Solutions, community and resources for database marketing, analytics and intelligence

“…customer insight is now being recognised as the best source of sustainable competitive advantage.” (Steve Wills, “The Management and communication of customer insight”, 2005).

And yet, acknowledged in the same paper, “…as companies have grown, they have become further removed from their customers”.

This hardly seems surprising, as no individual can attain an in-depth personal knowledge of the customers of a large or complex business. In addition, interactions are often not with end users themselves, further distancing an organisation from the real consumers of its offerings.

Hence the rise of marketing insight, the quest for a clear view of a company’s market and customers, and crucially their likely future intentions and direction. Increasingly though, it is recognised that such insight “…comes not just from one source but from a combination of multiple pieces of data” (Steve Willis again). What are those sources?

Diary of a Marketing Insight Guy Blog

Visit my Diary of a Marketing Insight Guy blog where I share thoughts, ideas and anecdotes on marketing insight and operations.

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  • Data - good analysis starts and is only possible with good data
  • Analytics - analysis of customer data and intelligence to create actionable outcomes
  • Intelligence - primary and secondary customer and market research overlaying data and filling in missing gaps
These elements work together in an endless cycle and feed into the rest of marketing. Key to the success of insight though, is its "operationalisation" within the marketing process. Great insight is of no value if it can't be exploited by rapid and efficient marketing programme execution or the outcome measured afterwards.

This highlights the importance of organising the three elements as closely as possible: “Managing insight staff well is more important to companies as they base their strategies increasingly on knowledge derived from insights. However, this also produces new requirements for professional management” (Merlin Stone et al “Consumer Insight”, 2006).

Companies, then, must stop seeing the disciplines of data, analytics and intelligence as separate and move towards the establishment of an integrated insight function. Such an approach is crucial to the effective management of the marketing insight asset, ensuring maximum operational efficiency and alignment of objectives. An integrated insight function also creates a “go to” point for the rest of the organisation for all marketing insight requirements.

Marketing Insight Guy is my contribution to raising the profile of insight and the importance of creating an integrated approach to insight and marketing communications within the Marketing function. I’m keen to share my experiences and discover other organisations’ approach, so take a look at my blog, Diary of a Marketing Insight Guy, and contribute your views and comments.

I'm very happy to answer your questions or discuss how I can help with your marketing insight/operations issues too - get in touch and stop back here for updates.

Thanks for visiting!

Simon Daniels, Marketing Insight Guy.