Why do data and insights need the human-to-human approach

November 21, 2021 9:59 AM

Participants in on-the-ground data understanding and analysis projects often have a high response rate

Technology has driven digital conversation rates higher, and the creation of additional digital platforms has benefited businesses

By Rahul Tekwani

Data remains one of the most crucial parts of a business, no matter how differently the world uses it. Data, on the other hand, has evolved so rapidly in recent decades that it is practically hard for firms to stay up. Data and research continue to be the kingmaker for every part of a company, from understanding social psychology and behavioral economics on the ground to digitally gaining clients.

Data and insights are the true monarch and queen of every successful business, marketing, or political campaign; nevertheless, according to estimates, 68 percent of data given to businesses is going unleveraged.

In the last eighteen months, the on-ground data collection has come down to zero, which has led to digital conversion of customers and online data collection. Considering the economy went through a financial tussle, many businesses accepted the online mode which had major cost and quantity benefits but lacked the quality.

In a country like ours, where we find people with different cultural, emotional and psychological approaches every 10 km and with less than half the population exposed to the internet, the online data and conversion don’t guarantee the correct insights and ROI for the brands investing heavily in understanding the Indian customers.

Participants in on-the-ground data understanding and analysis projects often have a high response rate. If a participant is willing to show up for the study, they are more likely to stay for the duration of the study, allowing the researcher to acquire a complete set of data. Unfortunately, unlike laboratory studies, internet-based research does not have the same high response rate. Participants in online studies frequently begin research and then abandon it after only a few questions.

When developing a marketing strategy for a specific audience, we often overlook the fact that most digitally available data evaluates attitudes and perceptions rather than behaviours. The types of participants that may be recruited and the types of questions that can be asked are also limitations of online research. These online populations are typically made up of people who aren’t experts in any given field. When advertising on Instagram or Facebook, what is the target percentage reach for brands TG? Not much, right?

Technology has driven digital conversation rates higher, and the creation of additional digital platforms has benefited businesses. However, reliance on ground zero data will continue to be critical, as it enables businesses to reach out to the right audience at the right time. The data on the ground will continue to be authentic, dependable, and always objective.
The pandemic provided an impetus to digital conversations globally in a socially distanced world, and people started to get attracted to conversations digitally, however as we move ahead from the setback, on-ground data continues to be the king in a country like India.

Today, the audience has more power than ever. When making buying decisions, they are provided with multiple options, and to gain a competitive edge, brands today need an in-depth understanding of who their potential audiences are. Combined with relevant data and precise analysis of it, brands can target the gathered on-ground data for better execution and reach out digitally.

(The author is managing partner, Branding Edge Strategic Communications and Advisory. Views expressed are personal.)

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