In a multi-polar world—a volatile, interdependent, globalized marketplace where upstart rivals can emerge quickly from any corner—competitiveness at speed remains imperative. But many of the previous bases for competition are no longer viable. Companies offer mostly similar products and use comparable technology. Proprietary technologies can be copied quickly. Physical location matters less when customers use the Internet to search and transact.
What’s left as a basis for competition is to gain a deep understanding of customer priorities by individual segment and to make the smartest business decisions possible about serving those segments. In this new environment, companies with weak segmenting and customer insight capabilities will struggle. Companies that master customer analytics will find abundant new opportunities for profitable growth and will be able to make wise decisions about investing marketing resources.