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The Secret To Better Marketing: Five T’s Of Consumer-Centric Insights

Big businesses no longer run the world — consumers do. Technology has changed consumers’ expectations, and brands should deliver in terms of speed, innovation, transparency, authenticity and consistency. You are competing in a world where 82% of U.S. adults always or sometimes read online reviews before making a purchase, and 15% have made a purchase through a link posted on a social media site.

At the same time, the payback on meeting expectations has diminished. Last year, my company hosted a panel at the SXSW Conference with Tim Warner, vice president of insights and analytics and global digitization (Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa) at PepsiCo, and Michelle Gansle, director of consumer insights at Mars Wrigley. Warner explained that, in his experience, product innovation can go from being a “wow” to being old news or frustrating in a matter of months. This is why, as Gansle explained, we need to figure out how to work differently to meet consumers’ expectations — and even that will only make them satisfied, not delighted

(Full disclosure: PepsiCo and Mars Wrigley are clients of Zappi.)

Brands used to rely on one-way communication with consumers, but this approach won’t cut it anymore. There is no choice but to stop paying lip service to consumer-centricity and make it an organizational reality. Companies that can get close to customers and react quickly are often the ones winning.

We can see evidence of this in the rise of micro-brands. According to Nielsen, as reported on by The Economist, from 2011-2015, the 25 largest companies in the food-and-beverage category totaled 45% of the category’s sales in America; however, that drove only 3% of the category’s growth — half of all growth was attributed to 20,000 small brands.

It can feel there’s immediate pressure for customer centricity coming from the C-suite without a sense of how to make it happen. And you’ll likely have friction to overcome in your customer-centricity journey.

Big businesses no longer run the world — consumers do. Technology has changed consumers’ expectations, and brands should deliver in terms of speed, innovation, transparency, authenticity and consistency. You are competing in a world where 82% of U.S. adults always or sometimes read online reviews before making a purchase, and 15% have made a purchase through a link posted on a social media site.

At the same time, the payback on meeting expectations has diminished. Last year, my company hosted a panel at the SXSW Conference with Tim Warner, vice president of insights and analytics and global digitization (Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa) at PepsiCo, and Michelle Gansle, director of consumer insights at Mars Wrigley. Warner explained that, in his experience, product innovation can go from being a “wow” to being old news or frustrating in a matter of months. This is why, as Gansle explained, we need to figure out how to work differently to meet consumers’ expectations — and even that will only make them satisfied, not delighted

(Full disclosure: PepsiCo and Mars Wrigley are clients of Zappi.)

Brands used to rely on one-way communication with consumers, but this approach won’t cut it anymore. There is no choice but to stop paying lip service to consumer-centricity and make it an organizational reality. Companies that can get close to customers and react quickly are often the ones winning.

We can see evidence of this in the rise of micro-brands. According to Nielsen, as reported on by The Economist, from 2011-2015, the 25 largest companies in the food-and-beverage category totaled 45% of the category’s sales in America; however, that drove only 3% of the category’s growth — half of all growth was attributed to 20,000 small brands.

It can feel there’s immediate pressure for customer centricity coming from the C-suite without a sense of how to make it happen. And you’ll likely have friction to overcome in your customer-centricity journey.

READ MORE:The Secret To Better Marketing: Five T’s Of Consumer-Centric Insights

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