To succeed in today’s marketplace, companies must know how to turn mountains of marketing information into fresh customer insights that will help them deliver greater value to customers. Let’s start with a good story about marketing research and customer insights in action at P&G, one of the world’s largest and most re. Suspected marketing companies. P makes and markets a who’s who list of consumer misbrands, including the likes of Tide, Crest, Bounty, Charming, puffs, Pampers, Principles, Gillette, Dawn, Ivory, Breeze, Swifter, Lola, Cover Girl, Pentane, Scope, Inquiry, Durable, and dozens more.
The company’s dated purpose is to provide products that “improve the lives of the world’s consumers. ” P’s brands really do create value for consumers by solving their problems. But to build meaningful relationships with customers, you first have to understand them and how they connect with your brand. That’s where marketing research comes in. P: Deep Customer Insights Yield Meaningful Customer Relationships c reading customer value. Building meaningful customer relationships.
All this sounds pretty lofty, especially for a company like P, which sells seemingly mundane, low-involvement consumer products such s detergents, shampoos, toothpastes, fabric softeners, toilet paper, and disposable diapers. Can you really develop a meaningful relationship between customers and a laundry detergent? For P, the resounding answer is yes. But first you have to get to know your customers well-?really well. More than 60 years ago, P’s Tide revolutionized the industry as the first detergent to use synthetic compounds rather than soap chemicals for cleaning clothes.
Tide really does get clothes clean. For decades, Tides marketers have positioned the brand on superior functional performance, with hard-hitting ads showing before-and-after cleaning comparisons. But as it turns out, to consumers, Tide means a lot more than just getting grass stains out of that old pair Of jeans. So for several years, P&G has been on a consumer research mission: to unearth and cultivate the deep connections that customers have with its products.
Under this mandate, a few years back, the Tide marketing team decided that it needed a new message for the brand. Tides brand share, although large, had been stagnant for several years. Also, as a result of its hard-hitting functional advertising, consumers saw the Tide brand as arrogant, self-absorbed, and ere male. The brand needed to recapture the hearts and minds of its core female consumers. The Tide team set out to gain a deeper understanding of the emotional connections that women have with their laundry.
Rather than just conducting the usual focus groups and marketing research surveys, however, marketing executives and strategists from P&G and its longtime ad agency, Chitchats & Chitchats, conducted research at a deeper level. They engaged in a two-week consumer immersion in which they tagged along with women in Kansas City, Missouri, and Charlotte, North Carolina, as they worked, shopped, and ran errands. The team also sat in on concussions to hear women talk about what’s important to them. “We got to an incredibly deep and personal level,” says a Tide marketing executive. We wanted to understand the role of laundry’ in their life. ” But “one Of the great P&G, one of the world’s things,” adds a Chitchats most respected marketing strategist about the research effort, “is we companies, knows that didn’t talk [to consumers] to build meaningful about their laundry relationships with habits [and practices]. We customers, you must first talked about their lives, understand them and how what their needs were, they connect with your how they felt as women. Rand. That’s the role of And we got a lot of rich stuff that we hadn’t marketing research. Aped into before. ” Chapter 4 The immersion research produced some remarkable consumer insights. The Tide marketers learned that, although Tide and laundry aren’t the most important things in customers’ lives, women are very emotional about their clothing. For example, ‘there was the joy a plus-size, divorced woman described when she got a whistle from her boyfriend while wearing her “foolproof (sexiest) outfit” According to one P account: “Day-to-day fabrics in women’s lives hold meaning and touch them in many ways.
Women like taking care of their clothes and fabrics because they are filled with emotions, stories, feelings, and memories. The fabrics in their lives (anything from jeans to sheets) allow them to express their personalities, their multidimensional as women, their attitudes. ” The marketing research impacted everything the brand did moving forward. Tide, the marketers decided, can do more than solve women’s laundry problems. It can make a difference in something they truly care about-?the fabrics that touch their lives.
