11 ways to build robust insight – from a customer insight consultancy

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Insight is the fuel that drives the engine of customer-focused organisations and enables informed businesses to craft compelling and delightful customer experiences. Leading brands are using it to Great effect to engage, acquire, understand and increase the loyalty of customers.

Qualifying insight: separating the signal from the noise

The challenge for many organisations is the extraction of meaningful and actionable insight from the vast quantities of data that they are operating with. Data isn’t valuable unless it enables businesses to make better decisions. Actionable insight should:

Align – Connect with the ambitions, goals and strategy of the business.

Have business context – Inform the business in the context of their existing operations.

Be Relevant – Align with the issues and ambitions that the business currently faces.

Present something new – Tell the business a new story.

Have Clarity – Be easily understood by all stakeholders.

Brands that have transformed their business with customer insight

Metro Bank

Insight: 24% of the UK population own a pet dog and 19% of the population are young children.

Banks have a reputation for not being  child or animal friendly places!

Action The bank decided to focus on delivering a great experience to children and pets in order to increase account holder’s loyalty. They did this by providing free water and food for dogs in all branches along with a kid’s area which keeps children occupied whilst account holders are doing their banking.


Insight: data usage increased by 71 times when individuals were abroad on holiday as they posted holiday snaps on social media.

Action. Three launched the award winning, highly successful “holiday spam” advertising campaign that saw a 90% increase in social conversations involving Three.


Insight: Netflix has a swarm of data that reveals the viewing habits and preferences of their customers which led them to realise that their customers preferred high quality dramas.

Action Netflix commissioned (and then produced) a string of quality dramas started with House of Cards. By giving customers more of what they want, the business has quadrupled its subscriber base since 2012.

11 techniques to develop actionable customer insight

  • Panel based surveys – Running online surveys to ask target customers questions about their issues, needs and desires can inform businesses how to improve marketing messages, customer experience and product innovations.
  • Customer interviews – interviewing existing customers to reveal what they like and dislike about a product or service can help businesses deliver better service and customer experiences and retain their customers for longer.
  • Secondary research – secondary research produced by specialist research houses is a helpful shortcut that businesses can use to better understand a new market or business opportunity.
  • Usability studies – website usability studies can reveal how customers are interacting and engaging with a website in order for businesses to improve the digital experience and customer conversions.
  • Customer segmentation – understanding the different clusters of customers that a brand has can help businesses provide more contextually relevant and segment specific communications that improve engagement, conversions and customer loyalty.
  • Product affinity analysis – analysing sales data can help businesses identify customers who are likely to want to buy a new product that a business is launching. This can be invaluable in driving sales for a new product launch.
  • Search analysis – analysing search trends on Google can reveal the questions that prospective customers have about a product or service and can inform how customers think about it. This can be very helpful in crafting marketing messages and producing more effective content for prospective customers that drives conversions.
  • Social media listening – listening to social media chatter around a brand, product, category or competitor set can unearth insight about the customer’s attitude and outlook to inform how to better meet their needs.
  • Customer feedback loops – creating opportunities for customers to give feedback on their experience can inform organisations on how they can improve products and customer service.
  • On-site search – on-site search analysis is often overlooked but can reveal the psychology of a brand’s website visitors. This can be used to better organise and structure the information, navigation and user journey on a website.
  • Competitor analysis – analysing the competitors marketing strategy can reveal opportunities for brands to accelerate marketing performance. Competitor brand analysis can help brands develop stronger differentiation against the competition which resonates more strongly with customers.