What are consumer insights and how do I use them? An introduction
Understanding your consumers’ needs and wants has become essential to ensure your company is future-proof. Listening empowers you to learn from and talk to your customers in order to create ever-improving experiences.
Businesses with quality data are more likely to collect actionable customer insights, which can help them grow their bottoms line in the long run.
So what are consumer insights exactly?
A consumer insight is an interpretation used by businesses to gain a deeper understanding of how their audience thinks and feels. Analysing human behaviours allows companies to really understand what their consumers want and need, and most importantly, why they feel this way.
When consumer insight research is conducted properly, it should improve the effectiveness of how a company communicates to its customers, which is likely to change consumer behaviour, and therefore increase sales.
But collecting good consumer insights can be challenging, so here is what you need in order to collect and use consumer insights properly:
Good data quality
Data quality is vital to the collection of consumer insights. Without high-quality data, your conclusions or results might suffer.
A dedicated analytics team
The role of your data analytics team is essential in order to understand how your customers think and behave. If you don’t have the right analytics team, it’s hard to understand what the data is telling you.
It’s important to understand and acknowledge consumer behaviour and consumer insights should help you engage with customers emotionally. In order to do that, it’s essential not to ignore the results of your consumer research, whether you agree with them or not.
Database and segment marketing
Database marketing is a form of marketing using databases of customers to generate personalised communi cations. These databases can lead to personas, different sets of audiences or segments. As consumer insights remain theoretical, database marketing is another essential element to your research when it comes to testing and learning. Indeed, test actions are necessary if you want to turn insights into facts.
But what’s the difference between market research and consumer insight?
Market research can be defined as an effort to gather information about customers or markets. It provides information about market needs, market sizes, competitors and customers. It is the “what” of customers and markets.
Market research delivers statistics and knowledge.
Consumer insights deliver the same, but tend to come with recommended actions that will help you amplify the company’s growth. This means the team in charge of consumer insights will deliver both data and narrative, allowing you to make use of the data.
Long story short, research tells us what is happening, whereas consumer insights tell us why it’s happening, and will allow us to make changes to our business in order to improve customer satisfaction, customer retention, and increase our bottom bottom line.
If you’re still unsure how you should be using these insights to influence your business and better engage customers, we’ve got you covered.
Using consumer insights to amplify your marketing efforts
Consumer insights help analyse the competition Whether or not you are the market leader in your industry, looking at how consumers talk about products and services in your industry can reveal a lot about consumers’ needs, and what you can implement to improve your own product, service, or business.
Being aware of consumers’ conversations when it comes to other products can be extremely valuable, regardless of whether or not they mention or are aware of your business.
Consumer insights help improve the customer journey
The customer journey’s 5 different stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Mapping your customer journey will help you understand your customer’s experience and should highlight any gaps you may have.
Consumer insights can also help companies map their customer journey and identify any gaps where there might be some, as well as find what works best, and what can be improved for a better user experience and customer journey, from awareness to purchase and advocacy.
Forbes covered a great example of how consumer insights was used. Wayfair, a multi-billion dollar online home goods retailer conducted consumer research and analysed their data, and realised they needed to improve their overall customer experience. So they built an app that lets users take pictures of items they see and like giving the information needed so Wayfair can offer recommendations.
Not only did this research allow the business to improve customer experience, but the app now also provides the company with new insights into customers’ styles and needs. As a result, Wayfair saw a 50% increase in customer retention the year the app came out.
Consumer insights help personalise your marketing
Mass marketing is a strategy in which a company decides to ignore targeted marketing and speak to a whole market instead. The example below illustrates mass marketing perfectly.
An example of mass marketing advertising
Today, companies offering a service or product used by many still tend to use mass marketing, like this toothpaste advert. Indeed, by definition of mass marketing advertising, mass-market products do not necessarily need to personalise their communications in order to sell more.
But in a world where competition is so tough, personalisation has become a necessity for many retail brands out there. Targeted and personalised help communicate a better, clearer message, and therefore attract and retain customers.
That’s why consumer insights can help businesses understand why people buy certain products over other ones and what’s driving those preferences.
This can help you refine your personas, and determine the best way to speak to your different audience segments. Here are a couple of examples of personalised marketing.
Very uses personalised messaging based on sign-in information and seasonal weather data to make a more intimate connection with the site visitor.
Spotify’s new billboard campaign leveraged internal consumer data to create unique singular stories that highlighted how personal listening to music can be.
Netflix, on the other-hand, uses algorithms based on previous viewing behaviour in order to recommend the right kind of content to viewers.
Whether it’s with algorithms, internal data, or a mixture of internal and external data, consumer insights help refine the way you communicate to your customers - these brands all use consumer insights to better understand their audience and personalise their marketing and offerings.
Insights are essential to learn about and understand your audience better, as well as find deeper, more actionable insights to improve the way you market your business.
There are many ways you can use insights to boost your company’s bottom line - so we’ve put this list of steps together to get you started!
Getting started with consumer insights
- Establish what you want to learn: before conducting research, make sure you know what (and how) you’ll get your data.
- Identify your resources: How will you obtain data, who’s going to collect it, who’s going to analyse it? Make sure you have enough time and employees dedicated to getting and using your consumer insights.
- What’s your collection method?: How you’ll collect data is extremely important. Are you targeting a specific audience? Existing consumers? Will you use a survey? A focus group? These are important questions.
- How will you use the data? Make sure your efforts are not going to waste. It’s important to plan and think ahead. Once you have the data, start thinking about what departments, processes, strategies, and initiatives might be affected and what the plan is for that.
Lastly, get started! Obtaining consumer insights is hard work but can pay off in the long run. If you have any more questions before getting started - tweet us at @Trustpilot using #onTheBlog.