The necessity to base every communication activity on a real consumer insight has been one of the topics most emphasized by the marketing and communication world within the last 15 years.
Without exception, every presentation given by communications professionals to brand managers begins with a strategy section.
The only responsibility of the strategist is to make the brand manager believe in the insight he/she presents.
In fact, brand managers propound that the ability to find insights is the quality that distinguishes a good adman from a bad one.
Moreover, experienced communications professionals know that bad advertisement built on a good insight is not favored but always sells.
Even the best advertisement built on a bad insight will never work.
If insight is this important, what is the definition of insight and how does one reach it?
Now this is where the whole problem starts...
It is almost impossible to model the ways that lead to insight.
Today’s marketing science does not yet have a definitive approach which says “this is how you find an insight”.
Even if definitive methods do not exist, the marketing world knows a lot on the “NO GO” areas and some of the must-haves...
What are these?
Insight Is Arrogant...
Even if there exists no mutual agreement on the definition of insight, the majority of the marketing world defines it as introversion - introspection.
This definition may be right or wrong according to whose inner world it emerges from.
If the adman is looking for the insight within the consumer’s inner world, this definition turns out right.
However, the adman gets detached from reality once he/she starts looking for the insight within his/her inner world.
Insight is a human condition, feeling, reality...
Insight cannot be searched for in fancy offices between four walls.
Even if one does, it cannot be found.
Insight lives in every area where the consumer lives. At the bus stop, in the dolmuş, in the living room, at the bazaar, in the consumer’s kitchen, at the canteen...
The search for insight starts as you step outside.
Insight is arrogant, it does not come to you.
You will have to go to it.
Insight Is Independent From Your Product
Now let’s talk about a scenario quite familiar to all brand managers.
Creative folks scribble down the scenario without looking at the insight at all.
Left vis-à-vis a situation completely contrary to what should have been, the strategist has no choice but adapt the insight to the scenario.
The strategist faltering under these circumstances comes up with a insight connected to the product to be advertised instead of finding a real insight (it is impossible to find one any more).
For example, if the product to be advertised is offered in a practical package, the strategist who cannot come up with a real insight makes up a case about the product: “Consumers are not happy with the x product which has an unpractical package because...”
The brand manager who sees that the insight has emanated from (or is entirely about) the product to be advertised must halt that meeting.
Because the insight should never be derived from the product subject to a communication.
The consumer’s feelings, needs, and states live outside of the product.
One must start the search for the insight with the desire to discover a “human reality” - never with the wish to find a product fact...
Insight Is Never a Math...
This “human reality” should never be in the form of numeric information/findings.
Information and findings matter, however, in most cases, all the brands within the category possess the same information. Consequently, it is difficult to find an area of differentiation starting off from here.
The arrival at the “human reality” begins with the discovery of factors deep within – factors which incite consumption but which are not entirely uncovered.
To discover, you need to be a very good observer.
It does not suffice to be observant. You must be a good moderator and beyond asking questions, you need to know how to really talk to the consumer.
Insight is not found within tables but in the deep meaning that resides within those tables.
Insight Is Never Your First Hypothesis...
After the discovery of the human reality comes the hypothesis-forming phase.
One should not present the brand with the first hypothesis that comes his way.
Hypotheses exist to be broken down and to be simplified.
You need to smash your hypothesis on a wall through tough interrogations and see it shatter into thousands of pieces.
You can be sure that if you do not shatter it, the consumer will. And when this happens, you will be caught off guard against the reactions to the brand.
Once you begin to reassemble your hypothesis which you had shattered into pieces with your own questions, if you have not reached a theory much plainer and simpler than before the shattering, it means you have not been able to manage the smashing process right. Start over.
Continue with this process until your hypothesis takes its plainest state.
What Good Is An Insight That Does Not Activate....
So you have a plain hypothesis... The first thing you need to do is to see if it is activating or not.
The correct insight is written out in the form of a hypothesis and always activates.
You can consult research companies to test the activation potential of your hypothesis.
If the research company confirms that your hypothesis does activate, it means the right insight has led you to the target. You can now proceed with the scenario adaptation.