Today, customers advise brands on where markets are going—not the other way around.
According to a 2015 IBM CEO study, it’s “impossible to personalize products, services or experiences without a clear idea of customers’ core values and what’s happening in their lives.” Customers not only want to inform the future of products and services but also decide how, when and where they interact with brands.
This change has left many companies scrambling to become more customer-centric, efficient and authentic. What makes a brand successful depends on its understanding of what customers want.
Introducing the research revolution
Ray Poynter, director of Vision Critical University and a leading expert in market research, calls this phenomenon the “research revolution.”
In his e-book, Winning the Research Revolution: A Tactical Guide for Modern Researchers, Poynter describes how several advancements, such as the rise of customer centricity, have heightened the need for the work that market researchers provide. He discusses the steps smart market researchers should take to get closer to customers and integrate findings across the rest of the enterprise.
Poynter looks at international airline Cathay Pacific as an example of what brands should be doing. The airline taps into the Cathay Pacific Advisors Panel, an insight community of 10,000 loyal customers, to gather ongoing customer feedback. By listening to its customers, Cathay Pacific successfully rebranded, improved marketing campaign performance and refined its service and offerings.
As customer engagement becomes central to every organization, so does the need for in-depth customer intelligence. “The skills of market research will still be needed, but not in a separate silo,” Poynter explains. Opportunities come to those market researchers who can bring customers, and their invaluable insight, closer to the entire business.