7 Habits

Author: David Slatter

Today’s organizations are more data focused than ever before, making data capture and analytics a priority in most departments. This focus has escalated the budget spend on data analytic capabilities and tools in an effort to capture and properly mine this information.

According to the most recent Chief Marketing Officer survey conducted by Gartner, CMOs allocate 9.2% of their total marketing budget on marketing analytics — the most of any capability. The report states, “this significant budgetary commitment is grounded in CMOs’ understanding that analytics is central to delivering customer experience.”

This begs the question: Are organizations reaping the benefits of this investment in data analytics? With this amount of spending, is the consumer experience improving within these businesses? Based on the current state of customer experience within many industries, it does not seem as though these efforts are yielding solid results.

In another study, 68% of marketing leaders say their company is increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience. However, organizations still struggle with turning the massive volumes of data they accumulate into actionable insights. While access to data is a core component of these initiatives, the key to success is much more transformational and requires organizations to become insights-driven businesses.

7 Habits of Insights-Driven Businesses

It takes more than accumulating large amounts of data. In fact, it takes more than simply analyzing that data. To become a truly insights-driven business, you must understand your customers’ real expectations. Adopting these seven habits can go a long way in bridging the gap:

1. Lead the Organization – An insights culture starts with the top-level executives of the organization who desire to take advantage of data and analytics across the entire enterprise. Leaders understand the power of turning data and knowledge into insights. By modeling the right behaviors, a new culture focused on insights and results-oriented actions will become a reality.
2. Close the Loop – Insights-driven businesses use closed-loop processes to monitor and adjust business practices so they can respond to rapidly changing market conditions. They gather insights in real-time and recognize the leading indicators that drive growth in their business.
3. Know the Issues – Insights are both available and actionable. Insights-driven businesses are not caught by surprise and are equipped to recognize problems. They know what happened, when it happened, why it happened, how it happened, and how to solve the problem before it becomes a major issue.
4. Share the Knowledge – Gone are the days when “knowledge meant power.” The real power comes from sharing that knowledge across the organization. Insights-driven businesses arm their employees with knowledge about market trends, customer preferences, competitor weaknesses, and their own organization’s performance. Cross-functional knowledge teams have access to data and – more important – the authority to take action based on insights.
5. Engage the Customer – Don’t rely solely on data and analytics. Augmenting data with human intelligence by engaging directly with the customers provides solid insights. “Voice of the Customer” is crucial, so insights-driven businesses have real conversations that add color and dimension to cold hard data. Insights aren’t discovered in the office. You have to get out into the real world and talk to real people to understand all the nuances requires for good customer experience.
6. Know the Score – Before an insights-driven business enters a new market, or introduces a new product, they have already gathered relevant information to understand the future needs, dynamics, and success factors that will drive growth. They not only understand what today’s opportunity looks like, they also know where the market is headed and how to create a competitive advantage.
7. Crush the Competition – Insights-driven businesses leverage their knowledge of the market to identify the ideal customer segments and understand the competitive landscape to better position themselves to retain customers and lure customers away from their competitors. They understand their unique customer journey and all of their touchpoints. In so doing, they are able to deliver an exceptional experience.

The most successful companies understand how to transform data into actionable intel, and how to augment that with customer feedback to craft real insights. By practicing the 7 habits outlined above, your organization will become one of those highly successful organizations. If you choose to ignore these habits, then you will likely miss out on significant growth opportunities!

Not sure where to start? Complete an online Business Performance Assessment that will uncover the areas you need to focus on and receive recommendations of near-term actions that will set you on the path to becoming an insights-driven organization.

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