In the era of digital transformation, deep customer insight is the foundation of brand communications. Big Data gives you the opportunity to expand ideas about the audience, its unobvious properties, habits, and interests. However, this data may not be enough to create a truly relevant Customer Experience.
Until recently, receiving feedback from consumers was more a tool for analyzing decisions already made. Marketers turned to this data to understand how the advertising message worked, whether people perceive the brand correctly based on the results of the campaign, etc. But the popularity of the “economy of impressions” combined with technological development and socio-cultural changes led to a business A new task has arisen – to understand our customers so that in real time we can build personalized communication with them.
Economy of impressions
The term “economy of impressions” did not appear yesterday. It was first proposed to use it in 1998 in an article by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, where the term described the type of economy that follows agrarian, industrial, and service economies. Pine and Gilmore argued that companies should strive to ensure that their activities remain in the memory of consumers. Moreover, memory itself becomes a product. It is impressions that give brands a competitive advantage, help to attract and retain the audience. For brands that relate their own activity with the lifestyle of their consumers, there are huge opportunities. By showing attention to customers, companies receive a clearly measurable benefit: the loyalty of the audience and its regular involvement. All this is possible if you carefully listen to your customers.
Already 20 years ago, the “economy of impressions” was considered the foundation on which it is necessary to build all the work with clients. Of course, then no one imagined how much the Internet will affect the habits of users.
Brands are not idle, they are trying to learn about the audience as much as possible. That is why in the marketing market in recent years so actively use Big Data. However, huge amounts of information and detailed data about every sale or click are not useful for all tasks. It is important for brands to listen to their customers, ask them questions and get feedback.
For business development, there is little simple insight into how consumers interact with a brand — its products and services. It is necessary to understand how these people live, how they interact with others, what opinions they hold and what values they share. To understand them as people, and not just as numbers in a table.
Make communication with the brand memorable for the consumer is possible. The head of the digital direction of Colenso BBDO Matt Barnes believes that for this, first of all, you need to get feedback. What is often called the complex and long words “human-centeredness” and “customer-centeredness” is really just talking to people, getting opinions from those who will use your products and services. Consumers like their opinions to matter. So the brand will be able to create something truly necessary, interesting to its audience, and sometimes something grandiose. Frequently heard people become brand advocates — the most loyal consumers that matter to any company.
It’s great that an increasing number of companies understand the value of feedback. The latest report of Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2018-19 showed that “marketing and client analytics” and “client experience” are two key areas in which companies plan to invest their budgets. Brands are beginning to realize that in order to build memorable communication, it is important to know what consumers think about the product. And you can get such data only from one source – from the clients themselves.
In contrast to Big Data deep analytics, getting feedback from clients is called Small Data. Small data is exactly what allows companies to understand the thoughts and feelings of their audience. And work in this direction should be permanent.
According to research firm FocusVision, 87% of respondents use surveys to analyze customer reactions and preferences. 72% get feedback through certain types of interviews, and 71% through focus groups. First of all, the study of Small Data is used by companies to analyze consumer experience, but it also helps prepare the brand strategy and understand how it is perceived by the audience.