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The other week a client and I were talking about insights, those 'a-ha!' moments of revelation that lead to a greater understanding. It ended up as quite a convivial and entertaining discussion, mainly because we were relaxed and animated, I suspect. It was something we both genuinely cared about.
I've been very lucky to experience several a-ha moments in my career and they usually come while listening peripherally to a conversation or while sitting quietly absorbed in a coffee shop and allowing the inner ideas to express themselves and bubble up. Data can only help so much, you still need to truly understand and absorb what is really happening in order to step back and see the big picture.
All too often though, we see paralysis by analysis as people fail to see the wood from the trees and get bogged down in data. Marketers and Market Researchers are particularly prone to this disease, partly out of fear of getting things wrong and making a fool of themselves. Marketing, however, is part art, part science and more times than not it comes down to gut instinct. Learning to listen, and more importantly, trusting those instincts is challenging. We've all been guilty of thinking too much sometimes, myself included.
It sounds corny, but less is more when it comes to marketing strategy and those precious moments of revelation – a simple idea that condenses a topic into something real and believable can drive a whole campaign in a different way.
Be different, learn to switch off and listen to the inner voice rather than fretfully wading through mountains of data hoping it will make sense, when it frequently tells you what you already know. Enough of the anodyne and the bland. Great creative insights come from thinking sideways. Regular Pharma readers will know of my distaste of those formal brainstorm meetings that achieve the very opposite of what they intended, stifling innovation and creativity in some nondescript windowless hotel meeting room. How many of us have had our best ideas in the bath or while walking on a beach, lost in thought and then an inspirational solution or thought suddenly pops up unannounced?
Successfully differentiating yourselves from the competition can swing
on a random, but simple, insight that has the rest of the team thinking, "Wow, I
wish I had thought of that!"