Use Data to Understand and Empathize with your Customers
When Aliko Dangote talks business in Africa people listen and listen well because his achievements speak volume. The same can be said of Jeff Bezos one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has grown one of the most valuable brands in the world and earns more in a minute than most of us earn in a year, so he must be doing something right. And he is not shy about telling us how he handles his customers for him to become successful. His recipe for success.
“You, the product or service owner, must understand the customer, have a vision, and love the offering. Then, better testing and research can help you find your blind spots.”
Aliko Dangote is also of a similar or related position. When asked … Alhaji how did you make your billions, his response was short and sharp understand what people need and provide it and the rest would be history. That’s why his group of companies produces those essentials Nigerians irrespective of their status would need. Noodles, Sugar, Salt, Cement and now refined petroleum products, are customers’ delight items.
The biggest problem we have today is that for all the data we have, we are losing touch with our customers, who they are, what they want, their fears and desires, why they buy our brand or not. Whether it is big data, neuroscience or traditional surveys and focus groups, we must use all the data available to understand and empathise with our customer before we do anything else. We need data and insights because if we act only on gut feel then we will likely only appeal to people just like ourselves.
According to Kantar Insight data alone will not tell you what needs to change. Even with the power of artificial intelligence to identify what is happening someone still needs to identify the big, new growth opportunities. Artificial intelligence may even learn to drive a car on its own but without someone to tell it where to go, all the power of AI is useless. You, the brand owner, must create a vision for what could be, a vision for how your brand can make more money.
Once you have a vision you need to create a plan to get there and implement that plan effectively. And this brings us back to testing and consumer insight. We all have blind spots. If we do not have a system that helps us identify those blind spots we will be in trouble. The biggest blind spot is how consumers will respond to our brand and marketing initiatives. Consumer insight focused on innovation, creative development and pre-testing can help reduce the blind spots before launch but there is still the big unknown: what will the competition do and how will affect your brand? We cannot be completely sure about this but if our dialogue with data goes right then we should not have much to fear