Growth through insights
Marketing expert Nicole Crump explains how understanding consumers’ needs is vital for delivering what they need, and therefore growing and sustaining your business. Working with businesses that are seeking profitable growth both domestically and internationally, we often hear the phrase “We are just looking for that silver bullet that will bring us the right […]
Marketing expert Nicole Crump explains how understanding consumers’ needs is vital for delivering what they need, and therefore growing and sustaining your business.
Working with businesses that are seeking profitable growth both domestically and internationally, we often hear the phrase “We are just looking for that silver bullet that will bring us the right customers.”
Unfortunately, there is never just one thing that produces the “silver bullet” or “magical solution” – it’s more a collection of well-thought-out and successfully implemented decisions and approaches that helps a business build awareness with the group of people who would benefit from what’s being offered.
It sounds simple when you put it on paper like this, but the reality, as we know, is that it’s never simple and often deciding on what to do is the hardest part.
Why is it so difficult to make decisions on what to do when it comes to attracting and engaging with your target market, in order to achieve sales?
Well, the reality lies in this statement: in most cases, you are not your target market.
I encourage you to take a really good look at yourself and the people within your business – are you collectively your “ideal” customer? The answer is likely to be a resounding “no”.
Whilst this may sound like a simple notion, when making marketing and business decisions it is fundamental that we make choices that are right for our customers and not based on what we personally like.
So, with this insight – to create sales with people who are not like us – somehow we need to get inside their heads to understand what they like, who they are, what their beliefs and needs are, why they would benefit from your offering – the list goes on.
Businesses that do not obtain consumer insights or who fail to understand the background of their ideal target market, will not be able to connect or engage with prospects.
Ultimately, this means that they won’t be able to motivate them to become customers.
Why are businesses reluctant to get consumer insights?
This is often where we come to a crossroad – where decision-makers in businesses know what they should do, yet don’t. What is it that stops businesses gathering consumer insights?
The reasons are varied, but what I’ve seen most often is businesses that don’t gather insights to help decision-making because of:
• The cost/value equation. Many people have difficulty identifying the value of gathering consumer insights because there is not an easy link to a monetary measure. Good market research has the potential to save money and prevent mistakes, as well as uncover potential opportunities.
• The belief that only big companies invest in research.
• The decision-makers do not understand that business issues can often be tackled by a market research question – for example, “Sales are down, what do I do?” can actually be addressed by answering: “Who are my customers and what would influence their decision to buy or consume more of what I have to offer?”
• It’s too hard. For many people the thought of getting consumer insights feels daunting – not knowing where to start, who to talk to and how long it is going to take. The challenge is, competitors are seeking consumer insights to positively influence their long-term strategy.
• “We don’t have time.” This is a very common misconception that gathering consumer insights takes time and will slow down the business. The reality is, good consumer insight will enable a business to move faster, and in the right direction.
• Ego. Often business owners truly believe that the market wants their offering and they are convinced that it will be a hit. There is a reluctance, therefore, to seek any insights that may not validate initial hunches. What we see in this scenario is businesses not gaining traction in the market they believe they should succeed in.
Where do we start?
Consumer insights research gets you inside the consumer’s head to find the “why” of a purchase; why people buy certain products over other ones and, what is driving those preferences.
These insights enable better decision-making, resulting in campaigns or strategies becoming more effective and efficient – which results in increased profitability.
The extent to which you engage in gathering market insights depends on your desired results. For some businesses, just asking the “right” questions during regular interactions will be enough to develop an initial understanding or obtain feedback on concepts.
Other businesses may need to use an external company to help understand what questions to ask and to get their offering in front of their potential customers for feedback.
Having built my own business and leading strategic marketing for clients on a regional, national and global scale, I am passionate about this space and how it can help New Zealand businesses. Recently, in conjunction with experienced market research and panel insight experts, I developed a new offering called OpinionCompare, in an effort to remove the concerns that business owners have around obtaining consumer insights.
With OpinionCompare we can obtain insights from Kiwis promptly and at an affordable price so businesses can make informed decisions and quickly move forward.
When considering consumer insights research, the starting point is to ask yourself:
• What do I want to find out? For example, what is it that I am trying to solve?
• Who do I need to get this information from? e.g. who’s head do I want to get into?
• Within what timeframe do I need this information?
• How will I use the insights?
Businesses will be at different stages in their insights journey and OpinionCompare can help at every step of the way; from formulating what you need to know to how to get the insights and implementing them, making it a cost-effective way of getting your consumer insights.
Now with these insights to hand you can project where your company will move next – be one step ahead of your competitors; be confident that your marketing will directly address consumer wants and needs; and, build stronger relationships with your customers as your conversations will always be relevant to them.
As businesses, if we don’t make the most of these opportunities to seek feedback, understand more about our consumers and ultimately deliver what they want in the way that is relevant to them, we will not be able to grow and sustain the business.