Research Findings Show Customer Intelligence Surges Company Revenues


  • Research shows that companies which develop and refine customer intelligence achieve higher campaign conversions and sales win rates and lower cost per lead and cost per customer acquisition than those who do not. More specifically, the top performers achieved a 12% higher campaign conversion rate and a 9% lower cost per lead. And their leads resulted in a 5% higher sales win rate at a 6% lower cost per customer acquisition.
  • The research also found that companies in the most competitive industries had a disproportionately higher use and benefit from this data-driven intelligence.
  • The highest performers systemically develop data-driven and fact-based customer intelligence to replace knowledge based on unconscious bias, anecdotal occurrences and dated historical experiences.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Transformational marketers’ architect the company's growth strategy, grow brand equity, create real competitive advantages, disrupt markets and excel in campaign conversions. But they don't do any of these things before they have acquired customer intelligence.

Sometimes called customer insights, this intelligence replaces assumptions, guesswork, subconscious bias and unproven opinions with objectively measured customer data. The information is then shared in many forms, including the ideal customer profile (ICP), personas, buyer insights, customer segments, customer journeys and sentiment analysis to name a few.

Data is acquired from several sources including Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs, digital footprints, online behaviors, purchase transactions and customer service incidents.

The below diagram shows several types of customer insights and how they can be integrated using a CRM system.

Customer Insights Integration to CRM

The above schema illustrates how customer data can be centrally managed and categorized in the CRM system. This makes the data available for filtering and extraction for a multitude of marketing and sales purposes.

Customer Intelligence Research Findings

Research published in the Marketing Transformation Report shared how customer intelligence programs impact important marketing and sales metrics.

The survey data identified what types of intelligence gathering programs were most used and compared each type to marketing and sales performance results.

While the data revealed that participants with each type of program outperformed participants without the same program, the results became far more compelling when comparing participants that used multiple programs.

Here's what the data surfaced.

Customer Intelligence Methods

Marketers who developed and refined Customer Intelligence achieved a 12% higher campaign conversion rate and a 9% lower cost per lead. And their leads resulted in a 5% higher sales win rate at a 6% lower cost per customer acquisition.

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The research found that while only 19 percent of survey participants actively used all four customer programs, those adopters achieved significantly higher performance results compared to all others.

This group harvested VOC data, calculated the ICP and maintained a centralized 360-degree customer view. That allowed them to then deliver more relevant, personalized and contextual offers, campaigns and other engagement pursuant to customer segments or personas, and as a result:

  • Marketing campaigns achieved 12 percent higher conversions
  • Cost per lead declined by 9 percent
  • Sales win rates increased by 5 percent
  • Cost per customer acquisition declined by 6 percent

Each of the above data points is significant. For example, for most marketers a 12 percent campaign conversion increase would translate to an overwhelming increase in the sales pipeline and earned revenues.

Depending on the company's lead to revenue conversion and gross profit margin, each of these factors can drive high single digit company revenue growth. Collectively, they drive double digit revenue growth.

The takeaway isn't that one type of intelligence program delivers better results than another. It's that multiple programs used together deliver far superior results than fewer individual programs.

Additional Findings

The data surfaced three additional findings.

  • VOC and persona data correlated to improved product innovation, including a higher research quotient, higher vitality index, faster innovation cycles and more new product releases per period.
  • Participants with centralized 360 degree customer views and buyer journeys more frequently used artificial intelligence to improve up-sell and cross-sell recommendations and conversions.
  • Participants that developed buyer insights and applied them to precision marketing campaigns generated conversions almost twice as high as those who did not.

We plan to ask more questions in the next survey to drill further into each of these findings.

The Point is This

Most company executives think they know what their customers want. They are partially right. But their inaccuracy lies in subconsciously inflicting their own bias, thinking customers are all the same, believing customer wants are static and all customer wants translate into a willingness to pay.

Even small inaccuracies result in major degradation to the marketing plan objectives and the downstream effects to campaign and sales conversions. In the wise words of Mark Twain, "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so."

Customer insights programs replace intuition and guesswork with firsthand information about customers. That information improves marketing conversions and increases sales win rates. It also enables better customer relationships by showing how to make the customer feel special, delighted, valued, rewarded and appreciated, and deliver relevant, personalized, contextual and predictive customer experiences. Using customer data to deliver differentiated customer experiences creates a sustainable competitive advantage.

We're in the age of the social customer. Customers will tell you what they want, how to improve your products or services, and how to grow their business. But you have to ask them.

Companies that collaborate with customers and harness intelligence to steer their product design, manufacturing, distribution, sales, service and returns create more valuable products and services and grow customer acquisitions, customer lifetime value and customer retention.

If you are not fully leveraging customer data, insights and intelligence, you're missing a big opportunity.