When was the last time you talked to your customer? Many of us know and appreciate the value of understanding and building empathy for consumers, but that doesn’t make it easy to do. Our budgets get tighter, the need to innovate accelerates, and our markets are forever expanding to farther and more remote lands. So connecting with consumers is often infrequent and left to formal research projects driven by front-end innovation product cycles or the need for messaging testing for large campaigns. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Online conversation platforms provide the flexibility and efficacy to enable more frequent consumer connections by a broader set of individuals throughout the organization for gaining insights far beyond traditional research drivers. Here are a few ways our customers use consumer insights gained from the Discuss.io platform:
Prepping for Strategy Workshops
A multinational CPG company, revered for their longstanding consumer-centric culture, needed 30 marketing leaders to be well informed about their consumers’ shopping habits before participating in a strategic workshop. In order to build this knowledge, they wanted to enable each of the team members to talk with at least one consumer directly. It was a great idea, but only mandated two weeks before the workshops – nowhere close to enough time for traditional, in-person, research methodologies. Leveraging Discuss.io, they were able to recruit a broad and varied range of consumers and enable the 30 conversations within this short timeframe. Furthermore, team members were able to record their discussions and share compelling video clips at the workshop. Many attendees walked away, stating that the preconceptions that they had prior to the workshop had been shattered, leaving many energized and excited to put this consumer-centric strategy into motion.
Understanding International Consumers Before Travel
One of our customers was set for some international travel to meet up and strategize with an internal team. Armed with data from previous research projects, the executive felt confident with her understanding of the market and customers. However, in order to gain a deeper understanding of buying patterns, not just the “wheres” and “whens,” but also the “whys,” she wanted to speak with a consumer firsthand. A couple of days prior to her trip, she arranged to participate in a handful of one-on-one customer conversations on Discuss.io’s platform, and landed in the region with anecdotes and video clips to share with the team. Connecting directly with a consumer in preparation for her trip smoothed her adjustment to a new market, gave her a baseline of understanding, and impressed the local team.
If customer connections and customer closeness are is central to your organization’s culture, you know that these things have to be experienced firsthand. Therefore, it’s critical that you’re able to scale these initiatives in order to enable as many of your employees to talk to consumers as possible.
When a new person joins your team, the learning curve can be steep. It can be challenging to know what your job entails, much less how you’re going to go about becoming close to consumers. One of our customers figured out an interesting approach to tackling this challenge for their team by beginning the consumer closeness process as early as in the onboarding process.
Using the Discuss.io platform, they enabled new members of their team to have conversations directly with consumers within their first couple of weeks on the job, creating a foundation of empathy for the consumer for that employee. Not only do their conversations create lasting impressions, but they also have the ability to revisit those conversations in the archive later on. Their employees feel more empowered and tackle their initiatives with more confidence and customer-centricity. How many of your employees are empowered to talk directly to your consumers?
Talking to consumers is typically in the wheelhouse of Insights departments. However, those departments are often flooded with requests and do not have the bandwidth to address each and every one of them. By leveraging digital accessibility, you are able to deliver a democratic experience, enabling more than just Insights people to speak with the consumer, and fostering a culture of consumer closeness across the organization.
Start a conversation with Discuss.io to learn more about how we can help to empower your teams with consumer conversations.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.