"Staying close enough to customers to be able to respond to their needs is critical to the success of any supply chain," says Mark Peters, director of corporate learning at IMM Group. "After all, what good is a supply chain if it doesn't deliver the product customers want, when they want it and the way in which they want it?
"The problem is that most marketing professionals are paying more attention to markets than individuals. It's no wonder, then, that some companies are slow in catching on to shifts in demand for certain products in geographic areas - with all of its inventory implications - as well as to changing preferences in how customers choose to shop; for example, by placing online orders."
He emphasized that companies which fail to respond to customer demands for faster delivery of goods may risk losing even formerly brand-loyal clients.
Peters said today's most effective CMOs focused on getting to know customers and not just their markets. "They mine new digital information sources and they use customer analytics to turn this data into insights upon which their organizations can act."
Studies show that customer analytics, competitor benchmarking and market research are relied on most heavily by CMOs. "However, sources that could deliver great individual customer insights - such as customer service feedback, blogs, online communications, retail and shopper analysis - appear to be drawn on less frequently," he added.
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