A marketing insight – what is it and why should it be of importance to your business and a key part of any promotional strategy?
At its most simple, a marketing insight is a valuable piece of information which comes via research or data analysis and which can be directly actioned upon to benefit your business strategy.
Its aim – especially when the research discovers a previously unknown or unused innovative marketing insight – is to benefit both business and customer alike. Using the knowledge properly can help meet your target customer bases’ actual needs while providing your business with an almost guaranteed income stream.
Marketing insights should offer both the discoverer of the insight, and the benefactors of its subsequent inception, real value in its use.
Why Is A Marketing Insight So Important?
As far back as 2015 Millward Brown Vermeer carried out a survey of 10,000 companies in 60 countries, in partnership with Marketing Week and the Market Research Society, looking into the benefits of Insight Marketing.
HSBC’s then global head of marketing Chris Clark said that companies needed people who were analytical and could lay out facts and figures but added: “The real genius is someone who can do that and also say ‘here’s what we think is actually happening to human beings’.”
How To Interpret A Marketing Insight
Feedback can sometimes be described as a marketing insight. Asking customers to respond to a survey or seeing their Tweets or social media comments is giving your business good data. But they’re often presenting a fact – “I have a big car” whereas a marketing insight is something based more on perception.
“I have a big car and I feel safer when driving it” is a marketing insight. You are taking a fact (the car’s size) and adding an interpretation of how the end user feels when they’re in the vehicle (safer because of its size) based on their responses to your survey.
This insight isn’t necessarily true, and there could be a dozen other reasons as to why someone likes a particular brand of transport. However, this doesn’t mean that the perception can’t be used as the basis for a marketing campaign.
Gone are the days when a brand put out a single marketing campaign that it hoped would appeal to all elements of its potential customer base. Now, with the advent of social media and digital marketing, a campaign can be tweaked to appeal to a specific section of the audience.
For a single campaign promoting its 2018 Camry, Toyota created eight different films, highlighting people of different races and lifestyles in each spot for the US market.
Each advert used a “unique cultural motivator” aka a market insight, to appeal to a specific audience. There was one spot for African Americans, one spot for Asian Americans, two spots for Hispanic consumers, and four “Transcultural Mainstream” films that featured a variety of races, genders, and age groups.
Where Do You Get Them From?
Understanding your customers and your potential client base is vitally important. Tools like buyer personas (we’ve written a few articles about those before) will help you get an in-depth overview of what drives your brand’s customer loyalty.
Get feedback directly from your customers and clients via surveys. They’re one of the most widely used methods and can be tailored to look at very specific marketing data. Use an open-ended question that lets the customer fill in their own thoughts rather than offering them a Yes/No scenario.
If possible, see if you can get phone or face-to-face interviews with your customers. Look outside of the traditional questions and ask them how they feel when they buy one of your products or support your brand.
Tie it to key feelings like we talked about earlier with the “safety” factor of driving a large car.
How To Use Market Insights For Different Generations
Want to get the attention of those from the Baby Boomer generation? Appeal to family values, reliability, comfort and value-for-money. Use traditional channels to get your important market insight -phone surveys or adverts in print media or on television and radio, leaflets in magazines.
Look at offering coupons and BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) offers which answer their priority needs and address the market insight of “bargains/saving money”.
For Generation X, who grew up with the introduction of the internet, social media and smartphones but also still like to visit a shop to make their purchases, it’s email campaigns, Twitter promotions and Facebook brand pages.
Give them clear benefits for buying your product or supporting your brand. Why will it help them over Brand Y or Z? They don’t respond well to aggressive marketing, so make sure you’re getting real market insights by asking them what they look for in a particular product.
If it’s the Millennials you want, then target your campaigns along the ideas of excitement, new innovations, exclusivity, use social media, text messaging, WhatsApp and SnapChat advertising, Instagram business accounts.
Offer them brand loyalty discounts, this generation tends to stick to high-profile and social media savvy brands who offer great customer service and product reliability. Appeal to them with video and user generated content, set up competitions for photos of them using your products or provide an online gallery where they can tag your company.
For companies performing at the top of their industry, the use of marketing insights are not token efforts, they’re embedded into the business and are acknowledged at every level of employee.
The Millward Brown Vermeer’s study showed that although insight tends to sit in and around the marketing function, for the higher-performing businesses the leaders of these teams report to the top end of the organisation.
Learning how to use a marketing insight can mean the difference between meeting your customer’s beliefs, feelings and behaviours, or missing out on the chance to expand your business.
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NOTE: Updated March 2022.