Where Insights Go to Die

Gail Straus

In spite of our best intentions, we’ve all been there. A client relationship kicks off with immersion and often-extensive primary research. We gather voice of the customer input to generate the insights needed to shape strategic direction and develop creative assets. The insights are declared invaluable and the creative brief is teeming with understanding of the audience and how they relate to our client’s product. Data and market research are useful when they are used.

Fast-forward a few months after the research report has been vetted and lauded and now sits in the client file. Project completed. Check.

The creative has taken on a life of its own. The initial direction has been tweaked and honed to the point that the insights are barely recognizable.

It’s a familiar scenario in the relationship between agency and client, research and creative. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Organizations can find ways to keep insights alive by continuing to engage researchers in the ongoing development of client work. These organizations tend to refer back to the research and the researcher as the in-house representative of the voice of the customer.

Some tips:

    • Make sure that the entire project team is included in the research process. Strategy, account and creative team members all have vested interests in understanding the client, the project and the audience as much as possible.


    • Make sure research insights are delivered in ways that keep them alive. Audience personas, infographics and insight boards are among the tools that can bridge between research and application.


    • Keep research and strategy team members engaged as the project goes forward. If nothing else, their presence reminds everyone of the insights garnered from the research phases.


In short, keep insights alive by continuing to refer to them as the client relationship and related work continues.



Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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