Consumer marketing insights are everywhere, though sometimes they are hidden in enormous caches of unstructured data. Big data processing, however, is empowering brands to sift out consumer marketing insights from these sources, and it is easier than ever to identify insights through web and advertising analytics.
Though discovering them may require work, consumer marketing insights are everywhere.
Of course, you cannot sit back and wait for those insights to find you. You have to go where your customers are, and to do that you have to know who they are and what is important to them. In today’s mobile, always-connected world, you can be confident that they are online – most likely on a mobile device.
People Are Ready and Willing to Engage Online
The internet grew from the ground up, based on people engaging with each other before they were engaging with brands. Now brands want in on those conversations too, and to do that, they have to respect the consumer perspective and invite, rather than try to coerce, two-way engagement.
Consumers have to believe that engaging online with a brand they like is somehow worth their time. Brands can make clear that it is by allowing consumers to earn loyalty points for completing online surveys, holding drawings for prizes, or soliciting original content from consumers (showing them using your product, for example).
Respect Consumers’ Time
Nobody wants to take time for a slow web page to load, or for a mobile app to crash once or twice before opening on their mobile device. Brands have to show consumers that they respect their time by designing their pages optimally, minimizing typing input, and streamlining the checkout process.
When it comes to engaging with consumers using original content, there is no alternative to making content that is of high enough quality that it is worth consumers’ time. Even then, it must be quick, to the point, and free from technical glitches like videos that stall out repeatedly.
Visibility of Values Is Important
Because people engage with brands online similarly to how they engage with friends and family online, they take a more personal view of “their” brands. They also want to know whether favorite brands have values that align with their own.
Younger adults in particular believe that even the most enormous consumer brands are obligated to social and environmental responsibility, and they want to know exactly what those brands are doing toward those responsibilities. Fortunately, sharing content that demonstrates company values accomplishes both brand-building and reiteration of brand values at the same time.
Making your values visible helps you engage more deeply with consumers.
Solicit Their Input in Creative Ways
People can do amazing things with the most ordinary products, and if someone does something marvelous with one of your products, provide him or her with the opportunity to tell you about it. If someone uses your spray paint to not only refinish an old furniture piece, but also turn it into a work of art, sharing that story (even along with a how-to guide) on your blog or social media can draw rapt attention from others who would like to do the same. Asking people to share selfies, photos, or videos of them wearing or using your products is engaging because it allows consumers to see not only what the brand envisions for its products, but also what other people envision for the products.
Remember that putting consumer marketing insights to work is a two-way street. Do not let their selfie where they are wearing your brand of sunglasses languish on your Twitter page; thank them for sharing. The days when brands were perceived almost as “invisible and omnipotent” are over. People expect the brands they love to demonstrate responsibility and to participate in the conversations surrounding those brands. People are talking to brands, offering consumer marketing insights every minute of the day, and they expect brands to take notice and respond.
Engaging your CPG consumers is no longer something that is “nice to do,” but is necessary in the global, connected marketplace. That is true even if your sales occur in bricks-and-mortar stores. Going where your consumers are means going online and on mobile. Brands can be rewarded very well for engaging with consumers, because engagement produces consumer marketing insights that may not have even been possible in the pre-digital world.
Reach out, respect consumers’ time, make your values known, and encourage consumer participation with your brand by being part of the conversation. This helps ensure you develop close, genuine ties to your brand advocates and can direct your marketing resources optimally.