As Marketers and Communicators Increasingly Rely on Analytics and Data for Social Behavior and Digital Experience there is still a major gap in Confidence 

Comprehending consumer movement across the purchase stream is critical for sales velocity and brand relevance.  In a digital environment, fueled by social interactions, such behaviors and actions are tractable providing a treasure trove of information and knowledge from which to develop strategy and plot programming.  In effect, a marketer’s dream.  However, the reality today is that such data and analysis is not leading to precision in engaging customers and building long-term relationships that create innovation and differentiation.

The culprit?  Insight.

Data without Insight is just information. Insight provides the contextual understanding and acute clarity of how data is connected and related to view a piece of information in a broader setting.  Insight, then, gives meaning and utility to data and analysis.  It ultimately can separate a brand from a competitive offering. But Insight is not a slam dunk.

Interestingly, marketers and communicators are incorporating data into their strategic decision-making without the critical Insight necessary to capture the permutations and combinations of information that generate true knowledge. So, what is it about Insight that eludes even the most sophisticated marketers and communicators?

In our experience, there are three components of Insight often ignored or discounted:

  1. Time  Pouring through data takes time especially to connect the dots among findings and observations and moving to discernment. Given the pace of business, taking the time to truly get it right is sometimes rationalized.  As such, findings and observations are often served up as Insight resulting in a suboptimal investment and missed opportunity in the marketplace.
  2. Expertise – Leaving Insight to just the analysts or data scientists is short-sighted and dangerous. Certainly, they need to be part of the discussion but also having the experts from specific clients, customers, market segments, channels, etc., leading the effort is very important to choosing the right data and gaining the inspiration inherent in Insight optimization.  It must be a team approach.
  3. Ensuring Business Focused Data at the Outset – Often, the lack of Insight is a byproduct of poor analytics at the beginning.  If you are not seeking information the drives the business the ability to gain a more holistic view and granular view of the organization’s market environment is forfeited.

Where we have seen Insight deliver unfair advantage these elements were all in place. It’s about developing the right capabilities and skills to discover answers by translating data into actionable Insight to solve business challenges or exploit unseen opportunities.  It’s really about seeing with a new lens and capitalizing on the troves of data out there that form a picture of an organization’s reality.

With the universe of data and technology available today just gathering information is nothing more than table stakes.  The winners are the brands and organizations who realize that Insight is the real value add in how they go to market, recruit, retain employees, and innovate. And while the world is constantly evolving, being smarter and clearer about stakeholders – needs, expectation, movements, behaviors – is where the game is always being played.  To remedy this problem, 2019 must become the year of Insight.

Who knows what you might find about yourself and customers that even they don’t realize?


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