Research

7 priorities of progressive insights teams: 2018 Asia Pacific Customer Intelligence Summit

7 priorities of progressive insights teams: 2018 Asia Pacific Customer Intelligence Summit

The Customer Intelligence Summit brings together the brightest minds in research, product innovation, marketing and customer experience to discuss the latest trends, share best practices and discover the newest innovations in the industry. As a part of the global Summit series, the 2018 Asia Pacific Customer Intelligence Summit was held in Sydney, welcoming 350+ attendees from brands such as LinkedIn, Uber, Telstra, Westpac and more.

For businesses who want to succeed, keep their customers and continuously grow, the Customer Intelligence Summit uncovered 7 key elements that need to matter.

1. Customers.

In his keynote, Vision Critical CEO Scott Miller said orienting your business around the voice of the customer is the best way to future-proof your company in a fast-moving world. Tech is now an expectation, so it’s up to how you leverage it to deliver exceptional experiences to the end-consumer.

Kasia Witon-Wanstall, GM of Corporate Brand and Insights at Tabcorp, agreed, imploring the importance of customer understanding above all else. Kasia said “external factors are not the biggest driver of disruption but knowing your customers is the biggest opportunity for growth.” At the end of the day there’s a job to be done for your customer and it’s about understanding what they need – everything else is a way of delivering that.

At the end of the day there’s a job to be done for your customer and it’s about understanding what they need – everything else is a way of delivering that.

2. Employees.

Lorraine Tabet-Curtis, GM CX Hubs and Innovation at Telstra, shared her perspective on moving fast and driving growth by bringing front-line employees into the development process. According to Lorraine, innovation stems from utilising the power of your workforce to give you a realistic check of what you are building out. “Engaging with customer touch points can give you an authentic understanding of how different elements actually work in a business, uncovering what drives customers thinking and behaviour”, said Lorraine.

3. Relationships.

For Amy Saha, Head of Insights at Tip Top, it’s important to marry the two; employee insights need to backed by a strong understanding of what your customers permit you to do. “It’s so important to bring together the passion and perspective of your team and marry that with the customers’ willingness to accept those changes.” For Amy’s team, their insight community allows them to have ingenuity and flexibility in their approach, bringing the customer voice into every moment of development, making sure internal decisions are inline with what customers actually want.


That level of a relationship with customers allows insights, product and UX teams to move fast and confidently. For Amor Balagtas, Chief Customer Officer at AXA Philippines, understanding 1:1 interactions is a continued mission for their brand. Amor shared “Being customer-centric is a journey – it’s not easy to shift. It’s about ensuring there is top down understanding and bottom up execution.” As a part of their journey, AXA Philippines Customer Immersion Program saw executive leaders taking 3-4 hours of their day to experience front line functions, build authentic relationships with customers and uncover gaps in delivery.

4. Reputation.

Research teams are often the holder of insight that drives the customer-centric agenda at most companies, but they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Tony Tong from LinkedIn has turned the dial on what it means to collaborate. Tony shared the strategy behind feeding insight to core stakeholders at scale and partnering with over 25 stakeholders to drive change. The secret to scaling your role is about enabling access and consumption; allowing stakeholders to self-consume relevant insight, increasing the insight literacy of the business.

5. Buy-in.

Airtime with the c-suite is often seen as a pipe dream for insights professionals, driving impact from behind the scenes instead of centre stage. That’s not the case at Southern Cross Austereo, this year’s Business Transformation Visionary Award winner. John Musgrove, Head of Research was joined on stage by Grant Blackley, CEO, Brian Gallagher, CSO and Jasmine Beech, National Sales Research Manager demonstrating how his team has gained traction with the c-suite by delivering insight that drives revenue.

“In my experience, the way to demonstrate value to the C-Suite is to be agile and solutions-focused. If I could share one anecdote for success here it would be to give your team a voice.” said John. “For us, the last two years has seen the pace accelerate by championing the value of insight from the bottom-up and sharing the business growth that comes from it.”

Jasmine said “looking at the numbers, last year alone we generated over $15 million in ad revenue through community insight.”  For John and Grant, the impact of insight goes beyond advertising partners, trickling through the organisation and influencing a myriad of business decisions that guide business growth. Grant jumped in to say “the influence of insights on our company-wide revenue is at more like $500m”.

“the influence of insights on our company-wide revenue is at more like $500m” – Grant Blackley, CEO, Southern Cross Austereo

6. Storytelling.

When used right, storytelling can help customer intelligence professionals maximise the value of their work. Jasmine Beech, National Sales Research Manager, Southern Cross Austereo, shared “my one tip would be to tell a story around the insight you gather. People don’t remember graphs or 30 slide decks—but they do remember stories”. Communicating insight effectively, Jasmine was able to garner support from 12 internal teams that she now works with on a weekly basis.

7. Leadership

Stephen Scheeler, Former CEO of Facebook ANZ, TedX speaker and international leadership coach, finished the day sharing the elements of personal leadership that today’s business leaders must master to thrive in the disruptive, digital future. The stand out? Leadership needs to start at every level.

According to Scheeler, a digital future profoundly changes five things: Speed, boundaries, fuel, culture, talent. Keeping up with those changes means recognising that whatever got you to where you are today, won’t get you to where you need to be in the future. Interestingly, Scheeler shared “most of the future value you will create for customers lies in data you don’t collect or don’t understand today.” Now is the time to identify the insight you need to collect in order to craft a future your customers want to be involved in.

Whatever got you to where you are today, won’t get you to where you need to be in the future.

Finishing with a bang, 11 award-winning brands ahead of the curve were welcomed on stage to receive the 2018 Visionary Awards, recognising the best in customer-centric, insight-driven decision making across Asia Pacific. Hat’s off to 2018 Award Winners Southern Cross Austereo, Tabcorp, Telstra, George Weston Foods and AXA Philippines and Finalists ABC, Fairfax Media, carsales, BankVic and PLDT Enterprise.



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