Head of Brand Strategy and Insight, Katie Vickery makes a plea for marketers to stop making assumptions about their audiences, so that they can be braver in marketing endeavours.
We’re all guilty of it. You’re starting a new campaign or you’re doing your annual marketing planning and you think you know exactly what makes your audience tick. Perhaps you know that they most value good service, or an effective product. But how much do you really know about them?
It goes without saying that 2020 has been difficult for most. While things are starting to get back to normal, there’s no doubt that your customers have been through a lot in the past year and so it’s more important than ever to keep your finger on the consumer insight pulse.
Conducting research to get consumer insight isn’t just about how many people are on your database and knowing how often they buy your products. While it’s sometimes useful to see the numbers going up and down, true consumer insight comes from understanding your consumers’ behaviours.
But where to start? Research can sometimes feel overwhelming as there are so many options. Why not start with something simple like an online questionnaire? It might seem like something too simplistic, but they can actually be a really great way of getting insight from your consumer base quickly. By using a combination of multiple-choice and open comment questions, you can get a rich picture of what makes them tick. Not to mention, you can run the same survey again in 6 months’ or a year’s time to gain a comparison and track their behaviours over time.
From this, you can often get a decent base of insight upon which you can build. Perhaps you asked people what the most important factors are when making a purchase decision and the most common answer was something you didn’t expect. Why not send a follow-up email and invite them to a phone interview to interrogate topics further? By using a third party you can keep the interviews anonymous and get very open and honest answers.
Not only will you get more accurate insight on your audience by conducting this type of research, but if this comes from your customers – whether new, existing or lapsed – it also shows that your business is willing to make the effort to do better and to better engage with its customers. Win, win.