I recently had a conversation with a very sharp CEO named Gustavo Lemos. Gustavo leads the team at Mediar Solutions, a technology company that helps consumer-packaged-goods companies analyze shopper habits. More specifically, they have camera technology and software that monitors the time shoppers spend in aisles, hovering over products while considering what to buy (if they buy anything at all).
Mediar is trying to help marketers understand what is happening with the customer when they are not there. How long are people looking at their product on the shelf? What percentage of the time are they choosing your product versus the competition’s product. Their data helps marketers gain more insights over the customer interaction so they can improve results (more conversions, higher sales). In this case, they focus on the interaction between customer and the product presentation (location, packaging, etc.).
As Gustavo puts it, he is trying to give marketers a glimpse into the “black box” of customer behavior at the point of sale. Marketers build a strategy, but then suffer from a “famine of context” (a phrase coined by a client of ours). The results are often below where they want them to be. The problem is they often don’t know why they don’t convert more sales. They can’t explain what the gap is. They don’t have the insights they need to understand where things might be breaking down.
During this conversation, it dawned on us that Gustavo’s team at Mediar and my team at InnerView are committed to solving the same problems. While his team is focused on customer interactions with aisles, shelves and packaging, my team aims to better understand the interaction between humans – the customer and the frontline employee who serves them.
Our team is “all in” on helping marketers re-gain some of the context around what happens during customer interactions and how to influence the outcome. We do that by better understanding the attitudes and perceptions of the people who serve the customers. They are a human variable, one that can exert tremendous influence over the customer. We have built our latest product – InFront – to be an insights engine that gives marketers a more complete picture of what is happening, or what could happen, when a customer shows up.
Marketing is hard work. It isn’t about taglines, colors or fancy ads. It is about results.
Our research tells us that 80% of marketers believe that customer-facing teams are crucial to achieving the results they want. Rather than hope that they are reaching this audience effectively, marketers can add this intelligence to their arsenal.
A glimpse into the black box of customer interactions is sitting right in front of them.