Why is a great insight like a Fridge?
Because the moment you look into it, a light comes on.
What is insight?
In my opinion, insight refers to a deep level understanding of someone or something (like a brand).
By delving into consumer’s lives, you really start to understand what consumers think of brands, their experiences and how they interact with them on both a rational and emotive level. Insight explores not only ‘what’ consumers do but also the ‘why’ and ‘how’. It can provide brands with an understanding of their different customer segments, allowing them to implement more direct and personalised marketing strategies.
Brands are now facing complex challenges given the considerable changes in the behaviour of modern day consumers, making these strategies even more important. Consumers are now far more expecting of brands, having far greater choice, being accustomed to immediate product/service accessibility and having a great influence on a brands reputation (good or bad) through social media channels.
It is therefore essential that brands go a step further by utilising research techniques in order to tap into consumer’s needs and emotions; creating a reason for their brand to play a role in consumer’s lives.
What techniques are used to gain ‘insight’?
When asked ‘What is Market Research’, I’m sure many would probably answer with the words ‘surveys, surveys and more surveys’. Before working within the industry, I too would have probably said the same thing. But Market Research is so much more these days thanks to technological advances, providing brands with great tools to access consumer’s needs and emotive responses.
From quantitative data surveys to qualitative interviews, focus groups, co-design sessions, web analytics, ethnographic research and facial analysis, there is a vast array of online and offline techniques for brands to utilise. Of course at a top level, surveys are a great way to understand consumer’s lifestyles and thoughts. Here at Factor 3 we use them to help our clients understand their consumers a little bit better and in order to guide their marketing campaigns and communications.
However, surveys often ask consumers about past experiences or consumption usage – and are often hard to recall (for example what they had for breakfast a month ago! I certainly wouldn’t remember!) so can introduce a level of unreliability.
With advances in mobile technology, the Market Research world welcomed ‘Real Time Data Tracking’, enabling this level of uncertainty to be reduced considerably. Brands can send out surveys dependent on location, allowing respondents to input real time actions, and live emotions at specific points within the consumption process. Real-time brand experience tracking certainly allows a closer view of consumers like never before, tracking their motives and emotional response pre, during and straight after consuming a particular brand.
Brands can also utilise social media channels for real time research purposes. One project I have been part of was to undertake research through a WhatsApp focus group to discuss seasonal clothing ranges. Respondents were asked to undertake various tasks during a two week period including taking photos of their daily outfits, visiting certain shops and looking online at clothing which took their fancy! Each task was accompanied daily by a set of questions to provoke a discussion of ‘real time’ opinions between respondents.
Why is ‘real time’ insight important for brands?
‘Real time’ insight is important to brands, and is a great tool to connect with consumers on a more personal level than could be achieved using traditional research techniques. The insight gathered allows instant responses from consumer’s pre, during and after their consumption process, providing them with robust insight of written content and imagery, in turn shaping their marketing strategies and communication plans. Take for instance, the fashion example I gave…with the insight gathered, seasonal lines were modified taking into account current consumers opinions.
It’s great to see brands utilising insight to support their customer offering and marketing communications and I can only encourage more to follow. By understanding who your consumers are and what makes them ‘tick’ we can develop content that can really resonate with consumers both on a rational and emotional level.
If you’d like to discuss a research project with us, please get in touch.