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Three ways to raise your insight game

There were lots of great talks at the Insight Show and AURA Conference last week.

From everything, three central themes stood out most. But like research, hearing interesting things is only worthwhile if you’re able to act on them.

In this spirit, here are those three themes and how I’ll be applying them in my work. I’ll be asking myself, so what?

 

  1. Insight is nothing without context

Statistics can often be misinterpreted. Without context, people can miss what the figures are really telling them.

For example, on a standard business dashboard, a 25% fall one month would be flagged in red. But what if this particular month followed a record month or was always a lower volume month. Or what if the market’s fallen 50%.

In any of these contexts, the interpretation would be quite different.

So what? I’ll be challenging over-simplification wherever I see it. I’ll ask what sits behind the numbers. That’s where the real insight is.

 

  1. Video helps people feel what it’s like to be a customer

Lots of speakers mentioned how impactful video is. Used well, stakeholders have a visceral reaction to it. They start to really feel what it’s like to be a customer. And it’s harder to hide from uncomfortable truths when confronted with a video, over say a PowerPoint deck.

As Sara Petunilo from Sky Italia said:

People are not scores or statements. They’re people. People who talk

Living Lens referenced the old adage that a picture paints a thousand words. If there are 30 frames per second, over 60 seconds, a video paints 1.8m words!

Too often in research, video isn’t central to the project. Given it’s impact on stakeholders and ability to engage, we need to make it front and centre of every project.

This technology is there for us. We just need to use it.

So what? We already use video a lot. But in future, I’ll be sure to revisit any video from past projects and try to repurpose it wherever I can.

 

  1. There’s no single way to engage stakeholders

Since I’ve worked in research, the perennial challenge has been how to engage stakeholders in the insight we have. And most importantly, how to make them act on this insight.

Laura Bijelic from Penguin Random House gave us a fantastic 5 Cs framework to address this. She and her team use lots of different methods to engage people – from a dedicated brand and website for insight, to drip-feeding insights and creating competition between departments.

So what? Like a successful marketing campaign, I won’t rely on one single approach or media to get my message across. I’ll approach stakeholders from many different angles. Some will land, some don’t. But the overall effect will be much more likely to engage.

 

With thanks to speaker from Econsultancy, Barclays, Living Lens, Penguin Random House, Boden, TSB and Eve Sleep.

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