How Brands Use Consumer Insights to Their Advantage


Brands must have a comprehensive understanding of their buyer personas and understand customer behavior, which makes market research and consumer insights matter more now than ever. Companies can improve the time it takes to pivot with actionable customer insight from consumer intelligence–sourced from continuous social listening and data analytics.

Your brand is unique and full of moving parts—including a marketing and sales team running in various directions, each requiring specialized insight into the voice of the customer. And since consumer opinion and behaviors constantly change, how you reached your audience yesterday may not work today.

With COVID in our rearview mirror, customers are eager to move forward as they adapt to a new way of doing things. These pivots, however, have caused marketers to struggle with elements of marketing campaigns such as product placement and targeted messaging that don’t feel forced. And to have customer success, brands need powerful tools that help them become and remain agile.

In 2023 you can either pull your hair out for consumer insight or invest in peace of mind with social listening tools and market research that do the heavy lifting for you. We’ll dive into the critical nature of consumer insights with a focus on the following:

  • What are consumer insights?
  • Why consumer insights matter
  • What brands are using consumer insights for
  • FAQS on consumer insights
  • How to put consumer insights to work for your brand

As a part of your market research, consumer insights research can reveal your global audience’s inner workings. Hence, you build a marketing strategy to target consumers effectively and enhance your marketing team’s ability to read the room. Getting to know customers well and better understanding their differences across geographic lines pays dividends, as these actionable insights can be used to capitalize on all of the statistics listed below – and much more:

According to Emarsy’s survey70% of French customers are “more loyal to retailers that offer them discounts, incentives, and rewards, provide great customer service, and market to them in a personalized way that accounts for their unique needs.”
79% of customers say user-generated content (UGC) significantly impacts purchasing decisions. UGC generally persuades purchase intent more than influencer content or branded marketing.
75% of US customers say they’ve tried new shopping behaviors since the pandemic’s beginning for economic reasons, a reduction in disposable income, and shifts in personal priorities.
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With that, let’s kick the tires and then spin around the world of consumer research and customer insight.

What are Consumer Insights?

Consumer insights are customer-centric and tell you what people are talking about, where they’re talking, and how they feel about the topic at every part of their customer journey. Additionally, consumer insights take a deep dive into who is taking part in the discussion, effectively dissecting your target market and target audience for trending attributes, such as:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographic data such as interests and emotions
  • Geo-location and time data
  • Key opinion leaders and influencers the audience trusts
  • Source data indicating where customers congregate online, such as social media, places like Glassdoor (online reviews), forums, etc.
  • Trending topics and sub-themes
  • Sentiment drivers
  • News media getting traction with customers

Brands that can climb into the social discussion and pick apart their target consumers and audiences in this manner come away with valuable insights they can implement in their brand strategy, giving them a competitive advantage no matter the market size. Under-informed brands rely on intuition or copycat the competitors that hit the sweet spot. And playing second fiddle in this manner will never be good enough to overtake the competition and discover a new target audience.

The good news is you don’t have to. Top-tier social listening tools and data analytics identify areas for a more profound and better understanding of your audience and their customer journey and capture the discussions of interest to your brand using both qualitative and quantitative data. Artificial intelligence then uses natural language processing (NLP) to categorize the text for granular-level consumer insights. With the right toolset, social listening puts comprehensive consumer insights at your fingertips. The only thing your tools won’t do is make business decisions for you.

Why Consumer Insights Matter

So, what makes consumer insights important? A brand qualifies its business direction and marketing ideas using consumer insights—it helps ensure a successful decision-making process. How does it do this? Consumer insights assist brands in developing a 360-degree perspective of the customer, comprehending market demand, analyzing how their company influences purchasing decisions along the customer journey, and providing a competitor comparison. Companies can use the solutions above (i.e., trending topics, demographics, sentiment, etc.) to make informed business decisions about ideal product features, pricing models, and distribution routes to increase sales and market share.

As you probably already know, customers want a more personalized customer experience. Brands can leverage customer insights to personalize and tailor their messaging, products, and services to their target audience and their needs, wants, and demands. And this results in better customer retention and helps protect against customer churn.

Your brand has unique circumstances within the market, and spending time unearthing hidden and valuable information and consumer insights yields a wealth of benefits. For starters, it allows you to spot common pain points within your customer experience and address them head-on. But there’s a lot more, too – let’s take a look!

How Brands are Using Consumer Insights

As you are probably aware, the pandemic put the thrusters on digital transformation across the globe. Customers have become savvy with their decision-making process, changing the nature of commerce. They research the brands that resonate with their values while speaking out online, adding volume to emerging market trends.

