One of the major questions companies should be asking during the marketing process is how well do they know their customers and potential customers? This is not referring to understanding customers in the traditional sense in terms of product appeal and group demographics. It means having an in-depth understanding of the psychology of the consumer, why they do what they do and what cultural influences are responsible for shaping their understandings and perceptions.
Consumer insight is one area in marketing that has been and continues to be grossly underestimated. There has been a dramatic shift in the way today’s consumers chose to deal with the organizations and the brands they use. They have different cultural foundations and backgrounds, they receive and process information differently and are more engaged in personal interaction.
Marketers and businesses who fail to connect with their customers on this level and have a limited understanding of their anthropological backgrounds will have difficulty connecting to and engaging with their customers, and will be unable to motivate people to make that transition into a buyer.
The Rise of Consumer Insight
As businesses have evolved and developed, the top marketers understand that they can no longer offer a one coat fits all solution. Organizations must understand that they need to provide a wide range of services, products, fashions and colors to appeal to a customer base that continues to transform. Why is it that some products will sell out in hours of being unveiled while others collect dust on the shelves? Yes, marketing is the key, but understanding consumer insight is what makes marketing strategies successful.
What Business Need to Know
Business need to understand why each customer group is culturally different. They should analyze things such as:
- What was taking place while each generation was growing up?
- What was responsible for shaping their morals and values?
- What is their interaction like with other organizations?
If a company wants to appeal to a wide audience, they need to understand that the younger generation is going to react differently to their products than the older generation, males will have a different set of needs than females, wives have different interests than single women etc. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when implementing your marketing strategy.
Complex Consumer Insight Issues
With the continuous advances in technology, the majority of companies now offer their products and services online. In addition to the complex demographic puzzle, organizations now have to take into consideration the needs of a global economy. Consumer insights in Japan will be different to those in America. Businesses now need to understand how each culture, people group and population relates to the products and services it uses prior to establishing a marketing plan.
How far a business chooses to develop their knowledge on consumer insights will determine their level of success. Unless consumers purchase your products and services, your business will not survive; therefore, invest time money into gaining a full understanding of your target market to maximize your profits.