Why Digital Consumer Intelligence Matters

Harvey Rañola |
 10/13/21 |
3 min read

Why Digital Consumer Intelligence Matters

Consumer and marketing research is an essential part of any company’s business strategy today. Understanding your company’s position in your industry and how your products or services meet consumer expectations is a must. And it requires audience analysis to do so with any accuracy. Let’s see why that is and how it looks.

The need for digital consumer intelligence is clear, with this report published in January 2021 sharing that:

  • 4.66 billion people around the world now use the internet.
  • There are 5.22 billion unique mobile users
  • More than half of the world now uses social media

So, it’s important to understand how to capture consumer intelligence, why leading business are using it to inform strategic planning and how they’re using it specifically. We have examples of each below.

Capturing Consumer Intelligence

The difference between today and ten years ago, is that most consumer insight research is performed digitally – at least that’s how leading brands are doing it.

Digital consumer intelligence is just one type of consumer intelligence available to brands, of course. At the most basic level, consumer behavior research tells you who your customers are, where they are located, what products they buy, and when they buy them.

But a thorough consumer behavior analysis reveals much more. It shows why they do or do not buy certain products, and shares insight around their values, needs, and preferences. This is all information that is immediately actionable, allowing you to shift current marketing campaigns in real-time to adapt to new intel as it’s available. And it is available form a variety of sources.

The various types of consumer intelligence available to brands these days take us well beyond the usual suspects, including customer interviews, focus groups and manual customer or market research surveys. These methods have been used by brands for decades, and while they still have value, they’re less effective today because the market changes so quickly. Today, success hinges on collecting real-time behavioral data. And that is only possible with digital consumer intelligence.

Digging into the Importance of Digital Consumer Intelligence

Digital Consumer intelligence involves collecting customer insight data from all sorts of digital sources including blogs, forums, news, reviews, comment, social media, and every bit of intel shared on the social web – and analyzing it. That analysis should be powered by next generation AI and it can be applied to a number of use cases, including consumer trend analysis, social media content analysis, and social network sentiment analysis, among others.

Overall, digital consumer intelligence is an essential addition to any marketer’s or brand’s toolkit today. Forrester predicts that 25% of organizations will soon make the shift from product research to digital consumer and marketing research, and there are good reasons for it:

  • Buying habits are changing faster than ever, and so are their expectations about their shopping experiences.
  • Digital shopping has all but replaced physical shopping experiences.
  • Consumers expect the brands they buy from to align with their personal values, and they share these values on social media. In fact, 61% of people say they’re likely to switch brands if they realize the one that they’re using isn’t environmentally friendly.
  • People share brand love or disappointment every day online – and they’re doing so whether or not you see it. Make sure you see it.

Social media is where your customers are. It’s where they expect you to be as well. And why wouldn’t you be, as it’s where you can learn the most about them, using social media analysis. Even better, you can capture emerging trends and issues with predictive social media analytics. That’s just the tip of the ‘use case’ iceberg though . . .

Digital Consumer Intelligence Use Cases

By relying on billions of points of real-time data and analyzing it with the help of next-generation artificial intelligence (AI), brands can have access to invaluable consumer insight data revealing:

  • Why people love some products and not others.
  • How consumer sentiment toward your brand shifts over time.
  • What your ‘normal’ is to spot key phrases, sentiment shifts and other indicators that alert you to act quickly at the first sign of trouble.
  • The authentic voice of the customer

Consumer values shift all the time and can vary greatly by age groups, geographic regions and also by interests and other psychographic intel that is not immediately evident. Consumer insights and research in the form of digital consumer intelligence helps brands:

  • Improve communication with a targeted audience by capturing information needed to fine-tune and segment marketing campaigns.
  • Identify and monitor emerging trends.
  • Spot opportunities for product innovation.
  • Become closely acquainted with a customer base and connect with them on a personal level.

Online is full of amazing insight, but separating the signal from the noise and distinguish between critical and non-essential issues is a game changer. Reach out for a demo and we’ll help you identify actionable insight to inform strategic business decisions based on solid data instead of guesswork.

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