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Keeping A Pulse on Audience Emotions and Attitudes
The only way to keep up to change is to adapt.

The customer you have today is not the same customer you had at the beginning of the year. 

How could we possibly know that about your customers? Through experience in administering our CEQ™ methodology across a number of different industries, combined with our understanding of customer experience, we know that customer attitudes are constantly changing, affecting how they make decisions and form opinions about brands. 

Failing to keep your finger on the pulse of these changing customer emotions and feelings can be detrimental to maintaining a competitive advantage and delivering on customer expectations by truly aligning with their values. 

And in some cases – that kind of insight can be absolutely critical. In an extreme example, this is exactly what UCLA Health faced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Brands need to navigate their own challenges on an ongoing basis. 

As one of the premier health authorities in the United States, the requirement to craft messaging at a local, state and national level became of immediate importance in a climate of heightened uncertainty and fear. Messaging like “#1 in California” was dominating the healthcare marketplace at a time when patients, staff and the community at large were looking to these institutions for reassurance and guidance. Any previous internal processes surrounding timelines, approvals, and internal vetting of brand messages had to be pushed aside, a response was needed now. In just under a week, UCLA Health changed all messaging to reflect the global crisis and positioned the brand as a trusted voice and partner in navigating the unknown.

This was an unprecedented situation; therefore, with no previous relevant experience to fall back upon, the organization relied on its CEQ™ foundational brand lenses. These core audience feelings and beliefs clearly identified how the UCLA Health brand needed to respond to the situation. And it did so immediately and without hesitation because they had the insight to move forward quickly and confidently. Watch the Healthcare Panel from The Gathering Summit 2022 below.

Again, the UCLA Health pandemic response is an extreme case – while the pandemic forced all brands to stop, reconsider and reframe their messaging, planned campaigns and approach, a high-profile medical institution is at the pinnacle of such responsibility. You can read more about this HERE.

Other brands need to navigate their own challenges on an ongoing basis. 

 

The Power of Adaptability 

The UCLA Health example highlights two elements of every brand that are constantly changing: 1) Competitors and 2) Customers. 

The only way to keep up to change is to adapt. Adaptability is the core of how the most relevant and adored brands have learned how to get customers to not only buy, but buy-in. 

Traditional marketing practice tells us that a brand with a strong competitive advantage has a clear path to success. This isn’t necessarily true. In today’s competitive landscape, audiences are surrounded by hundreds of different choices, and competing brands are constantly changing, whether this is through innovations or more directly through the messages and marketing materials that are used to communicate with customers. Being intimately familiar with your competitors’ messaging and strategies directly affects how you stack up against the competition and helps to inform your own competitive strategies to stay one step ahead. Keeping up with what your competitors are doing in the market is what helps your brand level the playing field – but acting against these changes is what helps a brand level up. 

 

The Importance of Audience Emotions and Attitudes

At CULT, customer experience is one of the most important measures of success. This is because we believe that an engaged audience is a key indicator of the level of predictable and long-term success a brand can achieve. So how do you measure audience engagement?

When you type in “audience engagement” into a google search, over 300 million results pop up, including “How to drive audience engagement in 3-steps” and “5 strategies to build and track audience engagement”. The reality is that there is no fool-proof 3-step guide that can tell you exactly how to create an engaged audience, but our CEQ™ methodology has proven that to build and elevate audience engagement, you must first uncover the emotions and attitudes that drive customer behavior.  

The challenge in truly understanding customer emotions and attitudes is that they constantly change. As humans, we experience four different kinds of emotions multiple times a day that directly influence our purchase decisions and relationships with different brands. Over time, these feelings and emotions evolve, and customers no longer resonate with brands like they used to. This requires brands to frequently adapt their strategic approaches to match the shifting emotions of their audiences to maintain and grow loyalty. Failing to do so could be detrimental to your long-term success. 

 

How CEQ™ Can Help

So, how can CEQ™ help brands keep up with this constant change?

Customer engagement and long-term business success go hand-in-hand, and CEQ™ is proving to be a useful tool in helping brands track and quantify customer engagement in the short and long term. 

CEQ™ is helping brands adapt their marketing strategies by monitoring emotional and attitudinal audience insights monthly so that brands can adapt swiftly and take action to create a unique competitive advantage. 

  1. Informs immediate opportunities. CEQ™ provides brands with immediate insights that identify which of the attitudinal and emotional factors must be enhanced to positively impact customer experience and unlocks opportunities that have yet to be explored.
  2. Designed to measure ongoing sentiment, relevance and progression. Our CEQ™ dashboard is designed to continuously measure and track audience engagement over the short term and long term so that brands can accurately identify progression and ensure relevancy over time as customers and competitors change. Continuous measurement provides brands with the ability to adjust and adapt strategies, messaging and campaigns to resonate with audience’s core feelings and beliefs. 
  3. Backed by meaningful data. CEQ™ generates deeper insights than traditional data and identifies how insights can be actioned upon. CEQ™ gets to the core of an audience’s emotional feelings and rational beliefs and provides a more detailed picture of actionable sentiments of diverse audience segments that can be acted upon in near real-time. 

The ability of a brand to swiftly adapt to changing customer emotions and attitudes relies heavily on deep customer and competitor insights, analytical capabilities and, above all, a brand’s commitment to adjusting to a new strategic process.

Gone are the days of issuing an annual study and then crafting an annual marketing plan to address key problem areas. Brands must be proactive and remain nimble in order to maintain a competitive advantage and deliver on customer expectations. CEQ™ equips brands with the ability to measure and monitor changing customer emotions and attitudes so that brands can take immediate action with confidence and without hesitation. 

If you are interested in learning more about how CEQ™ can enhance your understanding of your audience’s attitudes, beliefs, and subsequent behaviours, get in touch with Cult.

Further Reading
CMO, CYA
TRENDS
The CULT of Customer Experience
 
FIX: A new prescription to cure disengaged customers, prospects or staff
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