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Interim staff can unlock effective market research and customer insights

by Fraser Mason September 30, 2011

​I read a really good article today about the importance of acting on market research and customer insights.

The author makes the point that although customer footfall is down by 3-4% on last year, it is not impossible for a business to post strong growth in spite of the nervy economic climate. However, it is imperative for organisations not just to harvest customer feedback mindlessly, but actually to act upon it.

The example he uses is the fashion retail chain Zara, which has designed its supply chain around the insight that customers will keep returning if new stock is delivered frequently. It therefore has a ‘little and often’ policy with regard to replenishing its ranges, generating crucial repeat business.

Obviously, moulding the structure of an entire business around an idea is both tricky and risky: the changes are often fundamental and complex, and the decision needs to be based on a statistically sound principle, otherwise it is likely to be an expensive waste of time. Zara didn’t decide to alter their entire supply chain based on a single piece of information or the whim of the CEO; they collected data from hundreds of thousands of customers and analysed it almost to death.

These change projects are exactly where the Freshminds Interim team can help. For example, we might provide a researcher to help collect and organise the data required, or a business analyst to examine the information and provide insight, or a high-powered project manager to drive a complicated and far-reaching change programme from start to finish.

We give organisations the opportunity to leverage years’ worth of industry expertise in order to transform the way they do business and emulate the success of brands like Zara, ensuring they fully harness the power of customer feedback.

Fraser Mason is a consultant on the Interim Team at Freshminds Talent.

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