What are Customer Insights in Marketing?

Amanda Windsor
By Amanda Windsor

Customer Insights are made up of carefully evaluated information about your current and potential customers. They come from a combination of quantitative and qualitative research and data analysis.

It is vital we acquire this information and use it well in marketing. Why? These insights:

  • Either validate or disprove established assumptions about your customers. You may think your customers want or experience one thing when, in fact, they do not.
  • Drill down into the demographic and psychographic distinctions, enabling you to understand and hone the unique segments of your customer base. You must know who you are speaking to and serving best.

Simply put, Customer Insights provide clarity on exactly who your customers are and what they need and want.

If utilized appropriately, these insights can serve as your brand’s “cheat sheet” to grow exponentially.

In this blog, we will address how to boost company ROI and become even more helpful and relatable to your ideal clients. How? We will:

  • Further define Customers Insights
  • Share examples of brands who used Customer Insights toward successful campaigns
  • Discuss tactics for how to acquire this information

Throughout the blog and as you march forward after, remember:

When it comes to Customer Insights, you must be intentional about the most important aspect.

The findings of Customer Insights must be actionable and inform your overall sales and marketing initiatives.

Because if you get the information without the goal of boosting revenue or changing how you market to customers, well then, that’s not really affecting profits or your bottom line.

So – that brings us to the ultimate question.

What are Marketing Customer Insights

First off, let’s establish this:

Customer Insights are not solely data points. Yes, numbers are involved, but:

Marketing insights are the more reasoned thoughts and conclusions established based on analysis of data and information established from market research, surveys, and so forth.

According to a talk from Morgan Shorey, “Insight (is) a truth which until now has not been leveraged, but if leveraged will generate revenue.”

After all, data alone does not mean anything if meaning, direction, and goals are not taken from it. When we analyze that data through the right filters, we can leverage information that will help us shift marketing efforts and brand strategy for greater business and sales growth.

How Big Brands Have Leveraged Customer Insights

Amazing success can be achieved via authentic Customer Insights. Here are a few examples.

Always

The #LikeAGirl campaign was launched based on insights of girls facing puberty. At this age, it was found that 49% of girls are so scared of failure that they freeze and, often, then do not try new things.

The company used this information to launch a campaign that would encourage girls, part of their target market, to keep on going.

Nike

It wasn’t until the 1980s that Nike unleashed a campaign about the actual role of fitness in day-to-day life. The company and their agency partner realized exercise wasn’t always this glorious thing for the average person. Before this, a lot of Nike’s campaigns spoke to the higher level of elite athlete. But then, Insights came into play.

There was finally an understanding that the majority of their customers are everyday people, sometimes procrastinating on exercise and feeling like it’s a chore. (You know what we mean. The urge to hit snooze on a pre-work gym session.)

Using this knowledge, they launched “Just Do It” in 1988.

And, as you know, this campaign transformed into a tagline that has spoken effectively to audiences ever since.

Sun Life

This brand featured a campaign addressing people over 50 and how they are portrayed in the media…As if they are always looking for medications and going downhill in health.

They found that in this demographic, about 3 out of 4 people felt they did not appear in mainstream advertising. In this massive research study, Sun Life found that many people over 50, in fact, felt this age was the best time of their lives. (This is not what is shown in all those medication ads!)

So, they created this ad showing 50+ enjoying life.

How to Use Customer Insights in Marketing

Now, as with any time we share statistics or examine studies, it is key to be very careful with how we define and look at insights.

Quality information is more important than ever before.

Why?

Word has it than in the last 2 years, more data has been generated than the entirety of the human race.

With so much data and information to analyze and convert into effective insights, it is vital to know how to evaluate and assess it right. It is easy to look at a few points and underestimate or overestimate.

Let’s revisit the Sun Life example featured above. The study conducted was very sizable; Sun Life’s biggest-ever study in the UK spoke with 50,000 people over 50 years old. This is the right target market and a relative number that will give an authentic understanding of information.

