Consumer Research Offers Creative Insight for Content-Driven Brands

In sunny Southern California, Wrappled — an up and coming e-commerce startup — is aiming to transform how people shop for gadgets online. The company is striving to solve a common consumer pain point.

“Wrappled started as an idea by my two college friends, Albert Alquisola and Alex DeLeon,” company marketing director Vicki Chan said. “They always shop online but found it boring to read through lengthy product descriptions and still-life images of a product.”

According to Chan, the solution to this problem was content.

“They brainstormed a more interactive way to sell things — through video. This way, you can see how something works and is used in every day life,” Chan said. “Wrappled really is one of the first online storefront to provide an interactive and educational way for consumers to shop, combining innovative gadgets and creative videos.”

Central to the company’s marketing strategy is a research-driven feedback loop. Beyond looking at the “what” behind numbers, Wrappled strives to dive into the “whys” and “hows” of what customers care about most. According to Chan, content bridges the gap between research and sales — here are some valuable takeaways that she’s learned.

Focus on objective-driven questions

“My marketing approach is quite simple,” Chan said. “Focus on the consumer. What do they like? Where do they find their information? How do you make a good first impression with them? How do we engage hem to bring them back to our site?”

Wrappled’s research questions are entwined with the company’s core business model. By focusing on first impressions, loyalty, and sales, Wrappled’s marketing strategy maintains a profit and people-driven focus.

“We have to remember that our customers are people, not just data. It is important to marketing because numbers don’t always tell you the big picture,” Chan said.

The time to collect feedback is now

Launching this past summer, Wrappled is new to the market. Even without a robust consumer insights budget, the company has incorporated research into its core content marketing and product strategy.

“When we were still trying to finalize our web design, we relied very heavily on people’s feedback,” Chan said. “We would have people open our website and just tell us what their initial reaction was. Then, we’d watch as they click around the website, and tell us where they were confused or which parts of the site could be more user friendly.”

Instead of organizing a formal research process, Wrappled relied on volunteers.

“Since we were just starting up, we didn’t have the funds to pay for usability testing, so we relied heavily on friends, family, and colleagues,” Chan said.

Pay attention to who people are

“Knowing your customer’s demographic profile sets the stage for all future marketing initiatives,” Chan said. “There is no point in knowing how customers feel about your brand when you know nothing about where your customer is coming from. We like to learn about customers simply by seeing who interacts with us most.”

Examples of core demographic characteristics include age, gender, and geography. See how these variables intersect with the core business, recommends Chan.

“What age groups are engaging with us? Who mentions us on Twitter and why? These are all things we think about when trying to get more information about customers, so we know what types of products we should be selling,” she said.

Make the most of existing resources

Research is creative process, even on a budget.

“Simply ask people what they think,” Chan said. “You don’t need to spend a ton of money to do qualitative research. If you are a startup like us, utilize as much of your social media as you can to collect feedback.”

Read between the lines, she recommends.