Strategies for Leveraging Customer Insight Data
In 1982, Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, said the following to a Congressional panel exploring legal issues posed by the new technology of video cassette recorders: "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone." Valenti turned out to be wrong. Movie producers quickly realized enormous new revenue streams from the seemingly substituting but actually complementary VCR technology. So it will be with consumer insight.
The question for marketers will not be "Should I use behavioral data or descriptive data to build this insight?" It's not an either/or proposition. Marketers will end up using all of the types of customer data for the context, scale and cross-channel consistency it provides. This type of data has been a marketing mainstay, underpinning direct marketing to individuals and households, fueling stimulus to response and broadcasting marketing to broader segments and audiences. The media channel explosion we're experiencing today, and all the various types of (often conflicting) data created by it, will actually enhance the value of that precious insight rendered by descriptive data, not render it obsolete.