How AI and Consumer Insights Helped Businesses Survive the Avalanche of Data on Holidays
2020 was not a normal year by any standard; the coronavirus pandemic dealt heavily with governments, corporate bodies, and individuals. The world economy was ravaged, and businesses are still trying to get out of the downturn.
During the thick of the pandemic, the word on everybody’s lips was survival. The normal way of doing things changed drastically; it became necessary for us to acquire new cultures and new ways of doing things. All these affected businesses around the world but, consumer insights will get you back on the pedestal, especially with the avalanche of data you have to cope with during the holidays.
Before the pandemic days, businesses have been transforming digitally to meet up with the era of big data (AKA Digital transformation); however, the changes we have seen with the coronavirus pandemic have greatly increased the volume of data that businesses transit daily.
As businesses are got ready for the holidays, some were prepared to handle the avalanche of data that came with the season. The reason is not far-fetched; as people are now more confined to their homes, shopping, working, and exchange of gifts that happen during the holidays was online.
This situation led to large volumes of data being in transit at this time of the year. This fact can be gleaned from the estimates that there will be 463 exabytes of data created each day globally by 2025. How can you do the same?
Leveraging consumer insights
While you may have a big task on your hands in handling this avalanche of data, one good thing about it is that you will have a great opportunity to access consumer insights. Consumer insights are your customers’ undiluted sentiments about your brand or product.
You have the opportunity to understand how they experience your product or service and their true feelings, wants, needs, and desires. When you understand what your consumers want and feel about your brand, you will be in a better position to reposition your business.
You become more competitive in the global market. You learn from your consumers’ insights and empower your business after scanning, gathering, collating, and analyzing customer feedback.
Leveraging consumer insights ensures that you can innovate and improve customer experiences and generate positive sentiment.
Deploying AI in handling data
Looking at volume, velocity, variety, veracity, and value, which are the 5Vs of data, it becomes glaring that you need more than the human input to handle the avalanche of data from your customers this holiday period. The internet has become a good source of information for consumer habits, likes and dislikes, activities, and personal preferences that were impossible some years back.
Product reviews, loyalty/rewards apps and programs, social activity, tagged interests, “liked” and shared content, social media accounts, online profiles, and CRM systems are other sources through which the Big Data pool gets potentially insightful information.
However, the data that you collect from these channels are all in an unstructured format, and difficult to analyze. But, Natural Language Processing and machine learning are becoming very useful for this task.
Using data from these sources, AI can build a store of knowledge that will enable businesses to come up with accurate predictions about their consumers that indicate what they buy and how much time they spend in a particular part of a site or store. They can also understand what each customer looks at while at the site, things they purchase regularly, and those things they don’t buy.
All this information and a host of other bits of data are what AI synthesize. With these insights, it becomes easier to know consumers and their sentiments very well.
AI is working so well with data analytics, and this is the primary reason it has become difficult to separate AI and Big Data. Businesses are using AI, machine learning, and deep learning to gain valuable insights from every data input as well as to generate new rules and future analytics.
Sourcing for consumer insights
When you have analyzed the data you gathered from different channels, you come up with consumer Insights, and businesses can use this for a better understanding of consumers’ wants, needs, attitudes, and sentiments. For consumer insights to be useful, they must be new, relevant, and inspiring, as well as provide extensive knowledge of consumers’ desires, moods, and motivations.
Useful consumer insights will help a brand to improve its overall interaction, create a better customer experience, and improve ROI. The origin of consumer insights is data, however, turning the avalanche of data you will have during the holidays is a herculean task.
You can indeed access consumer insights from sources such as forum discussions, surveys, polls, idea contests, and personal diaries, the best source, however, is from a consumer insights platform. While some businesses still have some reservations for consumer review sites and communities, it’s not the same with consumer insights platform.
This reservation derives from the fear of placing all that power in the hands of consumers. A consumer insights platform gives your otherwise passive consumers the means to leave feedback right at your doorstep.
