Interviewing For Insights – A Primer Rev 2 Lisa Radin


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Interviewing For Insights – A Primer Rev 2 Lisa Radin

  1. 1. Interviewing for Insights – A Primer Work in Process a/o 11.18.10, Rev. 2 Prepared by: Lisa Radin, Creative Strategist Twitter: @milguy23
  2. 2. Corporate Craziness – A lesson in lesson aka – Why writing this: • Email from brand manager billion $ CPG – Interviewing for insights, how should I do it? • If CPG not hiring expert, would think: – Training staff for insight skill would rank high – Desire to avoid waste/spend: • Recruiting, location expense, planning time, stipend, catering, video • Lack of true insights; obtain conversations but relatively useless • Ideas gained not flushed out; incorrect drivers of change 2Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  3. 3. Importance of Lessons – Training Having right people, right skills to excel? • Would you ski down a mountain w/o lessons? • Run a marathon without training, intense prep? • Have secretary pitch a multi-million $ new business just because she’s nice and has gift of gab? • Think your 17 yr old driver knows enough to race w the pros, as in NASCAR? NO Training is needed to do job right, or major accidents will happen 3Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  4. 4. Insights Primer – Sharing My Ways • Lessons are directional, conceptual and subject to change • Use as thought-starters; rough draft • Learn from someone doing for 25 years • Applied to CPG, FMCG, B2B and B2C: brand, category, distribution, service – Universal approach • Always works, but fine-tuning always needed • Never be afraid to ask questions, dig. People like to talk if you give them ‘room’ and unthreatened, friendly environment. – You, or interviewer in control of creating friendly ‘place’: – Never the interviewee fault for not talking or providing ideas – need skills to find. • Read lessons in basic skills and good luck. Insights Primer by Lisa Radin 4
  5. 5. Lesson 1: Insights – Understand What You Seek • Goal(s): Deep dig on how people think, feel, perceive brands/category and what influences them to think and act a certain way. • Both – Emotional and sometimes illogical* – Rational and sometimes illogical* * Do Not Judge Logic. You are there to understand the illogical – that is the goal; that is window of opportunity. 5Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  6. 6. Lesson 2: The Customer is Always Right • Perception is Reality – Consumer perceptions even if not logical, are real. • Their ‘truths’ are the only ‘truths’ that matter. • Corporate truths or interviewer truths don’t matter. • Don’t inject your attitudes, company attitudes to sway opinion – Your job = to find customer insights/opinion, their truths. – Leave your personal or corporate/brand baggage at the doorstep. • What you think, or what your VP/CEO wants to happen, doesn’t matter when gaining insights. – You and company are not in control of consumer thoughts, beliefs, attitudes. Save that for later, when you want to control the gaps (ideas) that were found with marketing, packaging, branding, advertising strategies/tactics, etc. – Right now, during the insights process, consumer is #1 and you/company relatively invisible to process aka ‘not important’. • This is difficult for most companies to accept and reason outside insights types are hired. 6Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  7. 7. Lesson 3: Cleanse your brain • While the ultimate purpose of insights =find the big idea(s) against brand • Must cleanse brain of everything you know, think you know. • Mentally dump your brand woes/problems, competition – everything you wish to get out of the meeting into a paper bag and lock away in your closet. – This mental exercise reduces clutter of vested interests and opens mind to freely listen, question, connect thoughts/nuances (dots) when speaking/listening with consumer along w observing non-verbal cues. – Must cleanse and prep your brain for ‘incoming’ insights. 7Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  8. 8. Lesson 4: Become a “Living Sponge” • With a ‘clean brain’ and an open-mind, preconceived notions on how people should think, or feel no longer exist. • You are now a ‘living’ sponge – There to soak up every piece of information, thought, feeling, lifestyle issue impacting thought, etc. that you can extract from your subject. – You must listen to ‘the verbal’ and watch ‘the non-verbal’. • Look up non-verbal cues: facial expressions, animated style, body movements. • When explaining with their body – what’s the tone, the actual movements? All inputs for later use. 8Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  9. 9. Lesson 5: Don’t Talk Too Much • You are not being interviewed. You are not the customer. Your thoughts don’t matter. Stop talking and let the consumer talk. • Say as little as you can to start the process and be sure the interviewee explains in their own words – common marketing phrases. – While ‘category’ is common-speak, man-on-the street can call toothpaste cat: place to go to get rid of bad breath. – While retail aisle is common-speak, interviewee can view as ‘the place’ or ‘section of store’ or ‘confusing store area’ or Target. • The big ideas are in the details • Assume nothing. Let consumer define everything in their own words. Don’t talk too much. And, strive to obtain detail. 9Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  10. 