We never said we’d replace humans.

It doesn’t really matter how good an AI technique may be:  only a real person can effectively decide what’s actionable and what’s insightful for your business, and how to join insight with the correct action.  

That’s why it’s important, when you turn your company’s marketing over to an agency, that you stay involved.  No one knows your business better than you do – how many times you’ve tried a technique, how many times you’ve tweaked it and turned it and analyzed it to try to find a way to make it work, how many times you’ve sworn to close the doors and go fishing instead.

So let’s look at some of our “insider” lingo in terms that are familiar to you, OK?  Like this:

Non-insightful refers to an idea or fact that you already knew – like the fact that many working women are also the ones who do the major work of keeping house.

Insightful refers to something you didn’t know, or just wondered about – insight confirms your suspicions, contradicts your current knowledge, or quantifies the importance – such as the revelation that actually 95 percent of working women are also the ones who do the major work of keeping house (no, we don’t know if that’s exactly correct, but we’re talking about examples here – bear with us.)  Now you’ve got an insight into the situation.

Now, if that insight gives you a base to work from – and only you know if your product or idea has been tested or proven to help relieve housekeeping tasks for 95 percent of working women – then you’ve come up with an actionable insight.  See how that works? Actionable insights lead to adaptation and action or, conversely, confirm that no action is required or possible.

Let’s see if we’re getting through to you.  Here are five examples of insights. Which do you think are actionable?

  • Airline passengers complain about missed flight connections
  • 30% of customers put price at the top of their list of concerns
  • Customers tell your sales clerks that shoes sold by a competitor are better quality
  • People react positively when we consider a ban on plastic bags
  • An overwhelming majority of detractors talk about our competitor’s product’s ease of use

Can you see that the first two bullet points are not actionable for the business, as there is not much you can do about them, therefore you can’t call them actionable? But you can work to improve your product or service in the case of the last three bullet points.

Next, we’ll talk about the types of actionable insights.