When ‘Consumer Closeness’ isn’t Close Enough
Consumer Closeness creates connections between brands and the customers who matter to their success. It’s an approach that’s gaining momentum, with large global companies such as Diageo taking the view that internal teams can be over-confident in their ‘knowledge’ of the consumer and must evolve the customer experience model to get closer to what people really think.
That’s music to our ears, as we’ve been advocating this approach since 2009, with major consumer brands like Danone using Tribe’s ‘Consumer Closeness’ to bring their customers to life. There’s a case study on our website about our award-winning Mums at Heart programme, used by Danone to obtain real insight to inform employee training, new product development and communication strategies. You can also read about work we’ve done with nPower and Nectar.
Increasingly though, as we work alongside other organisations, including those in the public sector and education, we know this approach can be extended beyond groups which are traditionally thought of as ‘Consumers’. That’s why we think ‘Audience Closeness’ is a more appropriate description of how we help organisations to #GetReal – putting their internal teams into the shoes of those whose opinions and behaviour they need to genuinely understand.
‘Audience’ encompasses the whole range of stakeholder groups, including employees, shareholders, suppliers, the general public, government and regulatory bodies. Audiences have one thing in common – they are all invested in some way in a brand, organisation or issue (or we would like to encourage them to engage). That’s probably where the similarity ends and differing, sometimes competing, interests and agendas start to have an impact on our ability to communicate effectively.
‘Audience Closeness’ programmes help us to surface the nuances and build more complete and specific profiles of our target groups. Too often, we are tempted to manage budgets and campaigns using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, assuming that modern digital platforms will do the rest for us. Actually, that’s an inefficient way to persuade audiences and create lasting behaviour change. Only by starting with tailored insights that differentiate between audiences can we genuinely reach a point where we are empathising with their needs and speaking their language.
At Tribe, we combine Audience Closeness with our innovative and proven Qualimetrics™ suite of services for capturing and analysing big data from a variety of online and social media sources, including consumer reviews. This builds a complete picture of real-world online and offline behaviour, which internal teams can live, breathe and influence.
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