Why poets, artists, movie makers manage to find the timeless insight and consumer insight managers can’t?

I stumbled upon a poem recently (jawab-e-shikwa  by Allama Iqbal) while listening to Shirely Bassey’s playlist on youtube. It struck me, and it struck me bad…how come they managed to spot the right insight and were able to touch hearts and why me (a regular consumer insight manager) can’t?

Consumer Insight Manager or a Magician

Here is my take onto this.

  1. As a consumer insight manager/research manager: I seek data & data alone. Quantitative, statistically significant, thoroughly predictable data oozing out of the SPSS generated tables.
  2. When I picture the consumer, I see him/her through the eyes of numb numbers – numbers that are indicating what he/she has been doing after asking him countless interrogating questions.
  3. While I write presentations: I follow best practices available – I struggle with infographics and juggle with icons. I try to be authentic in findings; I picture the tough questions & skepticism and avoid anything that might spark a conflict of opinion.

And so I bring forward – Insights that are genuine, authentic and somewhat predictable. But insights that are not timeless. Insights that are compelling and clear but insights that are not big, hair and scary. Insights that doesn’t challenge the norms, that doesn’t throw anyone out of the comfort zones.

Fine this is the problem; here is a solution that I might think will help us in presenting & touching the consumer better. I want to be a magician, I urge consumer insight managers to become magicians by understanding the consumers better than anyone else.

We need to humanize research; human brain takes information from all senses and merges it to form perception and so should we as consumer insight users.

A little about me (Ayesha Saeed Haq): I am an insight-a-holic. And like all others marketing researchers I suffer from occasional heartbreaks when no one else can see what I can so I continuously work on improving my presentation skillsdecision buy-in processes, and I try to keep on writing about insights that are or that will be driving our business strategy. Why dont you help me out, let me know about your ideas here, at twitter or at linkedin.

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5 responses to “Why poets, artists, movie makers manage to find the timeless insight and consumer insight managers can’t?

  1. Creativity in advertising is one of the key factors for a successful brand promotion that finds a paved way into customers’ hearts and pockets alike. I noticed that French advertising folk has an inclination towards being more poetic in ads than in the English speaking countries. I once came across a very nice ads in English that would not go unnoticed in the market; see how beautifully ‘assonance’ and ‘alliteration’ are used in this Samsung ads “Stylishly Designed, Stylishly Desired”; let’s zoom in another modest car washing company whose manger sounds definitely creative with this poetic and strong outdoor ad board “We Care, You Car”.

    Hope all consumer insight managers would take into account how colossally a creative and poetic ad can influence consumers.

  2. Thanks for sharing your comments Aziz, it will be great if you can share the links for these ads as well. Though I don’t speak French but I think I agree with you when it comes to use of emotions etc in French advertising (here is a link that you might enjoy , its about what advertising can learn from France http://www.wpp.com/NR/rdonlyres/F17D0281-6016-42A5-8040-15F21E183ECC/0/think_french.pdf )…

    🙂

  3. I wonder if poets & artists are social or do they take every experience as if it happened to them! Its a fine line which our elders tell us to avoid; don’t make everything about you, but I do believe that internalizing the experiences of others is the risky approach.
    I truly believe in the fact that everything in this world is relative; right in one place & time and wrong in the other. So I agree when you say we need to humanize research but then isn’t qualitative research already there. Probably we need to convince ourselves to merge various research methodologies in situations where historically we are told to avoid such methodologies.

  4. I Think, we like to Play safe with data Wajiha. I also think our approach of “all else is same except our reseach” limits us. I agree with you about merging methodologies and merging information. This outdated approach of uni-research dependency has to finish soon. 😛

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