Consumer insights key to survival in post-pandemic world

Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy President and CEO Germaine Reyes says consumer insights will help businesses flash forward to the next and future normal.
Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy President and CEO Germaine Reyes says consumer insights will help businesses flash forward to the next and future normal.

Now, more than ever, consumer insights are vital to the success of businesses as they adapt to a world disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be emphasized by the thought leaders and international experts assembling for the “Consumer Insighting & Storytelling WebConference” on Nov. 18-20. In fact, the webcon organizer, Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy President and CEO Germaine Reyes, is bullish that people will build a better post-pandemic world.

“I am bullish because there are a lot of opportunities from the current challenges. These challenges are sources of inspiration for future innovations, possibilities, and goals. A realization I picked up from our recent e-panel webinar comes to mind. If we are curious enough to understand the problems of our customers and other people and take the time to provide compassionate solutions, we won’t go wrong. If there’s an opportune time to drive meaning for a brand or company, it is now,” Reyes said in an interview with Digital Life Asia.

Why consumer insights are important

Consumer insights, also known as customer insights, is a term widely used by marketers, but one which can often be misused or misunderstood.

In his article, “Holistic customer insight as an engine of growth” for the Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, Paul Laughlin gives this powerful and concise definition:

“A non-obvious understanding of your customers which, if acted upon, has the potential to change their behaviour for mutual benefit.”

Laughlin points out that consumer insights are “non-obvious” because they don’t just come from one source or analysis, but rather require marketers to gather evidence to glean insights. Insights must also be actionable, and powerful enough to persuade customers to change their behavior. Last but not least, the goal of this customer change must be for mutual benefit, or else it will not be sustainable.

The webcon, with its theme of “Flash Forward”, will show that consumer insights, coupled with creativity and the resolve to think possibilities, are key to unlocking the potential solutions to get through and flash forward to the next and future normal.

Three key takeaways

Asked what are the three main benefits and key takeaways for the people who will attend this webcon?

“After attending this webcon, delegates will be equipped with fresh perspectives,” Reyes said, enumerating them as follows:

  1. To enable them to think of challenges as a means to imagine future innovation ideas and not simply as obstacles to be avoided.
  2. To be creative in solving problems, to realize that creativity is resident in all of us. We only need to get recharged so we can reframe and keep on reframing the problem. Through creativity, we can also look for “new” approaches using lateral thinking and ask the right business questions. In the process, we are able to formulate new ideas and innovations.
  3. That the future lies in ideas of sustainability and that we need to focus on helping those experiencing resource challenges (which is everyone). We also need to ensure longevity and connectedness especially with the younger generation, and help heal the world in the process.

Webcon sessions

Over three days, the conference aims to trigger insights and creative thinking with the following sessions:

  1. Discovering possibilities insighting and creative thinking – to solve problems differently. Keynote speaker, Illac Diaz, founder of MyShelter Foundation, will provide living proof that possibilities thinking is key to looking for “white spaces” instead of just focusing on “the dot” and discovering alternative paths to problem-solving.
  2. Learning tools, approaches and frames of reference to think differently and creatively. YouGov CEO Stephan Shakespeare will provide his thoughts on cube-thinking and continuous data streaming, to obtain insights and unlock business opportunities. Analytics and other quantitative approaches for business opportunities-learning, innovations and more, will be the conference’s Day 2 focus.
  3. Discovering studies and stories of consumers during these days to uncover insights to create meaningful brands. Learn about companies that have continued to sail through this pandemic, and get inspired by their innovative efforts to hurdle business issues. Discover whether the Alpha Generation will be our future (constant?) co-creators. Without any inhibitions or blinders, can they be “possibilities insight generators”? The digital age has been hastened by this pandemic but will the adoption of new ways of looking for solutions be gleaned from the Alpha Generation?
  4. Uncovering insights to anticipate the future needs and trends for the future normal. Develop the skill to spot clues from the past and interpret present trends to inform decisions about the future. Talks from Digimind, a global social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company, will unpack the future home segment and needs discovered from social media and the online sphere while a study from Havas Ortega, a fully integrated media and creative agency, is expected to highlight the role of sustainability in meaningful consumption.

‘The Future Normal’

To cap off the three-day event, a sneak peek into Henry Mason’s still-to-be-launched book “The Future Normal: Creating a Fairer, Healthier and Greener Future” will be shared during the webcon.

Mason, the managing director of TrendWatching, was the opening keynote speaker of last year’s “Consumer Insighting & Storytelling Conference”.

What’s the biggest lesson that Reyes herself learned from overcoming the challenges she faced during this pandemic?

“The biggest lesson I have learned is to remain focused on the idea that we will get through this and not allow ourselves to get diverted and discouraged by the hopelessness and helplessness around us. Each day brings inspiration and provides building blocks for a bigger, better near future. There may be uncertainties but for as long as we keep on learning and getting inspiration from others who have hurdled challenges in their lives — those who didn’t easily give up — we will get through this in one way or another.”