As a Colorado-based market research agency, the team here at Elevated Insights find ourselves fielding inquiries from potential clients in cannabis and cannabis-related categories more and more frequently. Sometimes these callers are marketing professionals with years of insights experience. Other times they are entrepreneurs just beginning to understand the value of consumer research.
For those in the early stages of exploring market research, we describe the consulting, recruiting and facilities services we offer, and the various quantitative and qualitative methodologies we employ. But sometimes we need to start a bit further back, answering questions like “What are insights?” and “Why do I need them?”
Whether you work in cannabis or canned goods, you may be newer to marketing and/or market research and asking yourself the same questions. And here’s our answer.
What are insights?
Insights are not just facts that we market researchers collect and share with our clients. Rather, an insight is an understanding that grows out of data that has been processed into information that we study to learn something new. Here’s more:
- Data – Raw unprocessed facts. It can be quantitative (numbers) or qualitative (observations). Your company probably has loads of data (probably even ‘big data’), but how to put it to use?
- Information – Data that has been organized into an accessible, ‘human-friendly’ format like words, tables and graphics. We’re getting closer.
- Insights – Information that has been analyzed to reveal a previously unrecognized ‘hidden truth’ about your market. It could be a mindset, behavior or need. Insights include (this part is important) an understanding of the motivation, or the ‘why’, behind this newly discovered reality. Insights are not just facts, they are a new understanding that you can use to move your business forward.
Here’s an example of an ‘insight’ in the personal realm:
- All year long, my credit card company keeps track of my transactions – dates, the vendor names, charge amounts.
This is DATA
- At the end of each year, the credit card company sends me charts and graphics, totaling up my charges by category (e.g. restaurants, hotels, airlines, grocery stores, gas…), so I can see where I’ve spent my money.
This is INFORMATION
- How is this information useful to me? I spend some time thinking about it (‘analyzing’ it), perhaps comparing this year’s information to last year’s information. When I do this, I gain insight into my spending. I may learn that last year I spent $300 per month on groceries, while this year I spent $500 per month. What are the drivers of this difference? Ah ha! I started shopping at a different, more expensive grocery store.
- Now what do I do with this insight? (An insight is really only of value if you can do something with it to make life better.) I decide to go back to the old grocery store with better prices. Based on an insight, I’ve made a well-informed decision that could save me $1,200 per year!
Why do I need insights?
Market researchers design and execute studies to gather market data, which we translate into information, then analyze to uncover actionable insights.
- Insights inform our recommendations, which drive our clients’ well-informed marketing decisions.
- These decisions lead to innovation, and ultimately business growth.
The alternative approach to mining insights – making decisions based on ‘gut feel’.
Making decisions based on ‘gut feel’ is risky business.
We admit that our team at Elevated Insights is biased (we’re research geeks), but we do believe that insights are fundamental to making sound marketing decisions. Give us a call and we’ll tell you more.