By Pat Osorio, Chief Revenue Officer, Birdie
Marketing today is an always-on proposition. Companies can no longer market a product to a consumer and then move on to the next product or person. To grow a product-oriented business in 2022 requires an investment in product lifecycle marketing, bolstered by real-time insights from the millions of customer conversations occurring online.
Most companies think the best way to harness online comments about brands and products is to employ simple social listening tools to ingest what people are saying around keywords.
But while social listening helps communications teams monitor conversations around the brand, it is a crude tool for generating insights related to product performance. Product teams need a V8 engine, not a toy car battery.
Too few appreciate how valuable it is to use cutting-edge AI to analyze millions of consumer and competitive data points, generating granular, actionable insights and recommendations that directly answer key business questions across the different product lifecycle stages.
Social listening only tells a fraction of the story, often leading brands to inconclusive decisions. And companies that only listen to conversations using keywords and queries miss out on important insights that could save them time and money or compel them to focus on a game-changing feature.
AI and machine learning is now at the fingertips of every company that wants to increase revenues, improve customer satisfaction and innovate faster. The technology has grown leaps and bounds in the past decade so that now companies cannot avoid rethinking their marketing and product development around the entire product lifecycle.
It requires real investment through re-skilling, technology and data platforms but it pays dividends through the following benefits:
- Increased ROI. Many modern products have additional revenue opportunities that can come from upgrading or upselling new product lines. Only through always-on data collection and analysis from your most ardent customers and detractors can you find the right opportunities for new product lines or extensions. Companies that excel at customer experience grow their revenues 4%-8% versus the competition.
- Increase speed to market. Companies that use AI to better mine customer insights will avoid unnecessary focus grouping and ill-advised product development to more quickly make what customers want. The right technology can tell you which product attributes are most important to customers and what drives them crazy about your competitors’ products. By honing product focus on what matters most for customers, speed to market increases and you create the best product fit for market.
- Increased customer satisfaction that creates lifelong advocates Understanding and being able to respond to specific feedback and macro feedback makes consumers feel like part of a conversation and not just a target audience to be marketed to. Nothing is more disheartening than having a problem with a product and feeling like the company doesn’t care. In reality, many companies do not have the right mechanisms to find and triage these conversations. Around 67% of users cite poor customer experience as the reason they stopped using one for brand for the competition.
- In-depth competitive analysis: Always-on data intelligence not only provides great insights into your customers and how your products are being received but also how they are responding to the competition. You can more accurately map the competitive landscape to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each brand for strategic planning, as well as take immediate action on breaking developments. Is there a celebrated feature your competitor has but you don’t? Get it into production. Is another company in the category struggling to locate supply? Target their customers.
- Better defined go-to-market strategies: Before launching a new product, a deep dive into the current marketplace and customer insights will help with messaging, positioning, branding and pricing. Are people complaining about the incumbent’s price point? You may want to undercut them. Is there confusion about what the competitor’s products do? Take a different approach to win blue sky and potentially be defined as the industry leader.
- Better informed V2 strategy: With the ability to monitor customer reaction to products upon launch and throughout the lifecycle, as well as being able to better communicate with existing customers, companies can better focus on enhancements for upcoming products to better fit customer needs.
The benefits of product lifecycle insights and marketing are manifold: companies that deploy data intelligence through the entire product life-cycle make smarter and better business decisions. The world is a real-time, ever-changing product focus group. Knowing what your and your competitors’ individual customers are saying on an individual basis is good. But being able to aggregate those conversations to meaningful insights is 100x more valuable. Only through the ability to access deep, granular data will your organization be able to act upon these insights. Companies looking to grow above the competition must understand what consumers want today and in the future.
Companies must harness real-time consumer data to produce actionable insights that inform a willing product lifecycle performance and experience, or else they will fall behind the competition.