the insight guru
This cartoon is part of a new series I developed with Motista to parody the state of traditional market research. Motista is giving away a signed print of this cartoon to the first five readers who share a comment or suggest a cartoon idea at the Motista blog.
A few years ago, I worked on a brand trying to mine the brand essence of a new product launch for kids. An outside expert was brought in. After months of intensive study (and a fair amount of our market research budget), he distilled the brand into two words: “benign rebellion”.
It cracked me up because the description was so academic (particularly for a kids’ brand), because it took so much effort to get there, and because it didn’t really tell us anything new. Yet, we accepted it as gospel because it had come from the insights guru.
By investing in an outside consultant to tell us what our consumers wanted, it left me feeling further away, not closer, to the consumer. We relied on an insight guru to tell us what would have been stronger had we drawn the conclusion (and developed the insights) ourselves.
Motista co-founder Alan Zorfas expands this topic on their blog on “internal enlightenment”:
“At a meeting just last week a marketing executive leaned over and remarked, ‘We’re just guessing most of the time, aren’t we?’ … To penetrate the unconscious mind and go deeper, we hire “the insight guru,” and embark on a long and expensive process to find out what consumers really want…”