What is an insight in advertising and marketing?

by Gareth
7 minutes
What is an insight in advertising and marketing?

What are insights? How do they work in advertising? Definition and examples.


Definition of Insight

Importance of Marketing Insights

Examples of Insight in Marketing

Consumer Insights

One of the most fascinating aspects of marketing and advertising are insights... a word used a lot but little understood. So, what is an insight?


To understand this words, our first look at the concept should be in the dictionary, which tells us that 

"An insight is the ability to have a clear, deep and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation.""

Often when trying to solve a problem you will suddenly think of a solution that they had not thought about before and wonder why this had not happened previously. This sudden understanding of a situation leads to a pleasant emotional shock. This is an insight.

An insight is a thought that implies the discovery of a new perception regarding a problem, resulting in a new understanding of it.

For those who like to theorise, Gestalt has detailed studies on these mental processes.


Now, what does this have to do with marketing and advertising? When a marketing message does not stimulate or mentally challenge the recipient, the advert simply has no impact. If, on the contrary, the marketing message make's the recipient's mind work a little, the moment they understand the message will be an insight... automatically making that marketing message more persuasive and memorable.


It should be noted that a relatively simple way to generate insights is with the proper use of rhetoric. To better understand this concept, it is best to look at a visual example, such as this advert for McDonald's sandwiches. The sandwich is formed with books, which is a brilliant metaphor and, of course, a sample of insight.

The most successful campaigns in marketing have insights.


So far, this article has talked about what an insight is as a psychological phenomenon applicable to marketing , but are there insights in market research too?

The answer is that the best strategies are built from market research.

When we do a market study, the agencies usually give us a statistical summary of the answers and a series of hard data. Those are NOT insights. Insight is what we can discover behind those numbers.

In a survey of feminine beauty products, it was discovered that many women do not like brands if in their advertising they saw models they could not identify with. This is merely data. For many, the obvious insight would be: let's use women with whom they identify. False. What had to be done was a complete change of concept to make it more empathetic to consumers.

The response was the Dove campaign, Real Beauty, where not only did they use more 'realistic' women, but a whole concept was used that reflected the consumers' concerns, language and even trauma due to their own aesthetic conditions. This was a bold move that until then had never been touched upon by any brand. Today it seems obvious to us because the insight has been discovered and everyone asks: why didn't anyone think of it before?

Today, if your advertising lacks insights... it is simply dead. (Tweet this)

To conclude, it should be noted that some creatives and marketers intend to work only on the basis of insights, which is impossible because they do not occur in a vacuum. The search for insights is not a simple process, it demands a lot of work, and once it has been achieved, it must be exploited thoroughly to be used effectively as a competitive advantage. 

Good marketing is always a balanced mix of Key Brand Benefits (KBB) or differential advantages, enhanced through insight.

Currently there are no comments, so be the first!

Recommended Posts