Customer insights should be driving your marketing efforts, but how do you make sure they are at the heart of your strategy?
Data-driven marketing has soared in popularity over the past few years, as brands grow to understand what their audience wants and how to give it to them. Getting accurate customer insights can make or break a marketing campaign, but incorrectly understanding them can be a disaster.
Why are customer insights important?
Marketers have known for a long time that customer insights are important, but understanding how they fit into your campaign can be much trickier. Building a strategy around a key question or pain point you've identified among your consumer base, or targeting an emotion they share, can be an effective way to connect with them. However, even slightly misjudging this can end up as a PR disaster and could even alienate your audience.
There have been a number of campaigns that have simply missed the mark with their audience. Pepsi's infamous protest ad starring Kendall Jenner was almost immediately pulled after fierce criticism. Among those publicly condemning the advert was the daughter of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, presumably the opposite reaction the brand intended to have.
So how do you make sure you're getting the right information about your audience and using it in an appropriate way?
Prioritize data quality
The key element of consumer insights is ensuring that the data you collect is of the highest possible quality. Whether it's behavioral analysis or predictive analytics, it's important that every measure is in place to make it as accurate and reliable as it can be.
Invest in your analysts
Often collecting the data isn't the difficult bit for brands, it's having a team of specialists that can understand what all the numbers and percentages mean. Having at least one professional who is keyed into data analytics is vital for making the most out of the information you have.
Always ask why
Data can often give you the what, when and how, but it won't often tell you the why. That's where your data analysts come in to translate these figures into consumer insights. You'll have very little useable information regardless of how much data you collect unless you constantly try to understand why your audience are doing X, Y and Z.
Getting customer insights
There are an incredible range of tools and software that help you gather information about your consumers. Most brands start with Google analytics or tools built in to social media platforms, but there are endless amounts of information out there about customers and how they interact with businesses.
- Customer feedback
- Website analytics
- Trade shows/events
- Social media analytics
- Google analytics
- Behavioral analysis
- Demographic data
- Industry data
- Primary research
- Third-party research
Unless you want to be inundated with more information than anyone can reasonably handle, look at your marketing objectives and identify the data that would have the most influence over these. You can then decide what method you want to use to gather this information and the period you want to collect it for.
Implementing data into your campaign
Having one place where all the information you collect about your consumers is stored makes it much more manageable for marketers to get a clear, cohesive picture of what your target audience looks like. This helps you build a real-life persona or 360-degree view of your consumers, allowing you to properly understand the key pain points or motivations that drive them.
Customer insight is all about being able to design, develop and deliver personalized marketing to consumers at any stage of your buyer cycle. Putting it at the heart of your marketing means being able to truly understand your target audience and build a campaign that complements this motivation. To transform your analysis into something more meaningful, it's important that you call upon the skills of a creative team to design a marketing strategy that hits your business objectives and speaks to your personas.
This will ensure customers feel a genuine connection with your brand, rather than feeling like it's just trying to prompt a transaction. It's important that businesses remember that although the rise of analytics has made it easier than ever to understand consumers, it's also made the environment even more competitive.
It's unlikely that your competitors aren't gathering the same amount of data to influence their own campaigns, so brands must find ways that they can make a unique connection with their target audience in order to stand out from the crowd.
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