It gives consumers the necessary voice to air their views and the feeling of belongingness. Consumer insights are the outcome of data interpretation and analysis.
A consumer insights platform does the work of aggregation for you, there is no need for businesses to employ different tools like trend analysis, customer satisfaction surveys, focus groups, and social listening before they can have useful consumer insights.
The importance of consumer insights
The very first reason you need consumer insights is to have the relevant tools to make better business decisions. With customer insights, you can improve customer experience, focus better on marketing campaigns, and optimize brand innovation that will effectively drive brand growth and increase ROI.
Besides, customer insight analysis will enable you to identify who your real consumers are, their pain points and attitudes, as well as marketing trends. Notwithstanding the avalanche of data during the holidays, useful consumer insights highlight consumers’ sentiments and experiences on different parts of the consumer journey. This is necessary for the building of and maintaining customer loyalty.
Using consumer insights to improve advertising
You can only say you have satisfactorily done the job when your product gets into the hands of your consumers, and this is not an easy task for the marketing and sales departments. Creating brand awareness and marketing your product is difficult.
Most times, businesses do not have the right metrics to measure the success or failure of their campaigns, or even if their latest ad resonates with the target audience. The problem becomes more complex if you are running an eCommerce business, where your consumers can be Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, or Gen Z, who have unique needs and interests.
Ensuring that you meet all their varying needs is not easy, and you can’t afford to lose any consumer to your competitors. You must come up with innovations that will suit every customer, notwithstanding the degree of difference in their sentiments.
This is where consumer insights come into use, especially when it’s backed up with AI. When you use consumer insights, it is easy for you to make a smooth and data-driven shift from product-focused marketing to consumer-centric marketing. You can then determine the particular features your customers like about your product and focus your ad campaign on them.
Deploying AI for consumer insights
The normal practice in businesses is to analyze customer insights and CX by the following three parameters:
You must do the analysis as soon as possible if you want to maintain its relevance. When you delay delivery, you often come up with outdated consumer insights and inaccurate sentiment analysis.
By deploying AI into consumer analysis, you enable efficiency and results in real-time. The AI technology collects the data from your selected target audience, monitors it automatically, and scans keywords or topics. AI does all these tasks faster than humans.
If you want to obtain consumer insights that are effective and also provide quality information, you must have a data collection tool that has been designed with the target audience in mind. For example, Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) that aren’t user-friendly often lead to low response rates that lead to inaccurate insights.
When you create Surveys with AI technology, they are usually more interactive, and you can modify them by using the customer’s answers. This technology allows for more dynamic analysis and helps modify the existing tools to better suit the customers.
The customer insights must provide a down to earth analysis for marketing campaign design and resource allocation. Inaccurate data analysis causes failure in marketing campaigns, and you also lose customers.
AI enhances traditional CX analysis techniques. You obtain customer insights that are quick, accurate, and free of any human-errors or biases.
Effectively applying consumer insights
Useful consumer insights have a lot of benefits, but it is essential you know how to effectively apply them. These are some ways you can apply them.
Consumer loyalty is a strong measure of the attachment consumers have for your brand. It’s an important asset for consumer sentiment analysis. It tells you how readily consumers will choose your brand over others.
A Business that has strong brand loyalty will always have returning customers, and they will make repeat purchases. Once your consumers are satisfied with your product, they effectively turn to brand ambassadors.
They will use a word-of-mouth strategy to attract and convert others. Quality consumer insight analysis will indicate what the consumer likes about your brand, and why it is so.
Read More : Sales Recovery: Road Map to Post-Pandemic World
Another area you can apply quality consumer insights is to identify customer pain points. By using insight analysis, your brand can stay ahead of the competition. Once you know what gets on the nerves of your consumers, you can improve customer service.
Your customer care will know how to handle and resolve issues arising from dissatisfied customers. You will have the necessary insights that will enable you to train and equip your team on areas to prioritize when handling complaints or inquiries.