Want to better understand your customers? Learn how brand research software can help unlock valuable insights for your business and help you stay ahead of your competitors while developing more loyal clients.
It’s often been quoted that “knowledge is power.” Based on what we’ve learned in over 11 years of online community building, we’d say that “the right kind of data and customer insights is power.” However, you can’t expect to know what is going through your customer’s minds without a proper customer insight strategy combined with powerful brand research software. With these things combined, the insight you gather will be invaluable – letting you know how your brand is perceived and how you can improve it.
The Value of Listening to Customers
When you listen to your customers, you get information that can change your business significantly. For this change to occur, you need to get insight that is both smart and useful. Collecting this information sounds simple, but it isn’t. This is because you won’t find everything you’re looking for in one place. It’s not a singular oil well waiting for you to tap it. The valuable customer intelligence is scattered because every customer is as different as the next one. You, therefore, have to be able to get insight from these different people in a way that encompasses every decision they make, at every point of contact they make with your business.
Gathering the Right Data
In a previous article, we covered 5 ways that you can glean valuable insights from your customers. Even when you have this data, it is useless if you do not analyze it, make sense of it, and act on it in a timely manner. Any information that you gather will need to accurately answer the following:
- Why – What are your business objectives for your brand in the next 3, 6, or 12 months and what gaps (or assumptions) in customer understanding do you need your research to fill in order to move closer to those goals?
- When do you intend to gather data, analyze it, and then act upon what you discover?
- What data would be most useful to collect and analyze to help you achieve that specific goal for your business?
- Who do you need to target specifically ie. which segment(s) of your customer base in order to get the insights you need, and who in your team will be responsible for executing the research and reporting on it?
- Where will you direct customers to in order to conduct your research, and in what format? This is where the right brand research software can make your life easier.
Related Post: How to Develop a Customer Insight Strategy
Once you have the data, you’ll then need to analyze your data and find out actual customer behavior, patterns in thinking about your brand, and identify misalignment between what customers want and expect versus what your brand is currently delivering. When you have these insights, you can then implement actions meeting their needs. Your competitors are doing something similar. They want to answer these questions, too. They also want to be top dog. The brand that best understands its target audience and can best fulfill their desires will ultimately win.
How to Conduct Brand Research
Creating a brand research community online is a great way for you to gather a set of customers all in one place, from whom you can collect insights. When you create this community, however, you should be strategic about how you do your research. You’ll need to identify which insights you want to collect from the community. You should, therefore, be in a position to collect only that data that adds value to your operation. The data you are collecting typically fall under four main categories:
The personal data includes particulars of your customers like names and addresses. The demographic data, on the other hand, includes the rest of the bio-data including age, gender and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Psychographic data is all about your customers’ lifestyle, their values, and personalities. Transactional data provides insight into their shopping history. When you properly analyze all this data, you get a picture of who your customers are, what they want and how you can get them to further buy into the brand.
Using Challenges, Discussion Boards and Questionnaires
By crafting custom campaigns aligning with any combination of data, you appeal to different customers in different ways. Some customers will prefer to participate in active discussions with other customers while others may wish to submit their opinion via polls or questionnaires. Forum discussions, on the other hand, allow you to have a back and forth with your customers. This gives you some useful insights that other tools wouldn’t provide. It is these custom actionable strategies resulting from well-analyzed data that prop up your business. You need to do this over and over because you market is not going to remain static. You need your business to keep evolving with it. In so doing, your strategies will evolve, making it easier to meet your customers’ needs. As time goes on, you will be in a position to predict where the market is going and act before these changes set in.
Related Post: 7 Ways To Make Customers Love Your Brand
Brand Research Tools
There are plenty of ways you can use to gather insights from your customers. Earlier in this article, we broached the idea of starting up a brand research community. This virtually congregated set of your customers is an opportunity for you to get to know them. CMNTY makes this easy for you by providing you with a virtual platform onto which you can build your community. It is very easy to create the platform: CMNTY provides all the options you need to custom build the functionality and aesthetics. It is also optimized for mobile, making it pretty easy to use. When you have invited your members, you can divide them into segments and interact with them depending on their behavior.
The platform also has inbuilt badges and a points system that simplifies gamification. This ensures that you can stimulate activity within your community so that you can get insights. The platform seamlessly allows you to conduct surveys, polls, forum discussions and idea contests as well as a personal diary. To fully get to grips with getting insights from your community, check out this list of the top consumer insights tools you could be used to help develop your consumer insight.
Using CMNTY for Brand Research
Many media companies always want to know if the content they put out pulls a large enough audience. RTL, in particular, wanted to know what kind of content appealed to young millennials (18 to 25-year-olds). All departments including branded content, spot, and YouTube, Videoland and program management were interested. Having worked with CMNTY before, RTL’s Mirte van Deursen and Kelly Batist knew the value of working with communities to get insight. It is no wonder, therefore, that they created a millennial-rich community called WE ♥ VIDEO. After a few weeks, they sent back content produced in the community. The various departments were very intrigued and started asking specific questions in areas that they felt were lacking. From the feedback, RTL created a concept called The Mix-up. Batist introduced it to the community and they were happy that their opinions were valued. They participated even more in the community.
Related Post: Brand Community Guide: Keeping Participants Engaged
Profacts Market Research
As a Senior Research Consultant at Profacts, Karen de Visch has been around all kinds of research. When Profacts got a prominent radio station as a client that needed to change tack on branding, it decided to conduct a community research. Karen opted for CMNTY brand research software to create a community to help the client find out what its listeners thought of it. As they got insights from the community, they gradually implemented changes while seeking more advice from the members. At the end of the extensive project, Profacts presented the station with ideas. These enabled them to tweak the brand, making it more appealing while still being recognizable.
Where to Next?
Customers are the base upon which you build the success of your business. In an era where they have so much to choose from, you need to pay attention to what your customers want and build from that. Why your customers are acting the way they are, and how that’s impacting your brand’s success are important things to pay close attention to. It is important to analyze the data and come up with actionable strategies. You should implement these strategies quickly because your competition is trying to do the same. If you are the first to please the market, you can capture their loyalty to your brand.
Ready to gain better insights from a brand research community? We offer two weeks free and we’re ready to help.