On the surface of things, searching and discovering don’t seem all that different. Someone can discover treasure on a desert island, just as someone who is searching for treasure there will find it. Yet they are actually two very different approaches.

So, what is it that separates the search for treasure from the discovery of it?

A treasure search would look like this:

Search parties have a map which outlines the quickest route to the treasure, with an X to mark the spot. They follow the route, never straying from the beaten path, because they know treasure is guaranteed at the end.

Of course, they’ll find their “X marks the spot” and still they go home none the wiser, thinking they’ve done a great job. They’ve found what they expected to find so they think the hunt’s over. Little do they know that discoverers find much more treasure than they ever dreamed of.

…But a discoverer knows how it’s really done

The discoverer has a map of the desert island, but she doesn’t follow it mindlessly. Whilst the searchers relied on a single route to “treasure”, the discoverer takes the roads less traveled. She opens herself up to the desert island in its entirety, knowing that not all treasure is marked on maps. As a result, our discoverer finds the treasure marked on the map. Along the way she also happened to stumble across an Aladdin’s Cave, filled with priceless treasure which exceeded all her expectations.

Because the discover has navigated an entire island of potential treasure, the searcher’s loot pales by comparison.

So let’s apply this treasure talk to insight:

As a searcher, if you have a band of treasure-hunters discussing their hobby online, and you search for “X marks the spot”, then of course you’ll get results. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best or most relevant insight out there for you.

At Relative Insight, we present you with the insights you wouldn’t have thought to look for in your audience. Our discovery tools examine language sets in their entirety. By using us, you might find that treasure-hunters are actually discussing their “journey” for treasure more frequently and with more passion than they discuss the idea of X marking the spot…now that’s insight you can use.

At Relative Insight, we know that discovery is the best tool for finding treasure; the insights you need to understand your audience. We want to offer you results which aren’t limited by the confirmation bias of a search expedition, but truly relevant results unearthed by our broader discovery techniques.

If you search for something, chances are you’ll find it, but if you set out to discover, you’ll find much more.

Dom Thompson