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May 8, 2006

Less Than One in Five Business Leaders Admit to Understanding Consumer Needs

From the CRM Today Newsletter:

An IBM survey of over 700 consumers and business leaders in North America and Europe has revealed consumers think companies are increasingly acting without understanding them -- and some companies admit this. Of more than 100 business leaders questioned, 79 percent admitted to taking significant marketing and promotional actions without clearly understanding consumer expectations.

For example, less than half of retail banking consumers surveyed had experiences that exceeded their expectations. Banking consumers surveyed stated higher-order emotive characteristics such as "dignity" and "empathy" as top preferences. Characteristics such as "friendly" and "informed" are less important.

However, only 17 percent of business leaders as a whole said that they consider emotional factors at all when making consumer-related decisions. These survey results suggest that in-depth consumer understanding and proactive management of key interactions represent a significant opportunity for differentiation in today's fiercely competitive and price-driven marketplaces.

The IBM Global Business Services Consumer Experience Survey found 74 percent of business leaders surveyed act on an operational basis, e.g. "what can be made faster or more efficient," rather than focusing on an in-depth understanding of what the consumer may value most. Also, companies continue to put inspirational and emotional brand messages into the market, but often fail to deliver on emotional promises when they interact with consumers.

Read the rest here.

This happens in the nonprofit too.

Posted by Becky at May 8, 2006 12:27 PM Posted to Business News | Leadership Thought | Marketing | Perspectives