As we kick off the first full week of 2020, I took a moment to pause and think about what lies ahead. It strikes me that 2020 could prove to be a tough year. Election years always make the market jittery and this is on top of prolonged recession speculation during 2019. So what’s in store?
I believe we’ll see businesses being extra vigilant with their budgets and Customer Insights, already dealing with tight budgets, are an easy target for companies that haven’t seen tangible successes with their CI efforts. On top of this, the business transformation journey continues as companies struggle to adapt to 21st Century business models; that is organizations that are centered around the customer, immediate response, complex technological systems, and diverse skillsets. Not to mention a relentless drive for increased profit.
In this world, Customer Insights and extremely tight collaboration with Marketing, Voice of Customer and Customer Experience should be a given along with open information across all other departments. However, we are still plagued by organizational silos, clunky systems and processes, and an over-reliance on big data. These are challenges that are slowly, and painfully, being addressed.
In 2020, CI departments will continue to evolve, reshaping organizationally with a broader skillset but still operating lean. The DIY trend will grow with more research conducted in-house and studies often being quick-turn iterations building on existing knowledge, requiring exploration and experimentation with new approaches and technologies. At the same time, internal teams will retain outside assistance – both from agencies and their technology partners – to provide expertise and support.
On a more positive note, I believe CI professionals will continue to grow in their role as consultants, educators, and collaborators across the organization. They will refine being resource-savvy; combining lean in-house research with thorough deep dives as required.
In short, there’s much to be done and there will be notable headway in 2020 as we forge ahead but don’t expect a smooth ride.