Sunday, August 12, 2007

Where did you take your insight?

This is a question I've been asked many times in interviews. It takes a bit of thinking (that in an interview might be an awkward pause) so take some time now to map it out:
  • what is your insight?
What was the gold nugget that set your creative work (supposing your showing a portfolio) in motion? Don't get stressed out about it, this is where planning should be simple in nature. An insight is an "ah ha" or "that's it" moment. Just know where and why your conversation happened: what the problem was and how your insight addressed it.
  • where did it come from?
  • research you did
  • questions you asked

What did you do to support and develop your insight? Was it a conversation with your creatives or fellow planners? Was it research-based? Jen M (a fellow planner) told me there are two kinds of planners: Madness and Meticulous. Madness planners are all over the place, gathering culture here, talking about it there. Meticulous planners are all about the #s and research: based on this study, we know that blah blah blah. I want to point out that neither of these answers is right v. wrong. Don't think that because you didn't do any research that you're insight isn't insightful. Just be conscientious of how you grounded your gold nugget.
  • where you did you take your insight? > Strategy
  • how did you make it actionable? > tactics
Easier said than done, I know. Christopher Owens, from The Richards Group, broke it down for us. An example:

Insight - I feel unhealthy
Objective - lower stress levels
Strategy - go on vacation
Tactics - visit South Beach, fly JetBlue, leave Sunday

Just do some thinking before you throw some bomb creative work on the table and say "look what I did." We all need to know how we got there and why our specific solution makes the most sense.

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