Digital Impetus in Insights to Understand the Butterfly Effect in Brand Marketing
by Bhushan Atulkar, Senior Associate
Insight is the capability of knowing and understanding the unknown facts by digging deeper through a systematic process of data gathering. Gaining insights into something is nothing new for us, as human species we start digging deeper into things in our surroundings to know more about them and adapt as per the information. Same is the case with brands, every brand under the sun is dependent on consumer insights which helps them in understanding the consumer behaviour, their desires, apprehensions, which ultimately helps the brand in adapting and growing itself as per the dynamic market conditions, leading to ground breaking innovation in products and processes. Insights are the sole reason that sets a brand apart from others by becoming a base of revolutionary customer experience.
Brands start observing their consumers and gather insights since the first purchase. This process of observation and insights gathering is done through various methods viz. empathy interviews, observation of consumers in their natural environment, method of buying, gauging the competition.
These are some of the traditional ways of gathering insights from consumers which are more than valuable for a brand. For instance, Empathy interviews are very good in terms of gathering insights on the emotional and subconscious aspects of an audience’s action. This technique starts working where traditional QnA technique fails at getting deeper into a consumers’ mind. While these techniques are being used globally for collecting insights, times have changed. Introduction of digital mediums have opened a whole new world of opportunities for consumer insights.
Over the time the techniques have improved and due to digital revolution insights as well as their gathering techniques have received a considerable impetus in the world of brand marketing. In today’s connected world, brands are constantly in touch with the consumers by putting them at the centre of their strategy more than ever. Meaning of constantly being in touch is, brands are gathering real time insights about their consumers’ activities through various digital platform viz. social media, smart phones, search engines etc. Social listening is helping brands in gathering real time insights about consumers’ preferences as well as the type of discourse which is happening on digital platforms about a brand.
Consumers can be continuously monitored by brands with a right combination of data and tech. With the advent of big data this has become even easier to reach out to the farthest of the target audience. Arrival of big data has changed the game entirely for marketeers and brands; purely through interactions a huge amount of qualitative and quantitative data can be generated which can help brands take right decision at right time. It even helps in designing future strategies for the brand with the help of variations observed in consumer data.
Big data gathered through digital medium is helping brands in customer acquisition and retention for a longer period as compared to last 10 years. Insights through digital mediums have provided speed and agility to brands in moving ahead of competition. A brand that is slow in understanding the needs and desires of consumers happen to deliver poor quality and ultimately perish with time. A good example of this would be efforts put by Coca Cola by using big data for customer retention. In an interview Justin De Graaf, Director of Data Strategy and Precision Marketing, Coca Cola specifically mentioned data is increasingly playing an important role in in marketing and product development, consumers have shared their opinions with Coca Cola through email, social media or social network that has allowed Coca Cola to hear their voices and adjust their strategy accordingly. Data through digital medium has helped Coca Cola in creating relevant content for diverse audience across the globe. He said, Coca Cola, wants to create different content for different audience across the world based on their interest and emotional inclination towards anything in their surroundings. Some love music or others love sports, this has helped the brand to present in these spaces without any efforts, thanks to digital insights and big data.
It is not just limited to understanding consumer but also advertisers and promoters. It is common that businesses loose huge amount of money in advertising when it doesn’t have the desired effect on the audience. Big data has saved the day for many businesses out there. With systematic analysis of consumer movements, trends and purchasing behaviour brands have successfully got the right nerve of every type of target audience. This has helped brands in generating content which is more targeted and personalised. Netflix has aced this game quite well, when we open Netflix in our phones and PC browsers we get suggestions for movies and TV series based on our preference. These preferences are different for different audience. That’s how Netflix has successfully retained the position of one of the top online streaming services across the globe.
Looking at current pace at which digital is boosting the power of consumer insights there is not stopping anywhere soon. In fact, this digital revolution in the domain of insights is going to get slowly transformed and fused with AI and ML which is even more effective. AI and ML could be the key to insights future. Any brand with a combination of AI, big data and digital mediums will be able to stand out of the crowd in terms of understanding the consumers and delivering the experience which every consumer desire from their favourite brand.
While all the digital revolution in consumer insights are playing a bigger role in grating brands an edge over others and it is going to get bigger with time, it cannot come at the cost of traditional insights and strategies that helped brands in reaching out to millions of consumers and understand their needs and desires. After all, classic never goes out of style.