In response, brands are clamoring for business intelligence that provides a deeper understanding of customer behavior data and the customer journey. It’s almost instantly recognizable when a brand is fleet of foot, can predict churn, and adapts quickly to meet consumer pain points. This ability is not due to luck – it’s the evidence of a brand putting action to strategic consumer insights. Let’s get into how they do it.

Like aerodynamics improves fuel economy and top speed, consumer insights uncover customer data such as customer sentiment and talking points. As such, social data analytics reveals the intricacies of your audience and the sub-topics within relevant conversations throughout their customer journey.

Talking points are great for storyboarding campaign ideas because you know which topics your customers care deeply about. You’ll also discover where they tend to congregate, so you’re sure to aim the messaging in their direction. And with a thorough rundown of audience attributes, your targeted ads will hit with precision, provide a personalized experience, and increase sales.

Your customers are the heartbeat of your brand, and acting in their best interest is how you safeguard your brand’s health. How is your brand perceived? Consumer insights into sentiment, sentiment drivers, customer experience, earned media channels, interests, wants, and needs to go a long way in growing satisfied customers.

Once your average sentiment metrics are locked in, you can set alerts to notify you when things get out of hand. That way, you can avoid the issue and protect your hard-won reputation.


No matter how well a campaign performs, there’s always room for improvement. Once you’ve built your marketing campaign strategy on customer insights, you can use them and conduct market research to measure your success within your target market. Not only that, but you can tweak messaging mid-campaign or use what you’ve learned to make your next one even more successful.

Consumer insight research derived from a competitor’s audience effectively builds strategy. These consumer insights and competitor data points are easily accessible with social listening and can be used to generate insights and outperform the competition. Using competitor data to uncover consumers’ issues with a competitor and using that intel to coax unhappy and potential customers to your brand can create new markets. First, find where they’re talking and what their specific customer experience and grievances are. Then apply messaging directly to the source and approach product development and placement with these customer insights in mind.

Building a vibrant online community around your brand is well worth the effort. It’s a great way to enhance customer interactions, attract like-minded customers, and increase customer loyalty. An active community is also a rich source of user-generated content (UGC) that works better than brand messaging to win converts to your brand. Use consumer insights to expound on what your community loves and provide solutions to their pain points.


Customer insights can inform your R&D through launch day and beyond. Using them to guide customers’ wants and needs ensures your products exceed customer expectations, and your messaging educates your audience. Customer insights also help you take the market’s temperature before release day to avoid conflicts, minimize competition, maximize visibility, and attain the warmest reception possible.

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the customer (VoC) intel has long been a thorn in the side of brands. Since customer perceptions change so fast, traditional research methods are relegated to specific use cases. For definitive customer insights on the fly, they are too slow. By the time you collect and analyze data, your competitors have potentially outpaced you.

More brands conduct market research and consumer insight analysis in-house or outsource it to agencies. With the speed of social, brands need precision consumer intel fast. Artificial intelligence goes light-years beyond human capabilities to decipher sentiment and sentiment drivers and segment customers into demographics, interests, beliefs, etc., from any topic.

This market research and consumer insight clarifies consumer perceptions and shows you where conversations occur. That way, you’re never singing off-key to an empty auditorium. VoC intel also acts as the staging area for exploration into all the use cases that follow.

Customer Care

Keeping your customers happy should be a top priority since winning a new customer costs more than retaining an existing one. Social listening lets you climb into your brand conversations for customer insights into your sales funnel, customer service data, and the overall customer journey. These data analytics provide a deeper understanding of your customer’s experiences, such as consumer hang-ups and common pain points you can address to streamline your customer interactions and relations, grow your bottom line, and boost retention.


Issue Response

When a problem arises, customers quickly talk about it on social media. Consumer insights show where the discussion is getting traction, how far your net sentiment has fallen, top authors driving the fallout, and relevant terms and hashtags making the rounds. This intel gives you the scope of the crisis and the necessary details so you can focus directly on the problem. Speed matters, and as we mentioned previously, setting alerts around your baseline metrics, such as volume and sentiment, ensures you’re aware before things snowball out of control.



Brands can obtain customer insights from various data analytics sources, including customer service data, product and service evaluations, blogs, forums, customer feedback and online reviews, market research, social media analytics, customer purchase history, and customer sentiment. These provide valuable insights and identify areas to maximize the customer’s lifetime.

