5 Ways to Gather Consumer Insights Before You Launch Your Business
By Anna Taylor
We are living in a competitive world where customers are bombarded with thousands of products and services every day. Every brand is struggling to create its unique identity and wants to serve its clients in an exceptional manner. To stand out from the crowd and to provide exactly what our customers are looking for, we need to know the buying behavior and the spending pattern of the customers. These are called “customer insights” and they help us in making our strategies and designing our future plans.
Benefits of consumer insights
Consumer insights can be considered as the essence of your research work. Having enough finance, experienced workforce and a commendable marketing team will be of no use if you have not gathered data on consumer insights. Following are some of the great benefits of consumer insights:
- Assist in making good business decisions as per the interests and behavior of the consumers
- Decrease time and effort for marketing and content development by helping implement the right strategy from the get go
- Help in building better relations with the customers by knowing their interests and needs
- Help in identifying opportunities for product improvement and increasing ROI
- Help in predicting the buying patterns and movements of customers
Let us look at the five basic ways of getting these customer insights. Having knowledge about these techniques will help you to launch your product in a much better way.
Use empathy interviews to get real information
Gone are the days when marketers used traditional interview questions to gather customer insights. Today, brands are using empathy interviews to know what the customer exactly wants from them. These interviews are not on the pattern of traditional interviews. They consist of topics on which the consumers can speak genuinely from their hearts.
Basically, the approach is to let the consumer speak through his subconscious mind and the interviewer uses the emotional approach to get the real information. The whole process is carried out in the form of a regular conversation so that the consumers can feel relaxed and say what they actually want to.
Its like a therapist asking indirect questions to get the real answers and the person being asked those questions does not even feel what he has been questioned about. In this way, consumers indirectly tell about their needs which helps brands in filling any gaps in their product.
Use the natural environment to observe customers
Experts believe that the best way to get consumer insights is to observe them in their natural environment. For instance, companies employ special employers to notify the customers in special events like festivals, workshops, parties and so on. A well-known brand put cameras on the canteen of a college just to notice the consumer behavior of the college-going students. This approach helps in getting real information about the products that the consumers are using and also gives an idea of the alternate products that they are opting for. Besides this, other product improvement information can also be extracted by adopting this technique.
Observe how customers are buying other products similar to yours
This implies studying the minds of your consumers. Understanding their frame of mind while buying similar products will help you in taking the appropriate actions. However, while making a purchase some consumers do not know why they are doing certain actions. Therefore, it can be a good idea to ask questions from customers after they have made a purchase, so as to learn more about their buying experience.
You have to notice the steps taken by the customers - do they search and compare prices, do they ask questions before making a purchase, do they talk to the representative and so on.
You do not have to make much effort if you are doing online business because a number of tools are available that can monitor your customers’ behaviors and can provide great customer insights. These tools can tell you about the pages the customer visited, the products that were clicked on, the time spent by the customer on each page, etc.
Some of these tools are Google analytics, Youtube analytics, Social mention, Google trends and so on. Thus, if you follow the purchasing path of your customers, you can definitely bring a big difference in your marketing tactics.
These tools are helping many brands across the globe. For instance, the new carpet cleaners Chislehurst started its website with a new content strategy. They used Google analytics to get customer insights and were amazed to see the results.
Attend corporate events and shows
This technique is particularly helpful for B2B customers. In the corporate events you will see a number of booths of different companies. You can visit the booths of different companies and notice things like the behavior of the employees with the audience, the time that they are giving to each attendee, their way of branding and their interaction with other team members. These things can provide some great insights into those companies and can be beneficial in your B2B interactions.
Get insights about competitor’s products
Another great way to get insights into your potential customers is to question the customers of your competitor’s product. This will give you information about your target market. You will get to know about the strength and weaknesses of your competitor and how your potential customers are perceiving the competitor product.
Try to know their general views about the product and then come to your own findings. Make your discussion friendly, so that the customers can feel free to share their buying experiences with you.
In short, extracting information from your current as well as potential customers is highly important. The ultimate goal of each of the techniques mentioned above is to extract data about the buying behavior, spending patterns, likes and dislikes of the customers. Besides using the free tools for online businesses, also try to develop good relations with the customers so that they can freely have a discussion with you.
Also bear in mind that the needs and preferences of humans keep on changing, so keep an eye out for your customers changing demands. In this way, you will be able to make way for the success of your business.
Anne Taylor is a serial blogger with technical and business background. She loves writing about digital marketing, IT industry and workplace productivity. She is currently the content writer for Dynamologic Solutions.