Learn From Your Customers

What are consumer insights and how do I use them? An introduction

Thursday, 25 May 2023
What are consumer insights and how do I use them? An introduction

Understanding your consumers' needs and wants has become essential to ensure your company is future-proof.

Listening empowers you to learn from and talk to your customers in order to create ever-improving experiences.

Businesses with quality data are more likely to collect actionable customer insights, which can help them grow their bottom line in the long run.

1. So what are consumer insights, exactly?

A consumer insight is an interpretation of data used by businesses to gain a deeper understanding of how their audience thinks and feels. Analysing human behaviours allows companies to really understand what their consumers want and need, and most importantly, why they feel this way.

When consumer insight research is conducted properly, it should improve the effectiveness of how a company communicates to its customers, which is likely to change consumer behaviour, and therefore increase sales.

But collecting good consumer insights can be challenging, so here is what you need in order to collect and use consumer insights properly:

A. Good data quality

Good data quality is essential for gaining accurate and actionable insights into consumer behavior. Without high-quality data, you’re at risk of making uninformed decisions that could lead to missteps or customer dissatisfaction. 

B. A dedicated analytics team

The role of your data analytics team is essential in order to understand how your customers think and behave. If you don’t have the right analytics team, it’s hard to understand what the data is telling you.

C. Consumer research

It’s important to understand and acknowledge consumer behaviour and consumer insights should help you engage with customers emotionally. In order to do that, it’s essential not to ignore the results of your consumer research, whether you agree with them or not.

D. Database, industry consumer insights, and segment marketing

Database marketing is a form of marketing using databases of customers to generate personalised communications. These databases can lead to personas, different sets of audiences or segments. As consumer insights remain theoretical, database marketing is another essential element to your research when it comes to testing and learning. Indeed, test actions are necessary if you want to turn insights into facts.

Are you looking for consumer insights based on purely demographics, or are you looking for industry-wide consumer insights that are specific to your own industry? The way a customer feel about industries can vary drastically, so industry consumer insights are often more valuable for businesses because they allow you to get more specific.

2. What is the difference between market research and consumer insights?

Market research can be defined as an effort to gather information about customers or markets. It provides information about market needs, market sizes, competitors and customers. It is the “what” of customers and markets. Market research delivers statistics and knowledge.

Consumer insights deliver the same, but tend to come with recommended actions that will help you amplify the company’s growth. This means the team in charge of consumer insights will deliver both data and narrative, allowing you to make use of the data.

Long story short, research tells us what is happening, whereas consumer insights tell us why it’s happening, and will allow us to make changes to our business in order to improve customer satisfaction, customer retention, and increase our bottom bottom line.

If you’re still unsure how you should be using these insights to influence your business and better engage customers, we’ve got you covered.

3. Using consumer insights to amplify your marketing efforts

Consumer insights help analyse the competition
Whether or not you are the market leader in your industry, looking at how consumers talk about products and services in your industry can reveal a lot about consumers’ needs, and what you can implement to improve your own product, service, or business. It can feel like an intimidating task to monitor all of this, but this is how you unlock customer insights for your business.

Being aware of consumers’ conversations when it comes to other products can be extremely valuable, regardless of whether or not they mention or are aware of your business.

A. Consumer insights help improve the customer journey

The customer journey’s 5 different stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy.

The customer journey’s 5 different stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Mapping your customer journey will help you understand your customer’s experience and should highlight any gaps you may have.

Consumer insights can help you improve your customer journey, from awareness to advocacy, by providing you with information about what consumers want and need at each stage of the journey. This information can be used to identify areas where your customer journey is falling short, and unlock customer insights for your business.

For example, if you know that consumers are frustrated by the time it takes to get through to customer service, you may want to focus on improving your customer service process. Or, if you know that consumers are not finding the information they need on your website, you may want to focus on improving your website's navigation.

By understanding what consumers want and need at each stage of the customer journey, you can identify areas where you can improve your customer experience and improve your conversion rate. This helps you monetize performance & insights and increase your bottom line.

B. Consumer insights help personalise your marketing

Mass marketing is a strategy in which a company decides to ignore targeted marketing and speak to a whole market instead. The example below illustrates mass marketing perfectly.

An example of mass marketing advertising: toothpaste advert

An example of mass marketing advertising

Today, companies offering a service or product used by many still tend to use mass marketing, like this toothpaste advert. Indeed, by definition of mass marketing advertising, mass-market products do not necessarily need to personalise their communications in order to sell more.

But in a world where competition is so tough, personalisation has become a necessity for many retail brands out there. Targeted and personalised help communicate a better, clearer message, and therefore attract and retain customers.

That’s why consumer insights can help businesses understand why people buy certain products over other ones and what’s driving those preferences.

This can help you refine your personas, and determine the best way to speak to your different audience segments. Here are a couple of examples of personalised marketing.

Very personalised website homepage

Very uses personalised messaging based on sign-in information and seasonal weather data to make a more intimate connection with the site visitor.

Spotify billboard displaying social proof and personalised content

Spotify’s new billboard campaign uses internal consumer data to create unique singular stories that highlighted how personal listening to music can be.

Netflix's personalised homepage

Netflix, on the other-hand, uses algorithms based on previous viewing behaviour in order to recommend the right kind of content to viewers.

Whether it’s with algorithms, internal data, or a mixture of internal and external data, consumer insights help refine the way you communicate to your customers - these brands all use consumer insights to better understand their audience and personalise their marketing and offerings.

Insights are essential to learn about and understand your audience better, as well as find deeper, more actionable insights to improve the way you market your business.

There are many ways you can use insights to boost your company’s bottom line - so we’ve put this list of steps together to get you started!

C. Getting started with consumer insights

  • Establish what you want to learn: Before conducting research, make sure you know what questions you want to answer, or problems you want to solve.

  • Identify your resources: How will you obtain data, who’s going to collect it, who’s going to analyse it? Make sure you have enough time and employees dedicated to getting and using your consumer insights.

  • Choose your audience and collection method: Are you targeting a specific audience such as recent customers? Will you use send them a survey or look at the reviews they've left on Trustpilot?

  • Develop an action plan: Once you've collected the data, consider what departments, processes, strategies, and initiatives might be affected and the plan for sharing and implementing your findings.

Obtaining consumer insights is hard work but can pay off in the long run. Find out how Trustpilot reviews can help you monetize performance & insights with Trustpilot's Review Insights tool here, or create a free Trustpilot account today to get started.


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