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Three Lessons for Pathfinders in 2019

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12-17-2018 George Assimakopoulos Metric Centric, Founder & Principal Manager

Analysts and marketers share a common bond over data– leveraging good data to make informed decisions drives both professional groups. The Metric Centric team benefits from expert insight on both sides that we draw on continuing to refine and improve our analysis and findings. When insights arise that standout across our teams, we take note. Here are three lessons we’re calling out for 2019 that could make a difference in your business.

Lesson #1: Businesses misunderstand VOC Data

Voice of the customer (VOC) is a term used in business and information technology to describe the in-depth process of capturing customer’s expectations, preferences, and sentiment. VOC market research is a qualitative and quantitative technique that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure, and then prioritized regarding relative importance and satisfaction.

We’re finding that many businesses still default to anecdotes, gut instinct, or small sample sizes to understand what motivates their customers and what type of experience customers are having with their brand. Ignoring actionable data in favor of a feeling can create a blind spot so great for businesses that they miss the shifting needs of their customers or the proactive moves of their competitors. We’re in the business of analyzing consumer attention. VOC market research is the backbone to our programmatic solutions. Our clients leverage research to understand better what motivates their customers to buy specific products and services. Insights gained from customer sentiment and perception analyses can enable any business to evaluate and track their buyer’s journey.

Lesson #2: Marketers Needs Revenue-Centric Metrics

Finding direct, simple ways to connect with consumers is a priority for any marketer. In today’s environment where thousands of marketing messages reach each person every day, being pertinent to end-users has become more problematic than ever. There is not a more relevant data asset within any marketing organization to help target and manage valuable content development than VOC data. The voice of the customer is a diagnostic necessity for aligning experiences to visitor intent, needs, and perceptions. Armed with quantitative data marketers can make stronger business cases for specific investments, offerings, or messaging.

Lesson #3: Aggregating is Not Listening

Our team has met with many businesses that have bought eListening and social monitoring software to monitor sentiment and perception. Almost always, those businesses realize that the licenses they purchased were simply for data-aggregation tools – and don’t provide actual qualitative and quantitative insights to help them understand the buyer’s journey.

Great experiences occur when expectations are exceeded. Good experiences happen when they’re met – and bad experiences transpire when expectations are not met. According to CMO.com, if you don’t understand marketplace perceptions or how your business interacts with end-users, it’s nearly impossible to regularly meet, much less exceed, customer expectations or to improve your organization’s performance.

It is essential to understand just “listening” to the voice of the customer is insufficient. Businesses must establish a system to understand and learn from the voice of the customer feedback and take action to improve. The analysis of VOC data is a systematic approach to capturing customer feedback, thoughts, reactions, ideas and feelings and other elements of the customer experience.

The key is to leverage such data-aggregation tools to fuel the analysis of standard marketplace metric that produces strategic insights. Net Promoter Score (NPS), created by Bain & Company more than a decade ago, is an example metric that can help any business to understand customer loyalty and accurately benchmark competitors.

A successful VOC program will provide you with all the insights you’ll need to understand customer preferences, problems, and complaints. You must then put these insights into action to identify, respond to and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Only then will you validate that you’re the pathfinder for your company who has collected essential data for the business to stand out from the rest.

George Assimakopoulos is the Founder and Principal Manager of Metric Centric, an advisory practice that helps businesses and organizations to better understand the marketplace through the analysis of key market intelligence. He is a successful serial entrepreneur who is passionate about content marketing, lead generation, and leveraging data for business growth.

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