Marketing & Tech Book Club: Customer Insight Strategies by Christine Bailey
by Holly Ripley, on 7 December, 2020
In today’s fast-paced marketing world, increasingly more is being asked of our marketers. We’re expected to be data-driven, creative thinkers, producing triple the results in half the time. So how do we keep up with the increasing demands?
We need to take a step back and put customer insight first. In order to create memorable, purpose-driven marketing, we need to nurture our leads and understand our customers. Christine Bailey outlines the critical role of customer insight and provides us with the techniques and strategies to uncover our consumers.
Christine cuts the BS and gets down to business with her straight-talking guide on ‘Customer Insight Strategies: How to Understand Your Audience and Create Remarkable Marketing’. And it does exactly what it says on the tin.
We caught up with Christine on her brand spankin' new release. Here’s a peak between the pages…
Let’s start with you! Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been working in B2B marketing in the technology sector for 30+ years, starting out with Hewlett-Packard in Germany and ending up leading the European marketing function at Cisco (in between working for smaller companies). I entered the payments world 3 years ago, as CMO of Valitor – a European payment solutions company headquartered in Iceland. Since March I’ve also been the MD for the UK & Ireland, serving small businesses.
In 2008 I published my doctoral thesis on how large UK companies use customer insight for customer acquisition, development and retention. I speak regularly at conferences and have released two TEDx Talks (Unconventional career advice in 2016 and Break free of your comfort zone coming any day now!). I am a co-author of The PAYTECH Book, was voted #1 Woman in Tech by B2B Marketing and #3 female influencer in UK B2B Marketing by Onalytica. I also serve on several advisory boards.
In your own words, tell us a little bit about the book.
As marketers, we all want to create extraordinary and memorable marketing, but remarkable marketing is becoming increasingly elusive. We’re faced with hyper-informed digital customers, tightening budgets, quarterly targets and stifling regulation and it’s difficult to stop, think, and consider how we could be doing things differently to get to that extraordinary place.
We’ve entered the ‘intelligent era’, where deep customer insight should inform our every move. The world is constantly changing, so insight is constantly changing, and what your customers thought yesterday may not be what they think today.
If you want customer insight to drive your marketing, it’s not something you can do just once. You will need to build new habits. This book aims to help people understand how they can use customer insights across every area of marketing – from creating a mission statement with purpose and a value proposition that matters to customers, to supporting a brand strategy, to creating and applying customer segments and personas, informing thought leadership and content marketing, driving customer acquisition, development and retention, having more insightful social. At the end I look at supporting technology and most importantly, what are the implications for practitioners?
Where did the inspiration come from to write this book?
When Professor Moira Clark suggested doing a doctorate back in 2004, it sparked a passion for the topic of customer insight. Writing a book has always been on my bucket list and I intended to write one when I published my doctorate in 2008, but life had other plans. Twelve years later and I like to think this is a much better book! Not least because customer insight is more ‘mainstream’ now than it was in 2008 plus I interviewed 33 marketing practitioners/academics from around the world who are all experts in their fields. They generously shared their opinions and case studies.
Who needs to read it?
I wanted this to be a book for practitioners, by practitioners. It will primarily appeal to marketers, regardless of discipline, as well as business leaders who want to understand how to harness the power of customer insights.
What are you three top takeaways?
There are key take-aways at the end of each chapter, as well as a section called “feed your brain”, with practical suggestions of things readers can do to put each chapter into practice immediately. If you’re making me pick three takeaways (!), I’d say:
- We need to listen to our customers and inform every decision with insight and evidence
- Marketers need to be strong, adaptable, open-minded and unafraid to do things differently
- Insight-driven businesses are set to dominate in the future and marketers that use customer insights to understand their audience are likely to do remarkable marketing