Imagine a world when brands can derive unique consumer insights almost on a real time basis.
Imagine a world when brands are able to capture the customer feedback and expectations on real time basis.
This kind of a world is not really far away! We are already experiencing this with brands like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify. These brands see how consumers behave and within a flash of time, offer personalized lists almost on a daily basis.
Brands that are investing and experimenting in AI-based consumer insights. in other words these companies are likely to develop a significant advantage over other brands and their competitors. Above all, these companies will gain a unique ability to offer personalized solutions. This will only multiply customer acquisition and strengthen customer retention.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning is emerging as the rocket fuel for your business. It has the potential to add tremendous value to a business. However this is possible only if you know how to harness and leverage the technology. With AI and machine learning, there is an exponential demand to bring data to life. AI is helping businesses to go beyond the raw data to associate it with strategic business decisions.
AI-derived business value will grow to $3.9 trillion by 2022 – research reports.
Firms adopting AI at scale or in any core part of their business report current profit margins that are 3-15 percentage points higher than the industry average – The Consumer Technology Association reports
The advent of AI and machine learning in customer analytics has offered brands a unique opportunity to gain consumer insights. In addition, AI and machine learning have the magical capacity to collect, research, and analyze millions of consumers. This leads to uncovering exactly what customers like and dislike their preferences and their interests. Ultimately the outcome of consumer insights powers successful and highly targeted marketing campaigns.
Further, in the article, you can read more on artificial intelligence and consumer insights.
Table of contents
- What is consumer insight?
- Consumer Insight Definition
- Why Are Consumer Insights Important?
- Consumer Insights Advantages
- Artificial Intelligence-based Consumer Insights
- Examples of AI Consumer Insights- Success Stories
- Getting started with consumer insights
- Consumer insights Tools
What is Consumer Insight?
Consumer insight refers to the act of collecting and interpreting customer data to derive a deeper understanding of your audience. Most importantly, it revolves around analyzing human behavior to understand consumer needs and wants. Furthermore, it tries to find the reasons that lead to a particular behavior. Above all, consumer insight reveals the trends in human behavior. These trends can be applied to increase the effectiveness of a product or service, as well as increase sales for mutual benefit.
Consumer insights can be derived from online customer data, sales data, customer engagement data, customer feedback, and surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk, Founder PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors.
Consumer Insight Definition
Consumer insight is “An in-depth understanding of customer behavior that is more qualitative than quantitative. It describes the role played by the brand in question in the life of its consumers – and their general stance towards it. It includes the way they acquire information about the category or the brand, the importance attached and specific and generic values, attitudes, expectations, as well as the choice-making process.”, as defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA).
Diageo says that deep consumer insights help them to anticipate and respond to rapidly changing dynamics across all markets, in addition to continusly nurture and grow some of the world’s best-loved brands.
As per Wikipedia, customer insight can be more precisely defined as: “A non-obvious understanding about your customers, which if acted upon, has the potential to change their behaviour for mutual benefit”.
For instance, Heineken was quick enough to observe that while men in bars enjoyed beer, women don’t drink beer. They wanted to offer something unique for women audience. Therefore, they introduced Jillz, a cider drink that is lesser bitter than beer. This was an instant success.
Why Are Consumer Insights Important?
Consumer insight is all about decision making using customer data. These decisions based on customer data will result in effective campaigns and strategies. In other words it results in increased profitability.
Customer Management Officers (CMO) are working hard day in and out to prove return on investment (ROI). They are continuously looking for ways to reduce the potentially wasted budget. Therefore, with the help of consumer insights, they can design more targeted campaigns and advertising strategies. Thus every business feels it’s important to use consumer insights to tailor their marketing activities.
When things are rapidly changing, CMO’s and marketing managers have to be brave and do things that are out of their comfort zone. This is exactly what Diageo’s CMO @SylSaller says in a wakeup call for marketers.
‘Be brave & do things that scare you. That stretches your leadership and makes you able to do things you never felt possible.’
Consumer Insights Advantages
1. Predict Customer Pattern/Behavior:
Consumer data, when converted into useful insights, goes a long way in predicting customers’ future choices. In fact by collecting and analyzing customer data, marketers get to know where to focus their time and effort to deliver an extraordinary customer experience. In addition to this, marketers can focus on building marketing strategies, discounts, promotions, and social media messaging.
