October 09, 2020
Future State: The Customer Intuitive Enterprise
By Tom Kaneshige
If you have the power to anticipate how customers will react to, say, a competitive offer or even a global pandemic, what kind of impact would this have on your revenue growth plans? Probably a lot. It’ll also likely make your company wiser in its investments and more efficient in its operations, saving boatloads of money in the process.
“The holy grail is for companies to become anticipatory,” says Keyur Desai, former chief data officer at TD Ameritrade, in a new CMO Council report. “If you’re postured that way as a company, it’s much cheaper to operate rather than being reactive.”
We call companies that have a data-driven ability to anticipate customer behavior as a “customer-intuitive enterprise,” or CIE. Through data insights, such a company could anticipate needs and surprise customers in delightful ways. A customer heading to the grocery store, for instance, might trip a geofence and receive a shopping list with their preferences based on historical buying patterns, as well as discounts and special offers.
No one is there yet; the vast majority of brands aren’t even close. Nearly 60% of marketers point to inconsistencies with the depth and granularity of customer insights, while a shocking 36% admit they don’t have the data to know their consumers, let alone anticipate needs, according to the CMO Council.
Companies still rely on people to make intuitive hunches about what customers will do next, only to bring in data and analytics afterward to see if those hunches were right. Companies can’t lead with data and analytics because they have a fractured data foundation, insufficient or bad data, a poor understanding of the data supply chain, and a corporate culture fixated on the short-term, not the future-state.
It’s too bad, too.
“Can we predict how certain threats make customers behave? Maybe, if we game theory it out,” a marketing executive told me. “Could we have predicted how people would react to COVID-19? Probably, if we had time to do so.”
About the Author
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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