What are Consumer Insights and How To Use Them

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mrx glossary how to use consumer insights

Any business in a consumer-facing industry will want to capture consumer insights. This blog post explores how to capture consumer insights through market research and how to put them to the best use.



Table of Contents: 


What are consumer insights?

Consumer insights are findings about how consumers think, behave, or feel. They provide a glimpse into consumers’ viewpoints and how their attitudes affect what they do (i.e. what they purchase, what they say about your brand, where they shop, etc.).

For example, if your business is a video streaming platform, a consumer insight might be that a large portion of younger demographic consumers tends to stream content between the hours of 4 pm and 6 pm (after school and before dinner). Meanwhile, older demographics stream content most frequently in the late evening, as a treat to the end of the work day and after cleaning up dinner. These basic consumer insights reveal a lot about how consumers use streaming platforms and their reasons why.

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Benefits of gathering consumer insights

Consumer insights can provide a solid foundation to base business decisions around. They take the guesswork out of what motivates people to buy one product rather than another, providing brands with reassurance on innovation ideas, marketing efforts, product launches, and more. Below are four specific ways brands benefit from consumer insights.

Gain a better understanding of your buyers

Brands must be careful not to assume they know what consumers’ motivations are or how they feel about something. For example, say a brand of meats looks at sales numbers and sees consumers are buying more poultry than beef; to the brand, this may signal that consumers prefer poultry when in reality, consumers happen to be buying more of it simply because it’s cheaper than beef. Without asking for clarity from consumers, brands will base decisions on gut feel rather than data-supported insights.

Understanding what really triggers consumer actions can help businesses cater their products to best fit into consumers’ lives. When it comes time for a purchase decision, consumers will take notice of the brands that pay attention to their consumer needs at each part of the customer journey.

Improved customer lifetime value

When your target audience feels like you really understand them, they’re far more likely to remain loyal to your brand. Gaining consumer insights and using them to guide your business strategy is a dual benefit - you learn about your market, and your market feels heard.

For example, if a consumer of a facial cream finds that the packaging, branding, texture, scent, and results of their face cream are consistently excellent, they are likely to stay a loyal customer.

Personalized customer experience

Understanding consumers doesn’t just mean understanding the group as a whole; it also includes identifying how different segments within your target audience behave and feel. Customer insights relevant to each consumer segment - whether based on demographics, attitudes, behaviors, or needs - help create targeted product development and marketing strategies that reach every type of consumer within an overall target market. Personalized customer insights can be used to create greater customer satisfaction, offer closely tailored customer support for varying needs, and ultimately increase customer retention by way of customer loyalty.

Better ad targeting

Reflecting consumers’ values in brand messaging makes it more likely that consumers will feel the advertising and brand is relevant to them. For example, if consumers talk about wanting breath mints that are ‘refreshing,’ ‘flavorful’, or ‘non-sugary’, speaking to these elements in your ad messaging will appeal to them and catch their attention. You can target ad messaging by different segments too, including where you advertise to different types of consumers based on their behaviors and preferences (i.e. social media, TV, radio, or print messaging).
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What’s the difference between consumer insights and market research?

While these terms can often be used interchangeably, there is a difference between market research and consumer insights. Market research is the act of gathering consumer data - the numbers and the facts around consumer behavior, needs, and attitudes - while consumer insights are the interpretations that are made from that consumer data, with market research being one source. Consumer insights are data-driven findings - which might be entirely new revelations or confirmations of an existing hypothesis - that explore why rather than just the what.

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How to gather consumer insights

Having established that consumer insights are valuable building blocks for business initiatives, let’s talk about how to go about extracting them from market research. For a holistic and deep understanding of customer behavior, it pays to devise an insights research strategy, which maps out what it is you want to learn over a period of time, where you’re going to find the information you need, how you’re going to gather that information, and what you’ll do with the collected data. The below paragraphs outline each of these steps in more detail:

1. Establish what you want to learn

The most useful and actionable insights are a result of research that has been planned with broader business goals in mind. It might be tempting to conduct market research that gathers as much information as possible about your target audience, however, studies like that tend to be too broad to create truly impactful, actionable insights. Instead, make sure you identify where your business’s challenges primarily lie, then design research questions that get to the heart of them.

For example, as an airline company, you might want to ask questions about why consumers don’t fly at certain times of the year when you notice sales are down, rather than simply asking about all the times they do fly, or what they like about your airline service. If the underlying business objective is to understand why sales are down during certain periods, the research questions should aim to uncover those insights.

2. Identify your resources

Customer insights don’t happen overnight. A brand looking to uncover insights about its consumers through market research should plan ahead for its team’s workload and resources involved. This will include someone to set the study up, monitor the study while in field, analyze the results, and put together a final report or dashboard of insights. Many consumer insights platforms make these steps simple, though it’s still imperative a team anticipates the resources needed before diving into a market research study.

3. Determine your data collection method

How you collect your data will depend on how large a sample you’ll need for your research objectives and what kind of research output you’re looking for. Certain advanced methods require a minimal base size, and all insights need large enough sample sizes to claim statistically reliable insights. For these studies, a brand will want to go the quantitative research route. Quantitative research involves sampling hundreds or thousands of respondents (depending on your business type, target audience, and budget) via a survey. In today’s market, online surveys are the quickest and most reliable way to do so.

For a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and attitudes, qualitative research will allow for a more conversational style of insights. Via focus groups, depth interviews, or online video surveys, respondents are given the opportunity to talk about their views without being constricted by closed questioning or scaled responses. The quotes that come from qualitative research can bring findings to life and, if conducted in conjunction with quant, illustrate the motivations and feelings that lie behind the statistics.

4. Collect and process your data

When you’ve decided on your research questions, allocated sufficient resources, and selected a method of data collection, it’s time to start collecting your data. Survey panel providers make it simple to target your desired audience, or brands may opt to reach out to their own supplied list of contacts; many online survey platforms are panel agnostic, making it possible to choose either option.

Upon finalizing your data set, it’s time to analyze your insights, split the data by different groups or segments, and generate a final report to share with stakeholders or use to make business decisions.

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quantilope: An all-in-one consumer insights platform

quantilope is an end-to-end online survey platform that makes gathering consumer insights seamless and quick. quantilope’s drag-and-drop survey builder tool enables you to craft a custom survey from scratch or opt to use a variety of survey templates (which are also fully customizable but set a foundation of questions to ask for a select type of research - such as brand tracking). Along with standard usage and attitude questions, platform users have the option to include any of quantilope’s thirteen automated advanced methods such as a Conjoint Analysis, Implicit Association Test, or Price Sensitivity Meter.

As well as quantitative methodologies, quantilope has a dedicated qualitative research solution, inColor. Respondents are sent questions that they answer via videos, which are then automatically analyzed for keywords, sentiments, and emotions.

All research findings on quantilope’s platform are updated in real time and displayed on the platform’s reporting page. Interactive charts and graphs make for an engaging exploration of a survey’s results, all presented (and continually updated with new data) on an insights dashboard.

Don’t leave important decision-making to gut feel. For high-quality, actionable customer data, gathered and processed within a matter of days, get in touch below:

Get in touch to learn more about consumer insights!

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