In many companies, digital intelligence of customers — that is, the collection and analysis of customer data — is largely used for improving customer engagement process. If a business understands customer’s buying cycle better, then it can target its marketing mix and product offerings in more conducive manner. Smart companies have realized that digital intelligence about their customers can actually lead to a greater marketing effectiveness, especially with the opportunities for data gathering provided by smart technologies and social media.
To begin with, companies can gather data about their existing customers and from their existing social media channels and use that to build up better ways of communication with them. But intelligence in the information age isn’t just about tracking what existing customers think about the products they buy and how they use them. Companies can also find opportunities by broadening their scope of customer intelligence to include analysing public discussions by consumers in the online world. For example a company can monitor and interpret the consumer conversations in blogs or on FB about a particular product category for example – milk or biscuits. As a consequence, the company can restructure its marketing mix so that consumers can be better engaged.
The challenge in obtaining this kind of intelligence is identifying the online environments or groups that hold the best data. To take maximum advantage of the information age and the data that is available it makes lot of sense to start developing the market intelligence team in house. The capability build in house will help to overcome the challenge in the short as well as long run.
So do we come to a conclusion that the traditional market research i.e. customer data gathering from the market through a team of experienced researchers is no more required in the digital world? The answer is NO in fact the traditional market research can complement the digital intelligence in much better. The dual source of market intelligence can really help to identify key demand drivers and also helps to mitigate risk. Let’s face it digital intelligence is not everything – it cannot provide all the answers, it is difficult and expensive to get specific type of data, and last but not the least it the huge data should lead us somewhere. The data should not be confusing rather it should provide answers to the specific objectives. The ideal way can be trade-off between the digital as well as traditional market research. This will help to get better insights and reduce risk with a better strategy.