What are strategic insights?

By Clarissa Schearer

How Axia deep dives into clients’ brand, consumers, and competition


Chart that helps explain strategic insights.When creating a communications, PR, or marketing strategy for a company, it can be tricky determining what the company needs help with and where/how it can improve.


Axia Public Relations’ strategic insights process is a tool we use for every client as a deep dive into the company’s brand, consumers (or buyers), and competitors. We start by asking the client three questions:

  • What are your top one to three business issues?

  • What are the one to three titles for your ideal target customers?

  • Who are your top three direct or largest competitors?

From there, we begin our initial research.



Brand insight

We ask the questions: What is the brand? How is it viewed? How is it positioned and marketed?


What we look for: The brand’s perception relative to the competition, tone, positioning, current and past marketing, mission, and vision


Where we look: Advertising, website, annual reports, analyst reports, investor relations, company research, industry news sites and publications, industry and financial analysts, industry associations, Hoover’s, news releases, AdAge, and AdWeek



Consumer (Buyer) insight

We ask the questions: How do consumers think/feel about it? What is the consumer’s relationship with the brand? What does the consumer need? What are consumers’ top deciding factors when purchasing? Who is the target audience?


What we look for: Habits and practices, usage, attitudes and emotions, segmentation, and fit with the lifestyle


Where we look: Company research, secondary research, associations and trade groups, government reports, industry and financial analysts, in-person observations, the Pew Research Center, Google search, Simmons, MRI, Mintel


Competition insight

We ask the questions: Who are they? What do they sell? How are they positioned? What benefits do they leverage? How healthy is their company?


What we look for: Targets and positioning, go-to market tactics, benefits, quality, features, pricing, sales, market share trends, profitability, ownership, partners


Where we look: Year to year comparison, reports, ads, research, industry news sites and blogs, Google search, public library databases, Tripadvisor, consumer reports, interview consumers and retailers. Original research: Go to stores and talk to who sells and who buys.


Overall analysis

Once initial research is complete for the brand, consumers, and competition, we then summarize each section (brand, consumers, and competition) with one statement. 


Overall insight

After each statement is written for each section, we write one overall insight for the company. The insight needs to have judgment and be based on emotion. The more emotion these words use in the overall insight, the more impactful the insight will be. We use judgment instead of objective statements to keep the insight specific to the client and provide a clear insight on what the client needs to do to change.


Here are some examples of past strategic insight statements that have won us high praise, including standing ovations, from clients:

  • [Company] has a favorable following, but if it wants to compete with well-known national brands, it must position itself as a quick and healthy protein option for Millennials and their families.

  • [Company] can lead the way in the insurtech space by refining its online identity.

  • If [Company] wants to scale its sales, it will need to build better relationships online and in person.

Want to learn more about Axia’s strategic insights process? Watch this video on how we walk through the entire process.


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Clarissa shares client messages across news, social, and web media. Clients love her work ethic and results-driven approach. Clarissa joined Axia in August 2019.

Topics: public relations, PR tips, strategy

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