Using Consumer Insights for personalization
Imagine a world in which you can pair each of your targets with the value proposition that resonates best with them. Imagine a world in which you could personalize your messages and experiences based on the actual needs and expectations of your targets. Whether you look at your current customers or your prospects, each of them has different expectations with regard to what you are offering. None will consume your product (or service) in the same way. They won’t all derive the same benefits. So to be able to personalize your value proposition based on your target would be a really amazing achievement! And yet this is exactly what is possible with Consumer Analysis.
In a previous article, we dwelled on the definition of insights. Today, we’re going to take a look at how to exploit them in concrete activations. More specifically, we’ll demystify how to detect consumer insights and integrate those learnings into a personalization strategy.
Detecting consumer insights
Your understanding of your consumers is what fuels your activation strategies. It’s the solid base from which you orient your decision making. Consumer insights are based on the analysis of consumer profiles, as well as their motivations, goals and obstacles relating to your business offer. But remember, an insight is based on three elements: data, context and action.
Using data for consumer insight
Data about your consumers is everywhere. It’s also in your databases! This is because, when we talk about the consumer, we’re talking as much about the segments you’re already targeting (including your customers) as we are about the new targets you’re not servicing yet (such as a new geographic market). Your customer data is therefore an excellent starting point, even if you cannot solely rely on these sources to draw a full picture of your consumers. Here are a few categories of information that can be exploited to maximize your understanding of your consumer:
Sociodemographic data – These provide basic information on your consumers, such as their age, gender, income, geographic location, etc. As a general rule, these are basic attributes upon which most marketing strategies are built. But they’re still not enough!
Psychographic and attitudinal data – Psychographic data encompass the personality traits, beliefs, values and attitudes of your consumers. They let you better understand what motivates their purchasing decisions or how your offer is perceived. They’ll add some depth to your sociodemographic data and help you personify your segments.
Behavioural data – In a consumer insight context, the idea of behaviour should be understood in its widest sense. This could include the behaviour of users on your site (such as the types of content consumed), the marketing channels they use (such as whether they prefer social networks) or even product categories they buy from (such as online groceries). Behavioural analysis can be endless! That’s why we recommend prioritizing the acquisition of information that will best feed into the activations you’re planning. For example, if your marketing priority is redesigning your digital experience (UX), focusing on online behaviour would be a good place to start.
Transactional data – Your customers’ current purchase preferences can also lead to consumer insights. Deep analysis of your customer databases could let you know which products are purchased most often, the average frequency of purchases or even what has the most impact on engagement. As we mentioned previously, understanding your customers is a good starting point for consumer insights!
It should be clear at this point that to get all of this information, you’ll need to exploit several data sources. This could involve collecting data (CRM database, customer surveys, analytics data with GA4, etc.) and data collection by third parties (Vividata, Comscore, etc.). Consumer insight is the art of assembling key learnings from several sources to create the most accurate profile possible of consumers.
Contextualizing consumer insights
Context is the second key pillar of any insight. In this article, we won’t go into detail on this aspect, but you should know that your learnings about your consumers’ behaviour must be contextualized with market data. Basically, your consumers are acting based on the possibilities available to them. The macroeconomic and political contexts, legislation that is in effect and even social status are all factors that will influence the behaviour of your consumers. Your competitors’ activities should also be taken into consideration. Product launches, marketing campaigns, promotional periods… Their initiatives will change the expected behaviour of consumers. Putting what you’ve learned about your consumers into context based on your external environment is therefore very important when it comes to taking these influences into consideration.
Turning consumer insight into action
The hardest part of consumer insight is turning the mountain of information you’ve put together into very concrete marketing activities. You can’t hand over 150 pages of analysis to your activation experts without giving them a bit of guidance. This is where marketing personas come into effect.
A marketing persona is an illustrated representation of your typical consumer. It incarnates the sociodemographic, psychographic, behavioural and attitudinal traits of the target segment you’ve analyzed. Developing a marketing persona is a particularly interesting exercise for filtering the information you’ve collected into an imagined representation that can speak to your activation experts. A persona file doesn’t have to be complicated, but can simply present essential features. It should allow the reader to quickly understand the characteristics of the consumer segment it represents. Personas serve as guides for making marketing decisions. They help you adapt your communications, create relevant value propositions and adjust your content.
