Consumer Insights are interpretations that businesses use to get an understanding into how and why prospect customers and ideal customers think, feel and act. It is rooted in human beliefs and behaviors that drive their thought process, decision making and action. It is in that understanding that marketeers create campaigns that shift perceptions, reinforce beliefs and create urgency to act in favor of the brand.
Related Reading: Creating Compelling Value Propositions, Understanding Consumer Biases
Consumer Insights differ greatly from Market Research simply because the latter is only about gathering information about customers and the market. It delivers information on the market size, market needs, competitors etc. Market Research delivers on the WHAT of the customer and the market. Findings from market research are usually depicted in the form of statistical data.
Related Reading: Conducting Market Research
Consumer insights on the other hand deliver on the WHY. Information and learnings that come with recommended actions to help brands increase business growth, amplify and personalize marketing initiatives and efforts, improve customer value journeys, assist in inventor planning, identify context behind customer churn, enables market expansion, gauge brand awareness and affinity etc.
Your competitors in all probability already do market research and in all probability, any market research your business does is going to deliver confusingly similar results. The key towards giving your business an unfair advantage is understanding what about your business other companies just don’t get. It is knowing something about customers that others either haven’t figured out or don’t understand.
“The more potent the insight, the better the storytelling,
stronger the brand differentiation and easier the sale”
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4 types of customer insights
Evaluating customer behaviour's across the sale funnel will give you insights into product preferences, features enquired about etc.
Process and product data
Collecting information when customers call ‘customer support’ will give you insights into issues they face with your product or service, as well as areas where you can improve or reduce friction
Information collected via online surveys etc can provide you with insights into not just SEC data but understand where your leads are coming from
Lifestyle and personal interests
These Insights that are more personal as they capture customer lifestyles, buying decisions, preferences etc. which can allow you to better personalize and create targeted strategies
Related Reading: How Behavioural Psychology Impacts Sales
6 ways to gain customer insights:
Leveraging research from secondary data/ industry reports/ customer data/ Google trends, keyword planners, social media analytics, CRM etc.
Having 1-on-1 interviews and conversations or via focus groups
Observations & Studies
Stay/ live and participate in daily activities with people and their families.
Observing shopping behaviors or shadowing customers for a day. Best for B2C brands.
Observing/ working alongside people to understand what keeps them up at night. Best for B2B brands
Stepping into the shoes of your customer to understand their journey from discovery to fulfillment
Co-creating solutions that deliver value
Conducting user tests, A/B testing etc.
How to define a solid Customer Insight Strategy
The outcome of any customer insight strategy is to enable businesses to effectively engage and communicate with their target audience and customers. The insight strategy is tailored specifically for a business, and should be as unique as possible to ensure differentiation and deliver unfair competitive advantage.
6 steps towards creating a brand’s customer insight strategy
Identify who are important to your strategy
Knowing who are the people involved and how will they affect the end result is the first step. These people range from stakeholders, team members and departments, to external partners, customers, focus groups etc.
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Defining the important questions that need answers to:
- Why are we doing this? (Without a real and valid reason there is no reason to start a process like this)
- What is the main goal? What are the objectives and reasons behind creating a customer insight strategy?
- Who is this strategy begin created for? Who are we targeting (existing customers, new audiences, new markets, specific demographics, high-ticket customers, repeat buyers etc.)?
- What kind of data do we need? What data needs to be analyzed? What will be measured, what are the limitations/ obstacles we might face? What can we do to forward plan better?
- When do we begin planning the process and what is the timeline we need to complete the entire project?
Related Reading: How to Articulate Your Problem Definition Statements, How to Define Your Ideal Customer Profile, How to Understand Customer PainPoints
Customer Value Journey Map
Based on who this strategy is being created for, a detailed customer value journey map will need to be created. This map will help align all marketing and sales actions with the business growth goals. Asking specific questions like:
- What are the ways customers begin their journey with our brand?
- Where are their touchpoints?
- Where are the current drop-off points?
- How far away is their drop-off point vs. the last touchpoint for sale?
- How can we minimize the friction?
- How can we create Value?
- Can we create multiple customer journeys based on customer insights?
- Where are the gaps? etc
Related Reading: Defining Buyers’ Journey
Deciding Mechanism(s) to gather Insights
Deciding to use long-format or pop-up or focus groups or in-app or interview etc. will depend on the level of detail, level of engagement and nature of your business’s product or service. Products and services that customer believe are essential, will result in them being willing to spend more time and participate in more detailed activities that deliver data, that then can be used to identify consumer insights.
Tools for Data Capture
Technology has progressed significantly. Depending on your business’s needs, you can deploy surveys to capture Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Sentiment Analysis using IBM-Watson, Microsoft Dynamics 365 etc. Platforms like Google Analytics, Google Trends, Google Surveys, Youtube Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights etc. can also be deployed and harnessed to deliver customer insights.
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Defining how the data will be used (i.e. To create pricing strategies, improve marketing effectiveness, create personalized content, improve existing processes, increase customer satisfaction, resolve customer issues, reduce customer churn, create new solutions for customers etc.) so as to not waste time, money and effort; and what the next steps of the plan will be, will directly impact growth.
Related Reading: Defining Marketing Funnels, Creating Compelling Product Pricing Strategies, Building a Powerful Brand Equity Model, Driving E-Commerce Traffic, Creating Sustainable Strategies for Business Growth, PLOT Strategies
8 Benefits of leveraging customer insights to grow your business
Predict churn and future revenue
Maximize lifetime customer value
Create and deliver personalized experiences
Improved inventory planning and lower price markdowns
Targeted promotions based on customer preference and likelihood of buying
Optimal product pricing
Market expansion or de-risking in under-performing markets
Improving product functionality/ product quality
A brand should mean more than just a product or a service to its customer. The stronger the brand, the greater its emotional connection with its customer. Fortunately, with data-backed design thinking and a robust, holistic understanding of customer behaviour, your brand can connect more meaningfully with customers and help build robust relationships. Once your customer agrees that your product or service is as excellent as you think it is, your brand value will be maximized and your business will achieve stellar growth!
Examples of brands that created powerful campaigns leveraging deep-rooted customer insights:
Trigger Worldwide is a Brand Marketing Agency, built specifically for businesses to create Sustainable Growth. Our proprietary tools and process methodologies harness Technology, Creativity & Innovation, leverage Economic Drivers and Consumer Beliefs to help businesses overcome marketing inefficiencies and achieve their Growth Agendas.
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