6 Vital Steps to Maximize the Value of Your Customer Insights
It’s no secret that data is one of the main assets of any business in this digital world.
Ever since the business world moved online and digital transformation became a thing, more and more businesses started generating various types of data in an attempt to use that data to better their operations.
However, having too much data can be as detrimental for a business as not having enough of it. This is particularly true if all of the data gathered doesn’t serve a purpose or if it’s completely unorganized and therefore practically useless.
So, how do businesses determine the type of data that will bring the most value to their endeavor, and how can they maximize its value?
What data is good data?
As mentioned previously, any data you manage to gather is good data if you have use of it.
For instance, businesses that rely on SEO marketing experts to promote their brand will benefit from gathering data showcasing the results of their marketing efforts. That way, they can easily determine whether or not their efforts bear fruit.
Along similar lines, any business in the world can greatly benefit from gathering all sorts of customer-related data. Since no business can operate successfully without customers, this only makes sense.
The more you know about the people you are trying to promote your products or services to, the easier it will be to reach them.
On top of that, you should also try to learn as much as possible about their purchasing behavior, see what encourages their decision making and try to use that knowledge to potentially bring more customers to your business. This is where consumer insights come in more than handy.
What are consumer insights?
Simply put, as the name suggests, consumer insights offer businesses better insights into their consumers’ behavior. This includes current and future trends – and how customers react to and interact with them, their preferences and dislikes, as well as the general way they behave online.
The more a business manages to learn about its customers, the easier it will be for the said business to reach out to them in an effective manner.
By using simple logic, you will be far more likely to reach out to someone and start building a meaningful connection with them if you know at least something about them.
That’s why many modern-day businesses rely heavily on generating and analyzing all sorts of customer-related data, customer insights included.
With that said, let’s see how a business can use customer insights and maximize its value.
1. Cater to the existing audience
One of the biggest mistakes businesses makes when they notice that they’ve started losing relevance is to try expanding their consumer base instead of focusing on retaining their existing customers. But, according to research, while being able to attract new customers is certainly something every business should aim at, being able to retain the customers you already have can potentially bring a much greater value to your business.
Therefore, you can use your customer insights to try and pinpoint what’s working for your current customers and focus on improving that experience.
For instance, back in 1993, milk sales significantly decreased in California, so milk companies were looking for ways to amp up the sales. During this period, the iconic “Got milk?” catchphrase was born as a result of gathering and closely analyzing customer insights.
Milk companies decided to stick to promoting their products to customers that already preferred this beverage instead of trying to reach new audiences.
Needless to say, the efforts bore fruit, and milk sales went back up to their previous numbers in a matter of months and even managed to exceed them the following year.
2. Learn more about what’s relevant to your audience
As mentioned in one of the previous points, understanding your audience and learning more about the people you’re trying to promote your business to will make all of your efforts significantly easier.
This is due to the fact that customers are usually not interested in simply buying a product or hiring a service, but they’re actually looking for a specific type of product or service that will bring them value.
That’s why it’s necessary to understand your customers’ needs and try to cater to them as much as possible. One of the most effective strategies for achieving this is social listening. It can help you understand your customers and their preferences, and improve products, services, and marketing strategies.
Social listening can help businesses find pain points because monitoring conversations on social media uncovers insights about what’s working and what’s not working for your customers. Such information is basically a gold mine for your marketing team. The content you put out should speak to your target audience (solve their problems and answer questions) and correspond with current trends.
With the information collected through social listening, you will get to know their problems, needs, and desires. After that, craft more relevant content that brings messages that resonate the right way.
Furthermore, when it comes to marketing, some businesses simply create campaigns and roll out their promotional materials without actually stopping to check if what they’re trying to do is something their audience will be interested in.
Dove took this into consideration and conducted a study asking their audience how they can improve their promotional materials. According to feedback, 99% of women stated that they didn’t feel represented enough in the commercials.
That’s when Dove created their “Real Beauty” campaign, which focused on showcasing various body types of all shapes, sizes, and ages. Needless to say, this made their marketing efforts far more relatable, which quickly resulted in better sales.
3. Identify growth potential
Businesses can also use customer insights to identify any type of growth potential that might not be obvious at first glance.
Trying to assess and identify if and where there is potential to grow your business may sometimes be quite tricky.
However, in the example of Gatorade, customer insights really helped them better understand their current audience. In addition to that, they enabled identifying how they can easily expand their reach.
Since Gatorade was initially marketed just as a drink, the sales suddenly plummeted in 2006. Of course, this meant that the company needed to find a new way to retain the existing customers and expand its reach to an entirely new audience. That’s when they’ve decided to rebrand their products and start marketing them as leading sports fuel instead of simple hydration drinks.
All of these examples just go to show how you can truly maximize the value of your customer insights if you know what to focus on and how to use it to your advantage. With that being said, here are just some of the tips on how you can obtain the best possible customer insights.
4. Focus on high-quality data
High-quality data has become the lifeblood of any successful business. Not only does it offer a better insight into your customers’ behavior, but it also works towards improving your decision-making.
No matter what type of data you’ve gathered and how you intend to use that data, keep in mind that you need to make sure that the data is fully relevant and of the highest quality.
Relying on faulty data can significantly damage your business, causing it more harm than good.
So, make sure you avoid relying on “dirty data” – data that can easily be misleading, as well as data that fails to offer any type of useful insight or relevant information.
5. Use the right tools and talent to analyze it
Additionally, all the data in the world won’t be able to help your business unless you manage to analyze it properly.
As mentioned before, once you manage to collect data, you also need to try and make sense of it all. That’s why many businesses choose to rely on high-quality data management and social media listening tools.
Social media listening tools are the best for finding out what people are saying about your business, as well as about your product, industry, and competitors, customer service wait times, specific ads, and basically anything your customers could have an opinion on. Tools such as Digimind, Hootsuite, Adview, Talkwalker, ReviewTrackers, Brand24, BuzzSumo, and others can help you gather, process, and understand competitive consumer insights.
Aside from them, however, businesses also make it a priority to assemble a team of experts that will also analyze the data, categorize it and make sense of it all.
So, make sure you reach out to the right talent and choose the best tools and software solutions that will help you use the data, including customer insights, in the most efficient way possible.
6. Validate your research
Finally, no matter how much hard work and effort you put into gathering and analyzing data, errors can still occur. Relying on misinterpreted data can actually do significant damage to your business efforts, which is why you need to make sure you validate your research as well. What this means is that you should assess if the route you’ve decided to take – based on the data gathered – is the right one. You can easily achieve this by – once more – relying on your audience’s feedback.
Run the results of your findings by your audience once more and see if you’ve understood their feedback correctly.
The bottom line is that you absolutely can – and should – maximize the value of your customer insights.
By planning out your actions, making it a priority to fully understand your customers and their journey, and using that knowledge to your advantage, you will easily boost your operations and provide more value to your customers. Needless to say, this will impact your business positively, which is something any business person is striving towards.