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Consumer Insights: how to know your audience with data

Consumer Insights is a modern and innovative process that seeks to interpret your consumer's data in order to understand and map what they really want and need. 

Data is the #1 ally of a consumer-centric marketing strategy

With access to data increasingly democratized worldwide, it has become even simpler to create marketing strategies based on the characteristics and consumption preferences of your audience. 

Understanding your consumers' wants and needs is key to ensuring that your brand or company is truly future-proofed.

In general, Consumer Insights is a process that, if done in the right way, has the power to revolutionize your business. And for that, you need to use data to your advantage.

The goal of every evolving company is to attract new customers, retain old customers, promote new consumer experiences and, as a consequence, generate even more revenue for your brand or company.

It may seem like a complex formula for success. But, believe me, it's not! 

In this guide we'll teach you what Consumer Insights is, how to know your audience and create a strategy that is centered on your consumer. Shall we go for it?

What is Consumer Insights?

In essence, it is a process of gathering relevant information used by companies and brands to gain a deeper and more detailed understanding of how their audience behaves and what their interests are. 

Consumer Insights is a process that goes beyond market trends

The use of data in marketing strategies goes far beyond a simple market trend. This practice is a rule if you are looking for relevant results for your brand. 

For decades, companies have formulated marketing strategies based on vague definitions and general statistics to understand consumer desires. 

What caused this? Often a lack of knowledge, and at other times a lack of real data to support the assumptions.

Over the years, marketers have come to understand that the consumer journey must be thought through and understood from beginning to end and, above all, mapped at all times. 

And brands that put the customer as the focus of their success have already understood this. 

What is the importance of designing a strategy with the consumer in mind?

A consumer-centric strategy is indispensable to increase the level of insight you get from your customers and help you make even better business decisions.

In today's world, brands and businesses go to great lengths to collect information from their consumers through their own nurturing channels (such as social media and CRM). 

However, the big challenge in this process is to ensure that this data is truly relevant. 

And that's why thinking about a marketing strategy based on the needs and desires of the consumer is so important!

The insights gleaned from brands' own channels provide a comprehensive construct of all types of consumers interested in buying the products or services offered. 

What's more, they have information that enables the creation of more interesting narratives and increasingly impactful messages for each audience. And best of all: at the right time. 

But what does it take to create a strategy where consumer insights are driving decisions? Read on to find out. 

1) Identify the real problems

What's the point of having the right answers if you're not clear which question to ask? You will only find the answers you are looking for when you get the question right. 

Therefore, it is very important that you and your team define what the strategic issues are that govern your type of business. 

This is the first step in identifying the real problems your brand needs to solve. 

2) Gather the right data

In a hyper-connected world like ours, consumers spend much of their time online. 

People use a multitude of devices and platforms to shop, and each stage of that journey leaves a vital clue about that user's behavior. 

When you set out to collect the right data across as many sources as possible - website cookies, loyalty programs, social media and so on - you need to ensure that the data delivers relevant and real information about what your consumer wants and is interested in.

So making sure you're informed and looking for the right answers from reliable data is a big step towards building a strategy centered on your consumer.

3) Be simple

The key word for building any narrative in this day and age is authenticity. When it comes to marketing strategies, simple ideas have the biggest impact. 

So, to help your creative team penetrate the minds of your focus audience, leveraging the insights that were gathered during the process, keep the focus on your consumer and the simplicity of the business.

4) Create personas and focus on the customer journey

This step is one of the most important of the process. This is where you and your team begin to sift through and seek out what information is relevant in the face of the exorbitant amount of data collected. 

By creating personas from the data collected from the consumer it will be possible to understand who they really are, what motivates them, what their priorities are and what are the main challenges that this consumer faces on a daily basis. 

Clarity on these points is key to building your creative strategy and hitting your audience hard. 

Remember: during the process, the data obtained will allow you to map the complete journey of this consumer, thus understanding how your audience interacts with each step of your marketing strategy. 

