Skip to content

The Strategy Behind Insights Influence

During the pandemic, and now following it, would it be fair to say that insight influence has jumped?

“Generally, I think that’s fair to say,” says Goldfinch. “We’ve seen over the years that insights really is the leading or becoming a leading factor and influencing movement. I think when you step back and you think about the maturity of an insights organization generally, where are you in that sort of influence curve. And as we led into the pandemic, you had very interpersonal relationships, you built those relationships. And then we moved away from that. And we went very much into a hybrid environment where the spontaneity that you’d have in between just was gone. As this pivot happened, you saw a lot of the insights organizations becoming more influential.”

Goldfinch shared an example from his organization, Verizon. He relates, “As you know, Verizon is a telecom company, and we have many assets. But when we pivoted into COVID, one of the things that came up was, we have all of these things that are critical to how you go into a hybrid model. How then are we going to piece these together from a product perspective to actually service our customers in a better way. Immediately, as soon as we went in, SVPs, CEO, all of them came down and said, how do we do this? Where do we start? And that’s where you get that influence.”

Now, with COVID behind us from a business perspective, how is it different this year? Many are calling it the year of uncertainty. There have been positive signs as well as negative signals in terms of the consumer and the economy, for example.

Goldfinch observes, “A lot of our influence was built around a very tactical strategy that you had to build out. You had to start by understanding your ecosystem, understanding your business. And if you’re on the vendor side, understanding the businesses of your clients and really thinking about how do I get into this, where are my low hanging projects? Now you have the downswing of it. Some of those things have remained, they figured out the value that you saw from an insights organization and what you can produce going forward. A lot of it is working through a hybrid model, of understanding what the use cases are.”

He continues, “I think that’s a critical thing that some organizations miss. You have to know your business. You’re not just the business question you’re answering. And being able to then start building that framework, network and strategic pieces to answer those questions. In post pandemic, even a hybrid model is now very distributed. Like it used to be you could do it walking through the hall and be like, oh, here is the person I need to talk to. Let’s have a one on one. Let’s start building that rapport. Now it’s very intentional in the strategy. You have to build it, you have to pull them in, you have to know all of the individual people within your organization. And I think that’s the shift we’ve made.”

Watch the video for more on Seth Adler’s conversation with Josh Goldfinch, as they discuss the outlook for the rest of this year of uncertainty, the influence or insights perspective, creativity, and the pressure in the marketplace.


  • Seth Adler

    Seth Adler heads up All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has spent his career bringing people together around content. He has a dynamic background producing events, podcasts, video, and the written word.

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.


Related Content

insights purpose

Advocating for More Insights Influence

The latest edition of the Insights Spend & Trends Report has just been released. Brought to you by TMRE and All Things Insights, this benchmarking rep…


Actioning Insights

Providing insights is not a barrier. Ensuring those insights actually move the needle is the job at hand. Is where the insights are reported the probl…

data driven culture

Gaining Insights Leadership

The role of today’s Insights professional is evolving as Insights teams are increasingly pressured to connect data sources, surface consumer stories…

actionable growth

Taking Action to Spark Growth

Actionable growth is the process of taking action to achieve a desired outcome. It involves making strategic decisions and implementing tactics that w…

data analytics

Building Strategic Insights

The world of data is evolving and ever-changing. A data insights strategy is built in part on the potential data that one hopes to accumulate, the ins…

insights talent

Insights Talent: Ask, Listen, Act

“Ask, listen, act.” If the pandemic has taught us one critical lesson, it’s that environmental changes don’t occur in a vacuum and can dramatica…

data translation

Translating Data Into Action

“Data is the new oil,” and it seems like everyone wants to get a piece. But what is it that most major companies are missing when it comes to harn…

insights talent

Insights Synergy

As the political climate changes, so do our working habits. Going through a pandemic also changes things, as Jim Newswanger, the Senior Market Intelli…

insights strategy

Timely Insights

“May you live in interesting times.” We are all familiar with this curse (or blessing, depending on how you see it). Many of us even know it as Ch…

insights strategy

Insights Enablers

Over the past two and a half years, there “have been more DIY projects” thus “Insights teams are moving more to becoming consultants and enablers…

user experience

Insights Hacks

What are the hacks, the shortcuts, the clever or elegant solutions which can be applied now? To answer this question we checked-in with three executiv…

data science

Insights Resilience

Way back at the beginning of our modern almost apocalypse, there was one term used across the globe and up and down the organization- resilience. Faci…

insights leadership

New Work Order: The Future Of Work Is Here

2022 still has some work to do in figuring itself out. We’ve clearly not yet definitively evolved to what’s next. That said, some patterns have em…

insights talent

Internal Insights

Think back to the office of February, 2020. In many ways it felt like the office in February, 2010 and February, 2000. For the most part, every single…

insights strategy

Consistent Breakthrough Insights

All Things Insights brought the community together for a live session focused around the concept of providing consistent breakthrough brand insights o…

business culture

Mental Fitness In Business Culture

In the first century, it was the Christian Church which accounted for a substantive portion of societal change. In the fifth century, it was Greek Dem…

insights strategy

Empowering Breakthrough Insights

Empowering insights through a broader understanding of the business can happen if there are consistent breakthrough brand insights being served to the…

strategic insights

Slow Power: Pacing The Speed Of Insights

We know from Aesop’s “The Tortoise And The Hare” that the ability to achieve great speed doesn’t always mean finishing first in a given journe…

insights strategy

Achieving A Renaissance In Purpose

How many people painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?
Reportedly, one.

How many people are painting the picture of each transforming global b…

insights strategy

Insights From Seizing The Moment

Remember the young students at Welton Academy of “Dead Poets Society,” huddled around the photos of their predecessors who were no longer living….