An Insight To Gain Actionable Customer Insights
Nearly half a decade ago, the World Street Journal, in one of its online reports, had emphasized on a principle; a principle that perfectly puts the argument on gaining actionable customer insights using social media.
“Don’t just talk to consumers but also work with them throughout the marketing process.”
This principle still holds immense importance in the context of the topic.
Consumers, at one end, are adopting new marketers, while at the other; they are rapidly leaving the existing ones behind. In such a scenario, brand retention and loyalty become the biggest challenge for marketers, especially those who are planning to start a business. However, this move by the consumers has necessitated very urgent attempt to understand the dynamics to retain the existing ones as well as include new ones.
Gaining Actionable Customer Insights
How does it help?
The relevance of using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, and many more, has now broadened than its traditional motive of advertising to persuade consumers to buy a marketer’s services and products.
The focus has now shifted to bringing in consumer involvement and engagement, enabling them to participate in the entire marketing related activities – product conceptualization, development, testing, and prompt customer feedback service. Nevertheless, the real question arises how to gain actionable customer insight.
How to Do it?
As understandable; gaining actionable customer insights is as essential as running the business itself. Different companies follow different strategies to attain that. Mentioned below are some thought-provoking points in this perspective.
Keep the Eyes and Ears Open to the Customers’ Conversations
The most interesting and helpful insights come from the conversations customers do among themselves. You get insights on what features customers want in a product, what are their likes and dislikes, what should be the pricing, what are their confusions and quarries about your product. This not only helps in building a great product but also helps in toning down flaws and demerits in it.
Encourage Consumer Participation
Consumer engagement is driven by some incentive; however, every care must be taken not to intentionally lure them to engage. A natural feeling must carry forward to the consumers that the site they are participating is not totally about the company, it is because of their basic instinct and a sense of belongingness that must drive the consumers to participate.
For example, a baby-product selling company must create such an online community for the parents in a manner they can relate it to themselves and spontaneously flow on posts, likes, comments, and shares.
However, incentives that are more direct – cash or products rewards, and discounts on purchase for the community members also drive them to participate and spread the buzz.
Role Of a Moderator
At times, the participation of the members becomes sluggish; thereby, demanding the silent intervention of a moderator. The moderator is someone who, for a long time, is engaged in observing and understanding the flow, pattern of the consumers’ conversations.
He acts as a catalyst in adding a spark to a petered out communication. This not only keeps the conversation going but also drifts it in a certain direction. The members also feel that their voices are not lost in the heavy flood of comments.
Not Marketing or Selling: Converse, Converse, and Converse
In social media, it pays to resist the temptation to sell. Consumers do not fancy being a target audience of the company’s advertisements and promotions. Many consumers pour in spectacular thoughts and ideas that become building blocks of a winning product.
While it is good to converse, it is equally important to let the conversation flow freely. The role of a moderator here becomes even more crucial. At no point in time, members should feel that they are being controlled from someone within the company.
Think Beyond a Marketing Expert
Another major question arises; who would handle the entire gamut of conversation and communication with a view to gaining actionable customer insights through social media. Experts in the field have coined a new term – ‘Marketing Technologist’, a person who brings together the strength of marketing, technology, and social conversation.
For example, companies are now building blogs so that they can engage more with their customers and know what they actually want.
It is a never-ending endeavor to completely understand the consumer psyche due to the varied dynamics of marketing and marketability involved in the lifecycle of a product or service. However, along with the thoughts mentioned above, it is very much relevant and desired to become ‘Sociable’ while you are trying to churn out the best out of your business in the social media.