In today’s “Age of the Consumer” it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to compete, mainly due to the consumers instant access to information wide array of sources that drive purchase decisions faster than ever. From shopping engines and social networks to pricing tools and product recommendations, instant access to these information sources have transformed the shopping landscape making the process for brands to engage and influence purchases incredibly daunting.
Today, according to Dimensional Research, over 90 percent of shoppers rely on independent online reviews of products and services as an instrumental consideration on their path-to-purchase. Through these millions of social consumer discussions emerges a wealth of insight, known as social intelligence, on shopper behaviors, demand moments, decision triggers and influence points. It’s this insight that is helping smart brands to identify and understand consumers like never before, including the ‘Five Ws’ to engage them in their path-to-purchase.
Innovative brands are actively using the discovery of the ‘Five Ws’ on their shopper and consumers to effectively engage and gain a powerful competitive advantage by ultimately influencing their decision processes.
Here is a look at how social intelligence is delivering the ‘Five Ws’ to brands to help them strategically compete in the “Age of the Consumer”:
Who to Target: Segmenting shoppers by their interests and activities has long been a focus of brand teams and marketing groups, however, doing so across millions of consumers has been largely impossible until now. Having the capability to analyze millions of shopper and consumer discussions delivers an entirely new dimension of understanding. Below is a personified view of diabetes patients used by a leading brand to deliver specific details on the patients state of mind, needs and approach with the disease. Pharmaceutical companies use this insight to strategically drive aspects ranging from messaging to adoption to treatment compliance with various patient segments.
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What to Say: Based on a wide array of social insight analysis and understanding of interest points and resonation aspects, brands can develop highly-specific messaging and feature highlights based on social discussions and sentiment. This can be highly specified on product features and attributes from ranging from packaging, tastes, color, efficacy, price, etc.
Where to Find Them: Identifying the interests and activities of consumers, from their habits to hobbies, is transforming how brands are strategically engaging consumers. It’s now possible to understand the activities and interests consumers have around everything from their media consumption to food consumption. Below is an analysis of the activities snack food consumers engage in while consuming a specific brand. This intelligence is used to drive strategic initiatives like media campaign development to effectively target prospective consumers. This insight can get even deeper into specific shows watched, sites visited, apps used, music listened too, books read and food consumed. An illustration can be seen below with the types of beverages consumed with the snack to the right of the diagram.
Why They Buy: Understanding why shoppers buy, or sometimes more importantly, why they don’t, is of incredible value to brands once they are exposed to the intelligence. This can be delivered not only for the company’s brand but also for their competitors and alternatives in the market. This allows brand teams to gain deep understanding of decision drivers to modify everything from messaging to packaging to channel distribution to promotions and much more.
When to Engage: Detailed insight on when a consumer hits milestones along their consumer journey are also of incredible value to influencing behaviors and driving purchases. Beyond consumer journeys and paths-to-purchase, this intelligence can even delve into specific timing of purchases to help a brand know even when to engage. This illustration displays how time of day influences the purchase decision for a specific snack food type.
Getting to ‘How’
These ‘Five Ws’ ultimately drive the strategic action of how a brand should engage shoppers and consumers. This type of multidimensional insight allows for smarter marketing around everything from packaging and promotions to communications and channels to even feature development.
Getting to the ‘how’ of consumers decisions, behaviors, actions and engagement via millions of social conversations delivers an unprecedented competitive advange leading actionability which ultimately drive towards strategic impact. It’s this process with is revolutioning how brands are able to influence in today’s “Age of the Consumer.”