Marketing Insights

Advertising, Behavioral Economics, Food & Culinary, Strategy

Consumer Insight: The Key to Unlocking More Awesome in Your Marketing

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Sarah Duchemin

There’s a difference between a good campaign — one with pretty creative and smart media spending — and a great campaign.

A great campaign changes the game.

Or it changes the conversation.

Most importantly, a great campaign actually changes consumer behavior.

The difference between good and great nearly always comes down to insight. Not just any insight, but an actionable consumer insight.

What is a Consumer Insight?

A consumer insight is a nugget of knowledge about a consumer that when leveraged can help brands beneficially change the behavior of their customers.

The definition of consumer insight hints at its power: We’re talking about an understanding of your customers and potential customers that can help your product or your messaging have real-world impact.

Here’s why this is important to me: At LSB, we believe that advertising can’t succeed unless it finds a way to make a brand matter. I know it’s a simple thing to say, but it’s not really a simple thing to do. And discovering a real consumer insight is the first step.

Truly Powerful Insights are More than Facts

“Insight is usually pegged to the word ‘consumer’ but there are myriad kinds of insight in our industry – business, media, product, brand, strategic and competitive,” Merry Baskin wrote in a WARC Best Practice paper on delivering consumer insight.

In fact, there are even more types of brand insights, including social, cultural and categorical.

The point is that while there are many kinds of insights, the insights that are relevant here are the insights that motivate people, influence their beliefs and change their behavior.

Those are an important—even essential—component of brand development.

As Baskin went on to say in the consumer insight paper, “If the response is ‘so what?’, or ‘and..? Your point is?’ then you haven’t got an insight. If the response is ‘Aha!’ (‘that makes sense, I can see now why that is so, I know exactly what to do with it’) then you’ve struck gold.”

Examples of Powerful Insight

Sometimes finding consumer insights is easy. Take McDonald’s and their move to all-day breakfast. Consumers were literally begging for this for years—in its release announcing the change, the chain claimed more than 120,000 people tweeted McDonald’s asking for all-day breakfast in the previous year alone.

Survey after survey showed that consumers prefer McDonalds’ breakfast above all other fast-food breakfasts. In the end, the burger behemoth finally made it a priority to work out the breakfast puzzle.

OK! Uncle! All-day breakfast it is!