Insights2020: 3 Dimensions for Customer-Centric Growth (II)
Building a Customer Obsessed organisation
The second dimension of customer-centric growth is to drive customer obsession through the organisation, an internally oriented dimension. Overperformers state that customer-centricity is not something that resides in a silo of the business, but is embraced by the entire organisation (79% vs. 13%). This is the driver where overperformers and underperformers show the biggest difference, ensuring that all employees make decisions with a view of the world from the perspective of the customer.
A culture of customer obsession gets implemented starting from the top. Leaders can set the tone, embed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order to drive the right behaviours, and base incentives on the customer-related KPIs to bring customer-centricity to life (45% vs. 25%).
Other drivers of customer obsession are the fostering of a culture of collaboration and of experimentation, with collaboration active on different levels; Marketing to work better with other parts of the organisation, working with the right external partners, and co-creating with customers. We see this with brands asking consumers’ input for product development: e.g. Doritos’ flavour competition. GoPro takes collaboration further: they get most of their innovation ideas directly from their consumers (e.g. surfers complained about a lack of camera mount options for them, and came with the idea for a teeth mounted product). Nowadays GoPro even hardly develops its own media anymore: adverts are built with user generated content and users are rewarded for it.
Culture at over-performing organisations is also skewed more towards ‘embracing risk and experimentation.’ Budgets are allocated to reward experimentation and to ensure the proper tools and methodologies are in place to embed this behaviour in the organisation.
The third dimension: The Insights Engine
The final dimension of customer-centric growth is about the mindset, role and impact of Insights & Analytics in your business. It is what we have named ‘the Insights Engine’. Companies that have a strong Insights Engine, have reported to have I & A as leading the business and they also are more capable of bringing together different sources of data to distil insights and drive decisions.
In the past, the Insights function used to have a supportive role, coordinating research activities, however today, it has an increasingly leading strategic role: independently challenging the rest of the business, and directly reporting into the CEO instead of the CMO.
Unlike a decade ago, none of the respondents in the study complained about a lack of data. Today’s major issue is what to do with all the data gathered – its more about distilling data, and deriving insights from the data to drive key decisions. The I & A function is an orchestrator who connects the dots and understands the implications, and is a main driver of change in the business. The I& A function no longer relies on only historic data, but more and more they are building complex models to predict future behaviour and real-time insights.
To be able to use the data to drive effective decisions, 3 capabilities have been identified as critical for a robust I & A function:
⦁A strong business sense: Good business acumen, and a macro view of the business world
⦁Storytelling abilities: Understand how to connect with both the internal and external customer
⦁Whole-brain thinking: Using creative ideas and analytics to drive business behaviour.
By combining the science/analytics (left-brain) with the creative (right-brain), we believe is the most effective way to bring the customer story to life.
Managing the three dimensions
So as an African marketer or an I & A leader, how will you build for customer-centric growth? How will you prepare your organisation for this new “revolution”? One has to be agile to be ready for today’s ever-changing business world, and the best way to prepare is to develop a strong purpose to guide the company, build the processes and structure to ensure customers are at the heart of all actions and decisions.
This customer-centric revolution is here. Will you be in the forefront leading, or will you be left behind by the winds of change?
Conliffe and Van des Berg both Snr Director and Snr Consltant respectively, MillwardBrown, Africa & Middle East, Vermeeer.