CUSTOMERS ACT: HAVE YOU ASKED THEM WHY?
B2C brands face unique marketing challenges.Those in retail, consumer products, financial services, food, travel, health and automotive industries must target individual consumers through multiple marketing and media channels.
As the number of channels and devices have grown exponentially in the last few years marketing and advertising budgets have not kept pace, while the pressure on marketing executives work to contribute to the financial success of the company has.
There is hardly ever agreement on how to divide the budget among the competing channels for the optimal return on investment. Increasing the possibility of making the wrong call.
Often times marketing teams need to change the channel and adjust their message every few months or every few weeks. This increases the demand for fast actionable data to drive these important decisions.
Brands also struggle with the question of who to target, but let’s target whom? It’s such a big ocean of personalities, stories and backgrounds that it can be more difficult for marketers to give a clear answer.
Many B2C companies want to be customer-obsessed but a lot of them don’t have a way to first collect data that helps them understand the context and stories of their customers; most importantly to understand what’s going on with customers by asking them what they want and why?
Companies underestimate how important it is to truly make that connection between context and customer motivation in whatever marketing they’re doing. To know why customers would or wouldn’t respond is all about asking them the right questions and understanding their story.
When brands go beyond understanding the patterns behind customer behaviour to understanding customer motivation that is the difference between being customer obsessed and collecting numbers.
Sales data can tell you a lot about your customer behaviour but not a lot about customer motivation. Understanding motivation demands that you understand the context; a brand can do well in one city but not another that is only 100 miles away.This is true where customer profiles are similar but the motivations are different.
PEOPLE BASED APPROACH TO DATA GATHERING
In order to overcome this challenge of customer context and motivation many companies have defaulted to investing in data analytics and business intelligence software tools to understand the issue but the question is where are they getting the data from to use with the software and how fast are they getting it?
There are few options out there:
Number 1: Buying customer profiles from social media companies to build a data model of their targeted consumers.
Number 2: Using their user activity data from their systems (POS, Social Media Analytics, In-Store Feedback Kiosks etc.) to identify trends and patterns.
Number 3: Using consultants to do customer profiling and market studies.
Number 4: Using online polling services with communities that answer surveys.
Number 5: Sending user surveys to users.
Number 1 & 2
Over the last few years companies have engaged third party providers to supply customer profiles to better target audiences. However with data privacy questions becoming louder from large segments of the population, governments have been forced to restrict how companies collect and share user information including what type of data they are able to collect from user activity and how long they are allowed to store it and for what purpose.
Many companies feel consultants often overcharge and under deliver. Even when they do deliver it’s felt sometimes that the time it takes for them to do their research on the market and prepare their reports many opportunities are missed to take action.
Many companies have turned to online survey platforms to get the data that they need. This can be fast and less expensive than consultancy firms in most cases but this method also comes with some drawbacks; the panels don't represent the population you would like to hear from and there is a very high risk of click farms with automated responses to our users with multiple accounts. Online panels are best used when companies want to create communities of their OWN super users for long term engagement as a part of their customer relationship development.
This has become a strategy many companies have invested to gather feedback from their customers. For many B2C Companies that don’t have a customer email listing (e.g. fast food) it can be a difficult thing to do. Even where B2C companies have an existing customer database it fails when trying to target new-customer segments or a new market.
The #1 limitation is the response rates; customers have been increasingly subjected to constant messages from brands in the inbox and these messages often times go ignored (recent reports indicate a less than 3% response rates to surveys sent to consumers via an online channel.)
All these options have their benefits and drawbacks but there's another option for B2C companies whose needs for data fit any of the following criteria:
- The number of respondents is over 300
- The survey needs to target specific geographic areas
- The survey needs to target specific demographic in the real world
- Access to the data is time sensitive
- Multimedia within the survey is useful or important
- The survey logic is complex
- Survey needs to be representative
- Survey needs to be repeatable
- Survey is done across multiple countries
- Survey is done across multiple languages
At Queritel we allow marketing, insights, product development and polling teams to access our network of trained data collectors (50,000+) across 30 markets to conduct face-to-face survey interviews. Data Collectors use our mobile application that tracks their location and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to check the plausibility and quality of the data collected. The data is then graphically represented on our client's insights dashboard in real-time.
By utilizing Queritel.com companies are able to enjoy all of these benefits on one platform that uses a people based approach to data gathering while faster than traditional alternatives while maintaining data integrity and providing competitive pricing that makes the investment worth it.