Marketing strategies are always likely to experience an element of trial and error, but if a particular strategy isn’t working and simply fails to have the predicted impact, you may need to make changes to improve performance. Although there are several ways of doing this, understanding the wants and needs of the target audience is a logical way of ensuring that your marketing strategy connects with the chosen demographic.

A proven way of carrying out this process is through using consumer insights to analyse reliable data and understand the wants, needs and behaviours of your target audience.

What is a consumer insight?

Used as a baseline for how marketing strategies are carried out, a consumer insight is a form of data based on the actions of specific demographics that can inform and influence a business’ approach to certain exercises.

By using data in this way, a company can achieve a deep and thorough understanding of their target audience. Consumer insight is different from simple observations as it can identify specific shopping behaviours, filter results by several factors including the industry and product type, and offer changes that can be actioned to improve the performance of marketing strategies.

A member of a business’ marketing team creating consumer insights.

What is consumer insight data?

Data used for formulating consumer insights can come from a number of different areas. Your chosen area is likely to be based on the specific need for the data matched with a source that is accurate, up to date and reliable.

Consumer insight data may come from programmes that offer an understanding of performance in regards to the individual website data using Google Analytics. It also comes from sales data, surveys, focus groups, product reviews on websites, loyalty card data, customer services feedback and social media data.

How to create consumer insight

If creating consumer insights could truly benefit the performance of your marketing strategy, it’s important to find the most effective method for your business. Fortunately, consumer insights are available in a number of forms and applicable to a selection of industries, so you’re given some level of freedom with how you choose to source consumer insights.

When it comes to approaching consumer insights, you should:

Analyse each piece of data separately –

Regardless of the programme or method you use, consumer data is likely to offer many different areas for you to analyse. However, while each section may offer useful details over how your target audience functions and behaves, it could be the case that just one of these pieces of data tells you what you need to know.

It can be easy to get carried away with the potential benefits of a seemingly endless selection of facts and figures but, providing the data is reliable, every insight is crucial. As such, even an individual piece of data alone could have a significant impact on the success of your marketing strategy.

Answer core questions –

Instead of focusing on the process of gathering consumer insights, it may be more beneficial to prioritise the questions you need answers to and use that as a basis for finding the data you need.

For instance, if sales figures are down, consumer behaviour is likely to indicate why. If a business is hoping to target a new area of their audience, these new demographics may be identified based on certain sets of data. Alternatively, if the brand is set to go through a restructure, certain pieces of information could give hints at what the target consumer would be most likely to engage with.

Add context to the data –

Without some level of context and logic, it could be the case that the data you find is practically useless. However, you could align the data alongside other components such as the goals of your strategy and other behavioural data to find a context that broadens your understanding of the insights.

Better understand the consumer –

When combined, different types of consumer data can bring together an outline for what your target audience looks like. Depending on the level of data at your disposal, you may be able to understand who they are, what their priorities are likely to be, what their daily challenges could be, what interests them and specific details in regards to gender, age and other demographics.

Once all of this data is aligned, you’ll be in a good place to better understand the average type of person your strategy is targeting and whether it is completely relevant to them. Then, if it isn’t relevant or impactful and any areas need changing, you should be better informed to make effective alterations.

Focus on the correct data –

Insights can come from any programme that offers data based on the performance of consumers. But with so many options, it’s important that you pick a programme or method that is accurate, reliable and relevant. To do this, you firstly need to understand what data you need and then you can begin to research a platform or process that will provide you with this information.

How to write a consumer insight

Although it may be easy to dismiss the task of writing about consumer insights, it’s actually an important part of the process that will detail your findings and offer a structure for how you’ll look to use the data to make changes to your current marketing strategy. Due to this, how you write a consumer insight is key.

How do you write a consumer insight?

1. Start by briefly explaining the situation you’re focusing on and how consumers are affected by it

2. Then, explain the problem, the dilemma it may be causing to consumers and how they’re being negatively impacted whether it’s physically, mentally or emotionally

3. Finally, provide details over what the consumer’s desired end result is and explain how you can make changes to get them closer to that result.

What is a consumer insight report?

Businesses that have retrieved multiple consumer insights are likely to benefit from creating a document that is full of this data and how it can be used to action effective changes.

All important details are included in a typical consumer insight report such as the business, marketing strategy, key topics, value, objectives and the changes you’re planning on implementing based on the consumer data. Every written consumer insight can then be included along with conclusions, suggestions and any additional comments added by other departments it’s shared with.

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