Avoiding Consumer Intelligence Pitfalls That Can Sink Your Business

Kimberly Surico |
 10/12/21 |
5 min read

Avoiding Consumer Intelligence Pitfalls That Can Sink Your Business

There are so many potential consumer intelligence pitfalls that can sink your business – and in this post, we’ll share seven to watch out for! Consumer intelligence is essential to every business, here’s why:

  • It provides detailed intel to guide your brand’s decision-making, including intel on consumer interests for better ad targeting.
  • 80% of consumers cite brand experience to be as important as the product they’re purchasing, and consumer intelligence enhances that experience.
  • 94% of consumers say they would be more loyal to brands that are transparent in their dealings with them – understanding how that looks specifically with your consumers is essential.
  • And 84% of marketing executives agree on the importance of customer experience and prioritize customer-centric strategies. They have good reason. Let’s dig into those pitfalls that to see why!

Pitfall #1: Focusing on groups and not individuals

You know the saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees?” Well, with marketing you want the big picture, but you don’t want to ignore those trees either, as individuals that make up the forest have interests that vary widely.

To make sure your messaging is on point, you need to dig deeper into your audience to see what connects them. For example, our top CPG company below has consumer interests which lie largely in Family, Food and Drink and Politics. Each category could be used to target those individual people, not just in ads, but in simple social media posts.

Pitfall #2: Relying too heavily on influencers

They are human, therefore, fallible. If they fall from grace, or if they go in a direction your brand doesn’t want to be associated with – there goes your voice.

Don’t be too quick to sign the first influencer that has the most followers. Do your research, follow them over time to be sure their personality reflects what your brand wants to communicate. Otherwise, you could be working against yourself.

And remember, they don’t have to be a celebrity! Even small influencers can make a huge impact. In fact, micro-influencers often have better engagement rates then macro-influencers.

Pitfall #3: Spending too much time on ads instead of engagement

As we mentioned above, you want better engagement rates, as engagement is the new currency. 2020 forced brands to engage more online as stores were closed, but also because the consumer world became laser-focused on brand behaviors such as sustainability and inclusivity efforts.

80% of customers say the experiences provided by a company are as important as its products and services. If all consumers are getting from you are ads – they will be less likely to pay attention to what your brand is offering.

A simple conversation starter based on their interests, or even on their profession, will be more eye-catching and memorable. Now you’re not just a faceless corporation, but a company that cares about diversity, water initiatives and a better standard of living for single-parent families or insert whatever cause(s) your brand cares about

Pitfall #4: Being on only one social media site

Different demographics frequent different social sites for different reasons – and your business should too.

Twitter can be more business-focused, whereas Tiktok is Gen Z central. So, if you want to gain the attention of Gen Z, you need to be where they are. If your brand is actively solely on Facebook, you’re losing out. Knowing where your current and prospective audiences are participating online is good business. No use casting your net where no fish swim, is there?

Additionally, keeping tabs on what is being said online about your brand is vital to protecting your brands health. If you’re not on there, you can’t be there to nip a possible PR crisis in the bud, or be a part of an emerging trend in conversation – giving you the unique opportunity to lead.

Pitfall #5: Giving lip service to a cause

There’s an old biblical passage that says, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” Well, in marketing if you’re only talking the talk, but not walking the walk – be sure that your consumers will find you out. Your lip service commitment will found out eventually and then they’ll call you out. Loudly. And across multiple social media platforms.

If you say you’re working on zero emissions by 2028, you can be certain that more than a few of your consumers have set their calendars to remind them to check-in on your progress. So don’t just look busy, be busy! Keep them posted of your efforts on social media, and give them a voice. Ask them questions, inspire them, and engage with them. This will keep them interested and keep them supporting your brand.

Pitfall #6: Tracking trends and conversations inconsistently

Trends can change overnight, no use pouring time, energy and money into a trend that is already on its way out. Keeping a close eye on consumer conversation via consumer intelligence, will guide you here.

Most importantly, you must be consistent in your efforts! Consumers are fickle, and what they love one moment may change overnight once their favorite social media personality moves on to something else. Using consumer intelligence, you’ll know when to ramp up the efforts, or move on to the next big thing!

For example, 2020 brought a lot of conversation about being more responsible with our earth. Renewable energy isn’t a new conversation, so it’s a great one to benchmark and watch for spikes and dips in sentiment or mentions. We can see a spike in February 2020 which reveals talks revolving around turbines freezing during a cold snap at Texas natural gas plants. Along with this drop in temperature, our sentiment analysis tool shows a drop in consumer sentiment (purple line).


The argument seems to lie in how reliable renewable energy is when crisis hits. Following and tracking this conversation, we see that it’s still an important topic for consumers. Even with these questions, they still want to see efforts made in the RE sector and are very emotionally invested in its success.

Pitfall #7: Ignoring your mistakes

No one likes being wronged. But even more insulting is feeling wronged and then completely ignored. It’s like salt in the wound, and the bitterness grows like a weed when it comes to consumer feelings. So, when you mess up, fess up! Consumers appreciate honesty. In fact, 94 percent of consumers say they would be more loyal to brands that practice transparency – this includes your oopsies. So, play nice and say sorry.

Consumer intelligence offers up intel on purchase path, demographics, emerging trends, and so much more. There is so much to learn. And from it, you can build an empire of happy and loyal clientele that will come back again and again! And NetBase Quid can help – reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how!

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