Digging for Gold

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Digging for Gold



Did you ever wonder how you can detect powerful consumer insights and set them apart from the ones that won’t be game changers? What is a good insight and how can it be a springboard for future ...

Did you ever wonder how you can detect powerful consumer insights and set them apart from the ones that won’t be game changers? What is a good insight and how can it be a springboard for future marketing actions? The path we follow to uncover these deep and potent insights here at InSites Consulting is elaborated here. In this paper, the focus lies on insight validation, the often skipped but necessary step in the consumer insight process and how insight validation can help unlock the insights with the greatest innovation, activation or branding potential.



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Digging for Gold Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The quest to uncover high potential consumer insights, todrive marketing innovation is not new within the wider mar-keting community.For some time now many consumer (and even B2B) compa-nies have engaged in ‘close to customer’ programmes.These insight activation processes can easily lead to dozensof insights that can all serve as a springboard for marketinginnovation.However, in the current commercial environment marketingdollars are not limitless, so a selection of insights with thehighest potential is becoming more crucial.In this paper, we will explain how insight validation can helpidentify the insights with the highest innovation, activation orbranding potential.What toexpect?
  • 2. Thequest forconsumerinsights
  • 3. What’s in a name?‘Consumer insights’ is one of the most misused terms inmarketing & market research. Below we give a definitionof what a consumer insight is.“A consumer insight represents an under-standing of the inner nature of things, leadingto a discovery of something that is not-yetobvious but at same time recognizable andreal, and providing the basis for relevant andactionable marketing decisions, ultimatelyleading to competitive advantage.”A consumer insight is typically a short, single mindedstatement written in consumer language that reflectsthe opening sentence of the product or brand story thatengage the consumer by setting up the need, the wish, orthe desire.”“The consumer is to be at the heart of all our innovation,branding and communication.”Recognize this mission? Although many brands claim tointegrate this credo in their DNA, many companies strug-gle to implement this in a structural way. It is obligatory toset up a structural approach for discovering and selectingconsumers insights that can serve as a springboard forinnovation & brand activation.In this paper, we will demonstrate you that within thisprocess insight validation is a necessary, but oftenforgotten step. But before we get to that, let’s first definewhat a consumer insight exactly is.
  • 4. Ourmagicformulafor aninsight
  • 5. EmotionAn insight should have an emo-tional valence. It can be a frictionor problem that consumers want tosolve. But it could also be a desirefor something. Consumers shouldbe excited about having a potentialsolution.Aha!An insight should be a fresh andpresent a new way of looking atthings. This includes both discov-ering something completely new asuncovering an existing reality in anew way. An insight should not beimmediately apparent. It is latentlypresent and often you only realizethat it is true the moment you hearit. It brings to the surface what wasthere subconsciously.The better the insight, the higher the business potential. It can unlock marketing innovation on different levels :brand innovation, product innovation, service innovation, communication & consumer activation.It’s meA good insight is relevant for aconsumer. Relevance can be drivenby personal identification or by peeridentification (this is when we call aninsight contagious).Our definition uncoverssome crucial elements thata consumer insight shouldpossess in order to drivebusiness potential.
  • 6. Insightvalidation, anecessarystep!
  • 7. • Insight validation will help to assess the potential ofan insight for your brand and your target group.Let’s be clear - we are not proposing that all consum-er insights generated during earlier activities are notbuilt on real consumer needs, but how do we know:• which ones deal with original thoughts and aspira-tions for your target group?• which ones are already intuitively linked to ourbrand’s DNA?• which needs your target group is relatively moremotivated to see a solution for?• to what extent does the insight address needsfrom all consumers or just from several segments?• Insight validation helps you to optimize and betterunderstand the insights. By several creative tools,one can detect why a certain insight is not scoringwell. By measuring emotions, we get a better un-derstanding of the emotional space that an insightscaptures.Even companies that put consumer insights at thecore of innovation sometimes lack the discipline tovalidate these insights before starting ideation. How-ever, skipping this stage has several drawbacks:• The cost and time investment further down theinnovation funnel is only increasing with time. Whensolely selecting insights for ideation based on a‘gut feeling’ you risk to invest in innovation that isnot based on a need that is recognized by a largeproportion of your consumers. Innovation or brandactivation dollars are not endless.• Once you start validating concepts without priorvalidation of the insight, it is hard to separate thepotential/quality of the different building blocks ofyour concept. Is my insight driving the success orfailure of a concept or is it something else?