2.Tailored Marketing Campaigns:
Customer insights enable companies to target the needs of their customers. This can be achieved by high-performing marketing campaigns. Consumer-insights-driven marketing campaigns make use of the customer data to convert it into insights that can be used to improve and optimize performance.
3. Gain Competitive Advantage:
To stay afloat in this ever increasingly competitive landscape, companies have to get creative by understanding their customers. Brands have discovered methods to beat their competition, and have emerged as kings in their industries. Brands are using consumer insights to differentiate themselves from competitors by creating an emotional connection between the customer and the brand.
Artificial Intelligence-based Consumer Insights
“Predicting the future is not magic – Its artificial intelligence- says Dave Waters.
Marketers go into work every day, feeling very confident that they know their customers well. Is that true? Maybe they do know their customers but may not be enough.
There is always an opportunity to know more. And the online consumer conversation is the right place to know about your consumers. Meanwhile, the digitalization of the world is offering consumers more choices than ever before. At the same time, collecting consumer data has become easier for businesses.
Find out why your customer loves you. Focus on that. In the self-improvement world, it is said that the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. That works in business as well!, says Shep Hyken (@Hyken), customer service and experience expert.
Artificial intelligence has taken up an important role in the mainstream as it allows us to make sense of an increasingly large amount of data in real-time. Indeed, worldwide data will grow 61% to 175 zettabytes by 2025.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have emerged as a solution to marketers as it can crawl through millions of online conversations. Emerging AI technology uses algorithms to understand a consumer based on product reviews, tweets, images, blog posts, forum posts, and any other form of online comments. No algorithm can derive data insights on its own without human intelligence. AI and Machine Learning have to be collaborated with Human intelligence to create value. This approach is well known as Human-Driven Artificial Intelligence (HD-AI).
Examples of AI Consumer Insights – Success Stories
Let’s be real
Hinge used their consumer insights to design a campaign for their dating app. They used the tagline, “Let’s be real.” When they performed customer insight analysis, it came to light that “81 percent of Hinge users have never found a long-term relationship on any swiping app.”
Based on this insight, Hinge launched The Dating Apocalypse. The main message of this campaign was that humans make real connections, which is mostly done through shared vulnerabilities. Most dating apps do not recognize this.
“Dating apps have become a game, and with every swipe, we’ve all moved further from the real connections that we crave. So we built something better.
This campaign worked like magic as Hinge used storytelling based on what the consumer insights discovered. They noted down the likes and dislikes of their customers to strike a connection with them. ‘Let’s Be Real’ campaign used the consumer insights to challenge perceptions around online dating and spread an impactful message.
3 or Three is a brand under UMTS-based mobile phone networks, and Broadband Internet Providers operate.
Three collected consumer insights into its customers’ holiday behavior. The insights showed how people like to show off their holiday pictures. Based on the mobile data usage of a test group of devices abroad, Three gathered information that people would have used 71 times the amount of data if that service was charged at the usual roaming tariffs. Based on this insight, the creative team created a funny campaign.
Three launched its #HolidaySpam series, showcasing the mobile operator’s feature that allows customers to use their phones abroad at no extra cost.
In conclusion, the campaign went on to become a huge success. They used consumer insights to know the audience’s habits during their holidays. Three launched this campaign to increase awareness of their brand. The campaign caused a 90% increase in Three’s social conversation volume.
Getting Started With Consumer Insights
Research by McKinsey reveals that companies using consumer insights outperform their peers by 85% in sales growth and over 25% in gross margin.
1. Set clear direction on what to look for and why
“The biggest factor to consider is what the business is trying to achieve,” says Tom Primrose, Strategic Planner at Southpaw. “It’s about understanding where they’re at and where they want to go.”
Clearly define what you want to learn before conducting consumer insights research. Finding answers to some of your key questions will be the key to conduct a consumer insight study.
- Are you trying to understand your audience better?
- Are the sales declining for a consumer segment?
- Are you trying to understand a new target group?
- What are your brand perceptions?
- What are your competitors best at?
Answering such questions helps you to define your research process, as well as gives you a clear direction on what to look for and why.
