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BriteBirch Insights: For Brands Seeking Perspective

In a world that continues to shift, how can business leaders make the right decisions again and again? We asked our Insights experts.

The global coronavirus pandemic. The deterioration of the environment. The advent of evermore powerful and disruptive technologies. The increasing global social consciousness. The movement for data protection and privacy. These are only a few of the pressures facing humanity that have evolved rapidly over the last few years. As such, brand and business leaders say they are finding it harder to understand their audiences and confidently steer their companies.

To help inform their decisions, businesses have been turning to the promise of big data. With enough data, the story goes, not only can brands understand the behavior of audiences, they may actually predict it. This is the new mantra of market researchers, AdTech innovators and AI enthusiasts. But how big is big data? And what is the real value of such a long-term and often expensive shift in business?

According to Andrew Ng, cofounder of Google Brain, the tech giant's A.I. and deep-learning team, massive data sets aren't essential for businesses looking to innovate or apply AI to support their decision-making. In fact, because big data requires an incessant amount of data, only a few major internet companies have the means to make it viable. Instead, Ng argues that for most companies, quality and interpretation of data are much more important.

This is a potentially controversial statement given a recent study by Salesforce Research of over 8,200 marketing leaders across 37 countries. The State of Marketing 2021 report found that post-pandemic, marketers expect a 40% increase in the number of data sources they will use in the next year. For small and medium-sized companies or brands in niche areas such as healthcare and B2B services, the challenge isn't just about where to get more data, it's about knowing where to start and to understand the potential pitfalls that can come with too much data and not enough insight. .

'Data is plentiful, perspective is rare.'

Marketing teams are being tasked to develop creative, smart, thoughtful ideas that engage customers and prospects on an ongoing basis. Businesses that can identify the right marketing data and bring it together with meaningful analysis can glean the insights needed to make the right decisions about how to reach and engage their audiences.

To provide deeper insights, a company should synthesize multiple data points and examine audience actions (behavioral data) and audience emotions (attitudinal data) from multiple angles. To help brands understand how to make the most of the data at their disposal, we talked to some of BriteBirch Collective's research specialists, analysts and strategists. Here's what they had to say:

Neal Kreitman, Market Research and Customer Experience Specialist

New Jersey, USA.

Data with context is insights. Data can be collected from multiple sources. Context can only come from listening. You can listen in multiple ways – passive, active or behavioral.

Passive listening allows someone to speak, without interrupting. It is one-way communication where the receiver doesn't provide feedback or ask questions. Active listening is the process of listening attentively, empathetically, and withholding judgment and advice. Behavioral listening watches actions and identifies patterns in those actions.

The development of any strategy, messaging, web design, product development should begin with understanding your audience. And the best way to understand is to listen.

The voice of the customer can be heard in many places. But the data collected should be actionable, not just numbers on a spreadsheet. KPIs need to be meaningful and help drive business. The interpretation of the collected data should provide a deep understanding of your customers and your competitors. To provide deeper insights, a company should synthesize multiple data points and examine audience actions through the lens of experience.

That's one of the benefits of the BriteBirch Insights model, not only do we have the ability to do Passive, Active and Behavioral listening for our clients, we also have 150 experts around the world with deep sector and cultural experience, who can help interpret that data and provide their unique perspectives.

It's important for marketers to be aware of the many issues with the data collected today, which makes it difficult to turn data into insight.

  • The data is not comprehensive – data collection is not all encompassing

  • Data is siloed – The market research, data analytics, web marketing & competitive intelligence departments each have pieces of the data.

  • Structured versus unstructured data – There is not a way to manage and interpret data from the internet and from the company’s database.

  • External data sources and data quality are constantly changing. This can make it difficult to find the correct prospects to listen to.

  • Unable to synthesize insights from mounds of data – Each department uses only their data to create their reports and perspective and there isn't a holistic view of all the data and therefor the insights that can be gleaned from that data.

BriteBirch Insights listens to consumers actively, passively and behaviorally to glean a complete voice of the audience. By synthesizing multiple data from multiple sources, a company can:

  • Enhance consumer experience

  • Build deeper personas and be able to operationalize them

  • Understand brand and how it fits in the competitive marketplace

  • Identifying the ideal marketing mix to reach the maximum number of customers and prospects

Mona Datt, Data Management, Analytics, and Strategy. Founder of Loom Analytics.

Toronto, Canada

The last two decades have seen organizations making massive investments in systems to digitize their business operations across all functions from operations including supply chain, human resources and accounting, to sales and marketing as well. This has included custom development by inhouse or outsourced technology teams, as well as function specific solutions that have become must-haves for any organization. In addition to an organization's own systems, there has been an explosion of information created by external systems that directly impacts the organization. These external systems include social media networks as well as regulatory systems, and other industry specific information sources.

It isn't because organizations don't recognize the importance of analyzing their data. It's in fact because they find it too overwhelming to do so.

These digital systems are continually creating data, in some cases every second of the day. However, very few organizations actually analyze the data being generated by these systems. And it is even rarer to see organizations that then collate the data being generated both internally and externally, as well as across the business functions, to monitor the impact of activities in one department on the outcomes of another. They also fail to monitor this data for leading indicators of critical events such as client churn and other business risks.

Based on our discussions with business leaders, it isn't because these organizations don't recognize the importance of actually analyzing this data. It is in fact because they find it too overwhelming to do so.

For organizations that can afford technology teams with resources including data scientists and analysts, the task of connecting the various business functions and explaining business requirements to the technology teams that can deliver the solutions, is an expensive process. The business requirements are always evolving and the technology team continually plays catch-up on understanding the requirements and delivering solutions. In response these organizations end up hiring data analysts in individual business functions, which results in these functions operating in silos with no cohesive big picture.