5) Make data uncomplicated

Remember that working with data (in some cases) can be a bit daunting for those who are not intimate or do not have contact with it on a daily basis.

So present them in a creative and friendly way. That way, your customers or even co-workers gain a greater understanding of your key findings regarding consumer behavior.

Tip: use and abuse visual aids, graphs and tables. This helps to bring people together and give more life to the survey. 

6) Contextualize your insights

We know the risks that an out-of-context message can have. 

And a decontextualized insight is not only useless for your brand, it can also negatively impact the image of the business.

The key to producing something relevant to your audience lies in the intelligence of being able to align audience insights with your goals, combining that with behavioral data to give the right message at the right time and place.

At this point, having a diverse team is critical to ensure a wide range of perceptions about the insight gained from consumer data and, as a result, ensure good results.

7) Collect the learnings and repeat what went right

Like every process, we have mistakes and successes during our journey of experimentation.

Therefore, it is very important to be clear about everything that worked during your strategy and especially what didn't work as well. 

Having knowledge about the parts that didn't go so well is key to programming yourself for the next steps and not repeating them.

On the other hand, embrace everything that went right. After all, capturing and documenting the positives (and the ones that worked!) helps you improve your strategies further.

It's worth noting that this process needs to be carried out in an agile manner so that your results remain relevant at the end of the day. 

The Consumer Insights process should be thought of in an ongoing way, always keeping in mind that your audience is alive and changing. 

Therefore, knowing how to track changes in behavior is also a great way to be able to predict them. 

Which tools should I use?

Now that we've discussed what Consumer Insights is, what its real importance is, and what the key steps are to get your strategy off the ground. 

To get the data that is so important to build your strategy, in addition to the already known processes and traditional methods of audience research, there is a plethora of tools and software that can help you extract as much relevant information about your audience as possible. 

With that in mind, we've put together a brief list of these tools (paid and free) for you to enjoy and analyze your consumption data in the best possible way.

1) Google Forms and Google Surveys

In case your budget is shorter or even limited, Google Forms can be an excellent free way for you. 

However, it is important to point out that all the dissemination part of the research will be under your responsibility.

On the other hand, if the piggy bank is a little fuller, Google Surveys (a paid tool) can offer you better plans at very affordable prices. 

The big difference with Forms is that these surveys can be triggered as ads.

2) Google Trends and Google Correlate

If you want to know exactly what is being searched for (in a large volume) on the internet, Google Trends can be your best friend on this journey. 

With this free tool, you can conduct research related to your topic of greatest interest or even find demographic information on trends.

Google Correlate is a tool that is 100% complementary to Google Trends. 

In it, you can search, for example, what the same audience searched for on a certain term, going beyond the most popular topics and subjects. 

3) Google Analytics

This is one of the most famous and used tools among marketers worldwide. 

Through Google Analytics you can check the performance of blogs and websites, as well as monitor their performance.

Monitoring these results is crucial, especially to have clarity about what is being done in the right way and where you can optimize your strategy.

4) Winnin Insights

 Winnin Insights is a tool with 100% online video focused intelligence that helps you check performance and monitor content performance. 

The platform reveals which subjects and formats people are watching the most on the internet and provides metrics that help you create data driven content totally focused on the real interests of your audience. 

As we know, the video marketing is already the reality of the online content universe and having tools that make the creative process less painful and much easier is fundamental.

Learn more about Winnin Insights by clicking here.

Final Notes

Consumer Insights generate value (and revenue!).

So, the time to design a marketing strategy that is thought outside-in is now! 

They are truly strategic if you know exactly what to do with the insights. 

Throughout this post, we have presented different learnings and tips on how to implement a truly data-driven consumer-centric approach using the Consumer Insights process.

In short: don't just focus on the data, focus on what you want to achieve with it. It's that simple when it comes to making data-driven decisions.