We can’t read minds as marketers (though we wish we could). So instead, we utilize the closest thing to reading minds, and that’s leveraging consumer insights. 

Consumer insights is the act of tracking, collecting, and analyzing data. In practice, it is the act of gathering feedback, mentions, reviews, and more information that we can use to help form a clear understanding of our consumer behaviors and purchasing decisions.

From there we can utilize the data to implement marketing strategies, product improvements, and customer service adjustments to name a few. 

What are Consumer Insights? 

We can glean insights across a range of behaviors, from negative outcry in Twitter feeds to positive customer reviews.  Look at the popular brand Taco Bell, for instance. When they removed the Mexican Pizza from their menu, there was such a negative uproar among consumers on social, specifically that the franchise brought the item back, resulting in many viral social media moments, one of them including the famous Doja Cat.  

Why Are Consumer Insights Important for Businesses?

Consumer insights are important for businesses because they allow for developing a better understanding of consumer needs and desires. Furthermore, through consumer insights, we can:

  • Respond to consumer feedback
  • Address customer journey pain points
  • Analyze competitor tactics
  • Understand purchasing decisions 
  • Improve customer sentiment
  • Spot social media trends
  • And more…

Differences Between Market Research and Consumer Insights 

While market research brings necessary value, it’s different from consumer insights. Market research is the act of acquiring information for an entire market, such as the consumer packaged goods market. Market research is often the first step a brand will take before entering the marketplace. 

Consumer insights instead focuses on leveraging brand market research information to analyze predictions about how our audience will respond to business decisions. Insights remove assumptions and answer business questions regarding demographics, customer behavior, customer satisfaction/loyalty, pain points in the customer journey, competitor data, and various data points within purchasing decisions. 

Together, market research and insights allow us to understand the market as a whole and the consumers who make up those markets. 

Types of Consumer Insights 

Consumer insights come in many forms and use individual elements that create an entire picture. Below we’ll review a handful of the most common subsets: demographics, customer behavior, customer loyalty, pain points, competitor analysis, and customer data.

Demographics

Demographics make up the “who” within consumer insights. Demographics give insight into characteristics of a group or population like location, gender, age, race/ethnicity, education level, and marital status. 

The demographics portion of consumer insight research helps us to understand whom we are reaching before determining how to reach them. 

Customer behavior 

Customer behavior is the decisions and actions consumers take when purchasing or testing products. To satisfy their wants, needs, and desires, we must first identify them, then understand them. Using customer behavior insights, we can tap into the psychological, social, cultural, and personal factor side of buying. Like-minded people or consumers within the same communities tend to have similar buying patterns and behaviors. 

Customer loyalty 

A reported 56% of customers will stay loyal to a brand that “gets them,” so it’s imperative to meet our customers where they are, not where we want them to be. Investing time and money into understanding our audience before taking action is the most efficient route. Plus, customers who feel heard and seen are more likely to return and become advocates for our brand offline. 

Pain points 

In a perfect world, everything invented and marketed would be flawless, but we live in a reality where issues, defects, or mistakes are inevitable. Capturing feedback speaking to product or service issues can be identified through consumer insights. Negative feedback presents opportunities for improvement. 

Pain points from a consumer’s perspective are the problems our customers have with what we are providing. We can use pain points to make informed business decisions for the betterment of a product or service. 

Competitor analysis 

Competitor analysis allows us to understand how their products or services are utilized, how consumers are feeling about them, and how competitors approach pain points (successfully or unsuccessfully), and then apply those findings to fill in the gaps with our own audiences. 

Competitor analysis keeps us aware of where we are at, in comparison, and where we need to be. For example, if registration numbers are high in our customer loyalty programs, but retention is decreasing, examining competitors who are highly successful, can support brand-aligned ways to improve internally.

Customer data

Numbers are straightforward truths (and first-party information). Customer data can come from website traffic, sales, apps, in-store purchases, and more, including:

  • Product reviews
  • Customer surveys
  • Social media platforms
  • Media outlets 
  • Purchase activity history
  • Test studies 
  • Focus panels 
  • Online reviews 
  • Website traffic

Methods to Gain Customer Insights 

Now that we know the ins and outs of customer insights, let’s see how to gain this information. 

Focus groups 

Focus groups are supplemental for data gathering consumer insights, such as meeting face-to-face with a sample of customers to discover their perspectives and needs. Focus groups are also suitable for enabling customers to find out more about our brand or company. 

Feedback surveys 

Feedback surveys are quick and easy to complete, as the answers provide more valuable takeaways that apply to future campaigns or current happenings. Surveys also act as an outlet for consumers to share their opinions privately. 

Social listening 

Social listening is a fantastic way to garner consumer insights in real-time. Social listening services are designed to capture any mentions of our brand online, where and what consumers are expressing, and their feelings based on sentiment — then, we can use that towards strategies and tactics for our marketing efforts. Social listening is also a helpful strategy to support our online community management.

Use technology to track and analyze data 

There are a variety of technological tools available to track and analyze data. For example, Google Analytics and Adwords are tools that will help track what our consumers are searching, when they are searching, and the specific keywords they use to search. Tracking SEO is also a beneficial way to track and analyze data to make improvements. 

Reviews 

Reviews are a tried and true method of capturing consumer insights. We should allow space on websites and Google Business Pages for reviews to provide another level of feedback collection and usage for analysis. 

What Benefits Can We Expect From Using Customer Insights? 

Of course, many of us are looking for a return on our efforts to connect with our consumers, and consumer insights provide many benefits for businesses including: 

Optimized customer lifetime value

Rule of thumb: It’s cheaper and easier to retain current customers than it is to acquire new ones. “Getting” or understanding our audience will help retain consumers during increasing lifetime value because our brand fits their lifestyles. These insights are about improving their experience and the products/services we are marketing which helps to maintain good relationships. 

Targeted marketing effectiveness 

Consumer insights are the purchase journey’s who, what, when, where, and why. Knowing those five elements puts us in a better position to reach the people our ads are intended for. They help to narrow down particular details that can set up targeting for success while also avoiding reaching the wrong people. 

Adjust prices 

Consumer insights can inform product pricing decisions based on competitor pricing, campaign data, customer purchasing history, and market fluctuations. 

Understanding consumer needs 

Consumer insights can inform customer needs by tracking comments, messages, reviews, and more and drafting up reports on common complaints and frequent areas of praise based on keywords, products, and more.

Brand loyalty 

Consumer insights help with brand loyalty because we can act from a place of knowledge and awareness into what a customer really needs — this also goes back to hearing, seeing, and acknowledging consumers to create a quality experience that entices them to continue shopping where they feel their needs are being met. 

Get More Customer Insights with ICUC 

Our insights team picks the best AI tools to track and perform social listening on our audience and brand across our owned channels, and any public sphere where our brand is mentioned. Then our data scientists and journalists hunt through findings and ask curious questions to discover untapped, unobvious opportunities to strengthen our social strategy.

Let’s stay away from assumptions, and use consumer insights to meet consumers where they are in ways they need. 

Need help? Schedule a call with us here. 

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