Every time we turn around, there seems to be yet another role that Marketing teams are being urged to add to their roster.
From Brand Warriors to Growth Hackers to Thoughtsmiths — there are plenty of interesting and wacky-sounding job titles out there. But, not every one of them is important — or even feasible — for every company.
However, there are some roles that deserve more consideration than others. In this case, we’re talking about Consumer Insights Managers. In a day and age where data can make or break a company, having someone on your team who gathers, analyzes, and implements insights gleaned from consumer data is an absolute must.
This article will take a deep dive into what consumer insights are and what a Consumer Insights Manager does — plus, three signs that your team should consider filling this role in the near future.
What Are Consumer Insights?
Not to be confused with customer — which are gathered exclusively from your current pool of customers — consumer insights provide access to data from a wider range of respondents.
As consumer insights aren’t limited to data solely from current or past customers, they provide a more accurate picture of how your overall target audience perceives your brand. Because when you really think about it, having insight into what current and potential customers — aka consumers — are looking for from your brand makes it far easier to connect with them.
According to research from Microsoft, companies that “leverage their consumer behavior data to generate insights outperform peers by 85% in sales growth”. Clearly, having someone on your team who discovers and utilized such insights can only be a boon.
So, now that we all know what consumer insights are, let’s discuss what a Consumer Insights Manager does.
What Does A Consumer Insights Manager Do?
The role of a Consumer Insights Manager (CIM) is multifaceted. Not only are they expected to gather and analyze data from current customers — but they’re also tasked with collecting detailed data from potential customers, also known as general consumers.
Most brands choose to focus on consumer data from their target audiences — aka the types of consumers they're looking to build a connection with and sell their products & services to. Once this data has been collected, it’s the CIM’s job to translate their findings into actionable strategies.
A good CIM provides recommendations, data-driven insights, and direction to other members of the marketing team. Their work should help Content Marketing Managers better understand how to craft compelling marketing messages and assist Performance Marketers in finding new and interesting target audiences.
Essentially, it’s the role of a CIM to be an evangelist for data — to use their findings to identify pertinent business opportunities and gain internal support. By acting as a spokesperson for the importance of consumer insights, a successful CIM can help deliver more personalized brand experiences, maximize CLV, and streamline the customer journey.
In the next section, we’ll discuss three signs that indicate your company may benefit from having a Consumer Insights Manager onboard.
3 Signs Your Company Needs A Consumer Insights Manager
Having someone on your Marketing team whose sole responsibility is to gather, analyze, and translate consumer data into actionable strategies is a game-changer.
While not every brand may yet be big enough to afford a full-time Consumer Insights Manager, mid-sized companies that are looking to grow efficiently — and identify with any of the following issues — should consider hiring a CIM in 2022.
1. Your Brand Communication Lacks Effective Personalization
It’s by no means a secret that modern consumers have come to expect personalization from their brand experiences. That’s why generic, lackluster brand experiences just don’t cut it anymore.
In fact, according to SmarterHQ, 71% of consumers “feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal” and another 80% are “more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand who provides personalized experiences.”
Effective personalization can lead to reduced customer churn, lower acquisition costs, and increased user engagement — all of which lend themselves to increased revenue.
However, personalization isn’t as easy as throwing a customer’s name into an email salutation and calling it a day. High-quality, effective personalization needs to happen at all touchpoints — from the moment a consumer lands on your website to the first time they speak with Customer Service, it should all be informed by consumer insights.
But, you need access to detailed consumer data to get it right.
So, if your company has been struggling to institute effective personalization in brand communication, it may be a sign that you should seriously consider hiring a Consumer Insights Manager.
Of course, other members of your marketing team can use consumer insights data to improve their own work — but they have neither the time nor the expertise to continually and successfully translate consumer insights into actionable strategies.
Remember, personalization is the key to successful modern marketing and brand communication — so make sure your brand has a well-thought-out strategy at the very least and a CIM at the very best.
2. You’re Struggling to Increase CLV
Customer lifetime value, or CLV, is defined as the total amount of money a customer is forecast to spend on your products and services throughout their relationship with your brand.
Yes, CLV is technically only a prediction of the value of certain customers. But, it’s an incredibly helpful metric to use when determining which target audiences and personas could be the most valuable over time.
For a wide variety of reasons, many brands struggle to increase their CLV. For some, it has to do with the nature of their product — i.e. they sell products consumers only need to purchase once in their lifetime, like high-quality knives or a cast-iron pan. While it’s still important to use consumer insights to increase sales, nurturing recurring purchases isn’t a top priority.
But for the brands that need revenue from returning customers to survive, struggling to increase CLV is a much bigger issue.
Perhaps they’re delivering sub-par brand experiences that lead newly acquired customers to churn or struggling to out-perform their rivals and, thus, losing customers to the competition.
Either way — with a CIM on board, determining what the issues are and coming up with innovative solutions is a whole lot easier. By taking a deep dive into consumer data, your CIM can figure out:
How consumers perceive your brand
Why consumers prefer your brand or the competition
What consumers think about specific products or services
Ultimately, if you want to make real strides to improve your CLV, you need to look to your consumer data. And if you want an actionable plan with follow-up and reporting, you should consider hiring a Consumer Insights Manager.
3. You Want To Improve Retention In Your Customer Journey
No brand has the perfect customer journey — it’s just not possible to please every customer that exists. But, every brand should be taking a customer-centric approach by consistently working towards improving their customer journey.
When analyzing your brand’s customer journey — aka the series of interactions a customer has with a brand — you’re bound to find weak spots. Maybe customers are putting your products in their online baskets but dropping out before making a purchase.
Or perhaps they’re making a first-time purchase, only to never return again. Either way, the customer journey entails more than just getting someone to buy your products once or twice. It’s a customer’s holistic experience with your brand.
And most brands are on a constant mission to improve retention and strengthen their relationship with customers. That’s where a Consumer Insights Manager comes in.
With access to heaps of consumer data, a good CIM will not only be able to highlight weak spots in your customer journey, but also suggest data-driven solutions.
For example, let’s say you’re the brand manager of an online plant store and you’re having trouble retaining customers after their first purchase. You think it may have something to do with your price points, but instead of making a decision based on gut instinct, you turn to your Consumer Insights Manager for help.
After analyzing your consumer data, your CIM has made a few discoveries. First, consumers view your brand and its products as “high-quality” and “long-lasting” — which, normally, would be a positive thing. But in this case, it means they don’t feel the need to make frequent repeat purchases.
Thus, your CIM provides two suggestions that may help improve retention:
Provide a 25% off promotion when an existing customer recommends a friend who makes a purchase — this will not only bring in new customers, it could also inspire current customers to make a second purchase thanks to the discount.
Create a brand campaign that focuses on buying your plants as long-lasting, eco-friendly gifts for friends and family — something customers can do time and time again.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that a CIM can use consumer data to help brands improve retention in their customer journeys — and even gain new customers in the meantime!
Having a Consumer Insights Manager in your arsenal is one of the best ways to get ahead in the overcrowded, cutthroat world of business.
Using data to inform your business and marketing decisions is more important than ever before — and those that refuse to move with the times will find themselves struggling to remain competitive.
But how does a smart CIM get access to the consumer data they need to succeed? They used advanced brand monitoring software, of course. Offering accurate and reliable data with lower margins of error than traditional options — brand tracking tools provide the consumer data that successful CIMs rely upon.