Pre-launch data: the bread and butter for creators

If you don’t want to risk relying on gut instinct, reliable consumer insights will be vital information on the road to success.

Pre-launch data

Once upon a time market research was a key operation in the insights industry, for servicing the needs of creators and marketers; but the world has moved on says Steve Phillips, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Zappi

Nowadays, we hear the word creator all the time. It's usually associated with content creation and the people who create and monetise their digital content with the help of their audience; a small-scale uprising against the status quo that's slowly changing how people think about work and success. This is just one aspect of the creator economy – one that is becoming increasingly important, but has the potential to overshadow some of today's most important creations and innovations. Creators are the future of all businesses – they are the fuel that drives innovation and business growth. 

You share one goal with all other creators: to bring the greatest possible version of your idea to market

Yet, regardless of the type of creator you are, you share one goal with the rest: to bring the greatest possible version of your idea to market, whether it's through brands, advertisements or revolutionary new products and services. However, in our busy and competitive world, developing something unique, something that stands out, is becoming increasingly challenging. 

Today's creators must act fast. Every year over 30,000 new products are launched, with 28,500 (or 95%) of them failing. According to HubSpot research, 63% of consumers believe that most advertisements are unprofessional and insult their intelligence. Failure comes at a significant price, not only in terms of loss of revenue or market share but also in terms of their reputation as creators. 

This can mean only one thing: while failure is an intrinsic part of innovation, it has become imperative for creators to understand what resonates with consumers (and why) before they put their creations on the market. It’s only by taking an iterative, test-and-learn approach to innovation that they can maximise their opportunity for in-market success and build things consumers love. It's not just something people accept; it's something they genuinely love.

Data, in the correct form, at the right time

Why do we always hear about people and companies being awash in data if creators need more? It's simple: there are numerous post-launch data sets available – you'll learn about sales, clicks, tweets, likes, and so on; however, you'll hear almost nothing before launch. This is the gap where traditional market research used to be able to provide valuable insight to businesses, but the world and businesses have moved on.

Another understatement would be to say that the world has dramatically changed in the last few years. Digitisation, media proliferation, COVID-19, the Ukraine War and other unprecedented challenges have increased global volatility and prompted a significant shift in consumer behaviour. Unfortunately, traditional insights haven't kept up.

However, this isn't a new concept. In the past, creators have had to rely on their gut feelings to predict what customers would want. Traditional market research has utterly failed to give them the data they need to amplify their creative effectiveness and shape winning innovation. In fact, creators and market research have seemed to be in a love-hate relationship for a long time. If I asked you to complete "my consumer insights data is _____," I bet that adjectives like "affordable," "actionable", "quick", and "smart" would not be part of your list. 

Stepping into the new era of consumer insights

Today’s creators are hungry for insights to understand what consumers are looking for, what excites them and how they react to new ideas. They want that data to be available instantly – they need to ask questions and get answers fast – to iterate on their ideas daily and validate that they're on the right track without slowing down their process.

The business world has moved to embrace design-led thinking, but the insights world hasn't caught up. 

Problem solved

So the question is: how can the insights industry provide creators with the data they need to iterate and improve upon their ideas without having to rely on their gut instincts or trade confidence with speed?

The answer lies in automated digital consumer insights platforms that change how companies create. Unlike traditional analogue research agencies, platforms allow creators to collect digital data through automated surveys at scale and empower them with real-time longitudinal benchmarks to validate their ideas and compare them against competitors'. Creators can now incorporate real-time insights into their existing data stack using technology, allowing businesses to reap the benefits of their investment, and become wiser over time. 

Many of the issues that creators confront are solved by this mix of rapid access and improved customer data. It means real-time data that helps inspire them and validate their ideas. It means they gain the confidence needed to make smart business decisions on the fly. This means being able to work in a new way, bringing in the benefits of agile and iterative development. In other words, it implies gaining a competitive advantage for their companies. 

The future belongs to creators, and that it is every company's responsibility to enable them to succeed. As a result of this shift, companies are beginning to see digitised consumer insights data as a deep competitive moat, something that will make their entire organisation smarter and smarter over time as the data set grows and the analytics improve. We are moving toward a world where creators can be confident in their work, knowing ahead of time whether it will succeed or fail, and thus reducing the number of failures. For creators, this is the promise of the new data world.

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