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Brand Traction’s Paddy Ranggapa busts insight myths at PANA GMM

pan_5734Recently the PANA GMM went regional with its guest speaker.  From Singapore, Paddy Ranggapa flew in to share with members the subtleties of culling insight.  A mine of marketing disciplines, Ranggapa is the founder of Brand Traction, and the author of ‘Been There Bungled That’.

“Insights are the key to powerful creative campaigns,” Ranggapa says.   “Today, it’s a data-rich era, and that need insights.”  Ranggapa pertains to the business and financial, customer and shopper, competitor and market research numbers that brands are just too keen to get their hands on.

But, the big question is ‘how to?’  Yes, insight can be mined, and strategy and branding can be learned, so brands need real, authentic consumer insights to connect to customers.

Beyond marketing jargon, Ranggapa simply defines insights as: An emotional revelation—relevant to the category—leveraged to build the brand.    In a marketing context, first unearth a human truth, establish relevance in the realm of competition, and link that to brand proposition that encourages brand growth.

“These three elements connecting leads to brand traction,” Ranggapa says.  Furthermore, “Teams must have a similar interpretation of an insight,” he adds.

Insight myth-busting from the 25-year veteran of Procter & Gamble and McDonald’s include:

In today’s digital world, insights matter more than ever

Uber as a business based on insights, the main ones being:  Time and convenience are the most valuable currencies for today’s generation.  Being driven in a private car is a sign of success.  People like having control in things.  And, people will pay for personalization.

Insights can have equally—or more powerful—role in digital

Using the Google Reunion TV ad to stress the point, the reunion between old childhood friends separated by age, distance and social barriers becomes magical.  The use of digital technology is the wand that weaves the magic.

The right insight can shape a new, different and long-term brand strategy

Imagine a detergent, Umo brand from Unilever stating the insight:  Dirt is good for kids to develop.  With this left-field strategy, Unilever says ‘Dirt on kids’ clothes mean they’ve played in the outdoors, and that’s good for them.’ “Standing out in a category where every other brand talks about brightly white clothes that shine in the dark, white clothes that help your kids become class monitors, stain-free clothes that are a beauty to behold is a bold step.”

Teamwork between company and agency to find insights can lead to truly powerful, different, and long-term insights

There is a logical process in developing insights.  While the brand sifts through all the data for market-presence, knowledge-to-insight transfer to the agency is crucial.  Dove’s strategy of standing above in the category by using real women continues to be successful.

Not all brands need to constantly look for new insights

Snickers is one brand that has found great insights.  The brand continues to use these insights.

Not all insights are from a deep understanding of consumer psyche

Citing the McDonald’s Drive-Thru TVC from 2009, the fast-food brand latched on a basic human observation: Parents will do anything to avoid waking up a sleeping baby—including not stopping a running car that is keeping the baby asleep.

Data leads to knowledge, and knowledge develops insights, and Ranggapa subscribes to a three-step process of creating insights.  Step 1: Ask the right screening questions.  To achieve this, first understand and re-define the business challenge.  Step 2: Summarize consumer understanding by collating all the elements of the data.  Finally, Step 3: Write meaningful consumer statements for each bit of knowledge.

“You can’t really quantify insights.  Different countries, different industries have different variables and metrics.  For fast-food for instance, data variable inputs are drivers for sales, and output is actual sales. So, measure what is driving sales, in this case, which is the return on marketing investments,” says Ranggapa.

It’s never one without the group.  Data-knowledge-insight.  Brand-and-agency.  Ranggapa adds, “We all articulate insights differently.  Embarking on insight-finding must be made as a team.  More important is that everybody agrees on the insight, and the broad articulation of that insight.  There must be unity in finding the creative direction.”