Staff as well as customers can provide key insight for brands

To put customers at the heart of the business requires gathering insight into them and what they want, but staff can play an important role in a brand’s strategy.

Mindi Chahal

Hotel chain Premier Inn, for example, uses feedback from guests to improve its service, but it has combined this with data from its employee engagement programme. It then uses the insights together to inform everything from advertising campaigns to deciding on what pillows to buy.

It believes that by bringing both data sets together it has enhanced insight for the senior team and says: “both are key measures of the customer heartbeat and are used to make strategic and tactical changes, communications and business changes”, according to its shortlisted entry into the Market Research Society’s awards.

The second example is from The BBC, winner of the best application of data at the MRS awards for its online dashboard BBC Stream, showing that engaging staff in insight can put research high on the agenda in business decision-making.  

BBC Stream automatically takes data from the BBC’s digital analytics system, creates visualisations and makes them available to anyone that works at the BBC – with additional insights added to the data by researchers delivered in a Twitter-like stream.

As a result, the corporation has found that there are increased conversations about the data among staff, not to mention a wider spread of knowledge of the online audience across the BBC.

These examples demonstrate the value of understanding audiences through the involvement of staff as well as gleaning insight from customers.  

Understanding customers is an important part of any brand strategy, but as these examples show, insight can also be gained from the people inside the brand, whether it’s through asking staff opinion or sharing information company-wide.