Based on these insights, and Chitchats developed an award-winning advertising campaign, built around he theme “Tide knows fabrics best. ” Rather than the mostly heartless demonstrations and side-by-side comparisons of past Tide advertising, the new campaign employed rich visual imagery and meaningful emotional connections. The initial “Tide knows fabrics best’ ads had just the right mix of emotional connections and soft sell. In one television commercial, a pregnant woman dribbled ice cream on the one last shirt that still fit. It’s Tide with Bleach to the rescue, so that “your clothes can outlast your cravings. Another ad showed touching scenes of a woman first holding a baby and then cuddling anatomically with her husband, all to the tune of “Be My Baby. ” Tide with Breeze, said the ad, can mean “the difference between smelling like a mom and smelling like a woman. ” In all, the “Tide knows fabrics best” campaign showed women that Tide really does make a difference in fabrics that touch their lives. The most recent incarnation of the Tide campaign-?”Style Is an Option. Clean Is Not. “-? connects Tides cleaning prowess with powerful emotions such as style and self-expression.
Linking laundry to style and self-expression isn’t really that big a leap. “In watching consumers use [their detergent], many of hem talked about how it maintained their clothes in the same way that shampoo and conditioner nurtured one’s hair,” says a Tide assistant brand manager. In the “Style Is an Option. Clean Is Not” campaign, “Tide celebrates the expression of personal style and helps to give people a sense of pride and dignity when they walk out the door knowing that what they Wear is clean,” says another Tide marketer.
It links Tide and cleaning “to something that is really important to people: our clothes, and the way we look. ” So back to the original question: Can you develop a relationship with a laundry detergent brand? Insights gained from P’s pep-immersion consumer research showed that Managing Marketing Information to Gain Customer Insights 97 such relationships aren’t just The Tide marketing teams’ possible-?they re inevitable. The deep immersion research key is to really understand the true with consumers revealed nature of the relationship and some important insights. Shape it by creating real value for The most recent Tide customers.
Such an understanding campaign connects Tides comes from marketing research, cleaning prowess with not only on a company’s products powerful emotions such as and marketing programs but also style and self-expression. N core customer needs and brand experiences. No brand is more successful at creating customer relationships than Tide. Incredibly, P’s flagship brand captures a more than 40 percent share of the cluttered and competitive laundry detergent market. That’s right, more than 40 percent and growing-?including a 7 percent increase in the year following the start of the “Tide knows fabrics best” campaign. As the P Tide story highlights, good products and marketing programs begin with good customer information. Companies also need an abundance of information on competitors, resellers, and other actors and marketplace forces. But more than just gathering information, marketers must use the information to gain powerful customer and market insights. Objective OUTLINE Explain the importance of information in gaining insights about the marketplace and customers. Marketing Information and Customer Insights (98-100) Define the marketing information system and discuss its parts.
Assessing Marketing Information Needs (100) Developing Marketing Information (100-102) Outline the steps in the marketing research process. Marketing Research (103-119) Explain how companies analyze and use marketing information. Analyzing and Using Marketing Information (119-121) Discuss the special issues some marketing researchers face, including public policy and ethics issues. Other Marketing Information Considerations Author Marketing information by Comment itself has little value. The value is in the customer insights gained from the information and how these insights are used to make better marketing decisions. 121-126) Marketing Information and Customer Insights (up 98-100) To create value for customers and build meaningful relationships with them, marketers must first gain fresh, deep insights into what customers need and want. Companies use such customer insights to develop competitive advantage. “In today’s hyperactivity world,” states a marketing expert, “the race for competitive advantage is really a race for customer and market insights. ” Such insights come from good marketing information. 2 Consider Apple’s phenomenally successful pod.
The pod wasn’t the first digital music player, but Apple was the first to get it right. Apple’s research uncovered a key insight about how people want to consume digital music-?they want to take all their music with them, but they Want personal music players to be unobtrusive. This insight led to two key design goals: make it as small as a eek of cards and build it to hold 1,000 songs. Add a dash of Apple’s design and usability magic to this insight, and you have a recipe for a blockbuster. Apple’s expanded pod and pod Touch lines now capture more than a 75 percent market share.
