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

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.