Marketing is all about identifying how consumers behave, what drives them, when they’re most likely to make a purchase. The result? Brand loyalty. But as noted by a recent Huffington Post article, this “typical” research ignores a significant factor: culture.
Of course, there’s a gap between knowing the value in cultural insights — whether based on emerging events or more intrinsic social norms and values — and identifying critical-mass movements. To achieve this aim, companies must first make culture part of the day-to-day marketing discussion, and be prepared to shift gears as needed if rapid swings in perception alter the cultural landscape.
But the vast amount of cultural data needed to predict and encourage new trends also speaks to the need for a robust analytics platform capable of discovering new correlations in data sets that may appear to have nothing in common. Here, the goal isn’t identifying relationships that might have otherwise gone unnoticed but tapping into what consumers feel and think rather than say out loud. In effect, it’s like taking what bubbles underneath the surface and bringing it to a boil.
Speaking to the Future
Cultural insight alone, however, isn’t enough to take your business from attracting new interest to closing new deals. As noted by B2C, companies also need the benefit of robust predictive analytics tools. These tools collect the entire lifecycle of consumer data — from first interaction with your brand to final purchase — and then use an aggregate of this information to make predictions about future conversions. This allows you to zero in on consumers displaying a particular pattern of behavior and predict their outcome; if they’re headed for conversion no action is necessary but if they’re moving away, you can take steps to correct their course.
Think of cultural marketing as a way to improve predictive success. But instead of examining consumer actions, look for broad trends that speak to place, time, or prevailing social climate — make the right call, tap the right sentiment and you’re a step ahead of the competition.