Creating Feedback Communities to Optimize the Quality of Customer Insights

Let’s think for a moment about advertising. Brands constantly put out ads based on market research that are intended to capture the attention of their target audience. But those of us in the “audience” know how some stories miss the mark. We might feel like it didn’t speak directly enough to how we live or what we need, or that the message just wasn’t relevant.

So, what went wrong? How did the market research fail to do its job?

When advertising is effective, it means it has tapped into the needs and expectations of the target customer. The same approach holds true for the product itself, and success can lie in the difference between traditional market research and the development of customer communities.

Building a Community to Gather Effective, Meaningful Customer Insights

Social media, big data and artificial intelligence have created new avenues by which to derive customer insights. For example, AI can allow us to analyze months of tweets on a given topic, identifying key trends or categories in mere seconds, and big data allows us to collect mountains of information on our customers’ behavior based on how they interact on social media and how they use the Internet.

However, these wide avenues to information create a significant challenge for brands in that they’re, well, often quite wide. Remember focus groups, where real customers would gather in a room and provide answers and opinions to help in your product development? Those exercises added an element of human touch that could garner more valuable insights than an automated process alone. One of their drawbacks, though, is that these exercises can take time, and in today’s competitive market, time isn’t a luxury we tend to have.

What if you could combine these two ideas? When you join automation with human interaction, you can extract the most valuable customer insights to help drive each step of your product creation process.

Research & Ideation

A platform that gives you access to a vast community of actual users can provide you with unique insights right at the product concept stage. With these communities, you can do everything from identify new product opportunities and validate concepts to bounce sketches or mock-ups off real future users.

Where is the most value in this insight?

  • Identifying trends (i.e. details about how customers use specific products)
  • Discovering and correcting potentially pricey product positioning issues
  • Identifying specific product needs to inform a new product opportunity or an improvement to an existing product
  • Streamlining designs to better appeal to customers’ needs and preferences

Design Concepts

A platform that gives you access to trained and talented product designers can be a significant enhancement to your in-house design team. Instead of approaching a new market blindly, you can leverage the help of designers with specific expertise to provide informed, expert design concepts.

Where is the most value in this insight?

  • Kickstart your internal design teams with external concepts generating numerous design concepts from which to choose
  • Get quality design concepts fast, so you can go to market more quickly
  • Confidently break into a new market or execute a product extension

Product Testing

A platform that gives you access to a broad community of actual users who can test your product’s use and fit in a real-world setting is invaluable. It goes way beyond traditional market research, allowing you to get real-time feedback about how your product is performing in actual use.

Where is the most value in this insight?

  • Test your prototypes and current styles with a highly-targeted segment of the population, so you know the feedback is meaningful and accurate
  • Make critical changes before launch based on quality, real-time feedback
  • Avoid costly design or performance imperfections that can lead to unpurchased merchandise or a high return rates
  • Ensure greater brand loyalty with products that deliver great customer experiences

Product Launch

A platform that sets you up with usable customer reviews that can accompany your product when it hits the market is a win for any brand. A community of real users who have already been involved with the development of your product can stand behind it right out of the gate. Then, you wait for the organic reviews to flow in.

Where is the most value in this insight?

  • Validate your product with real reviews from real users
  • Increase the velocity of your product – 80% of customers look to reviews to inform their purchase decision  
  • Overcome the obstacle of trust-challenged customers who are marketed to daily
  • Speak to your audience in their voice, highlighting the product attributes they care about most

Utilizing a platform that includes an authentic community provides far more valuable customer insights – and far more value from those insights – than simply mining social media data or solely relying on closed-door focus groups. And, of course, skipping the market research entirely could make for incorrect assumptions about your customers, sending your product down the wrong path.

Just like effective advertising, a good product resonates with your customers. Meeting their needs and expectations ensures you’re delivering a great customer experience when you go to market.

Go to market with confidence with the MESH01 platform.