A Stand Out 2018 Prediction

By Jack Miles

As is customary across the marketing and research content-sphere in January, we are awash with predictions as to what the next year will hold. The predictions predictably include the rise of innovative technologies, the death of traditional thinking and the importance of GDPR.

In the thick of these predictions, one stood out above all others, courtesy of Aedamar Howlett, Marketing Director at Coca-Cola, Great Britain:

‘There will be an evolution in the way marketers use and present data insights’

This prediction has several meanings for how research and insight professionals approach 2018:

  • Marketers are clearly becoming more in-tune with data. The research and insight profession therefore needs to be more in-tune with marketers. For our work to generate a demonstrable impact it needs to meet the needs of marketers. The only way we can meet marketer’s needs is by understanding them as well as we understand our own sector
  • Insights themselves are no longer enough. Insight communication – how we present insights to marketers – is more important than ever before. If insights are not communicated effectively, they cannot be used. To present insights effectively in 2018 we will need to speak the language of the marketers who intend to use them, respect their time-poor schedules and deliver the key action points quickly and simply
  • This process will be an evolution – a gradual development – and is not going to change dramatically overnight. Or over the course of 2018 for that matter. This means that innovation must be done in an incremental way to ensure that we keep in touch with insight and communication fundamentals, marketers needs and not be blinded by technological developments. We don’t need an AI or VR insight strategy, but we need to fit these items in to our insight evolution plans appropriately insisting they are the latest and greatest things simply because they’re new. Research and insight should be here to support marketing on a long and gradual basis, not simply as long as the latest methodological fad lasts

By Jack Miles, Northstar Research