As a sponsor and presenter at the most recent TMRE conference, HawkPartners observed some common themes related to how the customer insights industry is evolving.  Here are the top trends we identified based on presentations and discussions with marketing leaders from Viacom, American Express, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott, Microsoft, Merck, and many more.  

Trend #1:  Providing an Integrated Customer View

Pictured: a short infographic listing the insights marketers are looking for. The text reads "Marketers are looking for customer insights that integrate data science and market research; democratize data by virtue of being accessible; leverage behavioral economics; deliverable actionable results faster; are generated by thought partners; and are delivered in an engaging and visual manner."Organizations are seeking opportunities to bridge the gap between market research and data science teams to provide an integrated and high-impact view of customers.

Trend #2:  Embracing Data Visualization

The way companies deliver customer insights continues to evolve – with an emphasis on highly engaging, succinct, visual deliverables.

Trend #3:  Leveraging Behavioral Economics

Behavioral economics (BE) involves using more creative qualitative techniques even with customer audiences that were traditionally viewed as strictly rational thinkers (e.g., purchasing departments, engineering, etc.).  As more is learned about the psychology of marketing, more companies are incorporating behavioral economics into their customer analyses.

Trend #4:  Democratizing Data

There is continued emphasis on making customer insights readily accessible to all key stakeholders in the company through DIY platforms – essentially “democratizing the data.”

Trend #5:  Delivering Results Faster

Organizations are looking for faster, predictive insights into customer behavior and often don’t have the extended learning time frame that traditional primary research requires.

Trend #6:  Getting Mileage from Insights

Companies are focused on activating and socializing research to ensure impact throughout the organization.  There’s a need for research to go further and impact the business on multiple levels.

Trend #7:  Innovating Through Partnerships

There continues to be a strong need for “thought partners” – insights consultancies that truly partner with their clients to drive innovation and results, not just deliver on tactical plans.