At Adviso, producing personas is what allows us to make a connection between consumer insights and areas of activation. They are not ends in themselves, but rather create tangible bridges between insights and actions. Whether used for media, CRO or relationship marketing initiatives, personas become concrete tools that support activities. They also become marketing assets upon which cross-cutting strategies can be activated.
However, before you hunker down and get serious about developing major initiatives, you need to put what you’ve learned to the test. The personas you initially develop are based on hypotheses. You therefore need to test and validate these hypotheses to ensure any activities based on them generate an interesting return on investment. This in particular is what we have recently learned as a result of a personalization project.
Optimize conversions with personalization
Personalization is a powerful lever when building CRO (conversion rate optimization) campaigns and strategies. It involves using what you’ve learned about your customers to educate and engage visitors even more, while their goal is to convert an experience into something that fulfills specific potential needs. All the work you did to collect information and draft profiles based on it becomes a key database for developing CRO strategies.
Personalization through marketing personas offers several advantages:
Adapts messaging to the target clientele: You can personalize your message and tone so they resonate with each persona based on the user profile that consults a certain page or product.
Highlights a relevant value proposition: Personalization lets you fulfill the specific needs of each profile type by offering a user experience that resonates with each persona.
Adjusts content and visuals: You can adjust the content and visuals based on insights for a more engaging user experience that lets individuals personally relate to adapted, humanized visual content. It’s also possible to strategically base your choice of cross-sell product on products with appeal to similar personas that may also fulfill their needs.
The key to personalization: Understanding your targeted persona
Understanding your targeted persona is crucial to personalization. You must understand who you intend to attract as customers and why you want them to remain faithful to your company. This will allow you to create relevant and engaging experiences for each segment. Plus, contextualizing the pages of your website lets you make well-considered decisions based on actual data.
From insight to results
Let’s look at a concrete example in which we used an insight obtained from personas to personalize user experience.
We recently worked with a client in the banking sector to redesign their sales page, which wasn’t achieving expected results in terms of the number of initiations to use a form to submit an application.
Our objectives were to:
Improve the perceived value of a financial product and the storytelling of the webpage.
Exploit a specific feature to increase the value proposition, given that this proposition was responding to a specific need/problem experienced by this persona.
Standardize experience across webpages and more quickly reach the desired statistical significance regarding the number of applications initiated.
In this kind of process, it’s essential to always keep in mind your goals so that relevant KPIs can be selected as a result.
The project required the following actions:
Examine the insight document to make correlations between products and personas.
We selected a specific financial product that was already attracting the 18-to-24 target who were students or at the start of their professional careers. We wanted to strengthen the positioning of this product for potential future customers, given that it seems to respond to the needs of this clientele.
Identify and position key opportunities for each page and persona.
We contextualized the lifestyle and needs to feature the realities of a student or young professional in the job market.
Select relevant elements for the persona’s value proposition.
We forecast the advantages that would resonate given our customer’s phase of life. We also added information on how the application worked and about owning a credit card, which allowed us to answer a few questions customers may have had about getting a credit card for the first time.
Hold a visual and content brainstorming session with the teams.
The advantages and strategic content selected were highlighted in the page layout so they could be found easily. We modified the visuals so they would reflect the user as much as possible.
Plan the different stages of the project and receive approvals from the teams involved.
This stage involved establishing the initiative and following up with the teams from an operational standpoint.
Working in close collaboration with the insight, UX and copywriting teams, we optimized the page while adapting the visuals so the featured advantages would best respond to the needs of the profile types. We noted that personalization achieved excellent results and we generated a significant increase in the online form’s conversion rate, as well as an increase in company revenue. In addition, through this process, users view more information on this page and, therefore, 40 percent of visitors keep reading to the very end. This shows users’ keen interest in these products and a coherent narrative about their advantages.
This example shows the true importance of prioritizing consumer insight to personalize your website and thereby maximize your conversions. The alignment of teams to create a cohesive experience is even more important. A range of expertise was put to full use, to the benefit of both the client and consumers.
Moving from consumer insight to marketing activation is possible! By using personas, you can successfully transition from data analysis to activation. At Adviso, our Consumer Analysis process is aligned with your marketing strategy. Besides advanced analysis of consumer data, we ensure bridges are created between your various marketing activities. Sound interesting? Our experts would be pleased to lend a hand! Get in touch with us today.