An insight is like pole vaulting.

I am in charge of teaching students from Ecole Crea in Lausanne (Switzerland) all about consumer intelligence. My course is centered around “insights”.

To illustrate my view on insights, I conducted a series of videos on insight, with interviews from a wide range of experts, including creatives, strategists, marketers, researchers, etc.

My first interview was with David Simoes-Brown from 100% Open. I had the pleasure to partner with David when leading strategy at Catalyx a few years back. When he discussed what an insight is, David’s main point was for a consumer truth to be considered an insight, it had to be actionable. David set the tone for all other experts interviewed after.

Indeed, while trying to understand your consumers, you may have found something to be true, even incredibly true sometimes, but if you cannot act upon it, what’s the point? The point is that it is not an insight and you should go back to the drawing board.

To help students understand the beauty of insight, I have compared it to pole vaulting.



Consider the athlete as the brand.

The athlete first needs to have an obstacle. The brand first needs to define the problem to solve. Sounds obvious? Believe me, in my 25-year career, I have witnessed people jumping straight ahead without first assessing the height or the effort that was needed on numerous occasions.

Before running forward, step back, observe and analyze. An insight is meant to solve a problem.

I have obsessively told my students that the first step must be about defining the problem. Look at the pole vaulter. He/she takes time to assess the height, the pressure to put onto the pole, the speed needed to rise above the obstacle…

The better the obstacle is assessed, the more chance he/she has to get over it.
Or, if you are more at ease with darts (I am pretty good at it myself): the key is to look at the goal, your hand will naturally follow your eyes.

Once you have defined the obstacle to overcome, this is the time to look for an insight. Find your pole. It is your magic wand because only the pole can help the pole vaulter to go over the bar.

Only an insight can help brands take action and overcome the obstacle.

An insight helps creatives/marketers/strategists to make the right leap and jump start.

Consumer intelligence is a beautiful sport.


By Guest blogger | Adeline Gautier | Brand activist/Communications Strategist

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