  • Determine what you want to learn: Before beginning consumer or market research, determine what (and how) you will be collecting consumer insights. Ask direct and specific questions. Do you need more information on customer satisfaction? Or maybe you want a peek into the competition. A firm idea of what you want to learn keeps you focused and undistracted.
  • Determine your resources: How will you gather this valuable information, who will collect it, and who will analyze it? Ensure you have enough time and people dedicated to analyzing data and implementing consumer insights.
  • How do you collect data? : It is critical to consider how you will collect data. What are your business goals? Are you aiming for a specific demographic, like Gen Z? Existing or potential customers? Will you conduct surveys, panels, and consumer test studies? What about focus groups? These are critical customer insights questions.
  • How will you put the data to use? Make sure that your marketing efforts are not in vain. It is critical to plan and think forward. Once you have the data, consider which department, process, marketing strategy, and initiative may be affected and your plan for dealing with them.

Customer insight managers generally respond to questions when marketing new ideas and products. Customer insight managers can assist brands in anticipating their customers’ wants and needs, loves and hates, by gathering and combining relevant, targeted customer data about their audience. This helps brands give what customers expect, provides a better customer experience, and results in more revenue.

Putting the Right Consumer Insights to Work

Consumer insights give brands the valuable information they need to determine their trajectory. You may think that customers will respond in one manner, but there’s no guesswork involved since social media acts as a 24/7 polling station for consumer behavior.

Market trends are tied to your customer’s perceptions, and brands must follow them to ensure they’re going in the right direction. Digging into relevant online discussions can inform your marketing strategy and show you whether you need to bring a new product to market, change the packaging, or heighten awareness on a particular platform.

One area where customer behavior has experienced a lot of turbulence in the last three years is food. In 2020 during the pandemic, the big question was how to get it and from where. In response, grocery delivery, curbside pickup, in-app orders, and meal-kit delivery saw a massive spike in adoption.

And since large swaths of the populace were staying home, home cooking and baking became the thing to do. However, children have returned to school, and many parents have returned to the office or adopted remote work as the new norm. Since many people’s lives have resumed their usual pace, what does that mean for market trends in the food category now?

Many folks still want to safeguard their health by eating well but don’t want to spend their after-work hours doing more work by cooking. Eating out all the time isn’t an option for many, nor is it desirable as inflation rears its ugly head. That being the case, we can look to market research to understand market sizes and customer insights to shine a light on consumer behaviors…

Market research refers to a quick meal conversation below, revealing customer feedback and trending topics. Though we can see some discussion focused on quick-serve restaurants, our clusters show consumer and market needs such as quick meal ideas, and many customers still want them to be as nutritious as possible. Additionally, we can see meal prep companies, like Blue Apron, are still trending. These are potential new markets to explore.


We can break this down further through social listening. It can offer feedback on the conversation volume over the past month—and it’s been steady. Additionally, we can see sentiment; customers still favor this subject with a positive 87% on a scale from -100 to 100.


A wealth of actionable insights are available within this topic to help brands position themselves for success. Demographic data reveals women are leading the conversation at 58% versus men at 42%. 25-34 4-year-olds lead the discussion at 17%, followed by the 35-44 and 55-64 age brackets tied at 15%.

Using timestamp data, we find customers most likely to be searching and discussing quick meal ideas at 2 pm and 5 pm. Ensuring your messaging and recipe ideas hit social feeds at these times will help maximize your traction. We can also quickly find the top authors, domains, and channels where the discussions occur. Getting the word out on these avenues at the right time is critical.

High-quality and actionable data such as psychographic intel (interests, beliefs, lifestyles, and emotions) also play an essential role. For instance, consumer insights that unveil unrelated interests can identify areas of white space and new markets you can target for further traction. Below we see consumer interest in the fast meal-prep conversation.

You’ll notice that travel, pets, and food and drink are indexing highly—a change from last year when health/fitness and fashion were indexing highly—this emphasizes the need to monitor your audiences continuously for changes. Pivoting as needed and appealing to these market needs and consumer interests isn’t a massive leap for food-centric CPG brands and indicates how to spin your messaging for the best reception.


While there are many facets to your customers that you can explore, the consumer insights and use cases we’ve presented here offer the best bang for your marketing strategy buck. Of course, your brand will have unique needs and circumstances that will make some insights more desirable.

Regardless, your brand must dig into the conversations surrounding your products for an honest look at the voice of the customer. Enterprise social listening offers a massive upgrade to your in-house customer data, so you know how they feel about any topic, improving customer relationships and retention, the customer journey, customer loyalty, your marketing efforts, and resulting in more revenue.

Let us be your customer insights resource company–reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how our world-class social listening tools offer deep customer insights tailor-made for your brand.

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