The Secret Marketing Strategy: Listening to the Consumer

Everyone’s asking the same question – how do brands stay successful in the current competitive landscape? One thing is for certain, if you’re a brand, consumers are your best friend. Adotas presents a Q&A with Dave Carruthers to address these questions. 

Q: How does the relationship between brands and consumers need to evolve and what role does marketing have in this change?

A: The relationship between brands and consumers has undergone a huge shift in the past decade due to the internet and the democratization of data; the ability for a single consumer story to hugely affect a brands value has never been more apparent. There was a recent high profile United Airlines flight incident that went viral within hours, severely damaging the company’s reputation. When brands look at marketing, customers crave authenticity, they can see through BS, they expect personalization and they want it all on their terms – these are all macro trends brands must now consider as they create and evolve marketing strategies.


Q: When you say that brands need to be listening to their consumers, what does this mean and what are some ways that this can be done?

A: Listening to consumers is all about understanding their journeys and experiences with our brands, products, and services. More importantly, it’s about using this information to improve their future interactions with our companies to better serve their needs and increase the value we provide them. Multiple techniques can and should be used to build this picture. Often it will require a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, along with social listening tools to discover influential customer stories. Brands that close the loop by making customer-centric decisions are far more likely to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive markets.


Q: What is the benefit of bringing new technology to marketing research and why should companies not rely on strictly statistical information?

A: The beauty of new technology in market research is that companies no longer need to rely solely upon siloed quantitative or qualitative research. The platforms that are pushing the boundaries in research are delivering research that combines the depth of qual with the volume and statistical relevance of quant – at a speed that enables us to influence critical business decisions. Leaders in business, whether brands, agencies, or tech vendors are combining tools and forming technology partnerships to ensure they deliver customer stories that go beyond pure statistics. In doing so, they can appeal to both emotional and rational thinking stakeholders.


Q: How important has the explosion of video content and availability been to the industry?

A: The explosion of video has been significant. As a society, we’re creating and consuming more video content than ever before and you only have to look at your favorite social media platform to realize this. However, it is the self-recorded style, and scalability of this content that is most critical in research. By leveraging consumers’ tendencies to share raw, genuine footage of their daily lives, researchers are able to overcome the traditional barriers to video. In the past, one would’ve had to organize a focus group at high cost, with a small number of respondents, at a specific time, date and location. Whereas now, by adding video questions to surveys and communities, or capturing content through on-demand video feedback communities, we can capture hundreds of consumer-recorded videos, anywhere in the world, in minutes. Combining this with automated analytics and sharing tools means researchers can benefit from the richness of video and find and share influential video insights with stakeholders


Q: What does it mean to humanize market research and how does this play into the future of the customer experience?

A: For too long, we have been overwhelmed by an abundance of data. This has resulted in many major companies focusing on reporting scores, rather than sharing true customer stories. Humanizing our research and/or customer experience programs is all about seeing the stories behind these scores, be they CSAT, NPS or Customer Effort. Agile video tools achieve this by adding a qualitative lens to deepen customer understanding and bring dull data and charts to life. Engagement is also a critical part of humanizing insight. For customers, modern tools enable them to share their own experience, in their own words to provide unfiltered context. This, in turn, proves to be far more engaging, and human, when shared internally – influencing even the most senior stakeholders in any business. Video will play a critical role in humanizing the approach and solutions like VideoCX will be the drivers behind the future of CX.

What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?