The Power of Always-On Insights

The digital age has turned consumers into active participants in brand building.

Their experiences and expressions hold the power to set the tone for how a brand’s actions are interpreted and ultimately how a brand is perceived – sometimes a lucky win (think Stanley tumblers) and sometimes not (sorry Bud Light and Victoria’s Secret). Either way, all of these brands would have been better prepared had they “plugged-in” to their target audiences – tracked trends, tested concepts, co-created ideas and cultivated an honest exchange with consumers about their brand’s place in their consumer’s world.

At Big Village we work with category leading brands, some of the world’s largest, encouraging them to build towards an always-on position – keeping pace with consumers to maintain connected and in control of their brand narrative and the critical assets that lie within. With 80 + years of insights leadership to build on we have tracked the transition of power to the consumer – from brands leading the conversation for decades to, at times (now) not even getting an invitation to the party. And, through observation and experience we have developed a systematic way for our clients to achieve a fresh, always-current understanding of their target audience(s).

As an experienced multi-disciplined partner, we are fortunate to have the bandwidth to deliver across a spectrum of methods to make up an “always-on” perspective – consider a landscape of tools working to keep your business partners informed and maintain a data-based (functional and emotional data!) perspective on attitudes, opinions, and behaviors in near real time:

  • secondary research and generational trends make up important context to align and assess actions/reactions,
  • data enrichment delivers current (and many times unstated) behavior,
  • dedicated-access to key audiences in our Consumer Insight Hub deliver quick-turn, concept/message testing or longer term listening and deeper understanding via Digital Hives (Big Village’s online communities),
  • embedded artificial intelligence (AI) from multiple sources aiding analytical efficiency and ensuring a connection for findings to known applications for our experienced, human leads to direct, assess and apply.

And for our client brands the ability to act by adopting an “always-on” approach yields always-evolving targets (Big Village’s Smart Targets) that can be readily put into action to build real time digital media behavior back into the mix to strengthen future product, creative, positioning and outreach (media) initiatives.

Traditional approaches are losing. They involve choppy learning with interstitial consumer feedback that needs to be socialized to make an impact. With the prevalence of digital channels and the increasing complexity of consumer markets, “always-on” insights platforms are not merely an innovation but a necessity – the era of “always-on” is here and brands that activate it to the fullest are the ones that will win.

We are aiming to engage insights executives at client brands who believe, as we do here at Big Village, that the critical element to socialize within their executive teams is “plugging-in” – always listening and leading the conversation so swift action is preceded with an informed client team and a close connection to the realities of the customer.

Are you a believer in “always-on” insights? Ready to plug-in? We are here to help you make it a reality.


Written by Jim Nelson, SVP, Insights at Big Village.

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