What are Customer Insights, and How Can You Find Them?

In this article we will tell you what social insights are and how to track them. We will also consider how to identify trends and formulate a brand development strategy based on these data.
What are consumer insights and how do they help businesses?
Social insight reveals the true and not always conscious reason for making a purchase. For example, the creators of Dove’s advertising have won worldwide audience loyalty due to the fact that their advertising models are women of all ages, body shapes, and racial backgrounds.
Dove ad with girls in bikinis
When you analyze the consumer insights, you can find a way to reach the human subconscious and establish a strong connection with your customers. Insights can improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaign by playing on the feelings of the audience, as well as demonstrating the less obvious benefits of the product.
Key features of customer insights:
1. They are simple and understandable.

If the audience thinks, “Yes, this is exactly me!”, then you hit the bullseye.

2. They are new.

Look for an unexpected solution to a common problem. For example, in order to increase sales of vegetables, the Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize held creative sessions with children. Participants were asked which names were best for foods that they would like to eat. Featuring names like “dragon teeth” and “orange rockets” while selling products like carrots and broccoli increased sales by 151%.

3. They are relevant to your business.

If an idea does not address the goals of your company, you won’t get the results you’re looking for, no matter how interesting it seems.

Traditional Sources of Consumer Insights
The traditional sources of insights include:

1. Focus groups.
This is a gathering of participants to discuss a product or service in order to obtain feedback on customer satisfaction, or before launching a new line.

2. Surveys and questionnaires.
Usually in the form of questions written to collect the opinions of consumers about brand products.

These methods have serious disadvantages:
  • It is not always possible to collect enough respondents. People need to be motivated to participate, and many don’t want to spend their time going through research.
  • Questions are often based on past company experience and might be outdated. You may receive information that does not correspond to your current situation.
  • Research is time consuming and expensive.
It’s much cheaper and more efficient to receive digital media insights through social network monitoring.
Social media as a source of consumer insights
Social media is a huge field for business research. Here you can find the target audience of any sphere. By analyzing what users are talking about, any company can find solutions to improve their promotion strategy.

Key consumer insight example:

In 2018, IKEA commissioned a study from Wunderman, Kantar Consulting, and Mini Mad Things. They analyzed more than 50 million parental conversations online, discovering that the first topic of conversation is pregnancy and the second is child development. 50% of consumers would like their children to be more creative and spend less time playing video games or with gadgets.

IKEA created the Toybox app based on AR (augmented reality) technology. The app guides users in creating original designs such as a shadow puppet theater, toy vehicles, or doll houses out of cardboard such as its brand packaging

screenshot of Youtube video with Ikea Toybox ad
As a result, the brand’s consumer loyalty has doubled. The company was sympathetic to the problem of consumers and proposed a solution.
Key benefits of social listening:
1. Getting information online.
You can analyze a large stream of data from your audience to find the most relevant topics. This helps to better understand what consumers expect of the brand at the moment.

2. Research scale.
Millions of users leave comments and posts on social networks daily. Brands can conduct marketing research on almost any topic, at any time, from any angle.

3. Tracking insights for marketing.
By analyzing online discussions, you can find trends in the industry and valuable information about changes in the preferences and interests of your audience. This helps you change your advertising messages or strategy as a whole.

4. Social networks are a large-scale focus group.
By analyzing the hottest topics and discussions of millions of users and monitoring posts from your target audience, you can quickly respond to any changes. This will always keep you one step ahead of the competition.

Brand mention monitoring
You can monitor brand mentions in several ways:
Manual method
Enter a keyword phrase in the Google search bar, usually “brand name + reviews.” You can also look at what customers say about you on popular sites like Yelp and on social networks. This method works if your company is small or new to the market and does not have many reviews. Google Alerts can notify you of new brand mentions automatically for free.
Using automated tools
Paid services such as TalkWalker, BrandWatch, Sprinklr, or Linkfluence Search offer better ways to track company mentions. They allow you to find custom posts for any keyword and show statistics by gender, age and tonality.
example of what statistics look like in Linkfluence Search
An example of what statistics look like in Linkfluence Search
Then, you should sort reviews by sentiment: positive, neutral and negative. All posts are important to determining the overall attitude to the brand. It is very simple to grow brand advocates from your satisfied customers. They will protect you from criticism in the future and sell you to others with their positive recommendations. Read more about developing brand advocates here

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Search for hot topics and examples of customer insights
It is important to determine the context in which your brand is mentioned on social media. For example, Nike products are most often mentioned during discussions about new fashion trends and basketball.
Linkfluence Search brand mentions research
Linkfluence Search brand mentions research
Collaborating, they created the Nike PHOTOiD platform, on which users upload photos then change the design and color scheme of sneakers to match.
screenshot of Nike PHOTOiD platform
As a result, the brand did not spend a cent on the advertising campaign, and the number of Nike PHOTOiD subscribers grew to 15 million. This contributed to an increase in click-through rate for the purchase of sneakers by 8%.
Find out where posts about you are most frequent
It is important to know not only what consumers say about you, but where. This will help to better optimize your advertising campaign and not to drain your budget.
For example, people most often discuss cosmetic brands. Conversely is in last place.
screenshot of data taken from Radarly
Data taken from Radarly
Therefore, if cosmetic companies do not promote their products, they miss the majority of potential buyers.

After analyzing sites and social networks where your brand is most mentioned, you can identify your main promotion channels.
Analyze your competitors
Read what customers say about your rivals in the market. Identify their strengths and weaknesses, view their advertising, and study their most popular posts.

This will help you understand how to become more competitive. In addition, you’ll learn more about what stops customers from buying products in your category.

Track new trends
photo of Nike golden sneakers
Social media monitoring lets you learn more about your audience’s tastes. If the brand is always in the know about new trends, it will be able to adapt to changes in the market and stay relevant to consumers. For example, in 2018, so-called “dad trainers” were popular.

“Ugly sneakers” literally conquered the market and became an integral part of fashionable outfits. Companies that caught this trend the fastest were able to boost sales. Many brands tried to catch up, but were crushed by competitors who were the first to release such models.
Constantly monitoring the hottest discussions literally predicts future trends, enabling you to use them in your advertising before the rest.
— What is the difference between market research and insights?
Market research is the collection of data on the latest changes in business areas, for example competitors and market size.

A consumer insight study gives you the same practicalities, but you get ready-made recommendations based on consumer reviews on how to improve services and products.

Market monitoring shows the main trends, while insights make it clear why some products are popular and others not.

Consumer insights help improve your business. You can boost the effectiveness of advertising campaigns by utilizing the emotions and needs of customers. You can also improve the finished product and think through the concept of new products.

To find insights, you should regularly monitor references to your brand, competitors, and the business category in general.

You can do this with the help of special tools to track publications and the search results of key queries. Keep an eye out for new trends because being on trend means staying a step ahead of your competitors and attracting more buyers.

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