CHAPTER 4 Yesterday’s Indirect Information Model

Yesterday’s voice of the customer was present but without propulsion or power. Customers had the willingness but not the capability or competency that has rapidly evolved over the past decade to enable a radical transformation of their power as a consuming entity. As a result, 90 percent of how businesses predicted what customers wanted or needed was only a proxy of a direct voice without most of the real direct knowledge required to make an accurate prediction. Yesterday’s voice was also missing the critical contextual variables of the purchase that could be sourced directly only with the discretionary sharing of the customer.

Yesterday’s Model

Business has always been about collecting consumer information and then guessing what consumers would likely want or need. In prior centuries, businesses were direct with customers. The nature of economies was to be more localized, and businesses oftentimes had the luxury of being able to ask their customers face-to-face what they wanted or would need in the near future. Most of this information that businesses leveraged to determine what to order was directly and intentionally volunteered knowledge from their customers. The customers volunteered this information because they trusted the local business owner with their information and clearly understood the utility of providing information to the business: “I tell them what I want and they will provide it for me.”

This was the business ...

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