At our core, MacKenzie is a strategic customer insights firm empowering brands with data-driven knowledge, clarity, and wisdom. The goal is to develop best-in-class products, services, and experiences that deliver true value and joy. But there’s an important extension of customer insight that’s needed to be relevant and stay relevant within highly competitive markets – human insight.
We consider human insights to be the details and attributes that make each individual consumer unique. By going beyond the traditional purchase and behavioral metrics, we seek to understand the entire person. The better we can understand someone’s life as a whole, the better a brand can serve them in meaningful and authentic ways. The brand-customer relationship doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are a variety of surrounding factors and variables that affect the relationship dynamics. So, the mission is to establish an overarching, holistic context for how our partner brands fit within the lives of their audiences.
That said, it can seem as though certain human insights are irrelevant or unrelated to specific business objectives. As a result, they can be omitted or bumped to the bottom of a priority list. While there certainly needs to be a hierarchy of importance which keeps customer-focused insights at the top, the importance of human-focused attributes shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are a few reasons why.
Customer Persona Development
It’s not a matter of if customer personas have a positive impact, it’s a matter of how much. According to a MarketingSherpa case study, using detailed buyer personas resulted in a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue. But the key word there is detailed. Personas need to go beyond purchase patterns and transactional history. Especially for marketing and relationship building, we need to understand what makes people tick. We need to paint a picture of who they are in their daily lives. This is where human insights come into play.
A few of the key areas to explore are psychographic details, emotional decision drivers, and personality traits. By understanding these attributes, we can offer more than just repurchase opportunities or product pairings. We can showcase a brand’s value propositions within a relevant context based on big-picture lifestyle factors.
Let’s say a product makes a task easier and more efficient for the buyer. Well, a detailed persona can help craft messaging to convey broader benefits of that product. For example, it allows more free time to participate in their favorite hobbies or activities. If we know those hobbies and activities, brand messaging can call them out specifically and deliver hyper-personalized communications. At a high-level, those human insights may seem irrelevant to specific business goals and objectives. But in knowing more about the person outside of a business sense, a business can connect in more personalized ways.
Customer Journey Mapping
Like persona development, a customer’s journey must be developed within the context of outside factors and variables. Our lives are busy and complex. We’re often jumping from one task to the next without much time in between. So, brand interactions and engagement aren’t happening in a vacuum.
Human insights shed light on the situations and scenarios in which those interactions might occur. Take brand awareness, for example. A person may have first heard about a brand via social media. But does that person consider social media as a trustworthy source of information? When making purchase decisions, which peripheral factors or influences play a role? When using a product or service, are they doing so in combination with other products or services? If so, how does that shape overall perceived value and satisfaction?
Identifying and exploring the indirect elements that are having a direct impact on your brand will provide a clearer, more detailed picture of the customer’s journey. It will expand your vision regarding ideal positioning and competitive advantages. It will highlight how, when, and where your brand fits within the complex landscape of a person’s daily life. This understanding will offer different perspectives and viewpoints for how touchpoints and engagement opportunities can be maximized on a case-by-case basis.
Just like in our personal lives, meaningful relationships take time and effort. We need to get to know each other to authentically connect. Relationships with customers are no different.
Part of the benefit here is that the mere act of gathering human insights serves as a relationship building opportunity. By showing interest in a person’s life outside of a business context, we’re showing we care about more than sales and revenue. The process itself conveys a sense of appreciation, respect, and empathy for that individual.
Part of effective and efficient brand development is having a well-rounded customer insights strategy. And part of a well-rounded customer insights strategy is understanding what makes each individual unique outside of any business context. As consumers and competitive markets continue to evolve, human insights will play an increasingly important role. So, to be relevant and stay relevant, be sure this is a key area of focus moving forward.
For over 35 years, MacKenzie has empowered brands to connect with the people behind the transactions. We’ve leveraged data-driven insights to guide important decisions and strengthen relationships with target audiences. To learn how we can do the same for you, give us a call!