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Marketing Research Professionals VS Consumer Insights Professionals – And the Winner is…?

March 22nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

Marketing Research Professionals VS Consumer Insights Professionals

In 2005 I had posted a question on a blog about the growing trend of referring to market/ing research as “consumer insights”, subsequently I noticed a discussion on the subject on the marketingprofs blog.

Since then I’ve noticed several other names being thrown around with greater frequency. What I think used to be called marketing research is being called everything from: Consumer Insights, Competitive Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Business Research, Management Consulting

What’s more interesting is that to me at least, a ‘consumer insights manager’ is the exact same thing as a ‘marketing research manager’ yet I’ve had people get upset and correct me when I have used the incorrect term. Silly I think?

The explanation you sometimes get if you probe is that “insights” puts the focus on the “actionable summary” of the findings. I don’t buy it, potatoe, potato, tomato…

Perhaps if the name was changed to “Business Analytics”, to go beyond just primary data collection through surveys, focus groups and scanner data, to include other streams of data (what Anderson Analytics is doing), then I might agree that there is a real difference. Unfortunately it seems the majority of market researchers/consumer insights professionals think the value lies in quickly turning survey banner tabs/tables produced in India for junior analysts in the US into bulleted executive summaries on 2 PowerPoint slides = “insights” (sad but true).

I think perhaps from now on if someone asks I’ll start calling myself a “Business Analytics Professional” or “Information Advantage Professional”. Would anyone know what that meant though?

For companies who understand it’s about leading through analytics, regardless of data source, and leveraging data across sources is where the real information advantage can be gained, stand to benefit greatly. As of now this task is most often left to IT professionals, who can reroute and combine the data. Unfortunately IT professionals do not have the analytical skill set or training to leverage the data for “actionable insights” once combined.

Does anyone know any other trendy names? What are your thoughts on this, what do you call yourself?

- Tom H. C. Anderson

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Tags: Analytics · Anderson Analytics · Marketing · Off-Shoring

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Cristina Quiñones // Dec 14, 2008 at 12:43 am

    I had worked as a consumer insights manager in the consumer goods industry as well as a market research director in the consultancy world. It is not the same. Within my perspective an insight manager is a psyshcological related proffesional capable to dig deeper on consumer´s minds, feelings and beliefs. Is capable to identify and deliver actionable insights to commercial teams and influence business to a more consumer-centric organization (a consumer insights vision thorought the organization). Social scientists as psychologysts, sociologysts and antrophologists are the best consumer insights manager I had ever seen. No doubt in my mind that the future of market research industry will rely on insights and not in data. Cristina Quiñones. peruvian MBA & social psychologist. http://www.consumer-insights.blogspot.com

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