parents wanted leak-free nappies and as a result much of the product development and communication centred on it. Focus groups confirmed this insight.

But when Pampers ran some ethnography, there was a revelation. What was most important to parents in their home was sleep. No one can live without it and a wet nappy was what prevented it, for both the baby and the parents. Pampers got 'innovating' and came up with nappies that had extra "dry layers" for sleep time. Their brand strategy shifted to focus on enabling parents and children to achieve "Golden sleep”.

For brands to stay ahead of the game they need to act fast, make changes and innovate. The insight will be revealed to competitors soon enough, be it through communication or their own research, so nimbleness and action is key. For brands that aren't nimble or for those unwilling to adapt to consumer change, there's some salutary lessons to learn. Inconvenient insights are no less valid, how you handle them is key.

Don’t just strive for new findings or observations, push hard for true insight using the right blend of skills and technology, humans and machines. You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to discover ways of unlocking those all important, game-changing insights, then read our article: Online Qual Approaches Powering Consumer Insight and discover the many different qualitative research methods you can use to help you answer critical business questions and make better decisions.

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We were amazed at the level of insight we achieved in just a week. Further opened our eyes to new ways of researching and understanding our staff

We helped Conde Nast International define a new global mission and vision statement

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Further really understood the brief and were extremely proactive. We are now very confident that we’re taking the right products and proposition to market.

We helped this insuretech startup tailor their customer value proposition for the UK market ahead of a planned launch

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Further's expert team pushed us to clarify our assumptions and to think harder about how to communicate the value of our products and services

We helped Keyhouse enter a new market and understand what target users of their case management software needed and how to position their offer

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Working with Further was a refreshing and eye-opening experience…...the qualityof their output which was excellent.

We helped Unicef generate insights to support the development of a mass market, sustainable fundraising product.

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Strategically, Further’s insights provided clear and directional answers that will guide us through our next phase of growth

We helped Zwift understand users and non-users needs and wants so they could prioritise their innovation pipeline

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We helped Chilly’s leadership team consider new ways to understand and co-create with their customers’

We helped disruptive pet insurance company Waggel develop customer personas and map out the current and intended customer journey.

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