ABOUT INSIGHTS: Things I Wished I Knew When I Started Out

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A sharing/presentation given to the 4A's Graduate Fellowship Programme participants on the what and how to insights.

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  • Value: Something you would spend a limited resource on, in exchange for – usually time or money.Doesn’t just apply to products; advertising itself is a “transaction.”
  • Over time we develop “default” settings/thinking and the need to constantly and consciously reset these “defaults.”
  • (It shouldn’t be something everyone don’t know – they do know; it just took you to make them realise it)Aim to enlighten. Not to confound.
  • Volkswagen calls it, the “twinkle in the eye.”
  • How to eat an elephant? Same way you would eat a steak - one bite at a time.
  • Survival kit
  • Prepping: Fundamentals – doing the basics. If you don’t prep, “instant noodles insights” are what you will often end up with. It’s quick, does the job, but ultimately unsatisfying.Cooking: The interesting stuffPlating: Even the best insights could do with some packagingSince I only have an hour, I will also be giving you “leads” – stuff that you should search online for to know a little more.
  • You never know when information/ideas/insights become useful. So under time pressures, it’s always good to have a “bank” of things you have read to fall back on.Fast Company website and magazinePSFK.comNotcot.orgPinterestGQBooks (Proust book)
  • Use a Post-It. Or find your own way.Insight-finding and insight-refining requires practice. Like a muscle, this skill needs repetition. And lots of it.And repetition needs to come from reminders to do so-and-so.
  • Maslow: Human’s need for social rewards - With each tweet and post users wonder how muchsocial validationCustomer journey: Talk about M&C example – Dixon’s (“Shop elsewhere, buy here.”)
  • Like oil exploration, one digs deep only once a productive site has been identified.
  • E.g. “Channel” – You can further expand on something like this by mapping another framework over it, for e.g. the consumer buying process.E.g. “Usage” – A cornflake manufacturer once made its boxes bigger having uncovered that “what gets seen, gets eaten” and resorted to developing a box too big to fit into most conventional cabinets.
  • T/A/M (Trigger, Ability, Motivation): JWT’s apple-pie solution to the client’s bountiful apple harvest.Motivation: Pleasure/pain; hope/fear; acceptance/rejectionAbility: Time, money, physical effort, mental effort, social acceptance, routine
  • It’s beneficial to take some time to think this through: As I can’t change everybody, on whom should I be spending my money on? Who would be most receptive to acting on my message?
  • Demographics vs. psychographicsSocial dimension (X-axis) vs. Personal dimension (Y-axis)Defining your target audience“Who are you talking to them as?” (vs. kitchen sink of what describes them)Who they are vs. who they want to be – the person vs. the personaCensydium: [Ref the observation into why digital natives are ALONE TOGETHER – Life has many of these oxymorons – Look out for them]. Insight: People want to be with each other, but also the [POWER] CHOICE to be elsewhere.People want CONTROL over who and what gets their attention (driven by fear – FOMO)
  • Probably the most important part of the brief (but also the most ignored). “Awareness” is not a defined-enough action.Strategy = A way around obstacles or problems in a difficult situation (no problems, no need for communications)
  • Observation: Category or topic plagued by apathy/disinterest (e.g. low involvement products; high clutter environment)High emotive response is key to raising awareness.
  • Client’s objective: Make something go viral - identify how you can be useful to people.
  • Bottom line: Stop defining communications objectives as “raising awareness.”
  • Duration: 2:25“The greatest challenge to any thinker is to state the problem in a way that will allow a solution.”Why it went viral: A good cause; valuable to friends; allowed people to connect on a shared emotional experience
  • Before I move on to my next point…What do you see?Corner of a girl’s roomA little girl’s legsAn open book
  • Before I move on to my next point…What do you see?Corner of a girl’s roomA little girl’s legsAn open book
  • Being aware of how our brain works
  • For survival reasons: We catch differences…
  • For survival reasons: We catch differences…
  • For survival reasons: We catch differences, but at the same time we are pre-disposed to act and think consistently (you wouldn’t have many friends or a partner if it was otherwise – where you are a different person every day)
  • First strive to be interesting, than trying to be right. You are more likely to be right by being interesting – less so vice-versa (i.e. hoping to be interesting by being right).Do the opposite: SunsilkLimauPurutTrends and counter-trends: Fitness (control) vs. Indulge (letting go)Nothing is what it seems: Professionals like accountants, management consultants and doctors constitute the majority of Harley buyers (magic mirror vs. mirror)
  • From Archimedes to Steve Jobs – do something that doesn’t require conscious thinking (bathing, washing clothes, taking a walk)Our conscious world is like the city; our unconscious world like the forest Cities are mapped, known, safe while forests are unknown, dangerous, unpredictable(BUT vast potential)Apps: Coffivity app (based on the research findings that ambient noise helps enhance creativity)
  • Germ theory of disease had not yet developed then.How information is presented has to consider the environment it is being released into (messages doesn’t get released into a vacuum).In contrast: Share case of how the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” was pitched to the BOD
