Gaining a deeper understanding of your customers, competitors and marketplace from insight formation
Finding the nuggets to advance your business
Uncovering actionable insights is not easy. It requires a rigorous approach to look at situations from multiple angles and then synthesize often disparate and contradictory quantitative and qualitative data. It also demands ambidextrous—right- and left-brain—thinking to connect the dots between what is explicit and what is implicit.
But uncovering and sharing actionable insights can provide enormous value. Those insights can serve as the basis for:
forging a positioning strategy
determining the right mix of engagement vehicles to employ
stimulating creative ideas that are manifested in campaigns.
Uncovering those insights can involve looking deeply into your target audience, competitors, and the marketplace, but it also can include taking a fresh look at the campaign and customer data you already collect.
How we uncover actionable insights
We conduct a quick 360-degree marketing scan of your company. The review consists of two phases. First, we uncover basic insights into your company’s current situation, determine what information required for strategy development is available, assess what you are getting—and not getting—from current vendors, and identify initial areas where advances can be made.
After conducting our first major “huddle” to go over initial findings and recommendations, we’ll begin the second phase by analyzing any additional data and research you’ve approved to be gathered, and then work with you to collaboratively develop results-driven marketing strategies.
The marketing scan scrutinizes…
1. Emerging cultural, behavioral and economic trends affecting your business with a practical view of how to capitalize on those changes.
2. Appropriateness of your customers. Are you pursuing the right customers or the wrong customers? Many companies pursue a less-than-optimal customer base because of some early customer wins. We’ll help you ascertain who is really the best kind of customer for your company to pursue to generate the kinds of profits and market share you want to achieve. And we’ll help determine the best way to “retire” inappropriate customers if necessary.
3. Your brand. Your brand is much more than a logo and type treatment. Your brand is the perception anyone who comes into contact with your company has of you. As a result, we can conduct very enlightening exercises to determine how people interact with your brand at various touch points—from customers and partners to suppliers—so that your entire company can embrace your company’s brand, i.e. so that everyone in your company will finally “get” what your company stands for rather than being vague and noncommittal.
And we’ll look at how you are perceived relative to your business model, history and vision so that the resulting marketing strategy reflects the context of where you’ve been as well as where you want to go, which is a distinctly different approach than most, but is one that will greatly improve your chances for success.
4. Your customers. We’ll look at ways to measure and monitor what matters most to your current and prospective customers through:
Total customer experience auditing. We’ll get very close to your target audiences to learn how they honestly perceive your company—where they are delighted and where they feel pain. You will find that we will challenge many of your corporate orthodoxies, dogmas and assumptions, especially any that do not place the customer anywhere but the center of your universe. From that customer-centric review will emerge a clear understanding of the potential you have to win over current and prospective customers.
An in-depth review of your target customers and the buying decision-making process they employ, i.e. how do they make buying decisions. We will delve deeply into understanding your customer. What are the motivators, the inhibitors, to making a buying decision? Who are the influencers and what type of influence do they wield?
Reviewing customer performance metrics that will have critical impact on your company’s future, such as how you are growing earnings per customer, how much it costs to acquire a new customer, and how well you’re retaining customers. If you don’t generate these metrics, we’ll help you find ways to do so that they are meaningful and applicable to advancing your business.
5. Your competitors. We employ a variety of techniques to identify and then learn about your competitors. We delve into the competitive landscape to see the marketplace through their eyes so as to better understand what they are doing and predict what they plan to do. Such insight can be extremely helpful in determining what strategies to employ to respond or pre-empt competitive moves so that your company stands out as being distinct.
6. Your employees and business processes. Related to the customer experience audit described above, we’ll delve into your business processes and the interactions between your departments to see where information is lost. Vital information—about customer satisfaction, retention, earnings trends and profitability—usually either hemorrhages out of the company or sits dormant, clogged and under-utilized.
We’ll explore ways to get you and others in the company the tools to secure and assess the metrics needed to make smarter decisions. Often, this involves working closely with your marketing, accounting and IT groups to make sure those departments are actually working together rather than as separate silos. As an outsider, we are often in a better position to serve as a bridge between different departments than are internal staff members.
Out of the insights gained from the marketing audit comes the genesis of the marketing strategies. We apply our experience solving a wide variety of marketing and business problems to synthesize your audit’s “data” to identify relevant patterns that serve as the basis of the resulting marketing strategy recommendations as well as be used as the catalyst for strategically relevant creative ideas.
Uncovering actionable insights is far from rocket science, to be honest. In fact, the insights and associated recommended strategies often look extremely obvious.
But that’s from 20/20 hindsight.
Our value is getting you to the point where it is 20/20 hindsight.