In the previous article, we laid out the major challenges facing marketers after a year of drastic changes in consumer behavior. Looking into 2021, the current market situation (rapidly-shifting consumer behaviors, a surge of misinformation, disrupted supply chains, etc.) urges marketers to quickly adapt to new attitudes, values, and expectations from consumers. At Segmanta, helping marketers understand their consumers has always been our main focus. Based on our expertise in market research, here are the most effective methods to revamp consumer understanding in 2021.

 

Identify New Personas With Quality Data In The Post-Pandemic Era 🔍

While hoping our life will return to normal with vaccinations in progress, consumers are getting ready to go back to the outside world and to explore their options in the post-pandemic era. However, many people are still conscious about potential health risks without social distancing. As a result, new consumer personas emerge. 

To decode new consumer trends in 2021, brands need to put in extra effort to collect information. According to a report by Brandwatch, “not having the right data” is the biggest issue for marketers to resolve this year. 

What type of consumer data matters the most in the new year? Given the significant shifts in lifestyles, the dominant emotions amongst consumers are hope, fear, caution, and care. To successfully engage consumers, brands need to get “personal” and resonate with what consumers truly want.

One success story of achieving business wins during the pandemic was Pure Archery, an outdoor archery brand, by optimizing their zero-party data strategy to establish a robust customer database three years ago. Knowing that there is no need to “identify” their customers, the brand chose not to rely on data partners, such as Facebook or Google, to provide informative stats for customer insights. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the company used declarative data to safely interact with customers. As a result, the brand saw a 50% market share growth during the pandemic period and gathered 20 million unique data points in their customer data platform. 

In order to obtain quality consumer insights, leveraging declarative consumer research is the most effective way. According to EY’s report, 50% of consumers believe the pandemic “made them more willing to share personal data”. Instead of interpreting consumer needs via behavioral, third-party information, asking the right and emotionally engaging questions will help brands retrieve more valuable data and further offer consumers more personalized experiences.

 

Prioritize Data Security-Related Features And Build Trust 🔒

Based on a survey conducted by First Insight, 60% of consumers would remain shopping online due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, which means a significant exposure to data security risks. 

Emphasizing the privacy features, such as data transparency, consent-based data collection, privacy by design approach, is crucial for brands to gain consumer trust and further solidify brand loyalty. If consumers are more comfortable sharing data with the brands that they believe can handle their data in a secure manner, the feedbacks declared by them will have higher quality. As third-party cookie tracking gradually withdraws from the digital arena, the opportunity to pivot to more sophisticated data privacy protections will drive brands to prioritize data security-related features. 

(photo credit: Forbes)

The soon-to-be-released Apple iOS 14.5 is one of the most exciting updates with innovative privacy features. The brand enhanced the security level of the Safari browser by redirecting Google Safe Browsing to Apple’s proxy server, avoiding data transmission, and disclosing IP addresses to Google. With the wide Apple fan base who don’t really want their user data captured by Google, this privacy-focused update that harmonizes with other cool features will definitely strengthen customer loyalty. 

 

Encourage Self-service Research & Decentralized Decision-Making 🛠

After a chaotic 2020, consumer trends are more unpredictable than ever. The fast-changing buying behaviors need to be observed, analyzed, and integrated more efficiently. Many brands ditched traditional, labor-intensive research methods and seek smarter research tools to gain meaningful results. 

To achieve agile, decentralized decision-making, brands need to equip the teams with easy-to-use, full-service data collection tools. Additionally, the self-service market research platforms can allow marketing executives to reallocate resources and enable team collaboration to extract useful insights in a timely fashion. 

At Segmanta, we encourage marketers to take advantage of our dynamic research solutions to drive growth in the digital age with consumer understanding that is as agile as consumers are. The DIY research platform enables teams to cooperate and come up with engaging surveys that can be embedded in various forms of digital properties and to collect opinions directly from consumers. Via Segmanta’s comprehensive analytics dashboard, marketers can visualize consumer trends and generate insights using the smart segmentation features. Eventually, the research results can be easily integrated into brands’ databases for future optimization.

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Consumer understanding should no longer be a mystic subject in 2021. Building a slimmer, more focused data structure with declarative consumer insights, reinforcing data privacy can help brands form powerful strategies to overcome the challenges of market uncertainties.