Companies missing out on vital consumer insights

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

There's a growing trend in business to gain more insight into customers - but most companies are not using that information to its fullest potential, according to researchers at the University of Adelaide.

"A lack of engagement with customer insight could be costing all-important profits, as companies make decisions and develop new products without a rich understanding of their consumers' needs, their responses to existing products, and their lifestyles," says University of Adelaide Senior Lecturer in Marketing Dr Jodie Conduit.

Dr Conduit will present the next Research Tuesdays free public seminar at the University of Adelaide (5.30pm Tuesday 12 March) on how business, government departments and NGOs can harness consumer insight, and how this can benefit their operations.

"Over the past five years there's been a growing trend of companies around the world appointing 'Insight Directors', rather than 'Research Managers', highlighting a focus on achieving better use of market research and gaining a deeper understanding of the consumer," Dr Conduit says.

"Importantly, employees at all levels of the business need to buy-in to, or engage with, these insights. Having a shared understanding of the consumer across the organisation enables cross-functional groups to work together towards the same strategic objective. Therefore, this engagement with consumer insight plays a vital role in the design and delivery of marketing strategies and new products."

However, Dr Conduit says 90% of companies involved in harnessing customer insights are not reaping the full benefit of their activities.

"Research shows that very few companies are using consumer insights to their strategic advantage. Many of them are not motivating customers to engage with customer insight, and most companies have a long way to go before they understand just how powerful this information can be for their business," she says.

In her Research Tuesdays presentation, Dr Conduit will use a case study from the company formerly known as Kraft Foods (now Mondelez International). Kraft Foods adopted a "consumer immersion program", with employees at all levels and from all sections of the business visiting customers' homes throughout the Asia-Pacific region. This helped to drive marketing strategies for new and existing products, and moved them a step closer to being a truly customer-centric organisation.

WHAT: Research Tuesdays: Harnessing Consumer Insight by Dr Jodie Conduit (Business School, University of Adelaide)
WHERE: Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 5:30pm to 6.30pm, Tuesday 12 March
COST: Free - but registration is essential: online at
phone 8313 6381 or email


Contact Details

Research Tuesdays RSVP
Business: 08 8313 6381

Dr Jodie Conduit
Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Business School
The University of Adelaide
Business: 08 8313 7024

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762