Every day new facts, findings, figures, and pronouncements fill my inbox. However, very few insights make it there.
So many studies, so much data and so many findings abound, but it seems that it’s hard to boil it all down into truly useful intelligence. Even when the findings and figures appear to have been collected using appropriate methodologies, more often than not, my reaction is “This is really interesting -- but what does it mean?”
Media and marketing research have to have a goal grounded in a business need. Moreover, regardless of techniques and methodologies, in the end, we are trying to understand human behavior. The other lament about how much stuff that's out there is that it's frequently devoid of the human factor. Big data and fancy segments have to be understood within a human framework.
Ultimately, advertising and content have to appeal to people.
People either develop brand affinities or they do not; people are enchanted by content, by a character, by a story, or they are not; affinities and enchantment either do or do not correlate with purchase behavior, and people make purchase decisions and buy and consume and buy again.
The recently issued Media Economy Report by Magna Global talks about the plethora of media consumption options and the ramifications for consumer attention. The section concludes, “Finding value in unexpected places – and seeing that it might not exist in seemingly obvious ones – is a critical part of the attention economy.” You get to discovering value through understanding people and thinking differently about how to deploy methodologies and findings.
Now comes a list of tips for navigating from data to insights. The world of media is complex. Consumers are way ahead of most of our tools and tried-and-true methods. How can we, as media and marketing professionals, do our best to provide solid intelligence and strategy?
Let me just clarify one point: Research and analytics are crucial to the process. But what makes the numbers -- facts, figures and findings -- powerful is when they are pulled together and taken to the next level, offering meaningful insights. These insights can give us a perspective on human behavior and motivation, and hopefully point businesses in the right direction.