Understanding our connected world

Making sense of consumer behaviour has never been more important. With the vast majority of our interactions now leaving digital traces – whether we like it or not – there are more opportunities for insight teams to learn and influence than ever before.

The opportunities for understanding that come with all this data are endless. The adoption of big data initiatives is way up. And yet these initiatives still rarely, if ever, tell the whole story. It’s getting harder, not easier, to understand and empathise with the real consumer in amongst all this data:

  • CX programmes still see and solve individual issues, rather than grasping underlying root causes and informing strategic change.
  • Segmentations need to stay relevant and be rich with customer stories when the world around us is changing more rapidly and seismically than ever before.
  • Go / No go product and service decisions are still based on thin data sets that explain one side of a muti-faceted issue.

The case for thick data

Technology ethnographer Tricia Wang was one of the first people to coin the phrase ‘Thick data’ referring to the ‘qualitative, harder-to-measure information about consumers that big data fails to address’. This type of approach has always been central to the work that we have done through communities – transactional or behavioural data can tell you what is happening. Verve communities – integrating a range of different data sources - help you understand why and what you should be doing about it.

Connected research via Verve Communities

So, what does this mean for the projects and programmes you’re running day to day. Here’s four practical examples of how a more connected approach will drive better outcomes.

1 – Cultural Intelligence and Human Intelligence

Human behaviours are complex and influenced by a range of macro and micro factors that are hard to explain in singular ways. We take a multi-faceted approach, combining Cultural Intelligence with Human Intelligence and calling on as many different data points as possible, to provide more holistic answers to our clients’ questions.

Cultural Intelligence: Understand the forces impacting people’s behaviours through Social Intelligence Ignite AI, Cultural & Trend Insights, Semiotics, Expert Perspectives, and Transactional Data

Human Intelligence: Digging deeper into the person behind the data to understand behaviours via Online Quant, Advanced Analytics, Digital Qual & Ethnography, Behavioural Science and UX

2 - Progressive profiling

Our platform makes it incredibly easy to create new profile groups, enabling us to identify and target sub-populations based on composite measures – behaviour from transactional data x demographic data, including any segments via golden questions, x previous research responses.

Connecting data this way means we can (amongst other things):

  • Use more sophisticated targeting, e.g., by exploring issues identified in trackers with specific profiles.
  • Do more iterative research, e.g., to easily follow up on specific insights or audiences.
  • Gain a more layered understanding, e.g. by contextualising specific behaviours or segments.
  • Do more responsive profiling e.g., to segment audiences on emerging topics like ESG.

3 – Ignite AI

AI continues to attract more attention and interest than most innovations. We’ve moved from ‘AI will replace my job’ to ‘AI with Humans can help me get to higher value’.

Ignite AI does just that. It helps us de-code culture at scale. We take content from any source, at any scale - TikTok videos, Instagram feeds, Amazon reviews, survey responses, packaging designs, YouTube clips, campaign creatives – and the machine learning decodes every image or word, surfacing naturally emerging patterns, emotions, and themes.

Connecting this to community projects means the AI does the heavy lifting, freeing our minds to do what they do best - thinking and applying that thinking to our clients’ business problems.

4 – Connecting research programmes and creating ecosystems

With immediate access to deeply profiled audiences and a comprehensive range of qual, quant and co-creation tools, Verve communities extend the reach and value of other programmes, building interconnected ecosystems of insight that are greater than the sum of their parts.

  • Closeness - more accessible and convenient activities, wider geographical reach and more direct exposure to authentic customer experiences.
  • Innovation – answer any need in any time frame. From mapping jobs to be done via digital ethnography through agile feedback, for sprint cycles, to validating concepts.
  • Customer Experience – tracking highlights issues and opportunities, communities provide the rich, exploratory insight to diagnose root causes and develop and test solutions.

As we continue on the inexorable path towards greater connectivity, we need to make sure insight can keep up.

In our next blog we will be sharing how communities can bring together a range of diverse voices for better insights. But for now, we’d love to speak to you about how we can help you deliver more connected research.

Click here to get in touch.