May 2, 2019

Read time: 5min

Discerning research implications with Jamie Rayner and AMSRS: the journey of an insight

Market Logic Team

Last week, Market Logic co-founder and CMO Elizabeth P. Morgan and Shoppercentric managing director Jamie Rayner presented a webinar hosted by John Scott, Professional Development Manager at the Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS). AMSRS is a not-for-profit professional membership body of over 2,000 market and social research professionals who are dedicated to increasing the standard and understanding of market and social research in Australia.

The webinar was designed to help AMSRS members gain a deeper understanding of how to make the most of research implications, how to work with digitization to ensure that organizations can store insights for quick and easy access, and how to ensure that client organizations truly value the knowledge generated by research agencies.

The insights journey

Because many organizations realize that they can’t generate enough research, or afford the research they want to do, they must be smart about how they show what they have and how they prove its ROI. Agencies in particular have to think about trying to shape an insight journey before they deliver a good piece of insight.

Jamie described a typical insight journey, which might go something like this:

  1. A potentially game-changing insight is generated
  2. Those who generated it have to hand it over
  3. Others interpret what it means, and others still decide what to do with it
  4. The original insight becomes sanitized as a lack of expertise dilutes the insight
  5. Lack of context further dilates the insight
  6. Yet more lack of specialist skills dilutes the insight even more
  7. Markets then challenge the “weakened” insight (“it won’t work here,” “our consumers are in some way different”)
  8. Those with the diluted insight don’t know how to defend it
  9. Those in-store don’t know the full context due to poor, even irrelevant design, a lack of explanation regarding activation, and no link back to the original insight.

Jamie reiterated the need to think about the process by which an insight is generated, and where it will end up.

The difference between an insights-driven business and “data-aware” firms

Elizabeth pointed out the distinction between data-aware firms, where decision makers have to go to the evidence or data they need to support their decisions, and insights-driven firms, where insights are injected into the entire process and “information goes to user.”

Case study: changing a CPG merchandizing decision

Jamie presented a CPG merchandizing case study from Shopper Insight, and described the real challenges in determining what kind of levers to pull in order to elicit a change. “The role of the insight professional should not only be on generating the insight that will have a commercial impact, but also to hold others to account,” stated Jamie Rayner.

Insights generators should keep the following in mind:

  1. What happens to the insight once you have generated it? Depending on the organization, you will either have a chance to shine and take it through the line or someone else will pick it up.
  2. It is important to know who your audience is and how they want to receive information. If you have the greatest insights in the world but they’re not implemented through the final stages, you’re not really doing your investments justice.
  3. If you were receiving the insight and seeing it for the first time, would you know what to do with it? Is there more you can be doing to guide how the insight should be used?
  4. Keep your reports short and to the point. Decision makers will probably dedicate a maximum of 30 minutes to understanding what you are trying to say.

Jamie commented that “If you have the greatest insights in the world but they’re not implemented through the final stages, you’re not really doing your investments justice.”

Case study: finding insights with an AI-powered digital platform

Elizabeth referred to the Coca-Cola case study presented at IIEX Amsterdam in February 2019. To read more about Coca-Cola’s insights agility, see here. Elizabeth stated that “As the volume of information increases from tens of thousands of research documents to millions of social listening posts, human brains are no longer sufficient to process that amount of data.”

Building insights maturity

Jamie wrapped up the webinar with the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Insights Maturity Model (2017), which describes the stages in which customer insights can become a powerful business partner. With solid insights generated on data existing within the business, insights professionals should be able to effectively help shape decisions.

The BCG model is also useful for agencies because they can look at their clients and understand where their clients are on the model. The more the insights community can make insights accessible to the organization, through both technology and a human approach, both internally and externally, the greater the impact will be on sales and marketing organizations.


The webinar wrapped up with a lively Q&A session that covered: