NEWS1 May 2015

‘Research is not the end; it’s the beginning of the brand journey’

News UK

UK — The importance of impact was highlighted at a session debating insight-led organisations chaired by MRS CEO, Jane Frost, at MWL Insight’15 exhibition in London on Wednesday.


Frost was joined by Ed Best, head of Insight at BT; James Holden, marketing and audiences director at BBC News; and Dr Nick Baker (pictured), partner and group CEO at Quadrangle.

Among other topics, the panel debated the organisational logistics of being customer-focused; talent and recruitment practices that facilitate insight-driven organisations; and successful client/ agency relationships. Much more broadly, they also attempted to define insight. Holden insisted that the most important thing about insight is that its quality must be judged by the impact it has, whether that be on the business’s bottom line, or on customer or audience satisfaction.

“Client side teams need to stay away from the tendency to indulge themselves in ‘isn’t that interesting’,” Holden said, “to ‘how is this thing going to help someone make better decisions?’”

Linked to this, Best explained that at BT they start with the consequences — the impact — of their decisions on their customers and work back from there.

“Look at where decisions are made that materially affect customers and focus there,” said Best. “Make sure the right understanding and insight is available. Make sure the right consequences are considered and make sure the people involved have the right capability, attitude and ethos.”

“Research is not the end; it’s the beginning of the brand journey,” added Baker, who also defined insight as anything that leads to action, regardless of where it comes from. “Real insight can be derived from any source, not just primary research.

“It’s the result of context, purpose and intended application of the work. It’s something that leads to something else. Action. Doing something else. Something that has impact for a client. Too often the word is used totally inappropriately. If you can get one true insight from a piece of work, you’re probably doing very well.”