Do you think your organization is customer driven? Here are some simple questions to ask yourself to find out:
Is your product team incorporating insights into choices about roadmaps, merchandise selection, or innovation?
Is your marketing team using customer insights to better target marketing spend and deliver high-value campaigns?
Is your customer experience team leveraging customer insights to improve NPS and CSAT scores, reduce churn, and provide the most compelling customer journey possible?
If you answered no to any of the questions above, your company is at risk for getting displaced by insight-driven organizations.
Despite customer centricity being around for multiple decades, companies still struggle to make it more than just a business buzzword.
CMO Council reports that “only 14 percent of marketers believe their company is customer centric.”
Consumer behaviors and attitudes are shifting more rapidly and dramatically than ever before. This forces companies to become more agile and adapt the way they design, market, and deliver products or services. Keeping up with customer behaviors can be a challenge, but companies leading the charge, known as insight-driven organizations, stay on the cutting edge of customer preferences and are able to make business decisions at the same rapid pace of their changing consumers.
Becoming insights driven requires companies to make customer insights a top priority. It goes far beyond just data collection. The value lies in how your company actions on customer data and insights. Insights-driven businesses are able to create differentiated experiences and uncover (or create) new competitive advantages.
Why is it such a challenge to be insights driven? The volume, variety, and isolation of all of the customer data can be very overwhelming to your business. Adopting an insights-driven mindset across the entire organization and senior leadership team can also be difficult for insights professionals.
Companies require a fundamental transformation in the way people across the organization understand, engage, and value the relationship they have with their customers. Leaders can’t just claim they want to be insights driven, they need to put the appropriate people, technology, and processes in place to make it a reality.
Insight-driven businesses are able to successfully apply insights at scale to create differentiating products, services, and experiences.
“Insight-driven organizations are growing 8x faster than the global GDP.” — Forrester
Adopting an insight-driven mindset
You may consider your business customer centric. You may think you’re adding the voice of the customer into your business.
But how insight driven are you, really?
Many companies invest heavily in business intelligence, big data systems, CRMs, and digital analytics. They pore over data to squeeze out insight to optimize products and processes. But, they’re only scratching the surface. Becoming insights driven requires a much larger buy-in from five key areas of your business:
Do you elevate insights and data to create a competitive advantage and pull ahead from the pack?
Being insight driven is about more than just saying you prioritize insights in an effort to compete in the age of the customer. There must be an overarching corporate strategy to back it up. And this strategy should have executive sponsors and champions to define objectives, identify outputs, and align the analytics journey with the company’s broader goals.
Insight-driven businesses create cross-functional insights organizations and cultures. There is executive buy-in, and everyone in the company lives and breathes customer insight. The customer is considered before every decision is made.
The company has an analytical culture and has identified analytics talent, which includes not only data scientists and technology architects but also political navigators and executive influencers to drive analytics success.
Does your company foster iterative insight development within governance and measurement process?
You need processes in place to bring iterative insight development into every phase of your product development. Priority must also be put towards turning your existing data into insight and acting on that insight to improve the customer experience.
An investment in technology is critical to becoming insight driven. Have you implemented a technology architecture to ensure closed-loop learning and optimization? You’ll not only need a solution architecture but also people with the necessary technical skills to deliver insights across the company.
Successful insight-driven companies capture, manage, and secure data from all sources and make it accessible for insights. Confining your analytics focus to internal, structured data sources won’t work. You need to tap unstructured and external data sources to enhance decision making.
Take steps in the right direction
If you now realize your business isn’t totally driven by insight, it’s time to start making some changes, before losing your customers to competitors that do. As your organization moves towards being insight-driven, here are some helpful do’s and don’t to keep in mind:
- Do share data that’s actionable.
If it’s not actionable, it’s not insight. You should be able to move your business forward with insight.
- Don’t ignore your competitors’ strengths.
Are they more effective at sharing and actioning insights? You can learn a lot by determining what your competitors and doing right in an insight-driven business world.
- Do be ready for disruption.
The notion that competitive barriers shield companies from insights-driven predators creates a false sense of security. The era of disruption isn’t over, and you should be ready for whatever is thrown at you in the future.
- Do get the support of senior-level stakeholders.
Though it might be possible to drive change from the grassroots, getting some level of executive buy-in is mission critical. The most successful businesses are insight driven at their core, which means everyone needs to be on board if you expect to create a big impact.
- Do tell stories with data.
Insight teams with storytelling skills are more effective at actioning insight. What is the insight telling you? What does it mean for your customers and your business?
- Do talk about “business outcomes” not research outcomes.
That mindset aligns priorities and goals and integrates insight sharing into the company. Research is no longer siloed. By talking about business outcomes instead, you can ensure your entire business benefit from the insights.
Prioritizing insights is vital to a company’s success in the era of the empowered customer. Only when decisions are based on customer feedback can a business have confidence that it is moving in the right direction.