5 Tips for Getting Customer Insights for Innovation

customer insights for innovation form in the brain.

Qualitative, quantitative, big data... With so many customer data sources to draw on for your innovation programme, things can start to feel overwhelming.

You want to review the data and make use of it, but your don’t want to get ‘analysis paralysis’ or slow your innovation process down unnecesarily. Above all you crave ‘insight’ – not data.

With this in mind we’ve put together 5 tips to speed you on your way.

Focus on Qualitative over Quantitative.

Quantitative data accurately measures what’s happening now and what happened in the past. It can track the growth and decline of markets.  By itself though, it cannot tell you much about what’s going on in your customer’s mind. Ploughing through it won't enlighten you as to how customers feel about your product, or the ways you could develop your products to make them fall deeper in love with them. For this depth of knowledge and  ‘colour’,  you need qualitative data. Qualitative methods ask more open-ended questions.

Don’t Analyse : Get Curious.

When you handle quantitative data, you have to analyse it. You use your deductive thinking skills, which move you from the ‘global’ to the ‘specific’. From x we can deduce y… e.g. from the decline in sales of print newspapers, we can deduce that people are satisfying their need for news from other sources; perhaps online newspapers, social media etc.

But this still leaves you a long way from understanding what people really want. Partly this is because customers often don’t even know what they want until you explore ideas with them or show them concepts and prototypes.

So instead of analysing, try getting curious about your data. What surprises you about it?  What’s are respondents not saying?  Where are the contradictions?

It’s Valid even if it’s not a Representative Sample.

It’s worth remembering that data in many guises can help you in the innovation process. For instance, you don’t need to get hung up on whether all the data is gathered from  representative samples.

Successful new products and services are often launched at the edge of markets and they then draw in customers from two or more different segments. For example, functional foods like cholestrol lowering spreads have benefits that people might look for in both the food market and also the supplement market.

When you’re exploring unmet customer needs, it’s Ok to give ‘undue’ attention to views of single respondents or small groups.  In fact these ‘lone voices' could be expressing a challenge to the status quo that could be ahead of the curve. These could be the first people who have recognised what's missing among the products that are currently on offer.

Draw on many Different Sources of Data.

The sources of data that can help with innovation extend far beyond that bunch of slickly designed reports with research company logos on the front you've invested in.  Your colleagues, friends and family, social media threads and forums are all great additional sources. It’s child’s play these days to photograph or video people interacting with a product, and record what they have to say about it.  Such approaches don't constitute a formal ethnographic study, but it’s more grist to the mill of developing a rich ‘stimulus’ base for developing customer insights.

Choose a Proven Insight Process.

When you get customer insights for innovation they'll happen in your brain. It’s a natural process that we’re learning much more about as the field of neuroscience expands.

Rather than wait around for these insights though, you can follow an insight process that will help you birth high quality customer insights whenever you need them. Anatellô’s RIDGE process customer insights does just this.

We guarantee that working with the RIDGE process you'll get high octane insights to power your new propositions, new services and new communications.

With customer insight you’ll be able to respond to the real unmet needs of your customers. You’ll be creating more relevant products, which will mean you’ll soon steal a march on your competitors.

Download Anatellô's White Paper on  Customer Insights and How to Get Them

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