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Understanding the Human Truth and Using Consumer Insights to tell Media Stories

Delicia Arjunan

Media Strategist

PRIMEDIA Broadcasting
Delicia Arjunan

Delicia Arjunan

24 April . 3 min read . Opinion


At the very heart of everything we do as marketers, media planners and strategists lie in the very essence of what allows brands to grow and thrive. This very essence is known as the understanding of the audience, the people, the human….

Regardless of the media channel or client, keeping the audience at the core of your thinking is what gives meaning to strategy and ultimately brands. For the past decade, in my career, I have witnessed a scramble for data, big data, tools, ROI, ROA, metrics, metrics, metrics…. the list goes on! Clients’ success has been so deeply rooted in measurement that the meaning behind this measurement has started to get lost and we now find ourselves at a crossroads where we need to balance the measurement of success between metrics and human truth as the basis for good strategy.

There are various ways to extract data, mine data and build a story that is the most compelling and believable for yourself and for your clients. A story that delivers not only impact and ROI, but also human value. I could spend a long time unpacking how to run data, think about data and how to visualise data so that it would allow us to easily identify nuances amongst audiences. However, as much as spending time on torturing the data is exceptionally important, in my opinion, data best practise should be focussed on bringing the human truth to life through media tactics and long term strategic goals.

As pro quo puts it, the way to find the human truth to power your brand lies in:

  • Stats alone will not lead to a human truth. To get to the human truth, you need to attribute meaning to your dataset.
  • Observations are similar, and it’s only when you go beyond an observation and try to interpret why people behave in a certain way, that you get closer to the truth
  • Statements of need are also insufficient when trying to obtain a human truth. Going beyond the statement and identifying the motivation behind the desire will lead you to a human truth.

An example of a great ad campaign that used a human truth in executing its media strategy is the “KFC, love at first bite” campaign. 

The human insight/truth was that the best part of the KFC experience was the first bite. KFC used this insight to create moments of anticipation that lived across multiple media platforms to tap into existing experiences with the brand as well as to resonate with audiences that may never have had KFC but can resonate with the moment of anticipation for their favourite meal.

Once a human truth is revealed, telling the story that matters becomes so much easier for clients/agencies to buy into. With that being said, mining through the data to uncover a human truth is what we as media experts need to start introducing more of to our clients. Being able to bring to life the human in this human truth lies in the art of storytelling which in turn cuts across Emerge’s 5 C’s: Circumstance, Curiosity, Characters, Conversations, and Conflicts.

Setting the scene and providing context allows clients to place themselves at the centre of the problem and the solution. Media gives brands a platform to serve as the hero of all conflicts, and conversations centred around the human truth.

OOH advertising has evolved significantly in recent years with the emergence of DOOH advertising, providing new opportunities for marketers to reach their target audience in new and engaging ways. It has thus become more imperative to understand the nuances that come with data mining & story-telling in maximising the impact of media planning & buying on campaigns. Leveraging real time data in the DOOH space is a key advantage to getting as close to the human truth as possible. Marketers can track footfall, dwell time as well as other key metrics that provide invaluable insights when refining brand messaging and developing strategies.

Delicia is a dynamic, passionate and hard-working individual with an Honours degree in Marketing management. 

She loves the marketing industry and is very curious about data, research and all things analytics inclined.

 Learning, growing and teaching are part of her core values and she tries to execute as much of that as possible in any given task.