Any Insights Yet? by Chris Kocek, Yellow Bird Press, 2023

Any Insights Yet?, written by Chris Kocek, is an easy-to-read reference guide on building insights for new and experienced market researchers.

Reviewed by Jodi McGee, Chief Insights Officer, Inquisitive Insights, Greater Philadelphia area, Pennsylvania, jodi@inquisitiveinsights.com 

“Data is everywhere, so insights must be everywhere. Right? Wrong.” 

With its vibrant yellow cover and compact size, Any Insights Yet? by Chris Kocek invites readers to pick it up and take a chance. I was glad I did and can now recommend this small but mighty work to three distinct audiences for three distinct reasons. 

 Early Career Marketers 

Business students and marketers still junior in their careers have the most to gain from this book. It is essentially a short course on insights. Kocek taps into his decades-long career as a brand strategist, founder, CEO, and public speaker and organizes his thoughts around insights into four very readable segments: 

Part 1: What the %#$! is an insight? 

Part 2: How do you build an insight? 

Part 3: Techniques for building insights 

Part 4: How to sell an insight 

Kocek begins by challenging the idea that insights are readily available. “Data is everywhere, so insights must be everywhere. Right? Wrong.” From there, he provides a 101 course on what insights are (and are not), offers strategies and techniques for building insights, and shares strong examples using familiar brands. Every section is full of actionable expertise. 

Reluctant Readers 

Second, this is a great book for people who don’t like to read business books and feel guilty about it. Kocek writes well and captivates his reader with an abundance of real-world examples, easy-to-follow frameworks, and a healthy dose of wit from cover to cover. (Plus, there are pictures!) The book is only 174 pages long but is brimming with useful information. If you’re trying to do more business reading but don’t have a ton of patience for the genre, the ROI on this book is extremely high. For a minimal amount of time and effort, you will walk away with both skills and knowledge. 

 Experienced Researchers 

Finally, I’d recommend this book to seasoned researchers because the book is a love letter to qualitative research, and it also provides some great inspiration for explaining it to others or convincing stakeholders. There is a long sidebar detailing why surveys aren’t always the best way to build insights. Kocek advocates for mobile ethnographies and focus groups, and he celebrates the rich data that come from each. He encourages moderators to intentionally create conflict among the members of a focus group. “Conflict is rich, fertile territory for insights because it’s full of emotion. People will often tell you how they really feel about something even if they can’t always explain why they feel that way.” 

While the lessons he serves up in this book overall will likely be familiar, Kocek writes as an empathetic colleague who understands the challenges, pressures, and frustrations of the role. Researchers will appreciate that Kocek gives proper credit to the effort it takes to build insights. “[…] finding the data, connecting the dots, revealing or reframing the why, stress testing your insight, and then articulating that insight so that others can see it (and be inspired by it) is hard work. It’s not something that happens overnight. It takes time to distill all those observations and trends and data points that you’ve been collecting over the past several weeks or months and boil them all down to just one or two sentences.” 

Kocek also endears himself to those in the industry by appreciating the creative talents that go into building insights. “You can take the same observations, add some more of your own, and then reconnect those dots in different ways, creating different images and ideas that you alone can see—an inspired glimpse into the future and how the world could be.”  

Any Insights Yet? is extremely accessible and rich with content and inspiration. Used as a career guide or a quick pick-me-up, the book is easy to read and easy to like.