If marketers from 50 years ago were to walk into a marketing meeting today, their jaws would hit the floor. Their amazement would start with the technology — “You mean we can instantly tell which of our ads are performing best?” — but quickly move on to a much more impressive development: a true, holistic understanding of their target audiences.
Most of us take this data abundance for granted, but it’s actually a relatively recent development, and one that most brands are still trying to wrap their heads around. Not so long ago, marketers had to conduct expensive, time-intensive surveys and studies to get even a glimpse into consumer preferences. A massive part of a marketer’s job was devising ways to find out what consumers really wanted. But now, brands have access to insights that would be almost incomprehensible to marketers from a previous generation.
Data: The Source of Consumer Insights
This data can help brands answer questions they have about consumer preferences. But they need to understand what they’re looking for and how they can use it to accomplish their business objectives.
Yet most don’t. Many global brands understand the value of the data they have or have access to but not how to use it. We’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll lay out six ways brands can use consumer insights to:
- Understand brand perception
- Measure campaign performance
- Surface industry and consumer trends
- Analyze audience demographics and preferences
- Map out competitive landscape
- Optimize customer care
Understand Brand Perception
Measure Campaign Performance
Do you know whether the campaigns you’re running are worth the investment? Online conversations taking place on social media channels and in blogs and forums can help campaign managers:
- Measure the success of a campaign to improve ROI
- Track campaign communication and engagement for incremental opportunities
- Monitor for flashpoints or potential crises with the campaign
- Adjust tactics on the fly to capitalize on emerging opportunities
Surfacing Industry and Consumer Trends
You’ve heard the phrase “wisdom of the crowd?” Well, of course, it’s not always wisdom exactly, but aggregated consumer insights from social media, blogs, online communities, etc. really can help you understand consumer opinion and the broad trends that affect your business. With this data you can:
- Recognize key shifts within an industry over time
- Identify motivations that influence buying behavior
- Uncover granular insight into the consumer’s path to purchase
Analyzing Audience Demographics and Preferences
Who are you trying to talk to? And what do they like — in general and about your company and its products? That’s audience analysis. With consumer insights, you can definitely answer both questions. Consumer insights can help marketers:
- Find new audiences and markets
- Uncover granular insights and improve segmentation
- Uncover emerging consumer trends
Mapping the Competitive Landscape
Do you know how consumers talk about your competitors and their products? It might surprise you. With aggregated consumer insights from social listening, brands can:
- Identify consumer opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of competitive offerings
- Understand share of voice across different audiences and compared to competitors
- Monitor new entrants into the marketplace
- Find weaknesses in competitive messaging and learn whether competitors are “drafting” on yours
Get consumer insights delivered to your inbox.
Optimizing Customer Care
Back in the 80s, an executive at Wells Fargo described its customer service as the “cream of the crap.” An unflattering but honest appraisal from an insider. Today, no company can afford to have lousy customer service. There’s too much at stake and, in most industries, dissatisfied consumers have a lot of options.
Moreover, when consumers need assistance from your customer care team, they increasingly turn to social media, which for large brands can make it especially difficult to separate a legitimate customer care request from noise containing your brand or product name.
That’s where AI can help. With AI-powered consumer insights, customer care teams can:
- Identify posts that need a quick response (ideally, under an hour)
- Understand and categorize the most common customer care issues
- Aggregate analysis of customer care interactions from social, phone, chat and other data sources
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
For every one great business decision made on instinct and intuition, many more go astray. Consumer insights based on social, public online, and enterprise data help organizations better understand what motivates consumers, engage with them more effectively, and, once they’re customers, provide the kind of service that creates loyalty and long-term relationships.
For more, download The Brand’s Guide to Modern Consumer Insights.