Elevating The CI Role Within The Organization

I've had two reports go live in the past week or so which, although we worked on them separately, are in some ways related. First, we argue that Customer Intelligence needs to get out of the weeds to demonstrate value. CI professionals seek to fill a strategic function at their organizations, but many are stuck grappling with the basics -- integrating data, struggling to evolve beyond direct marketing channels, and neglecting inbound marketing.

Today, Tamara Barber and I launched two reports on which we collaborated to understand the intersection and interplay between market insights and CI. We found that, for Customer Intelligence professionals, collaborating with market insights will help to elevate the CI role and that, collectively, they can bring the organization closer to becoming an intelligent enterprise.

This isn't something for every company, and it is something that will require work, but we show that firms can create competitive advantage if they invest the time and resources to build a shared CI and MI culture, align processes, integrate the relevant data, rationalize technology decisions, liaise collectively and directly with business functions, and adopt shared metrics.

This is just the first of several reports that Tamara and I will release. Clearly new skills and new organizational structures are going to be required; the vendor landscape will be altered; and crucially, firms will evolve their relationships with their customers -- for the better!

I'd love to hear your thoughts here, or join the discussion on our community site on the same topic.




Dave, I like the concept you


I like the concept you are laying out here. I have worked with a number of clients and I agree with you that most companies are stuck in what I call a "data gap" where Marketing has a rough idea of what it wants and struggles to give IT a solid and consistent concept around the customer intelligence needs. By the time IT and Marketing have worked through a number of iterations, both sides are worn out and the project is too far behind to deliver the promised value.

In my opinion, there are two core problems here; marketing moves much faster than IT and has long acted on less than perfect information thus training marketing to be impatient. And I think this is exactly what you are striving to answer - how does marketing start to work now to have tomorrow's questions answered in a more timely fashion? How does our customer intelligence information stack move from tactical, ad hoc analysis, to more of a strategic asset where the intelligence is based on customer segmentation, pricing/function elasticities, and predictive customer and product insight.