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The Future of Insight – Top 3 Trends

Inspired by Marketing Week’s Insight Show– which featured the latest innovations from the industry’s leaders – we have distilled the top 3 trends that we believe will play a predominate role in the future of insight.


Mobile is predicted to be the future of purchase behaviour, the chosen method for media consumption and a key platform for developing interpersonal relationships.  So, in a world where our mobile knows us better than our best friends, how can we use it to uncover insight?

Smartphones collect and organise an over-abundance of data, which can support or falsify qualitative claims and is easy to collect as part of any self-ethnography through screenshots.

In future, we will do more with this data, such as:

  • REALITY CHECKING – Research Now’s Gen Z study revealed that consumers spend 2 hours more on Facebook daily than they think they do.
  • LOCATION MONITORING – while a consumer may believe their big night out was all about going to Club X, they actually spent 4 hours in a bar in Soho before, and only 2 hours in the club itself.
  • PHOTO MAPPING – a useful tool for mapping out consumer shopper safaris, tracking products down to their point of origin and the purchase or consumption moment of truth.

Insight increasingly is in the palm of your consumer’s hand!


Research must be actionable, but increasingly it must be fast too.  Debriefs are getting shorter, and presentation methods need to become ever-more engaging.

Researchers must become storytellers, communicating insight in an easily digested and shareable format, that’s simple to communicate onwards in client companies.

  • VIDEO IMMERSION – with better editing technology, we can now truly immerse clients into the consumer world, harnessing 360 video technology to bring insights to life. Seeing is believing, and high-quality video allows all corners of client companies to empathise and engage directly with their consumers.
  • ANIMATED INFOGRAPHICS – Vox Pops shows that visually engaging presentations don’t just have to come from recorded video. Even a simple deck can be given energy and an increased likelihood of ‘sticking’ through tools of animation.

With new visual technology, research can offer as much inspiration as it can insight!


Truly compelling insight often lies in the tension between what a consumer says they do and the reality of what they really do.  Advances in neuroscience, emotion recognition and VR mean we are better equipped to discover these tensions in the future, gaining ever-deeper insights.

  • OBJECT, BRAND & EMOTION RECOGNITION – these new tools overlay video with a greater depth of analysis, pushing self-ethnography beyond what is simply said to give us a greater understanding of the ‘full picture’.
  • SOCIAL NETWORKS – social media interactions intuitively seem as if they should offer rich insight, yet the industry is still not too sure what to make of social. Linkfluence shows that social mapping of the online space can show influences and connections which we never knew existed, fitting somewhere between qual and quant to contextualise online interactions.
  • SWIPE RIGHT – System 1 vs System 2 thinking is a pillar of our existing thinking, so SKIM’s work on a swipe right or swipe left platform, designed for quick response testing, caught our attention. We see this opening the door to intuitive response testing, and can only imagine what insights it would uncover if paired with VR technology in the future

We can’t wait to see how the industry moves on in 2017, and we’re already thinking about what forward thinking technologies insight could harness in 2108 and beyond!

Co-written by Olivia Galvin

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