  • 8. Prioritizingin the fuzzyfront end
  • 9. A first crucial step is to test theconsumer language. Insights thatdo not pass the ‘Clarity’ minimum ac-ceptable score will be given a quali-tative analysis on how to improve thewording of the insight for possiblere-testing.Insights are primarily evaluatedagainst 4 key performance indica-tors resulting in an overall ‘Insightstrength’ score. We measure boththe potential of the insight with theconsumer themselves, as well asthe contagious nature of the insightto activate conversations. This latterKPI helps us map the social potentialfor the insight.The composite score is bench-marked against a global bench-mark database and based onthat, recommendation to go ahead,rework or reject a specific insight canbe formulatedBefore we activate insightsand start ideating, theyshould be validated usingan online survey with arepresentative targetsample (n=min. 150).
  • 10. To what extent can youpersonally identify withthis statement?Aha, I did not think ofthis issue or idea thisway before!How excited would yoube if a solution or mes-sage was developed toaddress the issue?How often have younoticed other peo-ple talking about theissue?FreshnessRelevance Excitement ContagiousConversationsINSIGHTSTRENGTH
  • 11. Fromvalidationonly tounderstanding
  • 12. It is one thing to know which insight is most powerful; it isanother aspect to understand why this insight is performingwell or not. With a set of quantitative and qualitative diag-nostics, we stimulate consumers to think harder and better.They help us to go beyond pure benchmarking. It helps uscontextualize the insights and to understand why an insightis (not) performing well.The word marking tool allows participants to indicatewhat aspects of the insights they like and dislike. Thisway, we are able to understand why consumers do ordon’t identify with your insight. We can for example detectto what extent a friction in a given insight is driving theidentification.Identification with certain insights can be largely drivenby the context. Therefore we invite consumers to makea collage which reflects a typical context in which theywould experience the need described in the insight. Thisway we can get more insight on future consumptionmoments.21
  • 13. As pointed out earlier in this paper, it isimportant that each insight has an emotionalvalence. Through emotional measurement,we map which emotions are triggered by aninsight and what the relative emotional posi-tioning is. Knowing the emotional space thatan insights claims is powerful information forideation, concept development and futurecommunication and brand activation. Captur-ing emotions in survey research can be doneboth explicitly and implicitly. In the latter case,we put consumers under time pressure toavoid their rationalizing their answer. First find-ings demonstrate that implicit measurementunder time pressure is a particular powerfultechnique, especially when dealing with nega-tive or socially desirable emotions.Through a projective technique, we measurehow close or far away an insight is perceivedto be to a particular brand. Consumers areprobed to think about the biggest fan of abrand and to indicate to what extent this brandfan would identify with the brand.ActivationPleasantUnpleasantDisgustedAshamedBoredDisappointedLonelyEnthusiasticRelaxedAdmirationContemptExcitedLoveHappyAngryAfraidDeactivation43
  • 14. CommonPitfalls inInsightvalidation
  • 15. • Fuzzy front end research is often associated withinnovation. However, there are also insights thatrelate to communication, customer experience orbranding. Insight validation can be applied on alltypes of insights. In this context it is also vital to lookat the individual KPI’s and not only to insight strengthas an overall measure. For example, when workingon communication or brand activation, you mayfind it more important that the insight is ‘fresh’ and‘conversation worthy’ rather than other types ofinsights.• Crap in…crap out. Writing the insights that serveas input for the validation is an art in itself. An insightshould be written in consumer language, focus on asingle minded idea and clearly contain an emotionaldimension. This has proven to be a very challengingskill in workshops with clients and requires consisten-cy and strict moderation.• Insight validation is particularly challenging whenit comes to testing taboos or socially (un)desira-ble insights. Taboo insights often lead to negativeresults, due to reluctance to admit embarrassing orsocially unaccepted situations.Insight validation can bring a lot to the table. Of courseit requires a careful execution. Here are some pitfalls tolook out for:• Benchmarks are crucial to evaluate the perfor-mance of your insight. But insight validation is arelatively new discipline, so often category or targetgroup benchmarks are absent; In this case, it can bewise to add some ‘old/proven’ insights to create aninternal benchmark.• Do not limit yourself to quantitative analysis only.Although Insight validation is done through quantita-tive surveying, it is only by blending it with qualitativeresearch that one can get most out of the data. Byperforming a content analysis on groups of insightsthat perform (less) well, we can detect the underlyingcharacteristics an insight should have to score well.• Are all your insights scoring well in China, but not inthe Netherlands? You probably did not take responsestyles into account. From previous research, weknow that there is a culture influence on how con-sumers rate insights. Normalization is thereforecrucial!