For those organizations that cannot afford these expensive technology teams, or even support functions in large organizations that just don't have access to the technology teams, even siloed data analysis is a pipe dream because in most cases they won't have access to digital systems that do the data tracking.

Data management and analytics systems that connect the data from the different business functions and bring it all into one location provide an opportunity for organizations to work past the challenges with leveraging their business data. While these systems have required technology teams in the past to create dashboards and reports, there are several simple no-code systems now available that are aimed at business users themselves. They include drag-and-drop user interfaces that allow these users to design their reports and dashboards without requiring any development expertise. They also provide the ability to build predictive models for time-based projections based on historical data, all at the click of a button. Most of these no-code systems have monthly SaaS options with no upfront capital investments, making them accessible to organizations of all sizes, including those that might not have had the ability to access such solutions in the past, thus democratizing the access to data and leveling the playing field.

Do you waste time combining spread sheets and exporting graphs for different stakeholders in your business? These new no-code systems replace that painful experience with the ability to open up a dashboard of live business activity on your phone, or better yet, be notified when a specific function needs your attention based on the data trends. And if you don't have sufficient information on your dashboard, you can quickly go add it yourself or have someone in your business function teams do it themselves without waiting on your IT department.

Through Loom Analytics' Structura solution, BriteBirch, offers a customizable view of your company's data alongside data gleaned through passive, active and behavioral listening. What's more, we can then layer multiple perspectives from our global network of strategists to provide meaningful insights that can be actioned immediately.

Sonia Majumder, Business development & Marketing Specialist

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

While we navigate through a changing market landscape, we are all on edge. That's why it's more important than ever that brands lead with heart. But for marketers required to engage with diverse cultures, beliefs and behaviors, understanding the emotional needs will be imperative to developing creative strategies for reaching them on an emotional level.

Data, and how to derive insights from that data will be the difference between businesses that win and lose in the next few years. But it isn't just about collecting data, to build better relationships with customers it will also be crucial to be transparent and share the data and insights back with the audience so that brands can become participatory and supportive and provide content that has a diverse global outlook and more importantly reflects the values of the customer.

Because the BriteBirch Collective is designed to tailor expert teams to the needs of our clients, we can not only listen, we help create a virtuous cycle, a sustainable feedback loop for audiences through data storytelling. It's one thing to collect data, but to turn it into something meaningful and memorable is what will add the most value to brands and to their customers.

Monica Sondi, Senior Global Communications Strategist

London, UK

For early stage startups as they establish value and trust, in the absence of a news cycle (i.e. big investment numbers, strong team names or ground breaking products), research-led insights are critical media bridges that translate into ink. I have worked very closely with research and planning teams over the years to do this and from experience it leads to a domino effect for sales.

Insights and empathy mapping helps me get into the mindset of the end user or target audience. I always approach campaigns and strategy by thinking about them first (through research that uncovers insights)…how is this useful to the end user? How will it improve their lives and solve problems? Why should they care?

The goal should always be to deeply understand the needs of audiences and to define the problem from their perspective, to understand their pain points. BriteBirch Insights has the tools to listen to audiences in the context of the needs and emotions of society and then analyze it from the various perspectives of our members. For brands wanting to align themselves with the changing social expectations of their customers, this can be a powerful way to demonstrate shared values and to align to the topics that are most newsworthy in the moment.

Nick Carlson, Founder of Secret Source Marketing, Sentiment Analytics

London, UK

Sentiment solutions offers brands a unique market intelligence that would be hard to obtain by any other means.

I find sales enablement (or lack thereof) interesting. Companies talk about a better digital strategy, better user journeys and sales experience but they stick with they old methods. Then the Pandemic hit! We found that field sales had to become inside sales overnight. Sales Teams and individuals adapted at different rates. They looked to their marketing department for content to help maintain relevancy. Most burned through the content and assets pretty quickly, mainly because of a lack of understanding of when and how to use them. Others couldn't find it or wanted different assets. Some tried to do it on their own! Which has led to varying degrees of success. It's been messy!

I feel that with the combined skill set of the BriteBirch Collective members we are in a position to really help business leaders find a way to identify the most meaningful data and then provide actionable insights. As part of this team, we provide the recommendations for the tech stack. We provide a form of 'health check' to see what clients are using, whether they are using data tools properly and if not what we can recommend as the most relevant options. It's not about the volume of data, but the right data managed and understood in the right ways that matters.

The BriteBirch Insights, we can help organizations looking to launch a product or service, make an acquisition or a business pivot glean a deeper understanding of their audience's current sentiment. We can uncover the 'true health' of a brand by looking at the deep web and combine it with other active and passive listening tools within our suite. This is a powerful tool for brand leaders and business decision-makers who may today only be looking at social mentions or maybe nothing at all. How does your customer really feel? What motivates them? When you know this and understand why, you have the power to propel your brand over your competitors.

About BriteBirch Insights

BriteBirch Collective is a new kind of global integrated marketing consultancy, powered by perspective.

Our unique approach to insights is multifaceted, bringing together Passive, Active and Behavioral Listening in order to build a more complete picture for our clients.

From traditional qual and quant studies to AI-powered sentiment and conversational analytics, we offer a plug and play solution and a customizable insights platform that provide the perspectives needed to make better brand and business decisions. What’s more, is that our 150 global Creative Consultants provide deep industry and skills knowledge, adding context, insight and storytelling to your data.

Download our BriteBirch Insights Overview or contact us for a free consultation.

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