Since the dawn of modern marketing, consumer-facing brands have striven for better, more accurate information about their potential customers. Which audiences should they be targeting? What are their needs and desires? Where and when are they most likely to form and make their purchase decision? These questions are all asked with the intention of making smarter, faster marketing decisions to gain a competitive edge.
The types of questions marketers are asking haven’t changed, but the tools we have at our disposal to answer them have, and will continue to rapidly evolve over the next few years.
The speed of how information is now disseminated means brands and innovators need to think differently about how they discover and deploy consumer insight. No longer can brands wait 24 months from inception to execution for their latest new flavour innovation or product reformulation. The traditional barriers to entry for big brands have been eroded by today’s digital economy. Smaller, nimbler startup brands are reacting to consumers’ changing preferences faster, gaining crucial first-mover advantage. Speed isn’t always everything, however; it’s also crucial to be able to evaluate whether a trend has long-term potential to impact a category, and therefore warrants investment.
So, what should big brands do? The answer lies in using 21st-century tools for 21st-century business. The internet represents the world’s largest public record of consumer attitude and behaviour, and brands that can utilise this robust and rich data source to deliver real-time consumer insight will be best placed for future success. This abundance of data and availability of artificial intelligence (AI) opens up the possibility of true prediction, moving research away from traditional rear-view techniques.
This is how ‘social prediction‘ was born. To clarify, social prediction is not social monitoring or listening. It has similarities with these methods –…