The smallest piece of customer insight can be the difference between a mediocre marketing campaign and a great marketing campaign. But what can be considered “customer insight” and how can you uncover it?
If you want to market your products and services successfully, then you need to find out what really matters to your target audience, because broad generalisations about who is buying what and why just don’t work anymore – consumers have higher standards and expect more from the companies they buy from. “Consumers are becoming ever more sophisticated” says our Creative Director, Russell in a recent interview with The Professional magazine about the importance of customer relationships. Russell emphasises that brands need to personalise the customer experience and understand what their customers find valuable – and this can be discovered through gaining customer insights.
“With better digital tools at our fingertips, such as marketing automation software, data collection tools and social media, it’s becoming easier to understand the daily life, pressures and priorities of our target audiences, and how this affects buying behaviour”, says Marketing Manager Hannah. “Once you know this, these insights – the little ‘nuggets’ of information – can act as ‘hooks’ for you to deliver competitive advantage to your customers – and better experiences too”.
Uncovering customer insight can be quite lengthy and expensive, if you go down the route of market research, where you’ll probably need to use a market research company to help you uncover flashes of inspiration by getting more of an in-depth understanding of your customers.
Are you sitting on a goldmine of insights inside your company walls?
Don’t discard the insights you’re probably already sitting on as a team and as a business. Ideally, you should already appreciate the ‘big picture’ of your industry and audience, by understanding information that you have gathered in your customer database or via your suppliers, for example.
Make a routine of reviewing your database for insights on a monthly basis – looking at things like average spend, buying patterns, repeat purchases and whether buying has been affected by special events and seasonality, like Christmas or Summer for example. Are sales patterns being affected by things like promotions you’re running? What are your competition doing? These things you can uncover yourself without having to fork out on expensive market research.
You can also approach your audience directly. A quarterly customer survey via email which offers your customers an incentive for completing the survey and giving you their feedback can be one way to do this. Customer surveys are a cost-effective way to uncover customer insights. You can ask things such as: what features/benefits of your brand/products/services that your customers are positive about and why? Also, have a robust complaints process that gets reviewed regularly. What are the things people are complaining about more frequently and what can you do to resolve and add value to their experience with you, so that they feel positive rather than negative?
Create better, more targeted campaigns
And finally, once you have uncovered your key customer insights, share them with the team on a regular basis. It can then be used to inspire future strategic plans and creative campaigns.
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