What if the expression, “find a needle in a haystack,” were an actual job description? Chances are there wouldn’t be many applicants.
In our era of Big Data (an unprecedented information haystack that might as well be infinite), the consumer insights profession has been trying to figure out how to fit in. Is traditional, survey-based research at risk of being perceived as less relevant, or even outdated, in the face of so many bytes of digital information collected from customers?
The issues are well-framed in "How Customer Insight Can Be a Powerful Business Partner,” a recent article by authors from Boston Consulting Group’s Center for Customer Insight, in partnership with Cambiar and the Yale School of Management’s Center for Customer Insights. These passages really stood out (the italics are ours):
- “Consumers’ online and mobile activities leave a digital trail, giving companies vital insight about where to reach them; data on things such as their interests, habits, and choices, which may correlate to shopping decisions; and how to predict and influence future behaviors and purchases. Many organizations, though, lack the capabilities to follow that digital trail.”
- “[Companies] must ensure that [insights] leaders and practitioners can… adopt more creative methods, and leverage new data sources.”
- “The goal is to combine structured data with rich unstructured, qualitative data, including information on consumers’ emotional needs…”
These observations all point to the key challenge facing the insights profession: how to seamlessly integrate and enrich passive, observed behavioral data with qualitative and emotional insights to tell the whole story about real consumer journeys. A new solution called Path-2-Purchase™ Platform finally lets you overcome obstacles and meet the challenge with one-source, first-party observed and qualitative data. The result is validated consumer insights for everyone.
- For the first time, corporate researchers and brand stewards can access a single source that combines Big Data tracking of mobile consumers’ digital footprints with real-time, right-place surveys to illuminate their motivations and emotions all along the path to purchase.
- Observational data from tracking 2 million carefully profiled and representative U.S. consumers’ journeys across 12.5 million locations becomes more valuable when it intersects with the ability to find targeted individuals in-the-moment and survey them immediately.
- Being able to see who’s going where empowers researchers to identify important but previously off-the-radar consumer segments to reach out to and understand.
- Instead of drawing inferences and modeling consumer profiles based on third party data, insights are driven by first-party data from known and validated consumers.
- Data is collected and stored in a Consumer Knowledge Center, where it’s available to enhance understanding and target surveys to precisely the right respondents for a given product or service.