Align Research with Business Strategy

Companies want to know their consumers, but turning research efforts into a source of competitive advantage is a challenge.

Many struggle to ground consumer research and insights into their economics, business context, and broader strategy. Executives need to give the insight function a seat at the table—embedding it as a critical means to drive the business. The process that emerges links insights to execution in a way that can be repeated for sustained growth.

The Integration of Insight and Action

Deep consumer insight is crucial to successful strategy development and execution. Understanding what matters to consumers and drives their behavior provides countless sources of advantage—from creating growth opportunities or new offerings to evaluating acquisition targets or outsourcing strategies. Quite simply, consumer insight helps companies answer some of today’s most important business challenges.

Unlocking the full potential of consumer insights requires changes in behavior and expectations—not just within the insights function of a company, but on the part of senior management as well. The consumer insights team and line managers  must form a learning organization with a growing knowledge base that brings them closer to the minds and hearts of their targets each year—and turns detailed knowledge about the consumer into exciting business implications.

The Center for Customer Insight applies a unique, integrated approach that brings companies the full value of deeper consumer understanding. We uncover insights that translate into actionable strategies and drive economic impact. Our customized research is grounded in a deep knowledge of the business context and tightly woven into strategic decision making. Learn how we've partnered with companies around the world to drive impact and growth.

A Consumer Insight Disconnect

Despite all of the lip service paid to the importance of being "customer centric," most companies remain firmly self-absorbed. Executives seem well aware of this fact, and improving the customer insights (CI) capability is the top development area for many.

However our recent study shows that companies use CI in less than half (47%) of all decisions. Further, although the number of companies with advanced CI functions has doubled since our 2009 survey, roughly 80% of companies still possess only basic capabilities.

It should pay to know more about our customers, but too often we get a huge data dump without the kind of insight that will drive results.

—CEO of a financial services company, on the function of its insights team

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