What ARE Marketing Insights?

Defining the Ever Popular Buzzword

In the world of marketing today, the term ‘insights’ has become something of a buzzword. And like most buzzwords, has lost a bit of its original meaning and intent. So as we dive into our newest blog series on Marketing Insights, it seemed a good place to begin would be defining the term.

Let’s start with what insights aren’t. Insights are not data. The two terms are not synonymous. Data is information. Facts. Or sometimes, that which is assumed to be factual. But data in itself is not insight. And no amount of data analysis will change that.

Insights, for our purposes in marketing, are the result of applying human thought and reasoning to analyzed data, searching for and producing a directional change is the way we think or the way we act. According to Liam Fahey of the Leadership Forum, the desired attributes of insights are that they ‘shift understanding, are novel, are not obvious, are congruent, are explanatory, have endurance, and can only be put into proper context by the human mind’.

Insights begin as data, which is filtered through layers of analysis, is acted upon by thought and reason, and finally is determined to be a directional agent of change.



Taking the definition a step further, thanks to Morgan Shorey of Berlin Cameron United, should lend both relevance and value to the process of developing insights – an insight (already being ‘novel’, as characterized above) is ‘a truth which until now has not been leveraged, but if leveraged will generate revenue.’

Over the next few weeks we’ll take an in-depth look at insights - their place in marketing strategy, ensuring they’re ‘actionable’, insight trends, and using social media to develop insights. Subscribe to the Actionable Research blog so you don’t miss a single insight.

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