  • 16. About taboo testingOur research has indicated that insight formula-tion is crucial when dealing with taboo platforms.We set up an insight validation study aiming attesting different formulations: (1) Original tabooinsight, (2) Positioning the insight in a positiveemotional context & (3) Presenting the insight ina third person, with more context, through story-telling.Additionally the Consumer Relevance KPI ques-tion was asked indirectly in order to identify taboosituations. Our results show that the taboo effectcan be minimized: whilst performing equally onall other KPIs, the Consumer Relevance increas-es when positive or storytelling formulations areused. Relevance KPI in the 3rd person is alsouseful to identify a taboo insight. Also the averageinsight strength increases significantly acrossdifferent insight formulations.‘Going out I enjoythat feeling of beingpart of a group...’Positively stated‘When going out we’reusually just sharing goodtimes and catching up...’Storytelling formulation‘When in a disco, Iwant to fit as one of thecrowd...’Original insight
  • 17. By conducting insight validation, Heineken signifi-cantly reduces their chances of moving weak insightsfurther down the innovation funnel. As a result, ideasand concepts based on validated insights performsignificantly better.The latter is clearly demonstrated in a meta-analysiswhich revealed that the unpriced buying intention ofconcepts based on validated consumer insights is upto 20% higher in comparison with concepts based oninsights that were not tested upfront.As part of an organizational drive to strengthen theirconsumer led innovation process, Heineken Interna-tional sought a partner to provide a meaningful solu-tion to help select the most potent consumer insightsto use as a basis for product innovation or branding/communication initiatives.Since 2010, Heineken has tested hundreds of consum-er insights across the globe using our Insight ValidationTool. We partner also in other phases of the innovationjourney (insight writing workshops, ideation workshops,concept writing workshops,…).The insight validation phase has become mandatoryin the Innovation Process and the quality of productconcepts generated further down the innovation funnelis clearly benefiting from this. Marion Hoek-Koudenburg,consumer insight manager at Heineken, explains it asfollows: “A protocol for Consumer Insight testing, which isin line with our HNV Consumer Insight criteria, allows usto even better understand our consumers and their lan-guage, adding significant value to our innovation projectswhile helping minimize the risk to the company”.Someprooffrom ourclients
  • 18. Insight validation is part of apicture
  • 19. Ideally, it starts with leveraging ex-isting knowledge: previous researchthat touched upon a certain topic,data collected by the consumer carecentre, consumer feedback that isshared on social media. We sit ona (big) pile of data and the efficientdigestion of what is already knowncan already uncover new insights.Consumer immersion is a secondimportant component in the mix.New methods like consumer-ledethnography allow you to deep-diveinto the consumer’s world so we canfully understand all consumer needsand underlying motivations andtherefore discover new consumerinsights. By innovative techniqueslike crowd interpretation or using thepower of Consumer ConsultingAfter validation, the most potentinsights are used as inspirationalspringboards for idea generation.Also here, companies often do notinvolve the consumer. It is impor-tant to ensure that the consumer is“kept alive” throughout the ideation– either in the physical workshop,through overnight idea screening orthrough virtual co-creation commu-nities.Innovation is a journey. Insightvalidation is only one step inthe fuzzy front end. Therefore,and in order to ensure it is trulypowerful, one should not use thisresearch in isolation.
  • 20. 1LeverageSecondaryresearchIdentity meaningfulobservations360 interpretation Shaping insights PrioritizeDevelopment &validationInsightmentnetnographyConnectingthedotsworkshopInsightmentcommunityInsightmentcommunity/blog+(includingcrowdinterpretation)InsightwritingworkshopInsightscreeningIdeationworkshop2Immersion3Insighting4Validation5Ideation &concepting
  • 21. Ashley Smith +32 9 269 12 12 @ash_m_smith linkedin.com/in/ashleymarksmith ashley@insites-consulting.comDaniel Teixaira +32 9 269 15 12 @DTeixeira linkedin.com/in/danteixeira daniel@insites-consulting.comAnnelies Verhaeghe +32 9 269 14 06 @annaliezze linkedin.com/in/anneliesverhaeghe annelies@insites-consulting.comFilip De Boeck +1 646 334 0694 @filip_deboeck linkedin.com/in/filipdeboeck filip@insites-consulting.com
  • 22. Thank you!@InSitesmarketing@insites-consulting.comwww.facebook.com/insitesconsultingwww.slideshare.net/InSitesConsulting