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With so much information flowing into organizations these days, we are all feeling a little overwhelmed. What's worse, however, is that customer insights haven't increased at the same rate as data availability.

Customer insights are essential to growth and continued success, yet they remain the elusive holy grail of business.

Let me start by explaining what I understand by an insight.

An insight is a statement that summarizes an accurate and deep understanding of a market or consumer. Moreover, an actionable insight is about people's needs—and also about changing their behavior.

Why do so many companies struggle to develop actionable insights?

From my years of working in and with global marketing departments, I have identified the five most common mistake that result in a failure to develop actionable customer insights.

And that failure can be costly: As a Japanese proverb succinctly puts it: "Insight without action is a daydream. Action without insight is a nightmare"

Mistake No. 1. You try to develop insights from a single piece of market research

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image of Denyse Drummond-Dunn

Denyse Drummond-Dunn is president and chief catalyst of C³Centricity, a global consultancy that provides strategic counsel to the executive teams of billion-dollar brands. She is the author of Winning Customer Centricity.

LinkedIn: Denyse Drummond-Dunn

Twitter: @Denysech