Rethinking Buyer Insights in a Changing World


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Business Leaders Must Adapt Buyer Insights Generation To Rapid Pace Of Change

The world continues to evolve.  The pace of change like it has never been.  Certainty and predictability are illusory in nature.  What we have learned, in the past two years especially, is that buyers’ goals and behaviors are undergoing constant change.  As are the way buyers are interacting and their choices of channels.  This lack of certainty is putting a premium on buyer insights that provide a deep understanding of buyer goals and how to fulfill them.  In this world of new realities, business leaders in operations, marketing, and sales desire such deep understanding to expand and grow. 

The pandemic has caused much of businesses to rethink many existing concepts.  Questioning the way work or projects get done.  One area is that of buyer insights.  For decades analysis and insights have been report-oriented.  Or some may say study-oriented.  A report orientation often meant a heavy bent toward numbers.  Towards analytics.  Towards data.  With an emphasis on analytical correlation to arrive at insights.  This orientation also is characterized by each report having an end.  End one report and call for another.

In the new realities of today, this type of lengthy process will no longer work.  Not with the pace of rapid change happening.  There are five areas, I believe, business leaders will need to address when rethinking buyer insights:


The study or report orientation has traditionally been a lengthy process.  Businesses need to accelerate buyer insights.   Matching the speed at which buyer behavior changes.   Which, in turn, are forcing the need for speedier informed decisions. 

Ongoing Iteration

The report orientation has meant that buyer insights have been a first-in and first-out approach.  How many times have you heard – “let’s run this report and see what it says then will run this report.”  Buyer insights will need to become a building-up process.  An iterative process.  Instead of an end, it never ends.  It reaches a state of constant iteration.

Qual and Quant Are Not Separate

The world of research and insights has treated quantitative analysis as separate from qualitative research.  In large entities, people working on quantitative research may rarely talk to people working on qualitative research efforts.  What is called for is unified buyer insights generation.  Whereby both qual and quant complement each other and have common end goals in mind. 

Humanize Buyer Insights

It may seem weird to talk about humanizing insights.  The report orientation has always had a way of making insight less humanized.  Less about humans and more about numbers.  And we know that numbers alone cannot provide the three-dimensional human point of view.  Therefore, buyer personas become extremely valuable in helping to humanize insights. 

Intelligence is Listening, Not the End

The mounds of intelligence analytics generated can often be treated as, in the end, final insights.  Intelligence gathering is a form of listening that feeds insight generation.  The path to a deeper understanding of buyers comes from how well intelligence listening takes place.  And the listening from multiple sources, when banded together and interpreted proficiently, reveals profound insight about buyers and customers.

What business leaders strive for when it comes to buyer insights is a deeper understanding.  Leading to enhanced predictability.  And the ability to make better-informed decisions.  

Rethinking buyer insights means adding one newer dimension for business leaders to think about in a world of new realities.  Something emerging out of the pandemic as demanded by buyers.   A deeper understanding leads to insights on how to make the world a better place and shape a better future

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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