A year ago this week, the Consumer Insights Podcast was launched. And what a year it has been! We've been fortunate enough to hear unique perspectives from leaders across the insights universe, and there's been dozens of gems in every episode.
To celebrate the Consumer Insights Podcast's first birthday , we’re highlighting some of our favorite moments from the episodes we’ve released in Year 1:
“We really need to know what other people think. Not just what I think, because my view of what is important or what is true about a brand is absolutely not the same as what you think is important or true about a brand.”
“Insights honors the people who are willing to think differently and who are willing to challenge the expected. I think we can challenge the status quo, but I think if we go one step beyond, we can even challenge the expected, because the future is shaped by us.”
"You have to be very, very careful about how you control the narrative within your company, a big part of what we're doing. You have to be very careful of how you actually go about doing it, cause you don't want to go out and be 'judge and jury' on everything because that helps break relationships."
“When you can connect those dots directly in a way that can actually help the business leaders make the right call and it actually leads to success, then you know that your insights are actually being acted upon or not”.
“There's a lot of loss of institutional knowledge that happens because there are so many people transitioning out and transitioning in. I think a company needs a way to organize all this information, onboard new people with these kinds of insights, and just make sure that there's a strong continuity in that organization with the research”
“I think if we don't have that input and that understanding of who the consumer is, we're going to default to thinking that it's ourselves or how we might want it. There's just so much bias. So often, we are not that consumer.”
“What you need in order to be successful is a diversity of opinions, and backgrounds and perspectives.
If you have a homogeneous team, the perspective and the goal and the methodology that the product or the algorithm uses are going to be homogeneous, and you will miss out.”
“My family motto is “Strong opinions loosely held.”
I think that works really well for insights professionals, especially when you have hypotheses that maybe feel more like the answer, but you want to actually be open to having your mind changed.”
"There needs to be an element of when you don't have the data, there needs to be an element of intuition that you have to bring to the table. You have to use common sense or judgment to fill in some of these blanks and recognize that you can't always have perfect data of everything."
“You can instrument everything, you can bring everything into a data lake or however you want to store your data, but really, if you just do that, you run the risk of just adding more hay and not adding any more needles.”
“I very often think of the work we do almost as like gardening.
We are going through, we're helping things blossom, we're having to dig into the soil to find things, to find the richness of the soil, and that's where we plant the seed, and that's where it grows.”
"There are really two places where people can make a difference in their company to achieve traction with customer experience.
Of all the touchpoints, the touchpoint of consideration and the touchpoint of conversion or commitment where customers choose the company, that's where the company and the people within the company should focus first."
"I think we live in the world of probabilities. Precision is important, however it's not the most important thing in my view. We have a conversation around, 'Look, how much precision would you want us to do? But if it's going to come one quarter delayed, are you going to hold back folks that long for this?' And if it is super critical, maybe you will, but maybe seven out of ten times you don't. "
“Insight gives you competitive advantage. The very nature of an insight means that no one else has got it. So if you’ve got that perspective, if you've seen it from that customer's point of view, and everyone else is seeing it from the organization's point of view, the business's point of view, then you've got a breakthrough.”
“I look for the ability to tell stories, the ability to communicate learnings. Because you can have the absolute best constructed, tightest, statistically significant learning data point. But if you can't communicate why it's important, how it's going to improve the product, the brand, how it's going to ultimately affect the consumer or user, if it just sits on its shelf, you just wasted your time and money.”
"The first function of market research is to show brands what they don't see. And to me, a very important second function of market research is to provide advertisers or brands with evidence to mitigate risk."
"I need to be awake and alive in that moment that I was a consumer and almost like looking objectively at my own behavior, because now it needs to inform what I do as I walk into my office as a CEO, sit down at a marketing desk and now inform people what they should do.
“I believe that this is the time where there is so much complexity, ambiguity and volatility in this market, among consumers and among companies, that our role has become critical.
So if you are not playing that leadership role to minimize risk and guide the company in decision making, you're missing out.”
“I think an insight is there to be used in varied, diverse ways.
We don't see an insight as, “Okay, one insight delivers one idea.” One insight is a springboard to a wealth of ideas for advertising, innovation, experience, across brands and throughout time.”
"Having an impact I really do think is the core of why our function exists. It not only exists, but it's why we thrive. And I often say, 'I'm not here to be interesting.' Right? And it's true.
Okay, being interesting is fun, and I say it to be a bit provocative, but I'm also a really firm believer in that being interesting is not enough. We actually have to have an impact."
"I think you can have small i 'insights'. They're quick, they could be facts that are valuable to the business.
Or you can have big I, a-ha, 'Insights' that truly do change the way you go forward with the business and influence decision making on a much broader scale."
“Demographics are like that– they're like the Dewey Decimal System of the insights world. They say, 'This is the bookshelf of people here, this is the shelf of people.' Cool. But assuming that all the books on that shelf are identical to each other, that's a big flaw. And that's what we've been doing wrong.”
“Think of the question behind the question. So when somebody comes with a question to you, the conversation starts from there. So we never answer directly the initial question. We always are questioning the person who's come to us and asking and discussing to try and get to the root of the problem that they're trying to solve.”
“The key part and differentiator that I have seen through my career is to be willing to put yourself on the line, hold yourself accountable, and sit with the business teams. We are all very comfortable sitting in our own data and insight silos and churning out the best models and the best insights that we can think about, and getting excited by all this new stuff that we bring out. But end of the day, it has to show value.”
“You've got to understand the cultural nuances. And that's where the local brands come in very well. They start out, they focus on a particular region, they know it very well, what's the consumer like, what makes her tick. And that's one of the biggest things.”
"The difference with foresights is you’ve got to take that extra step further and try to predict where these things are actually going to go. So if we know right now, Gen Z is really into social media, and they're into changing the world and all these things we kind of 'know' about Gen Z, what about ten years from now, when Gen Z is kind of fully ingrained into society, is fully ingrained into their careers or what wound up being their careers?"
“Strong brands build communities around their products, but iconic brands build products for communities. And that is to say, there are people who love hiking in the mountains, there are people who love craft beer in the US, there are beauty lovers in the UK, and they expect brands to be able to see them. They expect to be able to share the things that they want and the things that they want out of brands”
“If you say, 'Look, you know what, yeah, we have our financial projections, and we do pipeline analysis', all that's great. But that's basically living from quarter-to-quarter. The only thing that's going to tell you where your business is going for the long run – and again, B2B, B2C, what have you – is are you listening to your customers, and really what you're doing with what you're getting from your customers.”
“When I came into my global role, I think one of my big mottos was very much about 'Seek to understand'. Because there are so many nuances between markets and you'll never understand them all. And I think being able to have that empathy of actually, 'What is that market dealing with day-to-day?', I think a global function should be there to support and to help. And you can't do that if you don't understand what a market is experiencing.
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