Recently, I had a discussion with my colleague Andrew McInnes about the role market insights (MI) can play for customer experience departments, and why so many customer experience (CX) teams are doing research themselves instead of collaborating with their MI counterparts. In this talk we came up with the term “shadow MI.”
Shadow MI: research commissioned or executed OUTSIDE of the MI department. It applies to all research done by a person or group inside the company without the approval or involvement of market insights.
Shadow MI is not good for the company or MI stakeholders. Key risks in shadow MI include:
Fragmented knowledge. Distributed research and insights can undermine the organization’s knowledgebase and understanding of customers, competitors, and markets.
Bad business decisions. Improper research techniques (sampling, surveys, fielding, analysis) can lead to the wrong conclusions and the wrong decisions.
Subpar solutions. Lack of robust data cross-analysis and comparison can result in blind spots and missing aspects of an optimal solution.
Higher costs. Individually negotiated purchases can undermine scale-related discounts.
Two weeks have passed since our successful AD&D and BP Forums in Boston. I’m still struck by conversations we held there and continue to hold now with many of you on how your teams can help deliver to your firm’s ever-important customer experience outcomes. Following one tip can help you either get ahead of this issue or catch up to the expectations of your stakeholders…act more like an interactive agency!
Note I didn’t say “transform” into an interactive agency. No, at the end of the day you have responsibilities to your organization the agencies your business peers use often don’t – you have to manage, operate, and maintain what’s been delivered. What I did say was “act” like one, and in doing so you’ll need to:
Revisit your talent. For those of you that haven’t outsourced big portions of development, make sure you have great, creative developers, build a high-performance development team, and up-skill your business analysts by putting personas and customer journey maps into their tool kit. Why? The agencies your peers use have and cultivate these skills. At minimum, you'll be in a better position to manage and maintain what they’ve put in place if you have complementary skills of your own. If you have outsourced development, we can help you make the case to bring back the right pieces.