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Here’s Why You Need To Be Using Customer Insights in Marketing

November 5, 2020

In this article you will learn:

Today’s consumer landscape is vast, and your existing and potential customers likely have their fair share of choices for whatever product or service you are offering. If you want to effectively target your ideal consumers, you need to fully understand their wants and needs. This is where customer insights come in.

What Exactly Is Customer Insights in Marketing?

Customer insights are statistics and knowledge about your consumers that is derived from research and data. These insights can be invaluable, as they provide a deep understanding of your customers’ wants and needs, how they think, how they feel and why they feel this way. Utilizing these insights allows a business to effectively communicate with their customers, which can change their behavior and (hopefully) increase sales. In short, it’s pretty powerful stuff.

So, how do you go about getting these insights? Before you can make any conclusions about your customers, you need to have plenty of research and data to back these insights up. How you gather this data will vary based on your needs, but you may use third-party customer insights tools, market research, focus groups or surveys.

The 3 Major Benefits of Customer Insights for Marketing

When used correctly, customer insights make your marketing efforts more effective. Here’s how:

Customer insights help you understand the competition

When you ask consumers about products and services in your industry, you can gain an understanding of not only how they feel about your business, but also your competitors. When you understand your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, you are better able to adapt your own business to be competitive in your niche.

These insights can help you meet customers where they are in their journey

Today's consumers have high expectations. They demand relevance and value from their favorite brands, so customer insights and customer data analytics can help you better understand them and meet their needs. One example is to create offers based on customer insights according to where a customer is on their journey and your business objectives, such as digital onboarding, increasing frequency and cross-selling.

Customer insights allow you to personalize your marketing

Until you actually know who your customers are, it’s difficult to market to them. Customer data analysis enables you to build buyer personas or even microsegmentations. Taking a step further, by continuously analyzing customer interactions, you can create unique offers and communications based on those insights. Then, you'll create targeted, personalized messages that are relevant to that customer and that strengthen customer loyalty.

Making the Most of Customer Data: How to Use Customer Insights in Marketing

Once you have collected enough data to provide useful customer insights, you need to know how to use this information. No matter how you market your product or service, customer insights should shape the channels, messaging and creative you use. Here are just a few examples of how you can use customer insights in marketing:

  • Launch channel-specific initiatives: Your audience on Instagram might not be the same as your audience on YouTube or Twitter — customer insights will tell you that. Once you know what your audiences are like across your different marketing channels, use this knowledge to create campaigns and messaging that are the most relevant to each specific audience.
  • Create unique funnels: You can’t assume that all consumers can be pushed through the funnel with the same messaging. Use insights to create customized funnels that target each of your various audiences.
  • Rethink your creative choices: Does your marketing creative appeal to your buyer personas? Use customer insights to answer this question and make any adjustments you may need to.

Best Practices for Customer Insights in Marketing

Now that you know what exactly customer insights are, why they’re so invaluable and how to use them, it’s time to develop your customer insights strategy. Not sure where to start? Here are a few best practices to kick things off.

Start by listening to your customers

Before you go full steam ahead with a customer insights strategy, find out what customers are already saying about your product or service. This may entail perusing social media or review sites, or taking a closer look at any data you currently have available.

Where on social media are customers talking about your business (Facebook groups, Instagram comments, etc.)? What are they saying about it? What social platforms are they using the most? What kind of reviews are they leaving about your business? What trends about your customers can you spot in any existing data you have about them?

Having a basic understanding of your existing customers is the first step in any customer insights strategy.

Use your existing customer data

Many large brands have vast amounts of first-party data from product searches, loyalty programs, newsletters and purchasing data. These customer insights are a valuable asset in building your marketing campaigns, such as loyalty offers and communications. According to the Brand Loyalty 2020 consumer report, 81% of consumers stated that they are willing to share basic personal information in exchange for a more personalized experience.

These type of customer data truly offer insights into customer motivations and interests, and they help marketers build a single view of the customers.

Ask for customer feedback

Another way to collect data about your customers is to get feedback from them directly. There are a number of methods you can use to get data from your customers that you can then analyze to develop insights:

  • Conduct online surveys.
  • Use direct mail to get feedback on specific questions you may have.
  • Interview customers or focus groups to help develop qualitative insights.
  • Use social media polls to find out what consumers think.
  • Conduct focus groups to get a comprehensive look at customers’ wants, needs and attitudes.

Thank customers for their feedback

A “thank you” can go a long way when it comes to developing loyal customers. Whether they provided feedback via a survey, interview or focus group, take the time to thank customers for their feedback and acknowledge that you will consider their comments to better your business’s offerings.

Turn these insights into action

Once you’ve gathered your data and research, and used it to develop clear customer insights, you’re ready to use these insights for your marketing efforts.

Learn more about Formation and our platform that enables marketers to activate customer data to develop and build offers dynamically and manage them at scale.