The shift away from traditional marketing towards customer advocacy means customer insights need to be more collaborative, focusing on a combination of big data and emotion-oriented research.
Understanding your consumers is much easier when you know what they want. How do you know what they want? Ask them. What are their interests, attitudes, values and preferences for everything from pets to media consumption? The answers will produce useful – and accurate – insights into who your customers are, what they want today – and why they want it, which allows you to forecast what they will need tomorrow.
Or, as US Marketing Hall of Famer David Aaker explains,
“Brand leaders have to understand the need to aim conversations at customer interests and passion areas, not just in what the company is trying to sell. People are interested in babies, not nappies, and thus Pampers Village was created.”
Technology allows us to ask existing and potential customers the right questions but businesses need to examine both the big and small data. Successfully interpreted, this data generates clear findings around customer profiling, needs, current buying patterns, as well as predicted future behaviour. The more brands understand the consumer in this way the less they will need to solicit their engagement.
Advertising data that reports which customer segments have engaged with your brand’s advertising should also be analysed. The results will often reveal new segments you weren’t aware of. For example, one of our clients conducted an ad campaign targeting mums aged 25-34. Broadening the target audience through programmatic digital advertising, we uncovered dads and single parents as highly engaged segments. This insight allowed the client to target new segments, adjust ad creative and increase sales.
According to Tableau’s white paper, Big Data Trends for 2017,
“Organisations with big data are over 70 per cent more likely to have (business intelligence) projects driven primarily by the business community.”
Marketers seeking precision need to understand customers are now in control. Brands need to find out as much information about their customers as possible, especially in an environment of decreased brand loyalty, social media, and increased choices.