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What is customer insight?

von IDGNS02.09.2005, 00:00 UhrIt sounds so obvious: Customer insight is simply understanding what makes customers tick, right? Not so fast. Marketing gurus say there is ahigher form of insight emerging, one that holds the promise of unlocking additional revenue and enhancing customer loyalty. In its most evolved state, customer insight means taking a new look at acustomer segment, seeing things that no one else has noticed and then turning that knowledge into competitive advantage. "It is a fresh understanding about a customer that is not obvious toothers," says Mohanbir Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune professor of technology and director of the Center for Research and Innovation at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.It soundsso obvious: Customer insight is simply understanding what makes customers tick, right? Not so fast. Marketing gurus say there is a higher form of insight emerging, one that holds the promise ofunlocking additional revenue and enhancing customer loyalty. In its most evolved state, customer insight means taking a new look at a customer segment, seeing things that no one else has noticed and thenturning that knowledge into competitive advantage. "It is a fresh understanding about a customer that is not obvious to others," says Mohanbir Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune professor of technology anddirector of the Center for Research and Innovation at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
What is an example of customer insight in action?The Apple iPod is an excellent case of abreakthrough customer insight, says Sawhney. The innovative personal digital music player leveraged two important phenomena. First, consumers adore handheld gadgets that give them the ability to spina private cocoon while in a public space. Second, digital music was a megahit in search of a legally viable foothold (as shown by Napster's wild but short-lived popularity). After poring over trend...
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