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The google search for “Consumer Insights” defines it as “the intersection between the interests of the consumer and features of the brand. Its main purpose is to understand why the consumer cares for the brand as well as their underlying mindsets, moods, motivation, desires, aspirations, and motivates that trigger their attitude and actions”

While this definition pretty much suffice what is customer insight, we still need to know what marketers do with this Insight. Do they make use of this research to generate leads for sales or expanding their reach or for that matter improving their brand image. In this complicated and complex marketing environment, consumer insights have begun to take hold in the corporate mindset.

Researchers, or those who casually profess to provide consumer background, are now being forced to provide more than just numbers, but real useful information that can be acted on by all parts of the organization that are involved in doing business with prospects and customers. Consumer insights research gets under the skin and inside the consumer’s head to find the “why” of a purchase, to understand what happened, and to project what could occur in the future.

Dove was looking for repositioning of their brand as it was being overshadowed by rival brands.They conducted a study of more than 3,000 women in 10 countries in order to learn about women’s priorities and interests.

They came out with an insight that only 2 percent of the women interviewed considered themselves beautiful .They understood through research, that to appeal to women, you had to feature compelling women that looked like them.

This is an iconic campaign that not only has won numerous accolades from the ad industry, but has repositioned the DOVE brand as a brand for today’s woman (regardless of the age) and one that is supported and beloved by women around the world. According to Huffington postarticle dated01/21/2014 “Executives at Unilever suggest that the campaign has boosted sales”.

Earlier the mode of communication use to be One way with print media, TV, radio being the biggest player but with the advent of Internet, Social media plays a big role in understanding consumer behavior. Real time data can be generated, instant customer feedback and tracking their online behavior have been some of the ways through which brands are engaging with their consumer. Facebook, Instagram, youtube, twitter helps brand create buzz around their product and have meaningful conversation, promote themselves and also get some insights about visitor. These channels can help them have two-way communication with consumers, and thus build trust that can help them go long way.

Revlon India leveraged the power of social media to better understand the mindset of Indian women and their attitudes and habits towards foundation. The insight generated then used to tailor the campaign according to prevailing preferences.

Companies like flipkart, Snapdeal heavily rely on the social media platform, since all their customers are Internet users and have a presence on one or the other social media platforms. These companies have huge pool of data and using various analytical tools they try to understand the data Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest e-commerce company, uses high-end analytics and algorithms in a number of areas such as recommending relevant products to users, showing users relevant search results, displaying ads to users that they are very likely to click on, predicting future demand for products, detecting spam reviews and detecting fraudulent orders.

Not only do these insights help companies to improve their efficiency but also cater to the needs of consumers better. On the other hand, consumers get benefited by it and have direct engagement with the company. With social media soon becoming part of our life it is a must for companies to use such platforms and try to be in connect with the users.

Machine learning as a concept is highly being used by these companies. Machine learning is a scientific discipline that deals with the construction and study of algorithms that can learn from data. With the help of such data they analyze the anxiety level of their consumers to rank the sellers. Micro targeting is done where the consumers are shown product according to their past purchasing behavior or how they use internet to surf online. Twitter, Facebook ad platform allows this geo targeting method through which it is easier for companies to target their product to specific customer. Various tools help analyze consumer engagement regarding a product and the reach of the product.

With current technologies it is easy for companies to track their consumers but at the same time is not an easy task to assimilate these data and extrapolate meaning out of it. Once you know why your customers do things a certain way, it will be much easier to establish and build long-term relationships with them.