Your customers (and potential customers) are a valuable source of data. Their behaviors, concerns, and desires can—when measured properly—be highly informative data points that can shape your future business strategies. These data points are known as consumer insights. Analyzing consumer insights can help you answer critical questions and give you a much better understanding of how your customers think and feel.

What are Consumer Insights?

Consumer insights, also known as customer insights, are a set of data points that help you interpret trends in consumer behavior, including:

  • What consumers are buying
  • Why they’re buying something
  • How they feel about a brand, product, or purchase

Consumer insights shed light on the Who, When, Where, Why, and How of consumer behavior. They’re drawn from customer data across a variety of sources in both formal and informal scenarios. Market research can shed light on the What of consumer behavior–more on that below.

What’s the Difference Between Consumer Insights and Market Research?

Market research and consumer insights are two valuable sets of data with slightly different origins. Market research data is sourced from a large set of quantitative data points—an entire market—which is then broken down to answer discrete business questions. Consumer insights take that research a step further by narrowing down the market to a much smaller target audience to derive conclusions about specific brands, products, or services.

If you refer back to our earlier note about the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of consumer behavior, market research answers the “What?”:

  • What is the market size?
  • What are the market needs?
  • What competitors exist in the market?
  • What type of customer exists in the market?

Once you have that information, you can use consumer insights to figure out the rest:

  • Who is purchasing your products?
  • How do consumers feel about your products?
  • When are consumers most likely to buy your products?
  • Why do consumers feel the need to buy your products (or your competitors’)?
  • Where are consumers shopping for your products?

For instance, you may perform market research to determine the total size of the hard seltzer market and the top competitors, and then use consumer insights to determine which brand (and flavors) consumers prefer the most. When researched and applied together, market research and consumer insights can tell you where you stand in your market and what actions you should take to improve your position in the market.

Getting Started with Consumer Insights

So, how do you get started with consumer insights? Your first inclination might be to immediately start your research process, but you should actually start by defining a clear goal. What do you hope to achieve with these insights?

Are you trying to:

  • Improve your position in the market?
  • Increase sales of a new product?
  • Figure out how consumers perceive your brand?

Or, more specifically, perhaps you want more granular data about a certain product, like which color or style of a product your customers are buying (and which colors or styles they’d like to see in the future).

To get started with consumer insights, you’ll need to gather both quantitative and qualitative data across a variety of sources. Qualitative data is important when gathering consumer insights because your goal is to craft a story with the data you’re collecting—a story about your consumers, their desires, and their behaviors.

You’ll then need to determine where the data will come from. Consumer insights can come from both formal and informal channels—you can get them from wherever customers are offering feedback. When collecting consumer insights, you can reference a variety of sources, including social media, online reviews, focus groups, customer service, data, purchase history data, surveys, and more.

Sources for gathering consumer insights include market research data, purchase history data, social media, surveys, online forums, reviews and more

Once you’ve collected your data, you can start putting it into action.

How to Use Consumer Insights to Improve Your Marketing Efforts

To make the most of consumer insights, you need to put them into action quickly. You can use your newly found insights to update (or create) your buyer personas, make adjustments to your product offerings, understand the consumer decision making process and update your pricing strategies. Consumer insights give you a 360-degree view of your customers, so you should take a similar approach by finding a holistic way to apply your findings across your business.

Consider questions like:

  • Is there a way you can better cater to your ideal customers now that you know more about them?
  • Are there any adjustments that need to be made to existing or future products to make them more appealing?
  • Are the buyers you’re targeting in line with the consumers who are actually purchasing your products? If not, how should you address that discrepancy?
  • Are there harmful perceptions of your brand that should be remedied? What are they, and how do you plan to resolve those negative impressions?

A great way to take advantage of consumer insights is to use them to personalize your marketing efforts. Because consumer insights tell you so much about your customers, you can start segmenting out your audience based on key data points to create more personalized campaigns. Data shows that personalized ads can lead to a 38% revenue increase from just one product—so the extra effort spent developing personalized campaigns is well worth it.

Start Using Consumer Insights Today with Starlight Analytics

Leveraging consumer insights can help you improve your position in the market and change the way consumers view your brand for the better. By using these insights to shape your strategy, you can make it easier for customers to say “Yes!” to your products.

If you’d like to supercharge your marketing efforts by using consumer insights, Starlight Analytics can help. Our suite of custom research services, including social listening, product concept testing, price testing, and more, includes proprietary data modeling techniques that offer a thorough, practical approach to learning more about your customers. We can help you identify the key insights you need to connect on a deeper level with your customers.

Contact us today to learn more.