Technology is having a profound impact on consumer insights for brands.
As outlined by OnePulse’s MD Erica Kurowski in this NewDigitalAge article, businesses today now have the advantage of technology to help them collect real-time, highly-customized consumer insights and build a powerful rapport with their customers with ease.
But what do we mean by consumer insights and tools, exactly?
According to TrustPilot, consumer insights by definition are “an interpretation used by businesses to gain a deeper understanding of how their audience thinks and feels.”
Consumer insights tools, therefore, are the programs, databases and other methods used to gather those insights.
Why do brands use consumer insights tools?
Harnessing in-depth consumer insights through the use of the tools available will enables these businesses and brands to truly understand the wants and needs of their target customers.
In a nutshell, by implementing these tools, you’ll have high-quality, first-hand knowledge of how to improve and enhance your products and services, and subsequently retain customers, gain new ones, and (ultimately) increase sales.
As a result of their impact, an increasing number of tools are being made available for businesses to gather consumer insights. While this means that you have a plethora of choices available to you, it can also make choosing the right consumer insights tool for your specific brand particularly challenging.
During our many years of experience in the consumer insights sector here at OnePulse, we’ve regularly reviewed and refined our understanding of what makes a great consumer insights tool and narrowed this down to eight particular features.
Your consumer insights tool of choice should:
1. Give you access to as wide a range of demographics as possible
Being able to target the right demographic is essential for gathering the best quality insights for your brand, so ensure that your chosen tool caters to this.
After all, if you’re (for example) a clothing brand that is looking to target 18-25-year-old males, a tool that only enables you to reach women aged 30 and above will be of no use to you.
One such platform that allows you to do this is OnePulse. The tool enables you to add up to six different demographic filters and over 60 behavioral and attitudinal points. You also gain access to our incredible global respondent community.
These demographics range from age, gender and household income to more in-depth details such as what pets each respondent has! The more detailed and specific you can get, the better your insights will be.
2. Enable you to optimise for consumer engagement
There’s a common misconception that collecting consumer insights is cold and clinical, and sadly many insights tools out there reflect this. As a result, the insights gained (if consumers even complete the surveys they share) are often inhuman and don’t provide brands with what they need to truly connect with their customers.
However, from our experience at OnePulse, customer insights tools are one of the best ways to instigate and build those all-important relationships, and should therefore enable you to optimise for this consumer engagement.
With the OnePulse solution, for example, you can do this through its selection of question types (more on that below), reducing the number of questions asked to three essential ones and by adding exciting imagery and videos to accompany your questions.
3. Provide the full range of survey question types available
While straight-forward yes/no, tick-box and open-ended questions are great methods for gathering consumer insights, there’s only so much helpful information you can gather from consumers.
It’s therefore essential that, whatever tool you choose, it has the complete set of question types available for you to use.
Exclusive choice, multiple-choice, yes/no, slider, ranking choice, image choice and open-ended questions (as well as the branching based on answers) are the types provided by the OnePulse tool. Through these question type variations, we’ve gathered some incredible insights for our clients time and time again!
4. Gather real-time responses quickly
Another common misconception about consumer insights is that gathering them is a long and slow process. The tools that reflect this are best avoided in order to save you valuable time and funds.
Conversely, your chosen platform should enable you to collect insights in real-time, and fast. The OnePulse product is a prime example, often providing consumer survey results in ten minutes or less!
5. Offer retargeting capabilities
If a consumer insights tool you’re considering doesn’t offer retargeting capabilities, it is probably best avoided. Being able to follow up with respondents to ask additional questions is more often than not the key to getting to the real depths of consumer insights!
At OnePulse, we offer the opportunity to either speak to everyone who completed your first survey and ask them further questions, or re-target off of specific answer options to dig even deeper.
6. Provide comprehensive data analytics and reporting
Comprehensive quantitative, qualitative and semantic data analysis and reporting are key in any consumer insights too. These will provide the evidence you need to share with other departments and key stakeholders in your business to instigate changes or developments in your products and services.
Be sure therefore to check whether the tools you are considering can provide this. At OnePulse, for example, our tool includes a full raw data export or a summary data export, which aggregates responses at the demographic level.
7. Encompass encryption technology for maximum security
It’s imperative that your chosen consumer insights tool adheres to data protection laws and regulations, and has the technology in place to ensure your respondents’ data remains safe and secure. Without this, your business will be at risk of fines and other negative repercussions.
OnePulse is a member of the MRS and is a Fair Data partner. As such, we prioritize data security with the utmost diligence and have implemented an enterprise-grade infrastructure that ensures all our client and user data is secure.
8. Be accessible across your whole insights team
Even with all the above features, your chosen insights tool will be essentially ineffective if you are the only one able to access and use it. Not only will these add increased time and management pressures on you, but potentially result in miscommunications and a lack of understanding with the rest of your team.
With that in mind, be sure to choose a tool that can be accessed and used by your whole team – but that also has integrated management features so that you can reduce chances for human error and maintain quality control. OnePulse is one such tool!
There are a good number of elements your chosen tool needs to ensure you get the best possible consumer insights for your brand – so be sure to refer to the above checklist when searching through options to give yourself the best chance of making the right choice.
Throughout this blog, we’ve highlighted where OnePulse can meet these needs; from providing you easy access to your target consumer all the way to enabling your entire team to get involved. However, this is just the beginning!