2. Identify your resources for conducting the consumer insights study
Set up a small team that focuses on consumer insights study. Identify all the resources, such as data, people, and budget. Make a list of questions that can help you to plan your resources.
- How will you gather data?
- Who are the people who are going to collect it?
- Who will analyze the data?
- Who’s going to analyze it?
- What is the budget requirement for this analysis?
- Do you have enough time and resources to gather and analyze consumer insights?
- Can you do it in house, or should you assign an external expert agency?
Answering these questions will bring greater clarity around the availability of resources required for the study.
3. Design the Consumer Insights Strategy
At this stage, you should design the actual process of conducting the consumer insight analysis.
- What is the target audience?
- Define the period for the study?
- Define your competitors that need to be included in the study
- How will you collect consumer data – Social media/customer care tickets/consumer forums?
- Which tools will you use tools conducting the analysis?
These are some of the important questions that can help you to design your consumer insight strategy.
AI-based consumer insights platform such as Clootrack is a great way to get started off with your consumer insights analysis.
4. Using Consumer Insights
Once the consumer insights are ready, it is critical to set aside some time for analyzing and discussing the outcome of the customer insights reports. Slicing and dicing the data derived from the study will give you actionable insights. Further it can be applied in your different departments.
Make sure to use the data without wasting the efforts of the study.
Answering some questions will make it clear on its usage.
- What is the key takeaway from the study?
- Which actions can be implemented from the study?
- Which departments will have to take an active part in implementing the action plan?
- What campaigns will have to be rolled out to offer a better customer experience?
A consumer insights platform like Clootrack can help you to collect consumer data and convert it into great actionable insights without having to spend your precious time and efforts.
Consumer Insights Tools
When there are conversations at scale, all you need is AI tools to lift the heavy work for you. These tools are important to analyze the massive volume of customer conversations instantly.
The AI tools can crawl through customer data and pull out relevant conversations. This data that was earlier lying without any use can now be mined to derive deep insights about your consumers.
Clootrack is an Artificial Intelligence-based analytics platform that effectively gives companies the prevailing sentiment of their customers. It allows deriving highly actionable insights that they can use to devise and execute more effective strategies, product improvements, better customer service, and marketing promotions. These would further enhance positive perceptions while addressing and ultimately eliminating the negative ones.
Clootrack derives consumer insights using text analysis. It identifies topics and sub-topics that are spoken by customers. It identifies the tone in which it is spoken. See how the tone is analyzed – “The resort is good” is scored lower than “The resort is fantastic.” The conversations are segregated into positive and negative sentiments based on text analysis. Companies can deep dive into positive and negative comments to get insights into the customer experience.
Clarabridge is a customer experience management platform built for brands to understand and improve the customer journey. Clarabridge collects customer data and transforms customer feedback into intelligence. With this, businesses can activate the voice of the customer across the enterprise. It uses text analytics to convert surveys, social, voice, and all other forms of customer feedback into customer intelligence.
Brand24 is a tool to track and engage online conversations relevant to your business. It can be used to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, grow customer satisfaction and sales. With the help of this tool, you can monitor and manage online reputation, track and assess marketing campaigns, track your competitors, get customer feedback, do social selling, and more.
Sprout Social is a platform for businesses. Sprout Social tool is useful to streamline conversations between the brands and customers. It has features that are useful for all social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ LinkedIn, and much other. This tool can be used to measure performance and analyze all social efforts.
Brandwatch is an analytics tool for social listening and digital consumer intelligence. It can work across multiple social media platforms. It is useful to track your social presence. Apart from tracking, With the help of this tool, businesses can mine consumer insights to conduct market intelligence. This tool has the ability to build custom dashboards and views. It can also display analytical components like sentiment, emotions, and demographics.
Consumer insights are simply the fundamental truths of your audience!!
Consumer insights play a hugely important role in making targeted business decisions keeping consumers at the forefront of everything you do.
But the humongous customer data can be overwhelming. Therefore, the key is in representing relevant findings in a way that can be easily understood by decision-makers. To express the story behind the data points, it is essential to use visual aids such as graphs and charts to bring the customer data to life.
Remember, a company is only as successful as its potential to appeal to customers!