Just imagine this situation. You are at home and someone knocks at your door. When you open there is somebody (your “buyer persona”) that swears to have the ultimate advice for your business. That ONE piece of advice that will have the most significant impact on your brand, optimise your budget, and be the most appreciated by your consumers.
Sounds way too good to be true, right?
Well, consumer insights are about unearthing that core advice straight from the voice of your customers. But of course, it’s not as easy as answering the knock at the door.
We are going to walk you through the process to take the next step in your marketing plan towards greater customer satisfaction and a bigger income for your business.
To begin, what exactly are consumer insights?
Consumer insights are the information that users provide about a product, service or niche which a company can use to make data-driven and actionable decisions to improve its position within the market.
As we’ll explore in more depth, there are many different ways in which consumers share their opinions, and it’s most likely you’re already sitting on a huge amount of useful data for deriving actionable consumer insights.
The rise of consumer insights in decision-making
Marketers have fast caught on to the incredible opportunities presented by customer feedback.
In a 2021 study, 97% of marketers said they used customer data when making decisions, and 60% said it informed their decision-making most of the time. This compares to a 2018 study by Google in which less than 40% of marketers said they used consumer research at all.
This increase in uptake is due, in part, by the fact that businesses are now able to take advantage of new technologies like AI and data analytics, and specialised consumer insights platforms to make sense of customer feedback at scale and produce meaningful consumer insights.
Isn’t it the same as market research?
The main difference between consumer insights and market research is that the first one is based on consumer opinions, and the second addresses the market more broadly.
For example, if a company wanted to launch a new product, they would traditionally carry out market research to see what other products are available, what the target audience is for their product, and how much they’re willing to pay.
In contrast, consumer insights would focus on understanding the needs and wants of the customer base more directly.
This might involve social media listening to find out what people are saying about similar products, conducting in-depth interviews with customers to understand their motivations and concerns, or carrying out surveys to get a quantitative sense of how people feel.
Market research might include consumer insights analysis as part of its scope, but the two terms are not interchangeable.
Now, let’s take a look at the process.
Different ways to get consumer insights
As with any marketing plan, the first step is research. There are several sources in your customer journey where you can find relevant information for consumer insights. Here are a few examples:
Customer insights survey
If you’ve had bad experiences with customer surveys in the past, don’t let that put you off.
The key is to be short and concise, ask the right questions and to avoid boring them.
Let them know how many questions they have to answer (the fewer the better) and how long it will take.
Be selective about the questions you ask and make sure they are 100% relevant to your research topic.
This will not only help to prevent survey fatigue (where respondents rush through the questions without giving considered responses) it will also prevent you from having to sort through useless data.
It goes without saying that reviews for your product are a valuable source of consumer insights, but here is a top tip: Your competitors’ product reviews can also say a lot about the things that are important for your buyer persona.
In the end, having a better market positioning is a matter of outperforming your competition, and information is the key to leverage your actions.
Being your own customer can light up your perception about your product and your service.
Of course, if you run a small company, you’re unlikely to have the required anonymity of a mystery shopper, unless, that is, you’re a dab hand at prosthetics. You also want to make sure you leave any biases at the door. For both those reasons, hiring an outsource provider is a good option for getting quality consumer insights.
Get insights from customer support and CRM
Your current and past customers have generated a lot of valuable information in your CRM and support software. If you haven’t looked at it yet, now is the time.
These consumer insights are usually actionable because you already have a relationship. You just need to ask them directly.
Don’t forget to include chatbot, and phone call transcripts as well as email conversations and support tickets.
It doesn’t matter what your product is. The chances are you can find reviews on Amazon that connect your product with your buyer persona.
Amazon is the biggest source of information in the world when it comes to product reviews. Just research things that are related to your product, your target market and your brand. It’s not important if the reviews are not about the same product, the important thing is to find what your buyer persona cares about.
Believe us, it can be very useful information.
Sort out information
Now that we have collected a lot of information, it’s time to process it.
Much of the useful data that you collect will be unstructured, qualitative data that’s notoriously difficult to accurately process. So, we need to translate each piece of qualitative data into numbers and/or easily quantifiable information.
Here are a few tips to do just that. First, we’ll show you how to do it manually, one by one, later we’ll explain how a consumer insights platform can make the process a whole lot simpler.
What is the insight about? Each one has to be about a specific topic to be useful.
Is it about the design? Customer support? Warranty? Or anything you think is important? Just find what matters for you and your customers and tag it with that topic.
How does the customer feel about that particular issue? Is it a positive, negative or neutral opinion?
For instance. If the review says something like “I love the product” it may be relevant for our purposes and then it should be categorized.
Get a deeper understanding of your audience
If you understand the personality of the author who wrote a review, you get to know the audience that consumes your brand or product better, and then you can adapt your messaging and communications accordingly.
Demographics are the most commonly used criteria to segment a market. Things such as age, location, gender, etc. However, in some cases, it might be more useful to use psychographics instead.
Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. It is used to understand, predict, and influence consumer behavior.
When you know the psychographics of your buyer persona, you will be able to create more targeted content, ads, and campaigns.
Get a consumer insights platform to help you
Of course, this is not an easy-to-do thing, especially when it comes to large amounts of text data. Luckily artificial intelligence supported technologies, for example Symanto Insights Platform, are offering automated solutions for qualitative text analytics, including unique psychographic insights to help you understand the personalities of your consumers.
Cross-tabulate the data
Once you have the information you need, what follows is all a matter of numbers.
For instance, let’s say you identify 32% of insights are about product design. You cross that information with the “feelings” category, and you get that 92% of them are positive.
Now you can use that particular aspect of your product to work on your communication strategy.
As another example, you find that 85% of “negative” opinions are the result of bad customer support. Now we have clear, tangible problem to address in our marketing strategy moving forward.
So, are consumer insights important for a marketing plan?
Today, if you want your product to succeed, every single aspect of your marketing and brand strategy must be built around your buyer persona, and that is why customer insights best practices take a vital role in any planning process.
We at Symanto know about this key role of consumer insights and that is why we continuously work on providing consistent and in-depth analysis from different sources of information in order to let marketing departments, consumer insight analysts and agencies get all the important information they need in an end-to-end platform.
So, if you want to make a huge step towards understanding your audience, get in touch and let our psycholinguistic text analytics platform do it for you.