How do brands differentiate from competitors in our noisy online landscape? Both consumer intelligence and market intelligence offer a definite edge. And it has become a key indicator for business success, as we’ll see below!
Specifically, we’ll explore how top brands retain their competitive advantage with a look at:
- Consumer insight for brands
- How to conduct market research
- Getting the edge with emerging market insights
And before we get going, here are a couple of stats we uncovered underlining the importance of streamlining your consumer and market intelligence:
- The use of AI to inform marketing strategy has taken to the skies in the last few years. Between 2018 and 2020, marketers’ adoption of the tech jumped from 29% to 84%.
- Modernizing data infrastructure was the leading reason for global organizations’ adoption of AI for competitive advantage in 2020.
With that, let’s jump in and look at a few areas brands can polish up to get their consumer and market intelligence on point.
Consumer Insight for Brands
Keeping up to date with the ever-changing consumer mindset is a must for brands who want to stay on top of their game. Everyone is familiar with the Herculean shift in consumer purchasing behavior last year with the pandemic’s onset. But there are fresh questions to ask this year as things don’t tend to stay the same for long.
Will brick and mortar make a comeback this year now that the vaccine is making the rounds? What are the pressing needs facing consumers right now? Are they anxious to get out and travel, or are they content to lie low and save their money?
Infographic embed: Consumer conversation about “fear” is falling, as talk of “travel” is spiking:
Whatever the case may be for your target demographics, it’s critical to stay abreast of changing sentiment. And the faster, the better. First, understand the general consensus, then drill down into an existing or potential customer base and find where your brand can bring solutions.
Using a sweeping and up-to-date outlook on consumer sentiment is the diving board to leap from for a deep dive into the pressing questions consumers have around your space. That’s because you carry those sentiments and overall attitudes with you in your quest for the voice of the customer. In other words, sentiment is the context to the consumer intelligence you uncover in your segment.
For instance, healthy lifestyle choices are trending subject matter these days, enjoying positive sentiment. If your brand manufactures health food or nutritional supplements, where do you find your consumers talking? What are your lateral options within your space?
As an example, here’s where people are talking who are interested in exploring a keto diet. Most of them are looking for tips, recipes and advice within blogs and forums. It’s a space ripe for brand exploration to come up with creative solutions to broaden your market share.
Armed with consumer sentiment trends, drilling into niche spaces like these reveal consumer insights for brands to spot white space that ties back to the global narrative.
How to Conduct Market Research
When it comes to conducting market research for your brand, accuracy is paramount – followed closely by speed to insight. The critical thing to remember though, is that your research shouldn’t exist in a bubble. In other words, best practices dictate that your industry-specific market research should be analyzed with how it relates to global trends.
Again, tying industry movements back to global trends is the key to finding which ones have the most potential. Suppose the emerging trends you uncover in your market research are linked by proximity to larger narratives in the mainstream. In that case, the volume they can contribute to an industry narrative is substantial.
After you’ve cast a wide net and uncovered broad global themes, it’s time to narrow down your search. Keeping the big picture in mind as you dig into industry-specific conversations helps to maintain focus. This part of your market research is where you weed out the noise using filters and Boolean search indicators. You want to spend enough time here to make your analysis captures only what you need. The time spent honing your search terms is worth it. It’s better to get it right here than sift through irrelevant conversations later.
With a well-crafted search using social and media datasets, your analyses are capable of uncovering a multitude of actionable insights, including:
- Voice of the Customer
- Industry/Company: M&A and patent intel
- Whitespace and first-mover opportunities
- Emerging trends and sentiment
- Competitive intelligence
- Influencers and KOLs
Understanding how to conduct market research effectively is a must for brands intent on driving in the fast lane these days. Learning how to do it efficiently is vital. If your nutritional supplement company is to get the market talking, you have to quickly cut through the noise and hover over your targets. Otherwise, your competition will do it for you.
Emerging Market Insights for Competitive Edge
Vast amounts of data on industries, markets and consumers are readily available these days, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Social and traditional media move at breakneck speed, and keeping up is vital to success. In today’s business climate, any brand aiming to compete at the top level must become sophisticated in its consumer and market intelligence.
The pandemic showed us the absolute necessity of being able to pivot on a dime, and we’re not out of the woods yet. It’s fair to say that markets are unpredictable, but the right data analytics and social listening tools reveal emerging market insights for a competitive edge. In other words, it helps mitigate risk.
Strong market research built on tough questions, ultra-specific queries and speed to insight is what it takes to get out front and stay there. Do you know the peripheral conversations emerging around your brand today? How have the recent tweets from KOLs influencing your industry affected consumer perceptions around you and your competitors?
These are the type of questions that your consumer and market intelligence must be formed on. You have to know exactly where you stand against the competitions and spot opportunities before they do. Though markets are unpredictable, your market research should hedge your bets.
For example, will the airline industry come roaring back on the back of widespread vaccine rollouts? Nobody is sure quite yet – but knowing how you stack up against the competition helps you iron out your weaknesses and play up your strengths for when the travelers come knocking. That’s competitive intelligence.
For example, in this Crosstab analysis of JetBlue and Spirit Airlines with airline industry themes, we see strengths and weaknesses to inform competitive understanding.
Whatever emergent market insights your market research uncovers, use that intel to contrast yourself against your competitors. Doing so allows you to put action to your findings and keep you continually moving into the green.
If you’re honest, is your consumer and market intelligence helping your brand hit pay dirt? There’s no time like the present to kick it into high gear and pull into the fast lane. Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you the difference world-class data analytics tools can make for your brand.