How to Uncovering Your Customer’s Truths

Go beyond clicks and likes and actually understand their attitudes, opinions and values

Marketers and brands used to inform customer experience with limited data sets that actually revealed very little about their customers. But now that consumers have so many options for the products and services they buy, this is hardly enough.

To truly resonate with consumers, brands need to understand their customers holistically. This means glimpsing into customers’ lives, attitudes, opinions and values to uncover their truths. By doing so, brands can align their story with the customers’ and cultivate an emotional connection.

But how can marketers get to their customer’s truths? These three key areas are critical to crafting successful experiences.

Supplement big data with small data

Big data reveals the “what,” of a transaction but lacks context around “why?” In order to create personalized experiences, marketers should augment big data with small data.

While big data provides insight into human actions and behaviors, small data, or as brand guru Martin Lindstrom calls it, “the tiny clues that uncover huge trends,” provides insight into the attitudes, emotions and motivations that drive actions and behaviors. The most valuable insights come from a combination of the two. From this, marketers can gain an understanding of customers’ experiences with a brand, product or service, as well as an understanding of the motivations behind decisions.

To gain a comprehensive view of the customer, brands can leverage qualitative and quantitative data approaches and enable customer experiences that resonate.

Remove silos to facilitate collaboration with researchers

In order to effectively leverage big and small data, it’s important for marketers to collaborate with researchers. Long seen as the person who conducted large studies once or twice a year, the researcher is now an essential part of driving business transformation.

Given that all departments within an organization increasingly rely on insights data, tapping researchers for their expertise can empower marketers and other departments to work with data from a growing number of sources, and ultimately, make data-driven decisions.

But the marketer and the researcher are very different beasts. Marketers, inundated with talk of marketing stacks and big data, tend to look for automated and easy ways to target, batch and blast. Researchers, on the other hand, look to the small data to tell the story, understand human motivation and get to the “why.” It’s this ”why” that needs to inform the marketers “how.” By eliminating silos, marketers and researchers can learn from each other and work towards a unified goal.

Establish an always-on approach 

It’s human nature for loyalties and behaviors to change. And with all the information available in the digital world perspectives change faster than ever. That’s why experience insights are never a one-and-done strategy–they must be always-on and actionable.

To keep a pulse on the ongoing fluctuations of customer sentiment, marketers should establish an always-on approach to listening to and engaging with customers. By asking for feedback, and regularly checking in with them, marketers can build out qualitative data that can help the larger brand anticipate and understand shifts in behaviors.

As a result, marketers are able to effectively create a better customer experience, and in turn, connect and cultivate positive relationships.

As brands continue to invest in company-wide insights strategies, the responsibility of navigating customer experience initiatives will fall on marketers and researchers. In this new landscape, it’ll take an always-on approach, driven by both the marketer and researcher, together with big and small data, for companies to design experiences that attract and retain customers.

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