Customer Insight is Making Market Analytics Make Sense
If you’re in advertising or market research you’re familiar with one of the most common and difficult to overcome problems of the trade: figuring out what your customer actually wants. Too often do companies fall into the trap of creating the product or idea first and then trying to convince the consumer that they need it. This relationship is not only backwards, but ineffective when compared to the successes of some of the most popular products and intellectual properties. When Steve Jobs pioneered the iPhone, he wasn’t creating the demand for it, he was tapping into what consumers wanted. Even if they weren’t fully aware of their needs, Apple identified a gap in the market and let the consumers come to them.
That’s the difference between a company that understands the customer’s needs and a company that has to try to fabricate their needs in order to move products. It’s the same difference between trying to swim against the current and letting the river take you where you need to be. One is putting in more effort than you need, and the other is letting the market do the work for you. If you’ve been asking yourself questions like “what is customer insight?” and “How can I make it work for my company?” you’ve found the right article. Here are the answers to both of those questions.
A New Kind of Market Understanding
In a nutshell, customer insight is a data analytics discipline that looks for the why behind market trends. It isn’t a single technique, but rather a suite of analytical methods designed to garner deeper insight into what consumers are doing and what their motivations are. It’s the application of psychology and human understanding to cold, raw data to anticipate and therefore meet your client’s needs. It amalgamates algorithmic analysis, purchase data, market trends, and external market factors to generate an understanding of what people are lacking, what they might really want. It sounds complicated because it is complicated; it’s one of the most sophisticated market analysis methods out there, and as you can see here, it’s highly effective.
It isn’t something that the average marketing firm can reliably do without special training. Any consultant or agency worth their salt is going to have their finger to the pulse of the industry and the market they’re working in. They’re going to be aware of insight generation, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to know how to effectively use it to generate results for their clients. Chances are almost certain that your own firm doesn’t have these techniques down just yet. Whether you’re looking for an advertising firm or whether you are one looking to up your game, it might be worth your while to look into this as a potential way to boost your efficacy at serving your customers’ needs.
What Can It Do for Me?
Now you’re asking the right questions! We can go over technical all day, but at the end of that day you want to know exactly what it means for you and your business. Let’s say you work in the jewelry industry, and your surface level market research shows that sales are dipping among young women in the age twenty to thirty-five demographic. That’s a pretty sizable demographic for jewelry and knowing that they aren’t buying as much as previous years is good information to have. Traditionally, you might launch a new line of jewelry aimed specifically at young women, complete with ad campaign that hits on all the things you think they’ll respond to.
The problem here is that you don’t actually know why they’re not buying. There could be factors you’re not seeing because you’re not applying the right kind of insight analysis to the problem. If the demographic isn’t buying because of ethical concerns about where the company gets its diamonds, for example, you’re wasting your time trying to advertise to them the same way you have. That information reframes your entire advertising strategy, if not your entire industrial strategy! With that kind of knowledge you can focus on a campaign focused on ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products. Maybe the demo responds better to lab grown stones than authentically mined ones.
This example wasn’t spun from whole cloth. As you can see at https://indianewengland.com/why-lab-grown-diamonds-are-a-rage-amongst-millennials, that demographic does prefer lab grown stones, and the industry has had to evolve to accommodate. That kind of information would be denied to a company that didn’t do proper analysis and research into why consumers weren’t buying products as expected, and what you can do to adjust strategies accordingly. Ultimately, customer insight analysis is a powerful tool. With proper utilization and understanding, it can provide valuable information on your customers that you might not otherwise have.