It is no secret that consumer insights are the holy grail for brands. Insights into consumers can help businesses grow sales, spark innovation, improve customer support and create successful products and brands.
Did you know that companies that leverage their customer behavior to generate insights outperform their peers by 85% in sales growth? So, we can safely say that our business ability to drive better growth hinges on the depth of our consumer insights. And how well we translate those insights into effective action.
In recent years, new technologies have been introduced to gather consumer insights – Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emotion AI. These technologies are revolutionizing the way we gather and understand our consumer insights. And they are proving a game-changer for organizations as, with these technologies, organizations can collect data and interpret customer insights much faster than traditional research methodologies.
In 2022, these technologies will evolve further and change how we gather and interpret consumer insights. So how do you keep up in a fast-changing environment and keep your fingers on the pulse of evolving technology?
Well, there are a few trends that will drive consumer research in 2022 and beyond. The effectiveness of these methods to gain valuable consumer information is already proven, and they will gain more traction in the coming months. So, it is a good idea to jump on board and get ready to use them before they take off. With that in mind, let us dig into consumer insight trends you need to start using today.
1. Rising Use of Emotion AI in Consumer Research
It is no secret that consumer insights are the key to improving our product, operational processes, and CX. But with the fast-changing digital marketing landscape and constantly evolving customer behavior, we must gain actionable consumer insights as quickly as possible.
After all, collecting customers’ insight is one thing, but making it extremely useful requires a different skill and mindset.
Now, there are several ways to gather consumer insights, from surveys to polls to enlisting focus groups, but these methods are time-consuming and lack accuracy. And that’s where emotion AI technology can help. With this technology, brands can tap into the subconscious behavior that drives 95 percent of purchase decisions and quickly gather unfiltered feedback as most of our decision-making occurs on a subconscious, emotional level. With emotion AI brands can understand the unstated responses of their consumers. And that’s why brands are increasingly relying on emotion AI for actionable insights
This technology uses advanced algorithms to detect and analyze the real emotion behind the consumer response – whether it is positive, neutral, or negative and easily and quickly understand the insights shared by consumers. Are you wondering how? Well, by using facial coding and eye-tracking technology – these technologies track your facial movements based on the position and movement of your facial muscles and eye-gaze and use it to gain in-depth customer insights in real-time.
2. Consumer Insights Moving up in Priority with Higher Budget Allocation
Anticipating customer needs has become a top priority for businesses, and 2022 will be no different. So, the importance of consumer insights will keep growing in 2022. These insights are crucial to improving your customer service quality and refining your overall customer experience (CX).
In 2022, gaining customer insights will become crucial for business success and its survival. Why? Because the world has changed a lot in the last two years, and the pandemic has accelerated the uptake of consumer insights. So, in this unpredictable environment, organizations cannot afford to rely on historical customer data and insights to make decisions. And that is why more organizations will increase their spending on building out the customer insights function as it has become the top priority of senior management.
So, customer insights teams will become super important for companies. And companies who have not yet given their customer insight teams a chance to participate in decision-making will provide it now.
In this modern world, we all know that organizations will need to move fast, and if you are in the customer insights team, you have to keep moving fast.
3. Rising Emphasis on Unifying Customer Feedback in One Place
Every business is collecting customer feedback these days, and they are using qualitative and quantitative research methods to capture customer input. But very few are leveraging this data and generating insights from it. Why? Because our customer data is spread all over the place. If your customer feedback lives in ten separate places, how can you generate meaningful insights from it? But this will not be the case in 2022. In this year, more brands will use tools that let them conduct both Qual and Quant research and collect all this feedback in one place.
Understanding customers is no longer just an important thing. It is an essential thing. And to understand customers, you need to analyze their feedback. Now, we all know businesses are trying hard to understand the consumer and create that bridge to the customer, but this year, they will try even harder.
Because in these uncertain times, brand loyalty has been under attack. There are so many brands, and the cost to switch for consumers is so easy. So, most customers are open to exploring new products and services. The only way to retain them is by providing them with what they want, and good consumer insights will help you do that.
In short, we are overwhelmed with data (customer feedback), but in 2022 most businesses will focus on unifying all their customer feedback into one place to deliver powerful insights.
4. Using Self-serve Tools to Bring Agility & Actionability to Consumer Research
Consumer research can be repetitive, time-consuming, and tedious. And for that reason, hiring a team specifically for consumer research doesn’t always make sense. It is not cost-effective, lacks delivery speed, and is very difficult to scale. Additionally, human researchers also have difficulty analyzing and making sense of the data collected. Data visualization can also be a tedious process as that is also a process that is prone to human errors.
The usage of self-service tools seems to be the way forward. A Self-service tool is where only one person is required to navigate it, and all the functionalities of the tools are automated. This system is the perfect balance of controlling the services you need, while most work is still automatic. Operating these tools wouldn’t require an expert either, as tools like these are simple enough for an average marketer to use, and there would be many resources available for making the best use of the tool.
The other benefits of gaining consumer insights through automated tools are the reduction of cost, the ability to scale research, and speedy delivery.
Many marketers are already using automated tools to derive consumer insights, but this trend will gain more momentum in 2022.
5. Data Privacy Will Become a Central Tenet of Every Business Strategy
It is no secret that understanding customers’ needs and wants is intrinsic to a business’s success. But these insights have never been more valuable than in the time of crisis. And most companies realized in the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic that they should speed up consumer research and use the insights to support fast decisions during COVID-19.
They realized it was time to speed up, and luckily consumer insight tools enabled by technology helped them in online data collection and data processing. These tools enabled them to generate the insights they needed quickly. Processing consumer data that might have taken weeks in the past can now be completed in hours using automated self-serve systems. As more businesses start collecting data online, their responsibility for managing the data and keeping it safe increases.
Why? Because consumers are increasingly concerned about their data. So, brands should make a point of demonstrating that they are taking their customers’ security more seriously than ever. According to a survey by KPMG, 86% of the respondents said they feel a growing concern about data privacy, while 78% expressed fears about the amount of data being collected. Some 40% of the consumers surveyed do not trust companies to use their data ethically, and 13% do not even trust their own employers.
Consumer data is transforming business, and how companies handle it will impact their success. In fact, data privacy will soon become a source of competitive business advantage and a point of differentiation for businesses, making data protection a top priority for businesses.
A lot happened in the last two years, and this has impacted consumer behavior, which, of course, impacts businesses. As we try to emerge from this period, brands will need to double down on the customer experience to survive and thrive during these turbulent times.
If you want to provide an amazing experience for your customers, you must understand what they want and expect from you. That’s possible by using customer insights.
Like it or not, customers’ expectations and behavior are constantly evolving. You can keep up with and be part of the changes or overlook and ignore changes and lose your competitive advantage.
Now that you have a few significant customer insights trends to look forward to this year keep an eye on them, as these emerging trends can help you stay competitive in these unpredictable and demanding times.