Over the course of my career, I’ve been involved with a lot of research on the products and services on which I have worked. I’ve analyzed Nielsen, IRI, BAR/LNA , distribution data, awareness tracking data and have used single and multi-variable regression analysis to make a lot of business cases. Some of these will be described as the blog progresses.
However, over the last 10 years of my career I have become convinced of the importance of consumer insights. When I say consumer insights, a lot of people immediately think I’m talking about end-users of B2C products. While consumer insights can include these people, you can also gather a lot of consumer insights from end users of B2B products and services as well as from the people selling products and services (i.e., the channel or employees) and the people recommending the products and services (i.e., referrals). As such, the examples I provide in my blog include consumer insights from a wide range of audiences.
In order to understand how your target audience thinks about your product or service, I think it’s imperative for you to talk to them first. Understand their terminology so you can talk to them using their language – not yours. Understand their wants and desires – not yours. When you create a dialogue with your customers, the insights you get, if you’re listening and asking the right follow-up questions, are eye-opening.
The proliferation of, and investments in, data analytics is astounding. And while those analytics provide some very powerful information, they provide very little insight. I strongly urge you to include ongoing collection of consumer insights to add a depth of understanding to your analytics. As the case studies throughout this blog show, this will potentially save you and make you a lot of money.