How Digital Consumer Intelligence Gives Brands the Winning Edge

Standing out from competitors today requires strategic marketing informed by digital consumer intelligence. Leading brands in every category rely on its insight every day – and your brand should be too!

Digital consumer intelligence is a brand’s everything – and we share why that is and what it is, along with insight around:

  • How digital consumer intelligence helps your brand find out what you want to know, and more importantly what you don’t know
  • Understanding the consumer journey and how to message out at each stage
  • Ways consumer perception impacts brand health
  • How to identify white space and use this intel to innovate

The reasons why brands and agencies are leaning into digital consumer intelligence are myriad – and supported by strong stats elaborated in this article, including:

  • Forrester predicts that 25% of companies that are only using product research will pivot to consumer and market intelligence
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising.


What Is Digital Consumer Intelligence (DCI)?

Digital Consumer Intelligence (DCI) is consumer and market intelligence that offers everything brands need to succeed in this digital age. Knowing why people love brand X, but not brand Y, is complicated. Consumer and market intelligence demystifies all of it, and more. It helps brands:

  • Locate the trends that matter most to your consumer or your market
  • Uncover an intimate understanding of your consumers, your competition, and your industry
  • Learn what, specifically, drives consumer sentiment and behavior
  • Differentiate between crucial and non-essential business issues
  • Spot new opportunities for fresh and innovative products, services, and business investment
  • Identify actionable insight and make confident strategic decisions in every aspect of the enterprise

Forrester predicts that 25% of businesses will make the shift from product research to market and consumer intelligence, and it’s really the only path forward that makes sense. Digital consumer intelligence offers so much.

By fetching billions of bits of data and aggregating it into a completely cohesive next generation artificial intelligence (AI) platform, brands are able to find immediate and accurate answers to vital questions:


Businesses are empowered to react, predict and innovate while making keen, data-driven choices that can happen as fast as social. And any brand that has spent time online understands how crucial response time has become. Knowing when and how to act is what separates industry leaders from the pack.

Actionable Insight & Your Consumer Journey

Conversation changes day to day, so monitoring it is essential to understanding what drives consumer behavior and where consumers are on their journey when the exhibit specific behaviors. Dining out offers a ready example of this in action.

Dining out is on everyone’s mind as months of cooking for ourselves has shown that we are not the next Top Chef. The conversation around restaurants reopening is quite different today from what it was two months ago.

Setting our search to capture top consumer emotions, which drive and influence shopping habits, for the dates of April 19th – May 7th shows us the Arnold Palmer of feelings. Half are excited at the prospect, using phrases like ‘look forward’ and words like ‘ready.’ And marked in red we see the other half who feel this move is ‘ridiculous’ and they are ‘concerned’.


Moving our date to the last month, the emotion has clearly changed to reveal a more positive outlook with words popping off the page like ‘great,’ ‘ready’ and ‘excited.’ Though there are some who still think this idea is ‘ridiculous.’


Lots can happen in one month. And it doesn’t require a pandemic to create significant shifts in perception. Often though, these shifts happen incrementally and aren’t captured in motion, leaving brands blindsided.

At its core, digital consumer insight captures these nuances. And it is precisely what brands need as the sheer volume of insight available is vast. As we approach 4 billion social media users around the world, sorting out how to find and influence your specific niche segments will be what makes or breaks businesses.


Connecting With & Influencing Consumers

Consumers use social networks to let their friends know how they feel about life, and that includes their feelings around products and brands. This is significant as 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising.

With this is mind, we can set our social analytics tool to show media posts with the top amounts of Shares, Replies or Comments or, like below, Total Engagements in a specific topic search:


Understanding the interests of your consumers, particularly during stressful times, is the best gift you can give them. It helps you stay current and it can help you surprise and delight them by helping them feel known and cared about.

Here, we see that consumers waiting on restaurants to re-open have a variety of interests from Anime to Literature – and each area could provide an adjacent opportunity for a savvy brand to connect meaningfully:


But that’s not all. Digital consumer intelligence also shows a brand the opportunities they’ve yet to pursue – white space potential that’s potentially being ignored by competitors. And this is where the innovators among us live.

White Space Identification Powered by Digital Consumer Intelligence

Addressing competitive threats, or – as is applicable today, identifying unrealized opportunities in a drastically altered market landscape, is at the top of any enterprise to do list of late. There are gaps in existing product lines and innovations that need to be made, for sure – but sorting out what they are and then which of those items are actually worth pursuing can leave businesses paralyzed with indecision. There’s a lot at stake.

Our network map created around ‘Reopening Restaurants’ shows multiple ways this conversation is trending. Each cluster represents a different part, from Strict New Dining Rules to Fine Dining Home Delivery.  


To identify white space, we can turn to our Scatterplot. This handy tool helps us see gaps in conversation, sharing what is being said, and more importantly – what isn’t. The size of the circle represents the relative size of the conversation.


Safety resonates strongly, along with some meta conversation around the impact reopening (and being closed) has had on the industry. And then we see home delivery and takeout capturing significant conversation. Seattle Restaurants Offering Take-Out garners more social interaction, with Fine Dining Home Deliveries following closely behind. If you were a fine dining establishment, exploring this home delivery conversation could reveal potential to supplement struggling sales. And you could then vet the consumer conversation around this topic to see where the sentiment lies. What needs/wants are consumers expressing around these services. You can be sure there are many.

Finding Conversational Outliers

Continuing to use our scatterplot though to the less noticeable (and easy to miss) conversations, clicking on the tiny brown cluster of Home Gardening, we see a semantically related concern around air pollutants potentially driving away consumers. Is there a way to alleviate this at your establishment? And how should you communicate this out to your audience? It matters. And most brands are probably missing it.


Also, how has this conversation changed overtime – just overall? For that we will look at the timeline view.


Trend conversation around March of 2020 has changed drastically. This timeline view shows that Safety as Restaurants Re-Open Dining Rooms began lightly making an appearance in mid-March. It flatlined only to return in mid-April and grew increasingly through May. It is sure to be a hot topic the rest of this year. Brands will do well to promote their safety protocols, and to monitor digital consumer intelligence to ensure that they’re capturing the most up-to-date insight as they’re making key business decisions in the coming months!

Having digital consumer intelligence on your side can be the equivalent of having a secret, super accurate weapon at your disposal. One capable of finding threats and turning them into strengths – and one that can redefine your brand, and its place in this evolving market.

Contact us for a demo to get a more in-depth and finely tune view of where your brand fits in the big picture!


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