Everything in this busy life is vying more and more for consumers’ attention. Your brand and your marketing communications must fight hard to maintain consumer engagement. A simple and cost-effective way to do this is to leverage your customer database to uncover highly valuable insights into your customers.
Nearly all organisations have a database but what are you doing with yours? Apart from using it for transactional and promotional purposes, what else could you be doing with your customer database to drive business growth? Do you use it regularly to uncover market and consumer insights to inform business decision making? Do you analyse it to discover new market opportunities and consumer trends? If not, you may be missing out on some golden opportunities.
Here are 10 simple and effective ways to leverage your database for consumer insights:
1. Usage and Attitudes
Who is using your product/service? How are they using it? At what times or occasions? What triggers them to seek out your product/service? How do customers feel about your product or service? Understanding what aspects your customers love about your brand, can be leveraged to attract new users. Your database will often provide basic demographic information but understanding more clearly who your customers are and how they use your product can add further layers of depth, including psychographic and attitudinal information.
2. Competitive Insights
You may know your brand intimately, but how do your customers feel about your brand over your competitors’? Have they tried your competition? Understanding what differentiates your brand from competitors is an important insight that can be leveraged in your communication and marketing initiatives. Competitive research will help you understand who consumers consider your competitive set, and what it is about your competition that attracts certain consumers, giving you a better understanding of how to gain their attention and entice them to give your brand a try.
3. Customer Need Mapping
To remain successful it’s critical meet the needs of your customers. What are the needs that your product or service fulfils? What’s important to your customers? Are there other needs you could be fulfilling, i.e. new product opportunities? What is important to your customers today may not be tomorrow. Your customers’ lives and needs are continually evolving and so should your brand. The best way to ensure you are meeting your customers’ needs is to regularly check with your customers. Competition is ever increasing across all categories and brands need to be constantly re-examining their product/service offering to see where it can be improved and where new opportunities may lie.
4. New product testing
Your customers have already experienced your product or service, so can provide a great source of insight to a new product idea, concept or proposition. (Amongst your database, it’s likely there are currently segments of regular, occasional and lapsed shoppers, so using efficient sampling you will be uncover feedback on your new product and identify which segments the product holds the greatest appeal with.)
Before you launch a new product to market, a simple way to generate feedback is to uncover insights from your current customers – send them a sample and ask for their opinion, or hold a focus group to watch them directly interact with your new product, an online forum or in-home usage test and gain further insights to inform your successful new product launch.
5. Innovation Insights
Customer journey research can help identify ‘pain points’ your customers are experiencing at different stages of the decision making process. What are their frustrations along the path to purchase? Are there any un-met needs? Use these insights to deliver new innovations to meet customer frustrations/pain points, which offer a clear benefit and solution to the market.
6. Brand Tracking Insights
Consumer sentiment towards brands change as categories shift, existing brands make mistakes, or new brands enter the market. It’s important for all brands to know where they’re tracking in consumers’ minds, particularly new ones competing with established brands or in new markets. What aspects of your brand do customers like, what is driving their preferences?
You’ve invested significantly in your branding and marketing campaigns. Having regular conversations with your customers will tell you whether these activities have been successful and where there’s room for improvement.
7. Segmentation Analysis
Not all customers are the same. Can you identify which segments you currently have represented on your database? What are their profiles? What opportunities does this bring to your business? Can you expand a particular segment by targeting new customers like them? Can you target them with a different product or service? Segmentation research will help identify which homogenous groups of people are interested in what particular products/services.
8. Pricing Research
What is the right price for your product or service? How do you compare to the rest of the market? What are your competitors offering? By researching customer opinions on various price points you can determine what is the best price to sell your product. Too low and you may damage your brand. Too high and you may restrict sales volume. The price needs to be just right.
9. Advertising & Packaging Testing
What do your customers think of your latest advertising campaign? Have they even seen it? What are the messages that your campaign is delivering to customers? How does this campaign make your customers feel about the brand? Often at the early stages of creative development, when you have a concept, a proposition and a lead message, there is most value in researching this with your customers in order to optimise the campaign.
10. Customer Satisfaction Research
Depending on what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding new customers — you just have to keep the ones you have happy. Customer satisfaction research helps you understand the opinions, experiences and needs of those who are already using your product/service. By researching your current customers you are in the best position to respond to any negative feedback, helping ensure that they remain loyal customers.
Make the most from your customer database by using it to drive research initiatives that deliver invaluable consumer insights. There’s a range of insight tools which we use to engage customers on your database to participate in research, from online surveys, online communities, forums and face to face research. Conduct guided shopper interviews and mobile ethnographic studies using customer data, to provide real-time customer feedback. You can uncover a wealth of invaluable insights that can help drive your brand strategy, marketing campaigns, as well as identify any market threats and opportunities to drive brand growth.
Never before has it been so important for brands to listen to and observe their customers to unveil unique consumer insights and respond accordingly. The technology that is now available gives marketers an unprecedented variety of methods to do this in an unprecedented timeframe.
At Truth Serum we will show you the best approach for your business to get the best consumer insights from your customer data as well as how best to leverage these insights to grow your business.