Technological tools abound to see, hear, analyze, weigh, and touch (soon) the consumer-customer, who ends up getting lost in the act of buying, just as the supplier can also be confused by the versatility and opacity of the demand.
The moral component can naturally play its role in regulating the behavior of both parties, but beyond that, we thought it would be useful to present a summary of the techniques for collecting customer approaches and expectations, in a more direct and hopefully more meaningful approach.
The first key idea is that the consumer’s voice, which brings together a set of techniques for approaching, listening to and understanding the user directly and in his presence, is the most popular channel, both in terms of effectiveness and level of use. Ethnography, home visits, focus groups, crowdsourcing and consumer brainstorming are the most popular with advertisers and research institutes. In the context of digital relations between brands and customers, this approach is now applied in the same terms to define the UX (user experience) and the UI (user interface) that will form the future basis of their exchanges.
The second idea is that mass digital techniques, which allow the computerized processing of very large quantities of data (monitoring of social networks, hierarchization of requests made in search engines), do not allow us to approach multidimensionality and therefore to represent the complexity of a behavior.
The third idea points to the lack of efficiency of other innovation collection techniques. Thus, the use of external idea competitions, scientific or design communities, or even the use of partners and distributors is less productive than the former; the same is true for internal idea analysis or intellectual property systems.
For our part, we are strong supporters of these proximity techniques, which are particularly well suited to the definition of new products/services, especially in the upstream phase. They allow us to interpret with more finesse and versatility the expectations and approaches of customers by taking into account both mobile devices and the purchasing process, the most successful translation of which is found today in digital interfaces.