Gathering better insight… by understanding how consumer behaviours change, as the changes are happening

In the final blog from our series about gathering better insight online, we discuss how we’ve worked with brands during coronavirus to understand how consumer behaviours change, as the changes are happening.

One of the advantages of long-term community panels and pop-up communities is they enable us to adopt a more iterative way of working: ask, learn, pause, reflect and then ask again. This allows us to drip-feed insights back to clients as they emerge and then add new questions based on what we’ve discovered. It leads to more collaboration, engaging stakeholders throughout the process and allowing them to ask questions, provide feedback and build ideas.

This concept of sharing insights along the way is invaluable for understanding experiences as they’re happening and being able to focus on what really matters. It helps us move away from the rigidity of traditional discussion guides, to something that is far more fluid and flexible.

As the initial coronavirus lockdown happened, many of our clients needed a way to understand how customer behaviours were changing and how they should respond. Whether it was reshaping services and experiences, developing comms, or identifying emerging opportunities, the common thread was being able to understand and reflect what people were thinking, feeling and experiencing at that very time. This included:

  • Working with a large gaming business to understand changes in players’ attitudes towards gaming and the impact lockdown had on their behaviour. A complementary pop-up community allowed new topics and questions from stakeholders to be fed in as the pandemic progressed.
  • Helping a utility provider establish what specific messaging customers needed to hear around product quality at the height of the pandemic, and where expectations lay for future service delivery and home visits.
  • Helping a bank develop content, test creative and review tone of voice for advertising encouraging customers to use online banking.
  • Working with a financial services client to understand small business owner needs around a resilience and recovery programme that can help them rebuild post-lockdown.
  • Ultimately, using pop up communities enabled these clients (and many more) to connect with and understand consumers in-the-moment of them living with such extraordinary circumstances. And at a time when we were all confined to our homes, what other methodology could have achieved that as effectively as an online pop-up community?!

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