14 April 2021

Know your customer - the value of insight

By Joe Durbridge

In day-to-day life we continuously, often subconsciously, change the way we talk to people. An informal chat with a friend, an empathetic request to a colleague or a formal conversation with a client. It all changes based on the situation, the person’s character and the relationship with them. 

It should be no different when a retail brand is talking to its customers. Getting the language, the message and the tone correct will draw the customer’s attention, allow the message to resonate and often drive a positive reaction. 

Simple right? But how should you talk to your customer? What does your customer want to hear and how do you reach them? That is where insight comes in and here are our 5 top tips to effectively gather that knowledge. 



1. Exit interviews

In its simplest form, an exit interview is a survey conducted on customers’ exiting a store, asking them about their experience. The questions can be open, inviting them to provide deeper information about their experience. Or simple, quantifiable questions that can be easily tallied up to form overall data patterns. We use a combination of these questions and will deliver these interviews via research staff on the ground and through automated emails sent to shoppers who have recently frequented the store. The key to their success though, is ensuring you ask the right questions to achieve the objectives of your brief.

2. Behavioural tracking

There are many systems and tools available that can be installed, to track customers’ physical behaviour. These systems can provide data on customer flow around the centre, visitor numbers, peak times, areas with the highest dwell time and so much more. We use a proprietary system that tracks customers mobile phones using their unique mac codes. So, we can see exactly how many customers are onsite, where they are, where they have been, and then over time, understand visitation behaviour. Our system then allows us to email those who have opted into marketing, to provide them with personalised content and offers based on their behaviour. If someone only visits for 2 hours in the morning, we could send them an offer for a discounted lunch. A chance for them to recharge and for us to drive retail and F&B cross conversion and increase dwell time.

3. Social Media

A key channel where you can have a direct two-way conversation with your customers, see their faces and learn about their interests. We use this opportunity to ask customers questions about our client’s stores and malls, as well as monitor their engagement so we can learn more about them. What content do they like? How do they like to be spoken to? What is their challenge that our client’s retail offering can solve? All very valuable information that can be extrapolated across the client base and be used to build lookalike audiences.

4. Gamified ads

Using programmatic mobile online display ads, you can target an audience based on these lookalikes of your current customers. Then with some clever and engaging creative you can develop adverts that become fun games for the customer which also provide useful insight. We’ve launched adverts that will ask the customer which stores they prefer, in a swipe left or right tinder style fashion. Just a bit of fun, but the customer learns which stores our client has and the client learns which stores specific groups of customers prefer. 

5. Study the competition

It always proves cost effective to learn from your competitors. What are they doing, what’s working and not working? Are they having success on their social channels? If so, which content is resonating, and can you learn from that? We use a social listening tool that allows us to monitor our client’s competitors along with keywords and tags, to identify where the activity is happening and what content is driving that. 

The key is to start where you want to end. What do you ultimately want to achieve, and what information do you need to find out to reach that goal?  From there you can decide what channels and formats will best serve the purpose for the audience(s) you want to talk to. The process can sometimes require a fair amount of resource, but get it right and the results you will see will make it all worthwhile.

We’re always here to help, so feel free to contact us. Whether it is just for some advice or you would like us to tackle this challenge for you, get in touch and we can have a chat. 

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