Basketball_goalThanks to your voting, we now have some interim results from our poll on where you would focus your 2015 goals for customer insight. Although there have been some votes across many of the categories and all the technical teams, it is interesting that two clear leaders have emerged.

Joint top goals for 2015, as voted for by you, are:

  • Improved measurable commercial impact from apply insights
  • Your leadership

From a personal point of view this is very reassuring as both were planned to be areas of focus for my services this year as well.

A key part of measurable commercial impact from insight is of course measurement, often linked with the ability to measure the return on all marketing spend (as hopefully more of this is designed, targeted & personalised guided by customer insights). A couple of conference events this year have asked for me to present on measuring marketing effectiveness, including #CAI2015, as I’ve also heard questions about that be a consistent theme during 2014. But beyond marketing effectiveness, generating the ideas of how the impact of customer insights can be attributed and measured to report incremental profit impact is something I will also work on for training services this year.

Leadership skills is another priority which does not surprise me. As I meet with customer insight leaders around the country (from directors to senior managers), a consistent concern is how they can better inspire their teams and get the best out of their people. Being a customer insight leader can often by a lonely role, as she/he is often viewed as part of the senior leadership and removed from the detail by her/his team, and yet also viewed as just a techie by other senior leaders. That is one of the reasons I believe I’m seeing a rise in demand for coaching services, both for mature leaders and especially for those starting out in these roles (on-boarding coaching).

It will be interesting to see, as more votes come in, if these remain a top priority for you all. Please vote if you have not done so already.

I’d also be interested to hear how you are going to set your objectives for these 2015 goals. My own experience tells me that without setting clear SMART goals it is unlikely that progress will be tracked or targets achieved. Do you have a baseline to track the measurable impact of your insights, or is that the first challenge? Have you had an audit of your leadership skills or is a capability audit or 360 degree feedback exercise a good place for you to start? Either way, I would recommend focussing first on setting a SMART objective and establishing both your metrics & your baseline.

Please share your plans for these goals, or vote for other priorities if those are where you intend to focus your customer insight efforts this year.