Customer Insights Trends for 2022

Chris Reeve, Social Media Manager at Fountain Partnership, a UK digital marketing agency and consultancy, connected with WEVO’s own Jenni Bruckman on ways to understand customers like never before heading into 2022. Through their discussion, they unpack why customer insights are so vital and new-age tools that can help customer research initiatives.

Watch their full conversation and read on for key takeaways.

https://youtu.be/6-lTDBE5Rg8

Why organizations should be doubling down on customer insights in 2022 

With decades of A/B testing experience under her belt, Jenni is still amazed by how few companies are leading with data. Brands still make far too many decisions off intuition alone, but this strategy often gets messy and slows timelines down. 

If the pandemic has taught anything, it’s that customers are shouting their expectations from the rafters. It’s the responsibility of the brand to meet them where they are as a baseline, then exceed and innovate to show what’s possible beyond that. It’s more important than ever to understand how flexible and rapid it can be to lead with the right data processes.

“Insights are the key driver of true impact. Organizations who are or are becoming insight-led are those that are excelling at meeting their customer’s expectations — and their growth in the market follows.” – Jenni Bruckman, Vice President of Customer Success & Strategic Alliances, WEVO

Classic mistakes in the market when it comes to websites

The biggest fallback is placing too much emphasis on an intuition-led roadmap. Leading with intuition is guided by best practices, but some circumstances and personas may be neglected. The opportunity costs of making too big of a bet with intuition instead of an insight-led direction does a disservice to companies today. 

“It astonishes me how often brands are still led purely by intuition. The industry win rate of A/B tests is still only 25% on average. That means our intuition is often wrong. And the opportunity cost of rolling out the wrong experience is high.” Jenni Bruckman, WEVO

Jenni also sees too many teams focus on solutions before validating the perceived problems. A solution-oriented mindset is aligned with intuition, so the way solutions are rolled out is nuanced. Validating the problems is where the change drivers begin. 

Reasons traditional customer research methods fall short, and the next-gen tools available for better insights

There is a stigma around the customer insight space being too complicated and taxing, but it doesn’t have to be. There are tools for companies of all sizes to research customers and understand what they want. 

I spent the last 10+ years in agency consulting, primarily focused on digital optimization, and WEVO was the first tool I saw that felt like it offered a solution we should have had years ago. My signal of a good solution is when you ask yourself, how does this not already exist?” –Jenni Bruckman, WEVO

Traditional Customer Research Methods:

  • Intuition: low on insights, low on accuracy

Too many brands are relying on intuition, that “gut feeling.” The human element of research is important, but intuition tends to be highly biased and isn’t based on customer feedback.

  • UX Research: high on insights, low on accuracy

This category includes generative and formative research, moderated or unmoderated studies, research operations, and more. It’s insightful but directional as it tends to be strictly qualitative and hard to scale. The problem is, this work is labor-intensive and requires an expert UXR practitioner to be done well. A UX researcher will typically spend hours upon hours manually executing all steps in the process of a user experience test. 

  • Retrospective: low on insights, high on accuracy

This quantitative method includes A/B testing, pre/post analysis, cohort studies, personalization, segmentation and more. It’s accurate and iterative but often is time-intensive to build and run tests that require several iterations to uncover insights that can be quickly implemented.

What WEVO does:

  • AI-Powered Research: the best of both worlds — high on insights, high on accuracy

This is the “North Star” of insights. It includes qualitative feedback from a wide audience: a group large enough to make the insights statistically meaningful for action. It’s the approach WEVO embraces to deliver insights to our clients.

How the insights market changed in recent years 

We’re seeing a demand for insights at an all-time high. In fact, 100 million UX research professionals will be needed by 2050 to keep up with the pace of demand for insights.

But the number of experts who can deliver pro-level, reliable UXR studies cannot currently keep up with that demand. The reality is hiring people is typically not as easy or as fast as the business needs. It typically lags behind, so it creates the challenge to scale up Research in new and innovative ways. The benefit of this is that access to insights correlates to happier teams. Hiring smart teams is the first step, then giving them easy access to reliable insights is what will fuel their innovation.

The other shift is in the demand for exceptional data storytelling. It’s not acceptable to dump graphs and charts full of data for teams to digest and interpret the takeaways. Brands must synthesize the signal vs. the noise. They have to be able to prove that the takeaways are meaningful. That’s where a combination of human-augmented AI solutions like WEVO can help.  

“Every organization needs to democratize insights to enable more People Who Do Research. And in order to make that research reliable, they have to have a standardized and scalable way to gather insights.” -Jenni Bruckman, WEVO

Examples of where a business or brand has doubled down on customer insights 

As a company that looks for validation from customers on the value of the insights, Jenni sees firsthand how WEVO is helping businesses to be insight-led. From financial services, higher education, and travel and hospitality, these industries are seeing the benefits of combining ten-mile deep research while accelerating their trajectory with evaluative research and data. 

“What they’ve started to do is democratize insights. It’s no longer an elusive thing that only super pros can do. Broader teams can gather their own insights, make more validated roadmap decisions, prioritize projects and releases. As a result, those insights become the fuel.” – Jenni Bruckman, WEVO

Jenni has seen so many brands disappear from the marketplace because they were too late to lead with data. They missed the opportunity to innovate and deliver what customers were saying they wanted. Giving the smart teams confirmation that they’re moving the needle starts with access to reliable insights that will fuel their innovation. 

How WEVO helps delight your customers from the start

Chris initiated this question by saying he’s now anti-customer “satisfaction”, asking instead, Why aren’t we striving to go a step beyond and actually delight customers? 

Digging into WEVO’s ultimate mission, Jenni took listeners on a deep dive into how WEVO does it.

“We seek to deliver the fastest way to optimize customer experiences across both a Qualitative and Quantitative lens by offering highly insightful feedback at a statistically significant volume, in an effortless and rapid way.” – Jenni Bruckman, WEVO

WEVO:

  •  Empowers marketers to conduct Evaluative Research across all of their digital experience assets: prototypes or live experiences, mobile or desktop, ads, emails, web page, and owned or competitor sites. 
  • Reduce risks by comparing concepts before you launch them. Compare your own experiences, but also expand your focus to the entire marketplace and your competitor set. All digital channels have journeys that need to be measured, and teams share responsibility for the journey’s success.
  • Accelerate impact by investing time to make insights part of your processStep back from your biases and think strategically, leading with the problem. Begin to standardize processes so that you’re able to make that impact repeatable and scalable.

The ways to leverage WEVO to improve experiences across the board:

  • Page – Always start with the problem and work to diagnose or validate it. With problem discovery, pinpoint why consumers are not engaging or converting. From there, move on to solution validation, where your team can determine what works, and why it does.
  • Compare Pages – Concept comparisons allow marketers to validate concepts and prototypes before going live. This saves valuable time, and protects financial investments by optimizing content before it gets to the consumer in the real world. Tying back to competitors and the marketplace, WEVO lets leaders analyze their strengths and weaknesses compared to their competition. Step back from what you’re seeing every day to reduce your reliance on intuition.

Journey – It’s vital to understand the user’s holistic experience journey. Users don’t necessarily care what parts of the journey you own or don’t, so it’s up to the company to strengthen their roadmap across digital channels. 

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