Anticipating Customer Needs Provides True Value for Value Seekers

Published Monday, Jul 8, 2019

Anticipating Customer Needs Provides True Value for Value Seekers

All consumers are looking for value. Whether they are always seeking out the cheapest price or their favorite brands, they all want to spend their money wisely. Of course, value comes in many forms — price, prestige, efficiency, and pragmatism — and it's the job of brands to deliver on those, and one key way is by using advertising.

What comes to mind when you think about a value seeker? Usually, it's consumers who are interested in finding the best deals. Most value seekers look for coupons, sales, and price discrepancies between stores to get the most bang for their buck. Marketers need to deliver their messages of savings to these consumers while also showing the other values their brands bring to those who are not only focused on cost.

Those consumers find value in the brand or attributes of the product and will go out of their way to find that brand’s products, even if it would be more convenient to purchase something from a competitor.

Defining Value

Shoppers looking for real value are not just looking at the price of an item, although it's certainly part of the equation. Some are looking at the utility of a product or some feature about the product that they like. Also important to some is brand promise, which are the characteristics associated with a brand that may or may not be evident in the product itself, such as an eco-friendly vehicle for someone concerned about the environment. 

The most likely way to convert consumers is to be available when they need you the most. Instead of making assumptions about consumer intent based on past behavior, brands should place more emphasis on predicting intent. Brands should get a sense of what target audiences are truly in the market for and react accordingly.

If you can anticipate customer behavior by learning to think about shopping from the customer perspective, you can begin earning loyalty. Solving customer problems is what adds real value.

Finding Out What Excites Customers

Brands can use data to understand what excites and motivates a particular customer set, and tailor messaging around that. Dollar-savings may help you close some gaps, but to earn long-term loyalty you’ll need to get to know customer affinities and speak to those.

Understanding data from the consumer graph is the best way to help you understand exactly what value you provide to your consumers. To understand who your customers are, what they're in the market for, and how they want to engage your brand will start to give you insight into what value they're expecting in order to convert from interest to buyer.

For instance, lots of people like to be “in the know” or “on trend,” and their purchasing behavior reflects this. According to that same report from Salesforce and Publicis Sapient, a whopping 59 percent of the top 5 percent of products sold are new each month.

That’s a lot of product churn, but the best brands are able to keep up with customer expectations even if they’re not putting out new products all the time. When you do release a product, make sure customers notice. One solution is to turn on digital ads locally when you begin selling in a store or geographic region. If you haven't released a product in a while stay top of mind with messaging that centers around other customer desires.

Look at the Entire Puzzle

If you’re able to fulfill customer needs in the moment, you’ll win new business. For instance, a consumer products brand found that people want to grill out when temperatures hit a certain level. Valassis built a campaign that “turned on” ads as soon as temperatures reached that level in areas. That type of discovery can only happen when you invest in getting to know your customers.

Customer location, purchasing behavior, online activity and other data can be used to help you begin to understand what new or different products customers might be in the market for. If you’re able to see that a customer has been visiting new stores at new locations, frequenting different types of websites, or spending in new categories or with new retailers, you can discern signals that will help you anticipate what that customer might be looking for next. That’s how to create customer value, satisfaction and loyalty.

Read more here about how Valassis predicts and delivers on what consumers really want.