February 27, 2010
A critical component of what I call Customerized Marketing is Customer Learning: the continuous process of developing a deep understanding of the customers you have chosen to SERVE.
It’s an organic capability to be acquired in your own organization rather than one which can be outsourced to another firm. Why? Because you nurture and retain the things that will distinguish your organization from the competitive hordes, and Customer Learning is one of these ‘things’.
People often ask me what the difference is between Customer Leaning and Market Research. Here is a side-by-side comparison....
- evaluates the market periodically
- can be outsourced to an external firm
- is viewed as a study
- takes a snapshot of a customer at a point in time-
- takes a narrow view of the customer
- describes the ‘average’ customer
- knows little about each individual studied
- uses few segmentation variables
- is an ongoing process
- engages all employees
- is considered a core competency of the organization
- looks at the customer continually
- looks a the customer holistically
- seeks to understand very small groups of customers
- targets knowledge on individuals rather than the ‘average’ person
- uses many segmentation variables to obtain robust information on many unique customer groups
The bottom line is that there is a role for Market Research, but it won’t get you a BE DiFFERENT advantage in your market. Invest time and energy in building a Learning capability in your organization and you will be handsomely rewarded.
Customerize Your Marketing
Customerize Practice #1 Create Holistic Value Based Offers
Customerize Practice #2 Institutionalize Customer Learning
Customerize Practice #3 Discover Customer Secrets