  • Planning/Distillation as a process of “reduction” (rather than expansion)Sometimes omission as a means of “reduction” leaves you with something generic (“safety”)But concentration as a means of “reduction” leaves you with something differentiating (“safety for budget-conscious families”)
  • Our task as a strategist is not to confound (making ourselves look smart by making others feel stupid doesn’t keep you on the job for long).Leverage the in-built meaning of the metaphor you are using – metaphors carry more weight than its very word suggest.Plain vanilla: “We buy cars as an extension of our personalities.” (refer: “magic mirror” effect)Modified: “Cars are avatars”Plain vanilla: There’s more to the stars in the skies – star signsModified: Astronomy as a “zoo in the sky.”Repositioning astronomyPlain vanilla: Suffers from head pain originating in a small spot in exactly the same place, sparked by a head injury. This points to a condition called nummular headache.Modified: “Harry Potter headache” due to the same symptoms exhibited by the fictional characterMetaphors require an understanding into your audience/consumer/client (to understand their frame of reference). We used to do it – though less so, or at least less consciously now – to ask ourselves “What is the insight into the client?”). This is very powerful (right vs. interesting). Cite: Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” [VIDEO REF, if needed]
  • “Processing fluency”
  • In many instances, we’re going to find ourselves in a position where we are architects (not always builders).See: “Shit kids say” TVCProduct: Campaign against cruelty for children (National Socierty for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)Simple insight: Look out for signs of abuse by taking what kids say seriously.Execution insight: Leveraged the online trend for videos of “Shit xxx say”
  • ABOUT INSIGHTS: Things I Wished I Knew When I Started Out

    1. 1. Things I Wished Started Out I Knew When I About Insights By Alex Goh, Associate Strategic Planning Director, M&C Saatchi, Kuala Lumpur.
    2. 2. Attractive Adaptive Effective Exciting Innovative Personal Relevant (“in-touch”) Understanding Relatable Value (“fulfills an unmet need”) Witty VALUE OF INSIGHTS Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    3. 3. Attractive Adaptive Effective Exciting Innovative Personal Relevant (“in-touch”) Understanding Relatable Value (“fulfills an unmet need”) Witty VALUE OF INSIGHTS Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    4. 4. IN THE COMPANY OF… Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    5. 5. Active listener Alert of ones surroundings Analytical Attentive Curious Critical thinker Know-it-all Learn to take a different POV Observant Open Sensitive to what matters Willing to explore EASY. JUST BE… Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    6. 6. Active listener Alert of ones surroundings Analytical Attentive Curious Critical thinker Know-it-all Learn to take a different POV Observant Open Sensitive to what matters Willing to explore EASY. JUST BE… Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    7. 7. INSIGHTMETER™ N o s h i t , S h e r l o c k F * * k m e f a c t o r
    8. 8. Is NOT: A mere observation A general fact A plain statistic About winning Abnormal Common Edible Ignorable Obvious Pre-planned Something that takes a long time to understand To be abused An insight with HIGH F-M FACTOR Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    9. 9. Is NOT: A mere observation A general fact A plain statistic About winning Abnormal Common Edible Ignorable Obvious Pre-planned Something that takes a long time to understand To be abused An insight with HIGH F-M FACTOR Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    10. 10. An insight is a known but unseen truth.
    11. 11. The science behind finding insights. Something practicable. Finding (good) insights. Match the right insight to the right problem. Asking the right questions. Shortcut to insights. How do brands innovate. Something I don’t know. “I WANT TO KNOW…” Source: Graduate Fellowship Program participants
    12. 12. A BIG CHALLENGE
    13. 13. No defined destination. No eternal-well-of-insight. Just a map and a few landmarks. 10 pointers. Leave here with a toolkit. Find these slides on Slideshare [link here] OBJECTIVE
    14. 14. Invest in the process. Don’t settle for “instant-noodle-insights.” PREPPING COOKING PLATING
    15. 15. 1. READ Read a lot. Take this seriously. Heck, schedule time for it (it’s hard but future-you will thank you for it). *But stay away from advertising books.
    16. 16. 2. REPETITION There’s 1,225,321 ways of doing it. So make notes. LOTS of it. And keep it where you can see it. *Insight-hunting is a skill.
    17. 17. 3. FRAMEWORKS Find, keep and employ various thinking frameworks (e.g. customer journey; Maslow; PEST) *Navigating without a map only SEEMS faster.
    18. 18. Explore. Then dig deep. 3. FRAMEWORKS
    19. 19. CONSUMER CULTURAL COMMUNITY PRODUCT BRAND COMPETITORS PURCHASE CHANNEL USAGE 3. FRAMEWORKS A sample of SOURCES OF INSIGHTS
    20. 20. CONSUMER CULTURAL COMMUNITY PRODUCT BRAND COMPETITORS PURCHASE CHANNEL USAGE 3. FRAMEWORKS A sample of SOURCES OF INSIGHTS
    21. 21. CONSUMER CULTURAL COMMUNITY PRODUCT BRAND COMPETITORS PURCHASE CHANNEL USAGE 3. FRAMEWORKS A sample of SOURCES OF INSIGHTS
    22. 22. CONSUMER CULTURAL COMMUNITY PRODUCT BRAND COMPETITORS PURCHASE CHANNEL USAGE 3. FRAMEWORKS A sample of SOURCES OF INSIGHTS
    23. 23. 3. FRAMEWORKS Source: BJ Fogg FOGG BEHAVIOUR MODEL Motivation Ability Trigger
    24. 24. 4. TASK DEFINITION Start with WHO (target audience) and WHAT (the task aka the objective). *Don’t rush to be a problem solver.
