The Developing role of the Customer Insight Specialist

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In today’s retail and business environments, customers are increasingly being presented with greater choice than ever before. In order to attract and retain that savvy, modern customer, businesses have to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the client’s motivation, needs and interests.

Positioning the customer at the central focus of your marketing is the key to improving brand perception, as well as maximising sales. This is where Customer Insight Specialists are essential, as evidenced by the growing demand for these types of specialists, either in-house or as partners/consultants.

Changing Skills and Proficiencies

When Customer Insight was in its infancy, for those employed in that brave new sector, the key requirement was advanced IT and programming skills – facilitating sophisticated querying of CRM and other software systems.

More recently, the technology has advanced to a point that the majority of complex queries and data manipulation can be implemented more or less at the touch of a button.

Therefore the skill that is now essential in successful insight is effective interpretation of the results produced by the technology, and the ability to turn the insight gathered into action for the benefit of the business.

The skill that is now essential in successful insight is effective interpretation of the results produced by the technology, and the ability to turn the insight gathered into action for the benefit of the business.

The technology available is always developing and therefore the skillset of the Customer Insight professionals must do the same, to ensure they continue to get the best possible results.

Effect on Strategy

Customer Insight Specialists should work closely with company Directors to help define strategy. Gaining a deeper understanding of customers and the market, then presenting them in a relevant way to those making strategic decisions is key. This will inform business decisions around developing products or services that your target audience really wants, as well as enabling you to inform them in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them.

There was a time when applying a simple segmentation across your customer base was enough to target marketing more effectively, but these days a far more personalised customer journey can be deployed. The first step is to understand your customers, then you need a business plan which truly takes advantage of that level of insight you now possess.

Insight to Aid Growth

Understanding and interpreting data can take a number of forms:

  • Propensity Modelling
  • Cross-Selling
  • Lifetime Value Models
  • Insight into Purchasing Patterns
  • Understanding Retention and Churn
  • And much more…

Having the skills to gather, consolidate and translate the available data into insights on these areas and more is key to Customer Insight professionals. This should aid their companies in unlocking growth opportunities, accelerating sales and increasing customer loyalty.

There are growing numbers of ‘newly-created’ Customer Insight roles on LinkedIn and job boards. More and more organisations are now recognising the very real value of fully understanding their customers’ behaviors in terms of defining their marketing and business plans. These roles focus on supporting Directors to make strategic business decisions based on real data.

So it is increasingly evident that it is vital to incorporate the Customer Insight Specialist or consultant into any business looking for growth in today’s competitive marketplace.

  • Do you have an internal or consultant Customer Insight Specialist?
  • What benefits has this brought to your business?
  • Are you looking for advice or a partner for Customer Insight? Call our experts.