And they’ve spawned other Apple blockbusters such as the phone and the pad. Key customer insights, plus a dash of Apple’s design and usability magic, have made the pod a blockbuster. It now captures a more than 75 percent market share and has spawned other Apple blockbusters such as the phone and the pad. Although customer and market insights are important for building customer alee and relationships, these insights can be very difficult to obtain. Customer needs and buying motives are often anything but obvious-?consumers themselves usually can’t tell you exactly what they need and why they buy.
To gain good customer insights, marketers must effectively manage marketing information from a wide range of sources. Today’s marketers have ready access to plenty of marketing information. With the recent explosion of information technologies, companies 99 can now generate information in great quantities. Moreover, consumers themselves are now generating tons of “bottom-up” marketing information. Not long ago, the only way a consumer could communicate with an organization was by mailing a handwritten letter.
Then came the call center, followed by e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging and, indirectly, blobbing Backbone, Twitter, and so on. Each one has contributed to a growing tidal wave of “bottom-up” information that individuals volunteer to each other and to organizations. Organizations able to … Elicit and use such [volunteered information] will be able to gain much richer, more timely customer insights at lower cost. 3 Customer insights Fresh understandings of customers and the marketplace derived from marketing information that become the basis for creating customer value and relationships.
Marketing information system (MIS) People and procedures for assessing information needs, developing the needed information, and helping decision makers to use the information to generate and validate actionable customer and market insights. Far from lacking information, most marketing managers are overloaded with data and often overwhelmed by it. For example, when a company such as Pepsi monitors online discussions about its brands by searching key words in tweets, blobs, posts, and other sources, its servers take in a stunning six lion public conversations a day, more than two billion a year. That far more information than any manager can digest. Despite this data glut, marketers frequently complain that they lack enough information of the right kind. They don’t need more information; they need better information. And they need to make better use of the information they already have. The real value of marketing research and marketing information lies in how it is used-? in the customer insights that it provides. Based on such thinking, many companies are now restructuring their marketing research and information functions.
They are creating “customer insights teams,” headed by a vice president of customer insights and composed of representatives from all of the firm’s functional areas. For example, the head of marketing research at Kraft Foods is called the director of consumer insights and strategy. At Milliner, marketing research is done by the Consumer and Market Insight division, which helps brand teams harness information and turn it into customer insights.
Customer insights groups collect customer and market information from a wide variety of sources, ranging from traditional marketing research studies to mingling with and observing consumers to monitoring consumer online conversations about the company and its products. Then they use this information to develop important customer insights from which the company can create more value for its customers. Thus, companies must design effective marketing information systems that give managers the right information, in the right form, at the right time and help them to use this information to create customer value and stronger customer relationships.
A marketing information system (MIS) consists of people and procedures for assessing information needs, developing the needed information, and helping decision makers use the Information to enervate and validate actionable customer and market insights. Figure 4. 1 shows that the MIS begins and ends with information users-?marketing managers, internal and external partners, and others who need marketing information. FIGURE | 4. The Marketing Information System Marketing managers and other information users Obtaining customer and market insights from marketing information Marketing information system Developing needed information This chapter is all about managing marketing information to gain customer insights. And this important figure organizes the entire chapter. Marketers start by guessing user information needs. Then they develop the needed information using internal data, marketing intelligence, and marketing research processes.
F-anally they make the information available to users in the right form at the right time. Assessing information needs Target markets Internal databases channels intelligence Marketing environment Competitors research Publics Analyzing and using Micromanagement forces 100 part TWO Understanding the Marketplace and Consumers First, It interacts with these information users to assess information needs. Next, it interacts with the marketing environment to develop needed information through internal company databases, marketing intelligence activities, and marketing research.
Finally, the MIS helps users to analyze and use the information to develop customer insights, make marketing decisions, and manage customer relationships. Author The marketing Comment information system begins and ends with users-?assessing their information needs and then delivering information that meets those needs. Author The problem isn’t finding Comment information; the world is bursting with information from a glut of sources. The real challenge is to find the right information-?from inside and outside sources-?and turn it into customer insights.