While in marketing roles for London-based start-ups and global consumer goods corporations (Johnson & Johnson and SCA-Essity), I had plenty of data that could tell me exactly what was happening in a particular market. Yet that data often lacked insights into why and how I could change a market situation - leaving me and my colleagues feeling informed but frustrated.
In fact, senior management would sometimes look at beautifully presented graphs and charts and say "That's definitely interesting ...."
Despite this, I eventually starting working in the insights sector full-time - taking my branding and product launch experience with me.
I began to work with user research, innovation, marketing engagement and other independent specialists needed for specific projects - most of whom I would have been unlikely to have found when I was on the client-side. I was struck by how experienced and talented they were - and how consistently useful the results were when we worked together.
I also began to see that when new products had been quickly and obviously successful, we had almost always looked at both rational as well as the more hidden emotional motivations of a target group.