Customer in the Data Shadow

DATA THEY SAY IS THE NEW CURRENCY BUT IT STILL CAN’T BUY PEOPLE

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What do I look like to you, a guinea pig or a lab rat? Make your pick because I need to know. Scratch that, truth is, I don’t want to know. It’s just that your marketing strategies are beginning to make me feel like one of either option. Brands and marketers these days are doing the right thing by gathering as much data as possible to fuel their marketing campaigns but they are doing the wrong thing by ignoring the human element – we all want to be touched at some point. Brands make the mistake of trying to be masters at collecting data but ignore the ability to be human therefore treating people like lab rats – if this strategy fails, try the next one, that seems to be the new mantra.

Owing to the speed with which the consumer (not a lab rat or guinea pig) is changing, brands are adopting a more agile framework – design thinking – which helps them change at the same pace the consumer does. However they tend to keep the consumer in the data shadow, this means that brands tend to take the standpoint of addressing the consumer needs as they see it on paper and/or research reports. For example, the fact that there is usually an insane amount of terrible traffic condition in Nigeria doesn’t mean that if you sell a product to them they’ll purchase it but if you can connect to their emotions at that point, you are likely to record a higher amount of sales.

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Therefore, what any brand should do is never to neglect the fact that the customer is first a human being and not a collection of data.

Consumer first (Consumer Centricity), that’s basically what design thinking is about. If you don’t believe me, you could ask Google, Amazon, Apple, and any other successful brand that has employed this strategy.

Arthos, Porthos, and… Ethnos

THIS IS NO ARTICLE ABOUT THE 3 MUSKETEERS BUT IT IS AN ARTICLE OF A TRINITY

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

I’m tired of reading research materials from organizations and personnel who never left the comfort of their chair. A good research that deals with the lifestyle of people cannot be totally done without ground survey. You need to speak to people to understand how they personally interact with the subject of your survey before you put it out for consumption.

Very recently, a new brand in Nigeria was looking to open an outlet in the Northern part of the country. According to the initial research material it had obtained, they were going to do fantastically in the North but they failed a few weeks after the launch because the consumption habits of the consumers was found to be entirely different from what the paper said.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

As a result of this experience, I was able to spot the trend showing how brands take research and strategy very seriously and they employ the tool known as ethnography. Ethnos is the piece that completes your literature, data/analysis. Ethnography tends to feel the pulse of the prospective client/customer.

The three pronged approach to research that has always worked for me and till this day ensures I win in research analysis are the literature, the data/analysis, and very importantly –the ethnography.