Four Ways to Better Understand Your Consumer
10 Sep 2015

Knowing your customer should be your top priority. You waste time and money when you cannot pinpoint who you customers actually are.  If you don’t know who your target audience is, how can you reach them effectively?  How do you know how much they are willing to pay for your product?  What do they think about your product and your industry overall? What would enhance their loyalty and referral rates?

Use research that is already out there.  There is a lot of free research that is already out there.   Simply start with census.gov to understand your industry’s basic demographics.   Many times your local library may have access to business databases that you can utilize.  Also, you can learn more about what your customers and prospects are saying by simply using keyword searches on Facebook and Twitter.

Seek consultancies that conduct secondary research if you need more information about your target audience.   Agencies, like Provoke Insights, have extensive access to secondary databases.  They are able to digest and analyze several sources quickly to help answer your questions about your customers.

If your questions are not available from existing sources, primary research can be conducted. While more costly, a company can utilize this method to identify specific questions they may want to ask about their customers. Primary research allows you to learn very specific information about the customer such as demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and opinions of certain products or services.   It is also a great tool for testing marketing initiatives before prospects.

Use your website analytics.   Finally, besides the traditional research methods of learning about your audiences, there is so much that can be done with analytics to get a good grasp on your customers.  With website analytics, you can monitor where, when, and who visits the site.  Once you analyze and understand your website visitors more, you can learn to engage with them in ways that resonate.

47% of Advertising Professionals Hate the Pitch Process
10 Sep 2015

The pitch process is part of an advertising agency’s DNA

The pitch process is mandatory if an agency wants to acquire new business. In addition, with the average length of the client relationship diminishing from eight years in 1997 to only three years today, pitching is occurring more frequently (ANA, 2012).  

However, according to a survey by Provoke Insights, approximately half (47%) of advertising professionals say they are dissatisfied with the current internal approach to pitching. To sum up, the time, expense, and resources used during the pitch process are often extensive. 

Professionals hate the pitch process

“I hate the pitch process,” one account professional confessed, under anonymity. “It means working 24-7 and completely wears everyone out.” Therefore, it is not shocking that the industry says unrealistic timelines (66%) and long work hours (65%) are critical reasons for such frustration. Certainly, the demand for pitching is not a new issue; management expects employees to give their sweat and tears. In addition, weekends and nights would be devoted to winning new business.

Can the pace of the pitch process be avoided?

Surprisingly, employees believe that they can prevent these tiring work conditions if better organization and processes were in place. “Very chaotic, no clear direction until the last minute,” a media analyst mentioned when recalling his most recent pitch.

Interestingly, those who are happy with their experiences during the pitch process mention teamwork as a crucial reason for their satisfaction. “Good collaboration and clear understanding of a common purpose,” an account executive indicated as success factors.

Other frustrations

Another area of frustration during pitches is having timely access to the appropriate research and data. Moreover, forty-four percent of advertising professionals stated that if there were better availability of research and data, pitches would run smoother and more successful. More so, those who received data for pitches, 48% mentioned the speed of resources was not quick enough.

An agency has one shot to deliver the right message, so research and insights are imperative. Further, no matter how innovative the creative is, the pitch could be off base. “Base winning creative on research and insights. However, research isn’t necessary for creatives, causing strategies to be lackluster,” a strategic planner stated.
As a result, advertising research is crucial during the pitch process. In conclusion, receiving extra support and resources in regards to understanding of the target audience (57%), competitive intelligence (53%) followed by trends analysis (53%), industry intelligence (47%) and social listening (42%) are key areas employees believe the pitch process can be more successful.

Learn more about the pitch process here.

Methodology 
Provoke Insights conducted an online survey between November 8th – December 8th, 2013. The company promoted the survey to advertising agency employees through targeted Facebook posts and industry relevant LinkedIn groups; 140 advertising professionals completed the survey.

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Provoke Insights is a full-service market research firm. We help build and grow brands using multiple market research methodologies including qualitative, quantitative, and secondary research. We hope to work with you in the future.

Understand What Your Consumer Really Wants
10 Sep 2015

Are you truly listening?   Social listening is a powerful tool that goes beyond just monitoring your brand and competitors sentiment.

Have you thought about listening beyond what people say about your brand?  With 73% of online Americans using social networking sites, it is crucial to understand what your customers are talking about online beyond your brand (Pew Internet, December 27, 2013).  If you don’t know what your customers are saying, how can your brand join their online conversation? Social listening is the crucial element to create a 3D image of your target audience. This enables your brand to make strategic business decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

Social listening involves monitoring news sites, blogs, micro-blogging, social networking sites, forums, eCommerce platforms and many more. This allows you to better understand the bigger conversation among your target audience (not just about your brand).   As a result, you can now place your brand in other conversations beyond the traditional discussion.  A great example would be Red Bull.  Even though they are an energy drink, they have expanded the conversation to extreme sports.

More so, social listening allows you to identify your brand’s key influencers.  It is not enough to follow these opinion leaders, but it is crucial that you actively engage with them.  This will ultimately create new brand advocates.