What are customer insights, and how do you use them?

We all know how fussy customers can get. They all desire to be heard and expect a decent level of personalization. While you must be busy making them feel ‘appreciated’, there is a good way to utilize their desires for growth too. In this article, let us explore what are customer insights and how they help in growing your business.

What are consumer insights? 

Customer or consumer insights are vital data points you derive after analyzing customer behavior. In other words — everything your customer wants, feels, or expects from a brand, is basically an understanding of your target audience. 

You know well that you need to understand what your customers really want to avoid building something that does not resonate with anyone. 

Customer insights are a valuable tool for any business owner. You understand your audience’s needs, which helps improve your offer, positioning, and pricing, like market research. 

While there is no single way to harness customer insights, here are the three most common approaches:

1. Market segmentation: Classify your customers based on their demographic characteristics and purchasing behavior. For example, you can create groups of customers based on demography, psychography, attitudes, behaviors, etc., which you can use to target your ideal customers online. 

2. Demographic profiling: Demographic profiling is similar to market segmentation in that it involves the creation of groups of customers based on demographics. The main difference is that demographic profiling is typically used to understand a certain group of people as a whole, rather than focusing on individual customers.

3. Behavioral profiling: Behavioral profiling is a variation of demographic profiling. The main difference is that this type of profiling uses data about individual customers and their buying behavior.

Customer insights are precious as they can tell you what customers like and dislike about your products and services, what advertising campaigns are working best, and if you’ll have a good time making it a success. 

So, what is the difference between market research and consumer insights?

Consumer insight analysis and market research have a deep overlap. They’re pretty close to each other. But still, there are some evident differences. Here are a few: 

Market ResearchCustomer Insights
MeaningSystematic gathering and analysis of market-oriented data. Read more about market researchDeep understanding of the wants, needs, behaviors, and motivations of customers. Very close to user research
ScopeConsumer trends, competitor analysis, and market trends. Intuitive and empathetic understanding of the customer behavior. 
GoalGet a detailed understanding of the target market and inform business decisions.Inform product and service development, marketing strategies, and overall customer experience. 
Approach Data-driven approach powered by surveys, interviews, and secondary data. Intuition-driven approach, backed by real-time user data. 

If you dig deeper, customer insight analysis is closer to user research than market research (user research vs. market research). With that cleared, let’s examine some evident benefits of analyzing customer insights. 

Benefits of analyzing customer insights. 

meeting to analyze what are customer insights for a business, and to extract the benefits.

Customer insights help you to become customer oriented as a brand or a business, and you know well where: 

First, it helps you understand the market. You can compare customer behavior over time to unearth trends and improve your product. You can find new market opportunities, improve your positioning, and more. 

Second, it gives you a competitive advantage. You can understand what appeals to the customer when you have detailed customer insights. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by positioning yourself better against competitors. Also, you can address issues even before they arise, improving your customer retention rate.

Lastly, it helps you improve the overall customer experience. You know what’s inside the minds of the customer, allowing you to modify existing offers and introduce new products and/or services to elevate customer delight. 

All this brings you plenty of opportunities to make your customers love your brand or service. Fundamentally, customer insights help you to: 

  • Amplify your marketing efforts: You can target your audience through hyper-personalized marketing strategies based on their likes or dislikes.
  • Improve the customer journey: Create a seamless customer journey based on what they want at every stage of the buyer’s journey. 
  • Analyze, plan, and act faster: Insights about customer behavior allow you to identify and respond to market trends, customer opinion, and external factors. This helps you strategize and pivot in real-time. 
  • Prevent misunderstanding in any marketing campaign: Insights help brands know the preferences and expectations of the target audience, reducing the chances of a misalignment in messaging and communications. 

You can be better informed about critical business decisions with relevant customer insights. But how do we gather customer data and insights? Let us look at it quickly. 

Ways to gather customer insights. 

Man putting sticky notes on a table.

Data is everywhere — your customers talk about you with their friends, post TikTok online, share online reviews, and more. In this connected world, you cannot virtually miss out on gathering customer insights. Here are the most visible ways to collect customer insights:

Online Reviews: Online reviews are the most valuable source of customer insights. You can check online reviews to understand whether customers like or dislike your product or service. A tool like GapScout helps you scan online reviews on autopilot and analyze them for insights. 

Competitor Reviews: Competitor reviews are another goldmine to clench some low-hanging fruits. You get to know what the competition is doing, how customers perceive your competitors, what is lacking in their offering, and where an opportunity is for you to hit a home run. 

Website Data: Your website is a goldmine for customer insights. An analytics tool like Google Analytics can provide you enough information about how people interact, behave, or consume data. You can set up specific events and triggers to understand their perception, online behavior, preferences, etc., to boost your online conversion rates. 

Interviews & Case Studies: One-on-one interviews and case studies help you question your customers directly. You get to know their opinion, perception, and the benefits you add to their life. But getting interviews and case studies can be costly and time-consuming compared to other ways to collect customer insights. 

Also Read: 6 Ways to Gain Customer Insights for your Business

Steps to utilize customer insights for your business. 

red sneakers going up blue stairs.

Customer insights will give you an edge as a small business or a brand. While you keep on thinking about having a way to get closer to your audience, here are three easy steps to get started within the next few minutes: 

Step 1: Interact with your customers regularly. 

It is a good practice to keep in touch with your customers. You can directly talk to your store walk-ins if you run an offline business. You can send market surveys via email to understand their opinions on online businesses. 

Remember never to be bossy or edgy when interacting, but always have a set market research questionnaire to avoid wasting your customer’s time. In case you need help, here are a few helpful resources: 

Step 2: Keep an eye on online reviews. 

Your customers talk about you even if you are asleep. You need to look for online reviews about yourself or your brand to take advantage of a huge opportunity. 

You should start looking at your online reviews on Amazon, Instagram, Google My Business, etc. 

If you need clarification when you start scanning online reviews for insights, you should sign up for GapScout.

GapScout scans your (and your competitor’s) online reviews day and night to bring you everything you need about your customers — what they like, what they miss, expect, and more. 

You can use the solution to keep an eye on customer opinions and leverage sentiment analysis to mine opinions about your brands. All this will help you improve your positioning and product in line with customer expectations. 

Read More: How GapScout Helps You Gather Customer Insights? 

Step 3: Automate customer insight analysis using technology. 

Tools can help you save time on unearthing and managing customer expectations. You can save hours every day by automating the gathering and analysis of real-time insights. 

GapScout discovers, scans, and analyzes all your online reviews and presents valuable insights from online reviews on autopilot. 

Customer data is always handy when making a business decision about marketing, branding, positioning, or product features. You can always assume critical aspects that have a direct impact on the bottom line. 

Consumer insights examples from real-life. 

Need help with how to get started with customer insights for your business? Well, you are not alone. It is a lot to process initially, and you might feel like giving up already. 

Well, the best way to do something new for your business is to see how others are doing it for their business. So, here are five brands that are using consumer insights to optimize their product, marketing, and positioning: 

  • Little Moon 
  • Bloom & Wild 
  • Coca-Cola 
  • Yorkshire Tea
  • Apple 

Curious to read how they do it? Check out our blog about profitable customer insights examples with full case studies from these brands, then start creating a voice of customer strategy.

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Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol is an independent content marketing consultant who loves to write actionable pieces on small business growth, marketing automation, market research, and growth as a solopreneur. Reach out on Twitter.

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