Surfacing Trends and Predictive Insights With Advanced Analytics
Trend /trend/ noun. A general direction in which something is developing or changing.
Trends are strong indicators of long-term market influence, customer adoption, and retention rates and overall sentiment. Trends have long lifespans and are sustainable as a guiding force to future revenue potential on a product. Furthermore, today's trends are often captured solely based on consumer discussions and key opinion leaders online. However, tracking future outcomes based on social listening or one type of external data source is risky business.
The number of external data sources is endless.The potential to capture accurate and far-reaching trends is within our grasp. The good news: According to Forrester Research, expanding this capability is important: 66 percent of global data and analytics decision makers at high-growth firms say they're expanding the ability to source external data vs. 51 percent at firms with low/no growth.
Enter advanced analytics, the future of how companies will consume and manage data to drive strategic decisions. Using artificial intelligence (AI), next generation advanced analytics are able to tap into the universe of external data sets, harmonize them, and extract actionable market intelligence and predictive insights.
There's no more critical time for businesses to leverage advanced analytics than now. Even as companies cut back on non-essential spending and reassess their priorities, doubling down on analytics in shaping strategic decision making can perhaps yield the greatest return on investment. As the survey results above show, there's a clear distinction between winners and laggards.
How Retail Brands Are Being Affected by COVID-19
Being a data-driven business is about more than just validating ideas with data; it's about using information to drive business decisions.
Leveraging the Signals Analytics platform, for example, there was early evidence on certain trends that affect retail and consumer brands in particular. In the food category, March saw a 69 percent increase in the number of references to “immune health” in consumer reviews on e-commerce sites. But looking back, it can be seen that this is a sustained trend, meaning that it will likely persist after this crisis is over. At the same time, “immune health” as a benefit matches only 1.48 percent of product claims, meaning that this is a severely under-addressed consumer need. Food manufacturers and brand managers may want to examine their product claims and consider adding ingredients to existing products that provide this benefit, as well as rolling out new products.
In the beverage category, consumers continue to link vitamin C with immunity through this crisis, yet as a benefit in actual products, immunity is considered a niche trend as other health benefits are claimed more (e.g., all natural, allergies, etc.). Similar to the food category, though, overall discussions around immune benefits have continued to grow over the past two years, meaning that even before COVID-19 came front and center, there were indications that immune-boosting beverages were on their way to making an impact — i.e., the makings of a sustained trend. On the product level, the beverage options highlighting immune health as a benefit centered primarily around teas, with a concentration around two major brands. This suggests that other beverage categories and brands may stand to benefit from the increase in consumer demand and discussion for products that can boost immunity.
Once it passes, and it will, it's likely that this pandemic will leave in its wake many lasting effects. Leveraging advanced analytics and continually tapping into early signals will help manufacturers to better plan by knowing where to cut back, where to double down, and where to newly invest.
Frances Zelazny is the chief marketing officer at Signals Analytics. Leveraging next-generation advanced analytics, Signals Analytics powers future market intelligence with the scale and speed of AI.
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Frances Zelazny is Chief Marketing Officer at Signals Analytics. Leveraging next-generation advanced analytics, Signals Analytics powers the future market intelligence with the scale and speed of AI.
Frances is a seasoned marketing strategist and business development professional with over 25 years experience scaling up enterprise SaaS technology companies. Prior to Signals Analytics, Frances led marketing and strategy for BioCatch, the industry-leader in behavioral biometrics, and prior to that, she ran her own independent consulting firm focused on helping early stage and midsize companies with their business and marketing goals. Among her clients were MyCheck (acquired by Shiji Group), a leading mobile payment technology platform, Morpho (now Idemia), a global biometrics and identification company, Center for Global Development, Interamerican Development Bank and others. Prior to this, Frances was Corporate Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Operations, for L-1 Identity Solutions, a premier biometrics and identity solutions company and held other marketing leadership positions with startups in the financial services and hospitality industries. Frances has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Hofstra University and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from New York University. She is also serves as a mentor to Israeli startups looking to scale into the US market.