While launching new brands for global consumer goods corporations (Johnson & Johnson, Essity) and for London-based start-ups, I saw first-hand how the right insights can lead to “hockey-stick” results.
However, my colleagues and I often settled for the standard data pack instead of the insights we really needed. In fact, senior management would sometimes ask what the latest set of metrics actually meant for the business.
Eventually, I started uncovering user and customer insights full-time and began working closely with independent specialists. The biggest surprise was that they while they are hard to find, there are talented specialists who could have easily delivered the insights I had needed in the past. The second surprise was how consistently useful the results were when we worked together.
I began to see that having the right - or wrong types - of insights had played a far larger role in past product successes or failures than I had realised. And, that when insights were missing - it was often only because it had been too difficult to find the expertise we needed for that specific situation.