I was at the Digital Influence Index conference two days ago, organised by Fleishman Hillard, where a couple of their researchers gave a presentation about the influence of the internet across the UK, France, and Germany. Pretty standard stuff, but one of the people in the audience, from Thinkbox, the UK television marketing body, made an interesting comment with regard to the presentation and how far the results were truly representative of how people used the internet. He quoted David Ogilvy who said “People rarely think what they feel, say what they think and do what they say.”
This is the essence of what so many people (including Steve Jobs) have been saying of late: a brand has to have its pulse on the consumer’s needs, even if they don’t know what those are themselves. It’s all about consumer insights, which will drive the creative process for a successful campaign. Having worked client-side with Nike before, I can say from experience that it is consumer insights that drives new product creation, and therefore, for that new product to succeed, agencies have to link back to consumer insights to ensure they reach consumers in the most effective way for the product to have an impact.