DANIEL SHAW When I cast my thoughts back to
the beginning of 2010, it is amazing how far customer research and intelligence has come. Ten years ago, New Zealand, along with many other countries, had just emerged from the GFC. It was a tough time, with many businesses focused on surviving, let alone spending precious revenue on gaining insights into their customers. Fast forward to today, and customer research has boomed with fields and expertise the industry didn’t even have names for ten years ago. However, despite the challenges and change, one thing has remained the same in the customer intelligence field: the desire to help our clients understand their customers to drive success. In short, it’s not the why that’s changed. It’s the how. And wow, what a journey it has been. ONE JOURNEY HAS BECOME MANY
Media is more fragmented than ever. And where media goes, brands soon follow. Prior to 2010, the customer journey – the points of contact a customer has with a brand on their way to purchase – was reasonably 12
straight. A customer researched a brand (online or in store), maybe consulted a salesperson, then purchased. At the dawn of 2010, this linear journey was already showing a few kinks in it thanks to rising e-commerce, social media and the recent introduction of smart mobile phones.
ness over the years. We’ve gone from offering market research to helping our clients untangle their webs, understand their critical touchpoints and uncover who their most valuable customers are and how to engage with them.
Today, the single linear customer journey is gone, and a web of touchpoints has taken its place. Pre-2010, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace were kings. Now, MySpace is dead and the rest are rubbing shoulders with WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, Tumblr, TikTok, Reddit, Pinterest and Snapchat , to name a few. It’s a crowded place these days.
Customer intelligence sits at the intersection of insights, data and technology, a place made possible thanks to the computational advances of the past decade. And nowhere else have we seen the biggest development than in data science.
It’s also forced brands to evolve – for the better. Brands now engage with their customers differently. Transactional relationships are a thing of the past. The most successful brands of today are those who are more available and willing to nurture authentic relationships with their customers, wherever they may be. This is where I’ve seen some big changes in Perceptive’s busi-
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY
By 2020, experts predict that there will be 40 times more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe . Process that for a moment. Forty times more. From emails to tweets, social media posts to Tinder swipes, texts to Google searches, it is a staggering amount of data. And that’s before we add our qualitative and quantitative surveys into the mix. We’re only just starting to scratch the surface of the data we generate every day – all thanks to technology. Until recently, computers simply weren’t powerful enough