Action. Marketers love this word. It conveys purpose, energy, progress. If we’re taking action it means that we’re doing a good job. We justify our place at the corporate table. It makes us feel good.
“I act, therefore I am” René Descartes, Marketing Director.
In our rush to get our action dopamine fix we often fail to stop and think. To think whether an action is worth doing or if it will have longer term downsides.
Us market researchers have a love-hate relationship with action. Being part of the marketing world we get swept along in the excitement of action. We know that to justify our slice of the marketing budget we need to deliver actionable insights back into the business.
But we also live in the world of the customer. A world that is complex, contradictory, fluctuating; all things which do not sit easily with action. Too often research simply parrots back this complex world without extracting the essence of insight.
But even when research gets to simple incisive customer insights, these all too quickly refract when they hit the prism of corporate priorities (and, yes, politics) or lose their impact as they are communicated up the corporate ladder.
Businesses acknowledge the importance of putting the customer first. But as we know, emotions drive our behaviour, not rational thought. And it’s the emotional power of taking action that holds sway. So how can businesses attain the nirvana in which they can take swift and decisive action that is informed by customer insight?
In recent years, companies have invested heavily in the Single Customer View, on the promise that consolidating all customer data into one place will give them all the insight they need about their customers, when they want it, ready to inform their decision making.
But for most companies this has been a false promise. The act of creating and managing the Single Customer View has overtaken the original purpose of doing so. The challenges of blending data sources of variable quality from siloed departments in the business has become a drain on resources and does not deliver the originally intended value. A case of the tail of data, wagging the dog of action.
At hps we believe in the importance of action and the value of data and customer insight to inform this. We call this the Actionable Customer View.
In short, this means knowing the right information about an individual (at an individual level) to help inform strategy and tackle your key business questions.
How do you go about creating the Actionable Customer View?