12 Reasons You Aren’t Making Use of Customer Insights

Christine Moorman
Marketing News
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways
​What? Fewer marketers are using customer insight than in 2011, according to the most recent CMO Survey. 

So What? "If customer insights are so important, why aren’t these numbers increasing?" Christine Moorman wondered. She broke down 12 culprits organizations might find for why customer insights have fallen by the wayside.

Now What? Weak theory development, unreceptive organizations, and own-industry bias are among the reasons Moorman said marketing organizations are falling short. Is your organization up to par?

Customer insights can be extremely valuable for marketers... so why are fewer companies using them than in 2011? Duke University's Christine Moorman gives 12 culprits. ​

​Customer insights are an essential element in any marketing plan. Insights give rise to innovations, new go-to-market strategies and new business models. They can also produce critical tactical-level improvements in marketing activities.  

So it is disappointing that the February 2016 edition of The CMO Survey​, which surveyed 289 U.S.-based marketing leaders, finds that those marketers report a slight reduction in their companies’ development and use of customer insights, compared to data from 2011 to the present. If customer insights are so important, why aren’t these numbers increasing? Here are twelve culprits worth a good look: 

1 Weak theory development skills. 

Developing insights requires strong theory development skills. This means that managers must connect disparate observations and information obtained from various sources and methods to derive novel explanations about customers. 

2 Unreceptive organization.

As much as companies say they want insights, companies are known to suffer from status quo bias. A great deal of research shows that managers reject information that challenges their existing expectations. It’s difficult for insights to penetrate such a mentality. ​

The following article is available exclusively to Members and Marketing News Subscribers.


Author Bio:

Christine Moorman
Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch Sr. Professor of Business Administration, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and founder and director of The CMO Survey.

Become a Member
Access our innovative members-only resources and tools to further your marketing practice.