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Consumer Insights That Give Brands a Competitive Edge

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The prevalence of social media use, along with concurrent improvements in social analytics technology, has left consumer research awash in data. But the process of generating actionable consumer insights does not involve simply accumulating more and more data. Rather, it involves sifting through data to identify the trends in consumer behavior and attitudes that are directly relevant to a specific brand.

Consumer insights arise from filtering, rather than merely collecting data. Even if a company is equipped with powerful data-gathering tools that can analyze the social media conversation around their brand, they will still need to implement these tools with a well-designed strategy to identify the data points that truly give them a competitive edge.

Read on to learn about which consumer insights brands should target as they implement social listening tools to better understand, and ultimately outperform, the competition.

Competitor Analysis

It is intuitive for a company to want to analyze how consumers are responding to their brand, but this may not be the most effective first step. Instead, a brand should consider using social listening tools to perform a competitor analysis. In other words, a brand should gather and analyze data on how consumers are engaging with competing brands on social media.

There are several advantages to this approach. First, a brand can identify market gaps. If consumers tend to complain about a particular feature of competing products or express excitement over the possibility of adding a new feature, such features should be targeted in product development and emphasized in marketing campaigns. Competitor analyses provide consumer insights on market gaps that a brand’s competitors are not filling.

Second, competitor analysis can reveal market gaps that competitors are hitting but your brand is not. This is equally important information. If the positive sentiment surrounding a competing brand’s social media presence is linked to a distinct product offering or tone in messaging, it could be worth incorporating similar products or aspects of that tone in future brand strategy.

How is it possible to gather this sort of data? Powerful AI technology called sentiment analysis enables brands to analyze text and images posted online and reveal the underlying emotional tone of these posts. This technology can also group data according to audience segments and demographic data such as age, gender, or race, providing consumer insights into how a target audience feels about a brand and its competitors.

Target Audience Interests

One example of such technology is NetBase Quid AI, which offers advanced audience segmenting capabilities. Brands can analyze data according to standard demographic categories, but they can also group audiences according to shared interests.

Identifying the shared interests of a brand’s target audience is a valuable consumer insight because these insights can inform how the brand approaches connecting with consumers. For example, if a beverage company knows that its audience tends to enjoy country music, then developing a presence at country music concerts, or featuring country music in ads, might be effective strategies.

Campaign Effectiveness 

Sentiment analysis can also be implemented during an ongoing campaign to gain consumer insight into how effective the campaign is at reaching the intended audience.

Sentiment analysis goes beyond merely tracking likes of brand-created posts or analyzing posts that tag a brand. In fact, most posts that are relevant to a brand will not include a tag. Once a marketing campaign is implemented, brands can use advanced social listening tools to extend beyond counting likes and track the emotional tone of the resulting social media conversation, even if posts do not tag the brand.

Game-Changing Consumer Insights

Powerful social listening tools such as NetBase Quid are widely available and capable of generating game-changing consumer insights. However, it is important for brands to understand which data points actually give them a competitive edge. Smart data does not necessarily mean more data. Brands that focus on competitor analysis, target audience interests, and campaign effectiveness can utilize social listening tools to generate effective, actionable consumer insights.

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