10. Lesson 6A: THINK. So What Do You Want To Learn? – Feelings and Thoughts about Category • Category comes 1st • Why are they ‘there’ in the first place? – Be sure they define ‘category’ in their own words – ‘A place where XYZ, the place my mother loves, need it to breathe’… – Your definition of category may be different than their definition. – If it’s toothpaste category – don’t assume everyone brushes teeth or thinks relevant, important . » They need to tell you the importance of category in their terms. » Remember previous lessons – ‘You know nothing, must make them tell you’ • How lifestyle, age, life issues (fears, anxieties, health, joy-drivers, special interests), family situation (kids, spouse, problems at home), work, cultural mindset, dreams, hopes - all impact using category. – What they love and like re category (positive things) – What they hate, dislike re category (major frustrations, or negative things) 10Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  11. 11. Lesson 6B: THINK. So What Do You Want To Learn? • Feelings and Thoughts about Brands. (same approach as 6A) – Brand comes after category. – What do they think/feel about certain brands? • Don’t prompt. Let them talk about brand names they use and why they use for certain reasons and or occasions. – If they know only partial brand names, let them describe package, merchandising, where found in store – don’t adlib. You don’t want your own opinion! – If listening to earlier conversation re category, ask how chosen brands fit their personal needs, attitudes, beliefs, etc. – Remember, the details provide the opportunity. • If they think a certain way and favorite brand only delivers 80% of happy-factor, that’s a potential opportunity. • How lifestyle, age, life issues (fears, anxieties, health, joy-drivers, special interests), family situation (kids, spouse, problems at home), work, daily living, cultural mindset, dreams, hopes - all impact the brands they purchase. – What they love and like re brands (positive things) – What they hate, dislike re brands(major frustrations, or negative things) 11Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  12. 12. Lesson 7: The Big Encounter • Control your judgments; first impressions. • Ugly people can have great ideas. • Obese people can have great ideas. – Are they obese due to a medication, health problem? • Beautiful people can have good, or bad ideas. • Messy or smelly people could have a bad hair day, fight with their kid, or a broken shower. • While observing hairstyle, hair color, dress/fashion, shoes, purse, car brands, or personal hygiene – your first impressions can be spot-on, or completely off-base. • Must keep open-mind beyond first impression. – Ugly, obese, smelly, strange people buy your products – don’t rule out their thoughts. Big mistake! 12Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  13. 13. Lesson 8: Connecting • Must make positive emotional connections to increase comfort-factor. • Use child development skills/phrases for positive behavioral response: – Praise: “Impressive thought, tell me more.” – Honesty: “I never knew that, can you explain?” – Compassion: “That must be difficult, how does that impact you?” – Engage: “I need your help.” – Set Goals: “Here to learn about your thoughts/feelings re XYZ” • Learn re the ‘whole person’ not only ‘person using a given brand’ – What makes them ‘tick’? Insights Primer by Lisa Radin 13
  14. 14. Lessons 9-25: In Process • We’ll see how Lessons 1-8 are received prior to moving forward! 14Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  15. 15. About The Author • Doing insights since 1980; called it ‘understanding people’ and ‘Grandmother Research’ • Good story: In 3 weeks for a new business pitch to Searle and later recycled to Mead-Johnson did Grandmother Research in OTC meds. – While talking to coworkers, friends and neighbors found most frustrating illness was the flu and no OTC to help ‘as can’t keep anything down and loss of vitamins/minerals’. In addition, people remembered their moms giving them hot tea as compassionate drink. – Created FLU FOOD concept, sprinkle pain reliever with vitamins/minerals that when mixed w water behaves like hot tea. – No clue if this concept led to Sandoz introduction of Theraflu® which was introduced 3 years later and became the fastest growing drug store category. – All I can tell you? Identified big idea by talking to people and did in less than 3 weeks. – Introduction of Theraflu led to OTC med segmentation by illness that still dominates the category. • Strong believer that good ideas are in the minds of consumers – must listen and dig to discover. 15Insights Primer by Lisa Radin
  16. 16. Back Cover • The ideas and thoughts presented are those of Lisa (Friedman) Radin. • If you don’t agree, that’s OK, my feelings won’t be hurt. • Nothing is ever set in stone, things change. But the basics are here should you wish to learn. • Have fun, gaining insights an adventure like no other. • Companies so wrapped up in thinking a certain way, they find it difficult to believe their consumers. Insights works to uncover true feelings re brand. But company management must accept to move forward to innovate. • Many believe if talk to consumers will learn insights, not true. It’s not about talk, it’s about deep feelings behind the talk. If going to try and get insights, try to do it right. This primer is intended to help companies who want to DIY insights (do-it-yourself). 16Insights Primer by Lisa Radin