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    You hear a lot about the importance of skillfully understanding your customers’ needs, concerns and habits. By knowing what their most important expectations are, you can accurately tailor your marketing efforts to them for the best possible results. In such a context, the concept of “Consumer Insight” often comes up, which we will now discuss in more detail.

    consumer insight

    What is Consumer Insight?

    Consumer Insight, also known as consumer insight, is a set of activities aimed at discovering and learning about a customer’s true needs. At first glance, it would seem that this merely involves defining our target audience. However, discovering consumer insight is a slightly more complex process.

    One of the most important issues in learning about consumer insight is not to limit yourself to the first and often very superficial answers. Instead, one should  strive to learn the real reasons for the purchase. This involves understanding why the customer chooses a particular brand, how he or she sees and perceives it, what motivations and buying habits he or she has that determine his or her actions. 

    Discovering consumer insight is crucial to most marketing, advertising, promotional or branding activities. Also, the effectiveness of a given campaign will be high if it is based on accurately determined insights. 

    The ability to look at the customer through the prism of his needs, especially those that sit deep within him and are not spoken out loud, is extremely important if we want to gain a market advantage in today’s times. Such an empathetic approach allows us to see many interesting insights from which we can create effective value propositions for our customers.

    What isn’t Consumer Insight?

    Before we move on to how to delineate consumer insights, it is worth first clarifying what they are not. This is because Consumer Insight is often confused with:

    • the brainstorming of the creative team,
    • imitate the actions of other brands where a certain strategy has worked,
    • catchy slogan, advertising text or graphics,
    • using trends, both marketing and those that appear on social media as “viral”.

    Consumer Insight, as already mentioned, is definitely more. It should be based on insightful research. However, we will not always be able to accurately depict consumers’ motives with a short survey. In such a case, the so-called laddering, or in-depth interview method, can be helpful when uncovering consumer insight.

    Divide Consumer Insights

    In theory, there are two types of Consumer Insights: 

    • Communication Insights — this is the basis of all marketing communications. They are usually some kind of opinion, evaluation, belief, stereotype or linguistically expressed emotion. 
    • Strategic Insights — are the basis for the creation of new products or services to fill a market niche and meet needs that have been previously unmet or incompletely met. 

    Both types of insights presented are extremely helpful in creating marketing activities, both ad hoc and long-term strategies. 

    We can also divide consumer insights into several types, depending on what they were created based on. And so we can distinguish between Insights shaped on the basis of:

    • common beliefs (Common Belief), shared by a certain target group,
    • category defect/commonly realized problem that the brand or competing products do not deal with,
    • a difficult situation faced by the consumer or about a problem that affects him,
    • a consumer-recognized standard of excellence for a product category,
    • recognized consumer habits or behavior of a selected market segment,
    • new trends (lifestyle, dietary trends, changes in consumer functioning),
    • information from the manufacturer or expert, or based on knowledge gained from research (e.g., quantitative data on the prevalence of a trait in the population).

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    Types of good insight

    Not every insight we discover will be a good or proven insight. In order to determine its value, we can use the Principle of the Four Rs. This means that a good insight should be: 

    • true, real and derived from facts (Reality),
    • relevant to the problem (Relevance),
    • causing some kind of reaction, affecting consumers (Resonates),
    • inducing an action (Reaction).

    The above principles, however, are not a closed group. We can easily expand them to include other elements that are important to us. We can also include: 

    • relevance — our insight should be important to the customer,
    • Aspiration of emotions — this is also a way to establish a relationship with the brand,
    • appropriate popularity — a good insight should be able to be readable to a specific audience, while not being overly specific or overly common,
    • straightforwardness and directness — it must be understandable, obvious, and must not contain insinuations,
    • credibility — it should inspire confidence,
    • acceptability — insights must not incite exaggerated polemics,

    How to Discover Consumer Insights?

    Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. Of course, there are effective methods of discovering insights, but it is also often the case that they are found accidentally. 

