What do cupcakes, sex, Kenyan tourists, your salary and Twitter have in common?

by | Aug 7, 2014 | Assorted

Well, what may be seemingly random information to one person may be valuable insights to another. The common thread with all great research though, is that it answers questions. It finds links, patterns and commonalities in previously grey areas.


#1 Hotcake Insight

In 2012, the most popular cupcake flavour in Southern California was Red Velvet. (source)

Granted, we don’t live in Southern California, but an entrepreneur starting their own bakery there in 2012 might have found this info invaluable. In fact it may have been the difference between them earning a reputation as the best red velvets in town, or being yet another failed small business venture.

#2 Money Money Money

64.9% of SA households receive their income from salaries. (source)

This might seem like a fairly straightforward piece of information, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg really.If I worked for a financial institution, I might wonder how the other 35.1% receive their income, and how their financial behaviour might influence the products I could potentially create for them.

#3 Sex Stat

South African men have sex an average of 52 times a year, with the global average being 104 (source)

Firstly, that’s half of the average! Apart from that alone being more than a little tragic – it’s still valuable information. Say you were part of a company like Durex, this would be a key issue in your sales strategy, something you wouldn’t even have considered without having access to the stats.

#4 Tourism Gold

In December 2013, tourists from Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana led the list of the top 10 African countries visiting South Africa. (source)

So what? Well, if you were a tour operator, the concierge manager of a 5-star resort, or even a cab driver, you’d be able to use that information to do a bit of reading on hospitality perceptions, expectations and perhaps even local lingo of each country to make your guests feel more at home – and more generous when tipping.

#5 What the…

The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket (source).

That’s right, you never saw that one coming. As a company that uses social media in your everyday customer communication strategy though, are you catering at all to this market? It’s just another example of insights being the difference between successful business and taking a shot in the dark.

The Lesson?

With the right design and method, research can improve profitability in any country, sector or industry because, quite simply knowing more means leaving less to chance.

Just think, if a few Google searches could uncover this much depth and detail, imagine how much a structured, informed approach to research that is specific to your organisation can benefit your business.