The year was 1993. The New Yorker published a cartoon by Peter Steiner that showed two dogs. One was sitting on a chair in front of a computer and speaking to a second dog, who was sitting on the floor listening to the first. That was over 20 years ago. What has changed since then? Today, consumers are connecting and cooperating with media and brands in more sophisticated and engaging ways than ever before. That’s why marketing managers must keep an eye on what is happening in the market.
The power of being online
Looking back a few years, we can see that consumers were only a passive participant in the market. They listened to a monologue conducted by the company. Today’s consumers are the opposite. They are engaged in an active dialogue with brands – they can even take the initiative and have an impact on the course of the purchasing process. To do this, they use advanced tools like the Internet.
Technological progress is increasingly felt in our daily lives. Probably when reading this article, you have at your fingertips a few devices connected to the internet. We review websites for information, we are present in social media, we look for opinions and express them. We use mobile apps, loyalty programs, write emails and at the same time we are connected to Bluetooth and we use geolocation. We do all of this online in real time. There are also other activities completed offline. For marketing managers it’s a powerful dose of data. Without a properly conducted analysis, data from the market would not be worth anything.
Marketing intelligence connects online and offline
Marketing intelligence system takes information from various data sources, including website analysis, business intelligence, call centers and sales figures, which usually arrives in separate reports, and places them into a single environment. Marketing specialists must constantly monitor information in books, newspapers and journals information, in order to gather Marketing Intelligence. They need to talk with customers, distributors and suppliers. They must also monitor social media and competitor activities online. On this basis, they create reports that show data from various sources in one place and represent the relationship, correlations, trends and key performance indicators. All this is done in real time.
Which areas are supported by marketing intelligence?
The competitiveness of modern companies increasingly depends on the ability to use various types of systems for decision support, customer relationship management and suppliers or advanced IT systems to filter information. Marketing intelligence supports decision-making areas in enterprises. These areas concern issues such as:
- market opportunities,
- market penetration strategy,
- market growth rate.
These are the basic fields of activity. We should remember that they are inseparably connected with other company fields like sales, finance or control departments. The ability to acquire and process the relevant knowledge and create a schema of marketing culture is a necessary condition for success on the market.
Specialists in marketing intelligence collect market data for a specific purpose. Analysis of the received data is necessary to improve decision-making processes within the organization. As a result, consumers can receive personalized messages that perfectly meet their needs. We see this in mail and SMS campaigns or in remarketing actions. Consumer behavior is now the subject of very thorough analysis. The whole process that happens away from the consumer, preceding the moment of purchase, should be well thought out in terms of strategic and operational steps.
What about consumer insights?
People of working age, living in large cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants, with higher education. Simple demographic information like this is no longer enough to determine consumer preferences. Experts in creating consumer insights try to impersonate the personas of consumers to think and feel as they do in order to find answers to the questions of “why”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “how”. Understanding the whole process is necessary to avoid failures in the future, increase sales, and to adjust the offer to customer requirements. Providing a comprehensive view of the target group, received during the analysis of data from offline and online, can help in creating better focused campaigns. Business Intelligence gives companies the opportunity to develop precise patterns of their potential clients on multiple forms of media. Such activities are a guarantee of success.
Are you sure that nobody knows you’re a dog?
Technology is becoming more and more important to our daily lives. The line between what we do online and in real life starts to fade. If people change their behavior, then marketers will have to follow them and keep track of new trends. The lack of marketing strategy adaptation to modern trends generates high costs for businesses. The lack of correct analysis of the data or lack of reflection on the desires of customers guarantees lower sales levels. Today we are not anonymous. The winner will be the one who chooses a holistic approach by gathering experience through omnichannel.