data vs. insights

“Why” Matters: Data vs. Insights

In my internet wanderings this week, I came upon a Fast Company article from ancient history (2011) from design firm, Method. The theme was parallels between standup comedy and innovation. I like a good analogy article, but a few of their points resonated on their own. Specifically, they relate to the idea of data vs. insights:

Data Does Not Replace Insight

You Can’t Test Your Way to a Decision

Know Your Audience, Then Ignore Their Advice

Compete Against On-Demand Delivery

3 Ways You Can Compete Against On-Demand Delivery

One of the keys to success in marketing is differentiation. In a world saturated with options, what makes your product or service the one to choose? Every category has its leader(s), and competing on their terms is difficult. This is especially true in a world where the best-funded firms can often ignore profit margins (at least in the short-term). It’s led to a world in which firms train consumers to expect near-instant gratification in the e-commerce and online service sectors. It’s hyper-convenience. That can be hard to compete against for companies that can’t endlessly optimize their supply chain or run it at a loss to guarantee on-demand delivery.

Building Customer Loyalty

Building Customer Loyalty with Customer Insights

The inspiration for a post about building customer loyalty comes from an AdWeek infographic built on research done by Buzzfeed and Wavemaker. For the benefit of those without paywall access, I will summarize a few key take-aways:

First, loyalty varies by product/service category. For example, consumers are much more likely to stick to one brand of tech products (34%) or automobiles (29%), than food (14%) or fashion (14%). Intuitively, this makes sense: it’s easier to conceive of an all-Apple electronics household than one that only wears Ralph Lauren clothes. That takes me to the second key point:

Creating A Customer Profile

Creating a Customer Profile

One of the most common applications of consumer research is creating a customer profile, also known as a target persona. Generally, that means marrying demographic data with insights about behavior and attitudes to build a narrative about who you are targeting.

This has various benefits, chiefly to give a mental grounding point for the rest of the strategy. It’s easier to plan communications with an idea of whom we wish to reach. It also serves as a starting point for testing creative, messaging, etc.–a hypothesis against which we can begin to test and learn. Overall, it is a key foundational piece of any marketing strategy.

In the rest of this article, I will give an overview of how to begin creating a customer profile.

UM WaveX Remix Culture Study

Do Consumers Trust Online Reviews and Social Media Influencers?

I love a good marketing trends report, and UM’s recent WaveX Remix Culture did not disappoint. Amid the report’s large take-aways about nostalgia, localism, and repurposing culture was something I find especially crucial in our current marketing environment: customer trust. How brands and retailers build and maintain their reputation is evolving and becoming more challenging.

In particular, the WaveX report included two data points that stuck out to me: