Insight vs. Instinct

Steve Jobs was famously quoted as saying he didn’t believe in doing market research because his customers didn’t know what they wanted until his company showed them.

A very bold and emphatic stance from a very inspirational man. It’s hard not to take note of someone like Steve Jobs when it comes to business and as one of the most important leaders the world has ever seen, his confidence in his own intuition can only be admired.

However I would strongly argue that this stance is a big risk for most businesses.

Insight can often be overlooked in marketing and business but its value is hard to argue with.

Working in a creative agency I know that some of our best decisions for brands and campaigns have come from a gut instinct. However all of the decisions and outputs of our agency are always enriched by some form of insight and regardless of scale of client this is where we start every project.

Every project we work on begins with insight in some form or other. If you ask the right questions to the right people in the right way, insight can provide your business with the direction it needs to progress and exceed your customers’ expectations.

Whether it be researching the market and understanding what competitors are doing, having one-on-one discussions with internal stakeholders or holding focus groups with customers there is a huge variety of ways we work with our clients and their customers to gain a better understanding of their business, their market and their opportunities.

By simply listening to your stakeholders, both internal and external, you can glean real insight and knowledge about what they want and expect from your business and therefore how your brand and marketing should align to these needs to help move your business forward.

Unfortunately it isn’t as straight forward as your customers simply telling you what you should be doing. The real value is being able to extract the most relevant information and then translate that intelligence into actionable strategies your business can subsequently act on. If you’re able to do so you are sure strengthen the affiliation your customers have with your brand, retain these customers and extend the lifetime value of each one.

Increasingly, with the rise of digital technology, brands are shaped and defined by customers and how they interact and engage with it. Building a strong foundation through insight is key but having agility and being able to adapt more quickly to changing market conditions and customer requirements is becoming one of the most important facets for businesses that want to future proof their brand.

In my experience there is a fine art in balancing insight with intuition and the best brands and campaigns we have delivered have always embraced this balance.

For more information or for advice on how insight could help your brand and marketing work harder for your business please get in touch.

james.brooke@foggassociates.com

01925 226 139