Three Degrees Of Marketing Insights.
1) Insights That Aren’t. (The Not)
Also known as statements of the obvious, the untrue or the uninteresting.
A fast food company discovers they are selling a lot of milkshakes in the morning.
Not really interesting.
2) Insights That Reveal Unknown Behaviour (The What)
A fast food company discovers they are selling a lot of milkshakes in the morning to commuting adults.
Interesting as far as it goes. But, as Richard Huntington outlines here, an insight is not worth either that name or your time if it is not an astonishing disclosure.
3) Insights That Identify A new Market (The Why)
A fast food company discovers they are selling a lot of milkshakes to commuting adults who like that they can enjoy them for the duration of their car journey.
This awareness led to adaptations of the packaging and the utensils provided with it directly focused upon the needs of the commuting milkshake drinker.
The best insights are those that lead to new product development rather than just new promotion. They're hard to find but they're worth the search.