Building an Early Buyer Insights System Can Save You Trouble


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Early Buyer Insights Can Alert Leaders To Risks And Opportunities

We are living in a time like no other.  Where predictability is more elusive than we could have ever imagined.  Buyers, consumers, and people, in general, are changing their behaviors continuously and rapidly.  The heads of many buyers and consumers spin as each bit of news causes them to hesitate on buying something. 

Each month now presents new potential events that can throw people off course.  Whether such events are environmental, political, global, economic, innovation, or crisis-related, the ripple effect is bound to touch an already fragile state of buying.  It is no wonder that predictability, no matter how many times you crunch the numbers, is elusive.

This ongoing state of unpredictability is surely putting business leaders and their marketing and sales teams in a bind.  Where and how much to spend dollars to grow the business is just not an easy decision anymore.  Forget about banking on any solid guaranteed results either. 

Many of us growing up can recall sitting on the floor watching TV.  And the TV being interrupted by the test of the Emergency Broadcast System.  The high pitch ringing noise blasted through the TV.  The EBS originated in 1963 and was later replaced by the Emergency Alert System in 1997.  The purpose of the test was to ensure that in case of a national emergency, the President of the United States would be able to alert and communicate with the public.    

Thankfully, it has never been used in such a crisis.  However, the Emergency Alert System has been used on a regional basis during natural disasters.  Acting as an early warning system on forecasts of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other types of catastrophic natural events. 

Given what we have been going through the last two years, it is time for business leaders to start thinking about something similar.  Every CEO should be asking the question of whether they have an early buyer insights system in their business.  Are they ready to face the tsunami of changes in buying behaviors?  Changes that could be the outcome of environmental events, economic instability, competitors gaining ground, and new game-changing technologies. 

First, executives need to look at how they integrate their information and intelligence systems into generating insights.  As of now, the lapse in time to make this happen can be too long.  For instance, information and intelligence can get their most attention during annual planning.  And qualitative insight generation can be viewed as something that is done even less frequently.  Accelerating intelligence gather and insight generation is how you get to an early warning system that alerts you to potential risks as well as opportunities.

There are two very good reasons to put in place an early buyer insights system that can act like an EAS system.  The first is to generate insights that cause you and your teams to consider implications and consequences.  Insights can reveal buyers beginning to make different choices and decisions.  Such as choosing competitors, cutting costs, forming inaccurate perceptions, adopting new technologies, etc.  The second is insights can reveal unforeseen new opportunities.  Such as new types of problems to address, changes in buying habits, adapting products or services in new ways, etc. 

Building an early buyer insights system today enables the agility and responsiveness business leaders will need in today’s business climate.  In the times we are living, it is never too early to respond to revealing insights.  Not being able to respond at all or responding too late can spell trouble.  The types of trouble that an early warning system, in this case, an early buyer insights system may have prevented. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


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