What Can CEO's Do To Raise Their Buyer Insight IQ?

Updated: October 17, 2010

Addressing problems as well as formulating future growth strategies around buyer experience requires a new school of thought around the qualitative aspects of buyer insights. While quantitative buyer insight has its important role to serve, it cannot be utilized solely at the expense of qualitative buyer insight. Executives, to make effective informed decisions when it comes to developing an overall customer strategy as well as leading the organization in Buyer Experience Design, need to articulate a full story about buyers and the goals buyers are attempting to accomplish. Ignoring the qualitative can have severe consequences. Qualitative buyer insight can also help prevent consequences and get on top of what may be showing up in the numbers but no story exists to put meaning behind them. Take FedEx as an example. They knew, via quantitative analysis, that UPS was winning a battle at a crucial moment in the day when shipments were batched and sent out by distribution firms. Gaining qualitative buyer insight through investigation, they discovered that it really came down to the ease of sorting the freight, ground, and air shipments. They quickly addressed this issue and got back on the shipper's radar screen at that crucial moment in the day.

What can executives do today to raise their Buyer Insight IQ?

  • Imbed qualitative buyer insight into customer strategy and buyer experience innovation
  • Distinguish between numbers that merely inform on what is happening versus providing insight into "why" - realize that the "why" may be found in qualitative buyer insight
  • Incorporate qualitative buyer insight gathering as a core element of buyer experience strategy that is repeated and refreshed often
  • Learn the art of storytelling and make it a part of the organization's culture. While business acumen has always been thought of in terms of the quantitative and the financials, leaders of tomorrow will need to have strong attributes and qualitative insight acumen in making buyer experience stories relevant to the organization.
  • Commit and invest in qualitative buyer insight. Realize that at the start, this in-house capacity may not exist. Think long-term by bringing in outside help while concurrently building in-house competency.
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