NEWS17 March 2015

Storytelling, segmentations, and the subconscious

News UK

UK — Speakers from Unilever, EE and Chime Insight and Engagement have shared their thoughts on going beyond insight delivery at the MRS (Market Research Society) Annual Conference: Impact 2015 in London.


The session, chaired by Caroline Florence of Insight Narrator, was intended to help researchers to “make insight live and breathe by gaining traction and influencing change”.

Christina Habib, CMI VP at Unilever described how she wanted to be “in the business of creating impact”.

“We need to get off the insight treadmill and take a leap to ideas that drive growth,” she said.

Chris Baréz-Brown of Upping Your Elvis described his company’s work with Unilever to help them “be more human” and access the power of their subconscious to drive creativity and embody the values of their organisation. He urged session attendees to make business decisions in the same way that they make personal decisions: using 80% ‘feeling’ and only 20% ‘thinking’. “You have to live your insights; bring them to life,” he said. “Use your brain by all means, but you have to supplement it with some gut.”

Chime Engagement and Insight then described how the power of storytelling could help researchers to drive change. The content of a debrief, said Mark Hirst of Chime, should mirror the anatomy of a story. It needs a lead character: “the hero is insight – put it at the centre of your story”; it needs ambition – how powerful is the insight? What can it do?; it also needs conflict – in this case it’s the business challenge. Lastly, it needs a resolution – i.e. show what could happen in the future with or without the insight.

Hirst also described how Hemingway’s rules of writing — use short sentences; use short paragraphs; use vigorous English; and be positive, not negative — should be used to shape the structure of the stories we tell.

Lastly, Hilary Ingleton of EE and Rune Mortensen of Basis Research took the audience through a recent segmentation that they had worked on together. In order to ensure that EE as a business absorbed the insights created, the story of the segmentation was delivered through a launch day that involved interactive sessions and quizzes.

“The importance of the story is not just in the creativity, but in the subtle elements of design and tech that are used to deliver it,” summarised Florence.