Blog post

Magic Won’t Help You Meet Your Goals, but Customer Insights Will

By Jane-Anne Mennella | September 05, 2018 | 3 Comments

MarketingCustomer Acquisition and Retention

There is a moment in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. 1 during a wedding reception where the guests receive a warning via (guess what) magic. The delivery of the warning hurtles through the dark skies down to where the guests are celebrating and it opens like a video and shows  chaos and destruction. A deep, rich, haunting voice announces that the Ministry of Magic (kind of like their government) has fallen and the villains are coming for the guests. It’s a really cool way to warn people (search on it and you’ll be able to see the moment). I wish I could do the same type of cool warning, but sans wizard powers, my current method is this blog.

Know this: It’s Coming. Except here the “it” is a reliance on customer insights.

Gartner research shows the need for customer insights is growing — 74% of marketing leaders surveyed ranked market and customer insight as their most prized capability. This makes sense; customers expect personalized, targeted, relevant experiences and the way to determine the how, what and where of those experiences is through qualitative and quantitative customer insight.

Understanding the goals, needs and expectations of your customers – what they do/don’t do, why they do it/don’t do it and how they prefer to do it, will be table stakes by the time most companies are prepared to uncover and utilize this information.  Start building your quantitative and qualitative teams and processes to make informed, data-driven decisions NOW if you haven’t already. Organizations that postpone these strategies and tactics will fall by the wayside, unable to compete with those who’ve made these investments earlier.

If you have already begun building out your customer insights processes/teams, ensure that you have a mix of both quantitative and qualitative data. Assess where you have data gaps and find the methodologies or resources to fill those gaps. Create a test-and-learn culture. Optimize. Innovate.

If you haven’t yet begun, make the case for the value of analytics, be an evangelist for the depth and breadth of insight user research delivers. Consider sources of existing data you have where these insights may already reside. Plan for the team structure and talent you will need so when you get the green light you can move quickly before the talent war heightens.

Of course, this is streamlined, simplified advice to give – there are many more recommendations and nuances to cover but I only have a blog and not a cool magic delivery-mechanism. However, it all boils down to two things:

  1. Capture. Understand. Act.
  2. Start now.

You’ve been warned (but in a kind and gentle way, my friends).

(Article links require a Gartner subscription)

Leave a Comment


  • As you say Jane-Anne brands have been warned! Most run Voice of the Customer programs, but simply don’t get real ROI from their efforts, often because insights are limited and not available to the whole business. Brands need to embrace actionable customer intelligence, as we explain in this blog post

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