    Nevertheless, the most commonly used methods include:

    • analysis of found sources (Desk Research) — boils down to analyzing the records of available data sources, cross-checking and processing them to obtain useful information and conclusions based on them,
    • Participant Observation (Participant Observation) — this involves the researcher (observer) entering a given social environment and observing a given community from within,
    • in-depth individual interviews (Individual Depth Interview) — also called IDI for short. They involve a direct conversation in “four eyes” between the researcher and the respondent. Their purpose is to obtain detailed opinions and information from specific individuals who meet certain selection criteria, have given characteristics or belong to a specific group,
    • Mystery shopper (Mystery Shopper) — is a professional auditor who, by observing the premises, assessing the environment and talking to employees, inspects the level of service, while behaving like a typical consumer, 
    • projection techniques (e.g., TAT — Test of Thematic Apperception) — these enable understanding of the attitudes, preferences and opinions of the people being examined based on what they say about other people, things or situations,
    • Focus Groups (Focus Groups)-these are small groups of people representing a particular target market to whom you direct ideas and questions about your product or service, 

    Questions worth answering when discovering Insights

    When discovering consumer insights, our starting point should be to answer the following questions: 

    • Who are my customers?
    • What age are they? Where do they live? What kind of education do they have? What do they do professionally? 
    • What habits do they have?
    • What do they desire? What are their dreams, their hopes? And also what are their fears and anxieties?
    • What are their values and priorities that guide them in life?
    • What problems are they dealing with?
    • What are their purchasing goals and motivations (and their hierarchy)?

    These questions, can be extremely useful, but only if we accurately answer each of them. By the way, we must also remember not to overestimate our products and services. It is known that as the owner of some business, we will always think that our offer is the best, but it is only the customer, not the seller or service provider, who decides whether an item has real value. 

    Hence, the key to success in the market is to know exactly what the consumer needs, and to make sure that our offerings best meet his needs. If we put the consumer at the center and show them that they are the most important to us, we are more likely to gain loyal customers.

    Examples of Insight

    We could talk for hours about examples of good insights. However, I have tried to choose the ones that each of you has most likely heard of. In the following examples, brands that advertise their products decided to go a step further and their promotional activities strongly emphasized an already fulfilled consumer need.

    • Fixes “Idea for…”
      Many people have surely encountered at some point in their lives the problem entitled:  “I don’t need help cooking, but I have no idea what to make for dinner” Winiary has made excellent use of this at home by launching a series of ready-made fixes “Idea for…”. 
    • Snickers
      Snickers has also perfectly discovered and exploited one insight in its marketing efforts. It is based on the theory that when we experience hunger, we become irritable, angry and thus unbearable to those around us. This gave rise to the popular “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign.
    • Tymbark
      Many of you have probably seen the new Tymbark juice packaging. Both the shape of the carton and their slogan “To the last drop!” are nothing more than a response to unmet consumer needs, or Consumer Insight. After all, many of us have probably been frustrated more than once by the typical cuboid that made it difficult to pour out the last remnants of juice.


    By determining consumer insights, we are able to personalize and create a product that is a viable response to the needs of our audience. After all, each of us much prefers to come into possession of an item or use a service that meets our requirements. And that is what Consumer Insight is behind all of this. 

    Finding insight, of course, is not the easiest of tasks. This is because it is the art of combining methods and using experience. It requires from us not only patience, but also insight and analytical thinking. However, if we find and use insight in our marketing activities, it will not only allow us to create strong ties with customers, but can also make us start to stand out in the market.

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    Aleksandra Wrońska
    Aleksandra Wrońska

    She has been involved in internet marketing for two years, but despite her relatively short presence in the industry, she has already conducted advertising campaigns for small and large companies, both on the Polish and foreign markets. He treats digital marketing not only as a job, but also as a passion, which is why he tries to expand his knowledge and skills every day. She joined Up&More in January 2023, where she manages projects in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Apple Search Ads.