For the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing our approach to “Unlocking the Data Vault” and why it is such a valuable first-step for any brand development project. Whether the goal is focused on marketing, sales, customer experience, internal operations, or anything in between, by assessing what is currently known about your brand, we establish a solid foundation on which a strategic plan can be built.
Having shared our overall approach and the reasons we insist on “Unlocking the Data Vault” before launching a new project, let’s get into the details and topics addressed during this process.
When most people hear the term “data” they immediately think spreadsheets and percentages. While accurate, this understanding is confined to merely one element of the term. The essence of “data” is information, which can come in many different forms. To fully “Unlock the Data Vault” we explore all areas of information that currently exists within (and about) a brand.
Here are a few of the key areas we explore:
It’s surprisingly uncommon for brands to have detailed, holistic customer profiles and buyer personas. Given the breadth and depth of existing customer data held by most companies, it’s usually a matter of strategic oversight rather than lacking resources. For brands that do have customer profiles, the effort to keep them updated and relevant is ongoing. Modern consumers constantly change their behaviors and preferences, so there’s always room for growth, development, and expansion of the details included.
Establishing clear, detailed customer profiles is vital to delivering consistent brand experiences. So, aside from any future actions taken, just the discussion around these profiles is incredibly valuable. Each team member, stakeholder, and department may have a different perception or view of who the customers are. Identifying and addressing these differences will help eliminate departmental silos and ensure everyone is moving in the same direction.
This process is the culmination of organizing and analyzing your brand’s entire customer insights inventory. Not only do customer profiles offer an actionable opportunity for existing data, they highlight missing pieces and offer a framework for future data collection efforts.
Previous Surveys and Market Research
Just because survey data is a few months or even a few years old doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. Of course, consumers and competitive markets are rapidly changing so the specific conclusions drawn then may not be directly applicable now. However, there is plenty to be gained by looking back and including “outdated” survey data when planning a new project.
The first benefit to consider is the benchmarking opportunities. Whether your past survey covered customer experience attributes, satisfaction scores, brand perception, or product development, those findings are a snapshot of where you were then and provide invaluable context when considering where you are now.
In addition to reviewing the survey results, we look at the strategic approach and survey development processes to highlight best practices and areas for improvement. Reviewing the types of questions you asked and the audience you surveyed can be leveraged in new projects to identify trends, uncover market shifts, and guide decision making.
The value of past survey data isn’t only found within the results analysis; there are a variety of strategic planning and insights application lessons to be learned as well.
It’s always an eye-opening experience when asking a group of people the same question and seeing the different answers they provide; especially when the question topic is something as important as brand identity or value propositions. So, part of “Unlocking the Data Vault” is focused on qualitative data gathered through conversations with brand leadership, team members, and even clients.
For example, consider the topic of a brand’s value proposition. We ask, “What value does XYZ brand provide for its customers?” That question tends to produce notably different responses depending on the person’s relationship with the brand. By gathering these different perspectives we’re able to paint a unique picture of the brand as it exists within a multi-dimensional world.
Furthermore, as a third-party entity, the very nature of the conversations we have are different than those driven by the brand itself. We can approach clients and customers with an unbiased mindset and receive unfiltered feedback. We bring an outsider’s perspective that often reveals topics and concepts that might otherwise be overlooked.
Through this approach, brands gain valuable insights regarding its internal AND external perception. By comparing these two vantage points, a unique story begins to emerge and the resulting discussion almost always has a significant impact on the overall direction of the project itself.
Additional areas of focus include purchase history, prospecting information, brand content engagement, and a variety of the more traditional quantitative data sources. So it’s the breadth and depth of topics covered that makes “Unlocking the Data Vault” such a powerful process.
For more information or to get started unlocking your own data vault, give us a shout!