Combining Consumer Understanding and Brand Knowledge with Intuition

By Shweta Jangir, Senior Project Director, Market Xcel Data Matrix

Marketing has always been about thinking BIG and great marketers have great GUTS! Likes of Steve Jobs, Leo Burnett etc. did not require data on consumer understanding and brand knowledge to create successful marketable products. However, the trend of using data to create marketing strategies is the truth of today’s day and age. And this challenge grows even bigger in larger organization as the risk is more. Therefore, the topic at hand takes us to an interesting crossroad where ‘intuition/gut’ meets data on consumers and brands. 

Over the years of research we have observed that innovation is a result of a combination of external and internal linkages i.e. gaining consumer understanding from the external environment and marrying it to the knowledge on the brand which is internal. Thus, the knowledge created by the combination of consumer understanding and brand knowledge gives birth to innovation. So, the real challenge is to fit the intuition/gut of a marketer into the above model. So, what exactly is the problem in following the intuition? 

For starters, the issue with intuitions is that we tend to have huge confidence in them maybe more than we should. Secondly, they feel much more real than any data. Thirdly, when we act on intuition we rely on our personal experiences and therefore it seems the right thing to do, thus making us very comfortable. Intuitions have the tendency to create a certain level of passion therefore it drives us to follow it solely throwing caution to air. 

So, what are the challenges in marrying intuition with consumer understanding and brand knowledge and innovation? 
Challenge one: The gap between the marketer understanding and technology. 
Challenge two: Translation of marketer’s intuition into technology which further translates into product or service innovation. 
Challenge three: Lack of integration between marketing and IT. 
Challenge four: Constant fear of being challenged by data. 
However big the Big Data gets, marketer’s intuition will be the key differentiator in a consumer-led marketplace. The future of marketing is a combination of intuition and consumer knowledge and there are organizations that put human at the centre instead of just data. 

Marketer has a job to imagine new possibilities and intuition is one of his strongest tools. Although they will be in a situation of advantage if they combine data driven marketing with their intuition which will lead to innovation which will further lead to a competitive advantage.  Hence, we could conclude that combining consumer understanding and brand knowledge with intuition will be challenging but cannot lessen the importance of marketing intuition.

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