Customer and client understanding

June 23, 2023
B2B Customer insights Brand delivery Brand research Brand strategy

So things are fragile out there… 

Business confidence is down as we all work to distill the ongoing lessons of the pandemic. Deloitte Access Economics is predicting a consumer recession. Inflation, whilst softening, remains stubborn. If that wasn’t enough, property prices and the rental crisis never leave the front pages, supply chain issues persist, and skepticism prevails. 

What does this all mean? It essentially means every available dollar is now being considered, worked and stretched. For your business, this means consideration of your own spend; meanwhile the same careful consideration is also occurring with your clients.

In this context to replace this fear, uncertainty and doubt, we firmly believe nothing is more critical than customer understanding. 

The intent here is not to set out a scenario of doom and gloom – we will leave that to the media. What we’re most interested in, is how these moments bring clarity and opportunity and a refocus on fundamentals of customer and client understanding.

Feelpinions and anecdata are dangerous

Let’s not rely on feelings, assumptions, or anecdote. 

Unsurprisingly our clients are telling us that their leadership and boards have never been more demanding around accountability and ROI. Assumptions and anecdote are not sufficient when reporting to the C-Suite, especially now they’re looking for the reassurance of real data. 

In times of uncertainty it’s never been more important to understand what your customer and clients are seeking from you. 
What they’re thinking
Even more importantly, how they’re behaving

When the risks are high, your understanding needs to be even higher. I firmly believe true customer understanding can only be guaranteed through the insight that data brings. There’s a lot we can’t control right now, but listening to your customers is the easiest way to find answers.

It need not be complicated. Arm yourself with insights. 
Because it’s never been more important to listen to what your clients can tell you. 

The new normal is not the old normal

The pandemic changed everything. What your customers need and want is most likely markedly different than prior to 2020. 

Without deep customer knowledge you cannot predict where your brand and your marketing efforts need to go. But naturally research informs this. 

In the post COVID context especially, the human element has never been more important. Key customer and client decision-makers do not leave their emotions and personalities at the door when they go to work, so we need to understand these emotional needs too. 

All of this is designed to create a deeper connection so you acquire more customers, retain more existing customers and through building brand loyalty increase revenue per customer. 

So who are your customers?

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But the answer in fact is the widest possible cohort of organisations that could potentially buy or re-buy your services. Your ‘customer’ is:

•    Your clients
•    Lapsed users
•    Organisations that considered your brand but chose a competitor or alternative
•    Organisations who are not aware of your brand. 

Despite the uncertainty there are a number of reasons to be optimistic, and I hope the suggestions in getting closer to your customers go some way to help. In the coming week or so, we’ll share some greater specificity on the need for customer understanding and how to go about that. The final point to add is that those companies who apply customer understanding now will emerge first and stronger as we come out the other side…

Time is moving and so are your customers. 
The question is whether you are moving with them. 

And naturally we would love to help, so feel free to reach out to me directly via Even if it’s to act as a sounding board, or provide some initial guidance, please feel free.

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