A study of 100 folks would not have been as meaningful.

Customer Insights drive persona development

The insights you derive can help develop the most effective and accurate buyer persona.

To confirm, a buyer persona is: The fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customer(s).

To get a better understanding of what an ideal customer is, why it’s is important, and how to define it, check out: What is a Buyer Persona?

We use Customer Insights to make sure that our current buyer persona(s), most companies needing 3 – 5, are aligned.

For example, let’s say a company’s buyer personas are all men. Then, analysis of blog traffic shows 60% of the visitors are female. Well then, the buyer personas must be reexamined.

Customer Insights drive persona development

The insights you derive can help develop the most effective and accurate buyer persona.

To confirm, a buyer persona is: The fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customer(s).

To get a better understanding of what an ideal customer is, why it’s is important, and how to define it, check out: What is a Buyer Persona?

We use Customer Insights to make sure that our current buyer persona(s), most companies needing 3 – 5, are aligned.

For example, let’s say a company’s buyer personas are all men. Then, analysis of blog traffic shows 60% of the visitors are female. Well then, the buyer personas must be reexamined.

Customer Insights drive marketing tactics

It is vital to use Customer Insights to conduct more effective marketing. To:

  • Understand what is or is not relevant to your audience
    • Your company may be rooted in money as a #1 driver. However, an assumption is just that – an assumption. Research may show your audience would pay a higher price for certain product features or quality.
  • Use insights to impact channels, messaging and creative
    • Insights should have an impact on:
  • Channel-specific initiatives: Your Facebook audience is likely different from those on Instagram or Twitter. Use the knowledge of that audience to launch the most relevant campaigns and messaging.
  • Unique funnel creation: Different audiences need to be spoken to in different ways and targeted uniquely. Insights help make sure the funnels are customized more effectively.
  • Messaging: The messaging needs to reflect the Customer Insights. For example, the tone from Nike shifted from the glory of high-level athletes to relating to everyday people through cheering on daily exercises and moments to “Just Do It”.
  • Creative choice: As shown in the brand examples, Customer Insights should affect creative choices. For Sun Life, people over 50 who felt great (and not always seeking medication!) finally got to see themselves in ads that were bright and sexy and fun in lifestyle.

Customer Insights help identify the unique buyer’s journey for your audience(s)

Each audience acts differently online and through the buying process.

For example, one study shows that 8 out of 10 millennials do not buy anything without reading reviews on the product first.

So, if your target buyer persona is a millennial, put extra effort into monitoring and gaining positive reviews.

You will also want to use Customer Insights to understand:

  • Which channels, tactics, and content types resonate most with them
  • How they need to be nurtured throughout the funnel
  • How many (or few) touchpoints are needed for them to ultimately convert
  • What offers/promotions will drive micro-conversions to keep your funnel full

As you can see, there are many benefits to having and utilizing Customer Insights. Now, let’s dive into how to get this information.

How to Acquire Customer Insights

The online world makes getting data to analyze and process easier than ever. Use 3rd party tools to help deliver information that makes analysis and insights that much more viable.

  • Youtube Analytics
  • Google’s Audience Retention Tool
  • Google Trends and Analytics
  • Social Mention

These are the initial, basic ways to find customer insights. But, let’s be real. You are not basic. You want to dive further into more comprehensive methods.

Here is How to Find Customer Insights.

Need More Help Using Customer Insights to Grow Sales?

If this sounds like a lot of work that’s because, to be candid, it is.

Good news: There are solutions!

If you are busy running your business and seek reliable help to step in and produce real results, click here to learn more.

Amanda is a PR & Outreach Manager at Power Digital Marketing where she spearheads all media relations and outreach initiatives. She’s passionate about executing campaigns that thoughtfully blend digital and traditional PR tactics to boost her client’s bottom line. Outside of the office, Amanda can be found supporting her beloved Liverpool FC (YNWA!), binge watching reality TV or breaking a sweat at CrossFit.