    25. 25. 4. TASK DEFINITION Source: Synovate (now Ipsos) Censydium Model of Human Needs Introverted Extroverted Self Group
    26. 26. 4. TASK DEFINITION Source: BJ Fogg’s Behavior Grid What do you want them to DO?
    27. 27. • Happiness • Exhilaration • Awe • Warmth • Hilarity • Contempt • Disgust • Sadness • Pain 4. TASK DEFINITION Source: Unruly, France What PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE do you wish to elicit? • Pride • Nostalgia • Surprise • Knowledge • Shock • Confusion • Arousal • Fear • Anger
    28. 28. Source: Unruly, France 4. TASK DEFINITION What SOCIAL NEEDS can you deliver to? • To connect via shared passion • To connect via shared emotional experience • To facilitate offline socialising • To be relevant or valuable to friends • For a good cause • To be current – trend or event (zeitgeist) • To gain kudos - demonstrate knowledge/authority or first to tell • To gain attention (get a reaction) • For self-expression
    29. 29. Source: IDEO 4. TASK DEFINITION The 5 “Why’s”
    30. 30. 4. TASK DEFINITION Dove “Sketches” Case Study Communications Task: “To make women realise they are more beautiful than they think they are.”
    31. 31. The eye sees everything but the brain can be manipulated.
    32. 32. We are hardwired to catch DIFFERENCES.
    33. 33. We are hardwired to catch DIFFERENCES.
    34. 34. But also eager to simplify by identifying SIMILARITIES.
    35. 35. 5. OVERCOME BIAS Google search “tools to overcome cognitive bias.” E.g. Think the Opposite, 6 Thinking Hats and Forced Pairings *The brain is hard-wired to be “efficient” (read: lazy)
    36. 36. Do the OPPOSITE 5. OVERCOME BIAS
    37. 37. 5. OVERCOME BIAS Nike “Find Your Greatness” Case Study
    38. 38. Insights don’t come ON-DEMAND.
    39. 39. 6. STEP AWAY Step away from the table. Find your “take a walk.” Work your sub-conscious. *”Bathroom insights” – that’s a real thing.
    40. 40. “If I have a great insight, and I can prove it, people will listen.” (?) WHY PLATING?
    41. 41. WHY PLATING? The story of Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865) 1847: Discovered that the spread of contagious diseases can be minimized by enforcing appropriate hand-washing behavior by medical care-givers. 1850: Lectured publicly about his findings to the medical community. Greeted by cold, sometimes hostile reactions. Until 1861: Spent 14 years developing his ideas and lobbying for its acceptance, culminating in a book. Book receives poor reviews. 1865: Suffers nervous breakdown and committed to an insane asylum. Dies from blood poisoning.
    42. 42. 7. CRAFTING This family car is both affordable and safe. *Strive for single-mindedness. Distillation as a process that focuses on the quality rather than the quantity. For budget- conscious families, this car offers safety. OR
    43. 43. 8. CRAFTING (AGAIN) Use common metaphors - to transfer meaning from something we understand well to something we understand less well of. *Use the old, to make sense of the new. Cleaning solution product insight: “Strong and gentle at the same time.” Cleaning solution product insight: “Iron fist in a velvet glove.” OR
    44. 44. AGREE/DISAGREE? Woes unite foes. What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals. Life is mostly strife. Caution and measure will win you treasure.
    45. 45. 9. CRAFTING (SRSLY?) Making it easier to say increases its perception of accuracy (and also recall). *What’s familiar, feels right. Original, rhyming version Modified, non-rhyming version Woes unite foes. Woes unite enemies. What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals. What sobriety conceals, alcohol unmasks. Life is mostly strife. Life is mostly struggle. Caution and measure will win you treasure. Caution and measure will win you riches. Research of the “rhyming effect” on perceptions of statement accuracy Source: Matthew S. McGlone and Jessica Tofighbakhsh, “Birds of a feather flock conjointly (?): Rhyme as Reason in Aphorisms,” Psychological Science 11, no.5 (September 2000)
    46. 46. 10. EXECUTION A mediocre strategy with excellent execution has a better chance at success than an excellent strategy with mediocre execution. You don’t have to be a manager to pick up skills in managing people and teams. *Strategy without execution is nothing.
    47. 47. 1. READ 2. REPETITION 3. TASK DEFINITION 4. FRAMEWORKS 5. OVERCOME BIAS 6. STEP AWAY 7. CRAFTING 8. CRAFTING (AGAIN?) 9. CRAFTING (SRSLY?) 10. EXECUTION

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