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Matthew Morgan, Co-founder, MakeMC

Start right = finish right:

Spending time to get to the right insight will pay dividends in the end. The only thing Cannes winners have in common are great insights to the audience they are trying to change the behavior or perception of.

Killer insights = killer briefs:

A brief should be the central point to any creative ideation. It gets the client and the agency on the same start point, it gets the creative/technology teams understanding the objectives to be met AND it serves as the single sense check at any point in the process. The old adage of shit in, shit out is no truer than when considering any brief. And a killer brief starts with a killer insight.

No silver bullet:

There isn’t a formula to finding a great insight – as all audiences and products are different. However, use this simple framework is a great place to start – consider the Desires, Diet and Diligence of your audience.


Human context: culture, identity, wants, needs – answer the following:

  • How does the brand, product, service, offering, or promotion fit into – and fulfill – the desires of the desired participants?
  • What do we know about their lives?
  • Who they feel themselves to be?
  • What they aspire to?
  • What they’re trying to achieve?
  • What they are afraid of losing?
  • What they look back upon?
  • What is most important?
  • What are the stories they tell about how the category– and our brand — and how it has meaning to them?
  • What direction are they going in and how does this make the path clearer and easier?
  • What are the paradoxes (the internal conflicts) among their desires and how can our offering help to resolve them?


Media context: online and offline: Answer the following questions:

Media is so much a part of our lives now, that it has become as ubiquitous – and essential – as air, water, and food. To understand how to connect meaningfully with people (with as much practical and emotional impact as possible), we have to understand how they connect to media.

  • What are the media types and properties that are most important to the desired Participants, that they feel it defines who they are and what they care about most?
  • What are the media types and properties that are less central to their core identity but fulfill other roles, perhaps equally important to our ability to connect?
  • What are their stories about how their media consumption specifically feeds their lives: interactions with friends, stress relief, family dynamics, feelings of empowerment, confidence to take action, bonding with loves ones, etc.?
  • Knowing this… How can we create experiences that leverages the inherent value of the media type and integrates into the property in a way that mirrors how the property is being used by our desired Participants?


Category context: competition and consumer. There are two aspects to DILIGENCE:

  • The Diligence we do, as an agency, to understand the category and what the threats and opportunities may be for our client. Category Diligence is a broad examination of category structure and dynamics – culture, competition, customers, and digital technology — with particular attention to those influences that we can leverage and that may change the future of the category.
  • The Diligence a consumer does on the pathway to a purchase. Typically known as the customer journey, this is the life-story of how people make their way from awareness to purchases. It is not a linear “purchasing funnel” so much as a “purchasing web” of interlocking influences. It is wrapped up in their life story, their relationships, their day-to-day influences, as well as their consumption of marketing messages and experiences

So what is the killer insight?

A killer insight is the intersections of where the answers to Desire, Diet and Diligence cross – find the trends, the commonalities then use as few words as possible (easier it is for creatives/clients to understand) to articulate the insight. I’ve found good discipline in creating single sentence insights. Some examples:

  • Mastercard, Priceless – Life isn’t about what you buy, but about the relationships you have with people you care about.
  • Dove, Real Beauty – Women resent the unrealistic beauty standards being broadcast across all media.
  • Woolworths, EDR – collecting points is a behavior, redeeming them is the responsibility of the supermarket.
  • Swiffer – most dirt on the floor is actually only dust, dry and moveable.