helping you master customer insight leadership

The importance of you taking a complete break from work this Christmas holiday

Christmas holidayAt this time of year, leaders wish each other a Happy Christmas, but how many take a proper holiday break?

In our hyper connected world, with at times still a ‘macho’ leadership culture, it’s easy to be tempted to still work.

Do you really relax with your family or friends, or are you checking emails or fitting in more paperwork?

Although it does sometimes feel like organisations reward those who appear to work long hours & prioritise work over other commitments, in the long run burnout does not win.

So, as the final full post of 2016, let me offer some reflections as to why I will be taking a complete break over Christmas & New Year. What are the benefits of taking a complete break this Christmas? (more…)

Where should your firm focus for growth in 21st century? (part 2)

focus for growthContinuing our 2 part series, on where leaders should focus for growth; in our changing world, full of new technology.

This post builds on our first post. That covered major trends, the need for customer insight & what is required to manage your data effectively.

Aligned to learning from Insight Leader events in London & Barcelona, a key theme was the need to focus on your customers (not just technological opportunities)

Our attention now turns again to your customers, but this time also considering the issue of their irrational behavioural biases.

How should this trait of human nature influence your plans or focus for growth? (more…)

Where should your firm focus for 21st century growth?

focusHaving spent a number of weeks speaking at, or chairing, various industry events – I’ve become aware how much focus there is on technology. FS firms in particular appear nervous about rise of FinTech/InsTech & convinced they should focus on digital & technology for growth.

Is that right? Does success & sustainable growth come from that focus?

In response, I want to share a two-part blog post, based on a talk that I’m giving to mutual lenders in London.

The topic concerns where to focus as a 21st century business. Hopefully it will help leaders grappling with competing demands on their time & attention. Here is part one. (more…)

Securing buy-in for Customer Insight, to overcome under-investment

buy-inAlready, this autumn, I’ve had opportunity to meet & work with a variety of customer insight leaders. All of them, in different contexts, struggle with the need to secure buy-in to the potential of customer insight for their business.

So, hopefully, it will help others to capture some of our thinking & achieve action in response.

These insight leaders come from different sectors & are working within businesses with different capabilities.

Some are currently leading largely research teams and are looking to grow their analytics capability. Others have skilled analysts, but have struggled to get use of insight embedded into marketing practice. (more…)

Data Monetisation, do you back Admiral or Facebook?

data monetisationHeadline news items can have, more frequently in recent years, direct bearing on the world of data & insight. Increasingly including topics like data monetisation.

One such story was the recent news that Facebook (FB) was preventing Admiral insurance (in the UK) from using social media activity data as a means of assessing risk. Admiral planned to enable FB users to not only logon via their FB id, but also opt-in to giving Admiral access to their data, in return for potentially lower car insurance premiums.

Given the higher cost of car insurance for younger drivers, the idea had real appeal.

However, it appears at the last-minute, Facebook has announced that it is not willing to allow such data from its users to be shared with Admiral, citing ‘data privacy’ concerns. (more…)

Why you need to embed Customer Insight in your marketing lifecycle

marketing lifecycleWelcome to a new month & a new academic year. As we roll into September, our theme for the month moves on to ‘Marketing Applications’. By that, I mean examples of how Customer Insight can help throughout the marketing lifecycle.

As before we will seek to bring you a mix of voices, as well as surveying your current practice.

I hope, this Marketing focussed month, will bring some very practical content for you to use in your leadership role.



Which do you really need, a coach or mentor?

coach or mentorAs the world’s athletes show us what they can achieve in Rio, it’s easy to overlook the achievement of the coaches. Most medal winners will acknowledge a debt of gratitude to their coaches. But, what about the world of business? Many companies have internal mentoring programmes. So, do you need a coach or mentor?

Today, I want to briefly focus on the difference between both types of help.

Now, academic research is evolving on this point, with some academics pointing out that unlike definitions, roles blur in practice.

Some research suggests that the roles of mentor, coach & even counsellor or therapist blur & such help sits on a spectrum. We might be better to think of ‘helping by talking’ professions, as one writer has suggested. (more…)