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How Companies Can Harness Consumer Insight to Connect with Customers and Build Audiences

  • August 14, 2022
  • 4 min read
How Companies Can Harness Consumer Insight to Connect with Customers and Build Audiences

Data analytics and social media have changed the way brands conduct consumer research. The catalyst that facilitated this change is AI, which enables brands to sort through large amounts of online consumer behavior data to generate actionable consumer insights. AI is powering next-generation social listening tools designed to highlight not just when and where consumers are purchasing and discussing products, but also how they feel about brands.

Using these social listening tools, brands can better connect with consumers to both nurtures their existing customer relationships and reach new audiences. Read on to learn how AI-based social listening is generating multifaceted consumer insights to build and support brands

Identify your brand’s strengths

When you understand what your customers love about your brand, you can build on that consumer insight to generate new products and marketing strategies.

Maybe a food or beverage company’s customers tend to positively associate that company’s products with specific activities like sporting events, concerts, or movies. This could lead to emphasizing advertising placement and cross-promotional partnerships based around those activities. Or maybe customers are responding positively to a cleaning product company’s effort to implement more environmentally friendly packaging. Gaining this insight could lead to marketing campaigns built around environmentally conscious consumer behavior.

In the past, companies had to rely on phone surveys and focus groups to determine what customers liked or did not like about their brands. These approaches could not handle large amounts of data and thus were less likely to be representative of consumer attitudes.

Now, companies are using sentiment analysis to gain consumer insight into feelings about their brand. Sentiment analysis is a social listening tool that utilizes AI techniques such as natural language processing (NLP) and image analysis to determine the emotional and opinion-based aspects of text or images. This technology has evolved alongside consumers’ increasing use of social media to express opinions about brands. The result is a large data set of consumer attitudes that can be analyzed using AI.

Sentiment analysis gathers data from online content such as reviews and posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. This data is then analyzed to determine trends in emotional response and display those trends using intuitive visualizations such as word clouds and numbered ratings.

For example, NetBase Quid’s sentiment analysis tool provides a total Brand Passion rating from -100 to +100 based on the overall positivity or negativity expressed and the intensity with which that positivity or negativity was voiced. NetBase users can assess these ratings to identify events, platforms, and other associations that tend to drive positive brand discussion and adjust their brand strategy accordingly.

Identify market gaps and unreached audiences

Sentiment analysis is not limited to generating consumer insight about existing customer attitudes. It is also an effective method for understanding market gaps and target audiences.

NetBase Quid users can aggregate sentiment analysis data to display feel-alike audience segments. This feature can be used to identify audiences who share a brand’s customer sentiments about topics and events not explicitly connected to the brand. In identifying such an audience, you can locate topics that are important to an audience that might be unaware of, yet likely to appreciate your brand. Audience segments can be organized according to demographic information such as age, gender, or location, and they can even be organized according to activity surrounding specific topics or interests.

In addition to understanding audiences that lack awareness of a brand, sentiment analysis can be used to analyze consumer attitudes toward a brand’s competitors. This consumer insight is invaluable for two key reasons. First, a brand can understand where a competitor is failing to connect with consumers and target those areas in its own marketing and product development strategies to address a market gap. Second, a brand can understand where it is being outperformed by competitors and target those areas as important goals for improvement.

Build a brand on a foundation of consumer insight whether your brand is nurturing a well-established customer base or is an upstart seeking to locate and connect with a target audience, the consumer insights generated by sentiment analysis are a game changer. This social listening tool utilizes innovative AI to analyze the massive data pool made available by the wide-reaching and constantly active social media conversation. Companies looking to establish a foundation of connection with their audience ought to consider these tools as an effective means of building and supporting their brand.

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