>The current issue of Marketing News is entitled “Incomplete Insights” because, as I’ve said many time in the past, even good consumer data will not the most accurate picture of the consumer.

Consumers make decisions based on emotion and then rationalize their decision after the fact. Big data provides a lot of information on the purchase, and what action led up to the purchase, but it provides no insights on the emotions involved in the consumer making the purchase.

  1. Focus on making an emotional connection with the customer. Encourage customer service reps (CSR’s) and customer-facing employees to create personal connections with customers rather than adhering to corporate sounding dialog.
  2. Position yourself, or your firm, as someone who will help the customer of prospect solve a problem they are having. You’ll need to have a dialogue with the customer to learn what the problem is; however, going in with an attitude of solving a problem rather than making a sale will help you get more consumer insights.
  3. Empower your employees to engage customers and prospects via social media. Employees who have the right tools to resolve customer issues without escalting them to management will be proactive in solving problems which will increase customer satisfaction and brand image.
  4. Connect with the customer in their preferred media channel — they’ll be more likely to connect, and share, with you if they know you’re on the same media channel as they are. It’s one more thing you have in common.
  5. Understand why your customer is loyal to you. Is it your loyalty program, because you give them five cents off a gallon of gas, or a free sandwich after buying 10? Or do they have an emotional connection to your brand that goes well beyond your loyalty program. Loyalty can be bought, emotional connections cannot. Having insights into why someone is a loyal customer will give you an idea of how long they’ll be around when a better deal comes along.
  6. Understand what your customers think about your product and service. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, what do they consider as an alternative to your product or service? The more you know about your customer, the better you’ll be able to develop and direct your message, to prospective customers.
  7. Understand the pain points in your customers’ lives. By understanding their needs and wants, you may be able to develop a product or service that addresses these, be able to earn even more loyalty and business.
  8. Don’t let “big data” prevent you from offering other logical products and services to a particular segment. Just because the data shows that 65+ year olds don’t surf the internet on their phone doesn’t mean they don’t want to — they may not know how. If people 65+ new how to use Face Time on iphone, I’d bet a number of them would love to talk to their grandchildren by seeing them and it’s easier to do that with Face Time than it is with Skype — especially if someone’s not near a computer.
  9. Ask your customers what you can do to deliver meaningful, personalized, high-impact customer experiences. Keep this information in your customer relationship management (CRM) database. Not all customers will want the same thing so it’s important to know what each customer prefers. Ritz-Carlton does a great job of obtaining, and tracking, this information across properties.
  10. Educate your employees on the imporatnce of consumer insights and empower employees to capture them and act on them. By engaging employees in your business, they will feel and act more like owners and will help your business grow by providing better customer experiences that will lead to more business and more referrals from satisfied customers and their friends. Make sure you recognize and reward your star performers that help your business grow and wish the others well as they go to start their own business or go to work for someone else where they will or won’t add to the success of the company by providing consumer insights.
What do you and your firm do to obtain more consumer insight from your “big data” to accelerate sales?

Tom Smith

Experienced marketing professional who has worked with more than 120 clients in 18 different vertical industries. ♦ Differentiate products and services by improving UX and delivering memorable CX to create an emotional connection to the brand. ♦ Obtain insights from analytics to solve business problems and drive revenue. ♦ Develop and implement marketing campaigns that double traffic and leads in three months. ♦ Certified Marketing Automation Professional ♦ Certified Voice of the Customer (VOC) Professional