So what exactly is an insight? It’s a question batted around year after year and surely many more to come. A question everyone and their mother has a different answer to – and by mother we mean Creative Director (really the same thing when you think about it).

Lucy Goode, VP of Planning at Publicis Canada says an insight is “A revelation. Something that makes you go, “f**k me, I never thought of it that way.”

A former colleague once said: a conclusion you draw from two seemingly unrelated statistics.

Trace Follows, Chief Strategy Officer at JWT defines it as: “Something that is weird-normal.”

Here at Access-Emanate, Blair Arthur, SVP of Planning and Insights, who started up the planning practice over 8 years ago defines it as: “a real truth.” Something unobvious and uncommon that will motivate the target.

Which leads me to this: if I read in a brief that the human insight is, “our target is a busy mom who doesn’t have lots of time and is willing to pay more for products that help her save time” one more time…I might just sit Shiva for all of marketing and advertising.

I won’t sit here and claim to have the absolute definition of an insight. Or even exactly how you can find one. But I will tell you this — it should get a reaction out of you. It should feel unobviously obvious. Maybe it makes you feel uncomfortable, maybe it’s something you can’t get your mind off of for two days. Maybe it makes you feel electric or maybe it makes you interrupt four other people because you just need to get it out there.

Whatever it does, go with it. Let it be weird normal. Let it be shocking. Let it be too big or too real or too honest. As my mother once said, “Nothing worth having comes obviously.” Or maybe it was my creative director. I forget.