As we’ve mentioned before, data about customers is multiplying. But information about customers – the kind that informs confident business decisions – can be harder to come by. So when I came across this quote on the blog www.gilliganondata.com, it stuck with me:
“A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.”
– Mark Twain
I think there is a lot of truth to that, and we see the effect in the work we do with our clients. When it comes time to make those big business decisions – like entering a new market, developing a new or improved product, or changing how customer service works – what leaders don’t need is more data. They need better information.
So, a big part of our point of view is that getting in-depth information from the most important business-to-business customers yields better information – and better decisions – than getting a pile of “shallow” data from a scattered sample. Selling to businesses is complex enough without mixing in data that comes from customer contacts who may not have much say in the actual buying decision. Less truly can be more.
So, when you’re looking into your next voice of the customer or other research project, it’s a good idea to think about what you’re really trying to get: one watch or two?