person Guy Potter access_time May 14, 2018
Behavioural Insights for the Always-on, Big Data Generation

There is a belief that Big Data gives you all the insights you need, but this isn’t the case. Behavioural insights, or the human element of analysis, still needs to be a part of the measurement and research mix and dovetail with data.

Big Data has been transformative because it provides almost-instant information 24 x 7 x 365, offering endless trend analysis opportunities, and client behaviour patterns. So isn’t it right that your behavioural insights should be subject to the same kind of frequent updates?

We look at how ‘Always On’ behavioural insights can help you with your customers’ emotional journey and work alongside Big Data.

Why do I need Insights?

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, data can demonstrate customers’ behaviour patterns, but can’t necessarily explain why they behave in such a way. For example, an online retailer may notice an increase in abandoned shopping carts on the site, but they won’t know why.

Figuring out the reason this is happening means the retailer can quickly rectify the issue and get the business performing better. Understanding why customers behave or act in certain ways may also provide broader insights that give that all-important ‘nudge’ into making a purchase.

Why always-on insights?

Today’s marketing focusses more on the consumer rather than the brand and must be highly empathetic with customers’ thoughts and feelings. But these change rapidly as trends come and go. Being on top of these changing patterns is key.

Always-On insights means feedback on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis to provide the freshest and most accurate information to inform marketing, PR and advertising activity.

Always-On insights track the subtle, shifting patterns of user behaviour and offer near real-time decision-making assistance.

It can help to capture issues quickly and effectively, reducing the time spent trying to figure out the ‘why’ to a problem and pointing the way to resolution, faster.

Since customer demand is always-on so should market research and decision-making be.

Pre- and post-campaign Insights

As marketers, we all know that insights are crucial for pre and post-campaign analysis.

We also know we’re accountable to the Board, which means both data and insights are must-have elements to all campaigns.

Pre-Big Data, there would be a specific timeframe after a campaign whereby analytical data was gathered, processed and presented. Now it’s real-time. We also know how quickly the Board or leadership team want feedback, meaning quick and easy access to good information is critical.

With all that in mind, shouldn’t behavioural insights work the same way? Hosting focus groups or doing insight analysis over long timespans such as every 6 months to a year, can leave you open to an increased rate of human error due to memory or failure to recall. Doing them before, during and after a campaign, for example, will give you the most effective results.

Always-on is not about finding ways to increase the deluge of marketing by way of ads, emails, texts or direct mail. Actually, it is about decreasing the marketing necessary to make a sale to the absolute minimum, by targeting the prospect with the right marketing at the right time in the right way.

The squeeze on budgets

Marketing, marcomms and PR budgets are getting tighter, which means campaigns must now work even harder for their money. Any additional spend will have to be justified and carefully thought through.

This squeeze means effective campaign measurement is vital, but it also needs to be done cost-effectively. This is where Always-On, or Agile research comes into its own. Agile surveys are carried out in real-time, giving instant feedback, and, in turn, the most effective results. Not only that, but as insights are gathered online, they can also significantly reduce research and analysis expenditure.

Contact us to start a conversation about agile research in the always-on world.

Guy Potter is maru / usurv's head of research and clients.
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