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According to way, back in 2016, 63% percent of CEOs saw rallying their organizations around the customer as one of the top three investment priorities for the year. Today, customer centricity, or some notion thereof, has become the strategic posture of almost every profitable company in existence.

But—and this is an MC Hammer big but—at last year’s Customer Intelligence Summit, Rick Parrish, Forrester principal analyst servicing customer experience professionals, shared results of a study that shows an alarming lack of leadership in customer experience (CX) across all industries. He described it as a growing reality gap between brands and their customers. Even in the United States, where brands had the highest Forrester CX Index scores, only 18% of brands ranked good or excellent. Most executives today claim that customer experience is a top goal for their business, but Forrester’s research shows companies aren’t making meaningful improvements in this area.

The space between corporate perceptions and customer experience is not the only gap that’s growing in business today. With a customer-centric strategy comes the mandate to be insight-driven. And there is a profound delta between companies that identify as insight-driven and those that are. In other words, like customer centricity, everybody has committed to becoming insight-driven (or few would admit they were not) but far fewer companies display what Forrester describes as the five competencies of an insight-driven business. As our CMO Tyler Douglas points out in his poignant blog post, "many companies are confusing data driven with insight driven. Having more data doesn't necessarily mean you have insight."

To be truly insight driven, companies need commitment from the highest levels of the business. Chances are that commitment has started in the pivot towards a customer-centric strategy. However, just as the shift towards a customer-centric strategy has illuminated a significant gap between executive aspirations and customer experience, so too will it expose the weaknesses of businesses that fancy themselves insight-driven but are most likely merely data-aware.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, 44% of corporate executives rank customer insight as one of their top priorities. Yet even with that support, insights professionals are continually challenged by the ability to introduce new methods, adopt new technologies and unify multiple data sources into a singular source of insight accessible to the entire business.

A recent survey from Deloitte found that 51% of companies consider embedding analytics into their process a challenge. The same study revealed that 56% find optimizing insight equally challenging, and tracking and measuring the output of analytics even more so. These findings are alarming given that, according to research from Forrester, the ability to optimize insights, track and measure outputs and embed analytics into the process are three of five competencies required to build an insight-driven business. The other two are buy-in from the executive level and a willingness to make strategic investments in insight capabilities—competencies that business are clearly struggling to display. According to Forrester, delivering on all five competencies is the hallmark of a truly insight-driven business.

To learn more about the five competencies of the insight-driven business and the steps you need to take to make the transition, watch our webinar with guest speaker Cinny Little, senior analyst from Forrester.

Insight-Driven Decision Making

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Ben Hudson

As a marketing, advertising and communications professional, Ben has worked with iconic brands such as Telus, Four Seasons, Boston Pizza, iHeartMedia, YVR and The University of British Columbia. In addition to helping Capilano Suspension Bridge Park win the BCMA Marketer of the Year, Ben’s work has been recognized at the Lotus Awards, Applied Arts, Webby, CA, One Show, IABC and the Marketing Awards. West Coast through and through, Ben grew up and lives in Vancouver with his growing family and big black dog.
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