Build your customer research network before you need it!

Do you do traditional customer research?

Do you find that the loudest person in the room tends to skew the results?

What if you had a research network you could tap into at any point in time to get feedback? Well, you can, and communities that are built online can help you do it.

I spoke with Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights and an advocate of customer-driven market research. I got a chance to ask him how customer-driven research works and how the best companies are taking themselves out of the center of research efforts and putting their best customers there. He also gives us some sage advice for this year.

Build your customer research network before you need it!

About Dan

Dan Neely serves as Networked Insights’ Chief Executive Officer. Dan brings to Networked Insights more than 10 years of management, operational and entrepreneurial experience with technology, manufacturing and services companies. He is an expert in customer intelligence and has hands on experience with the challenges companies face in gathering relevant, real-time insights about their customers.

Prior to starting Networked Insights, Dan co-founded Market Performance Partners, which guided companies in market ownership through customer intelligence. Previously, he served as Director of Strategy for Scient. Scient was the fastest growing services company in history, had a successful IPO, grew to more than 2,000 colleagues and launched more than 40 ebusinesses. Before Scient, Dan worked at Deloitte and was part of a team that launched esurance, the first online insurance company.

Dan holds a BBA from the University of Georgia.

4 comments to Build your customer research network before you need it!

  • Glenn

    Paul, I like much of the concept of customer-driven research. However, I think the argument is missing a key element … the non-customer.

    I’ve written a post called “What’s Your Market IQ?” ( that discusses a different way to get at much of the information you and Dan discuss. The primary difference is to do a lot of what Dan is talking about, but do it with full-market panels which include customers and non-customers. In addition, these full-market panels enable more valuable results related to competitive comparisons, market trends and performance trends.

  • daniel.neely


    Great point. I have always considered customers to be those you have or want to have a relationship with. For example a key influencer of your customers may never purchase from you but you want a relationship with them. When you form a relationship they are a customer although not by the traditional definition. What we are seeing is that members of our customer insight networks are inviting their own trusted advisors , “non-customers”, market watchers, influencers, etc to the conversation, which is creating a rich source of content and interaction data from relevant constituents.

    Finally, the link you sent misses a key component for customer driven intelligence. The social interaction data. By using the data that is wrapped in the social relationships, (sharing, posting, inviting, influencing, et.) and combining it with the content source, results in the richest set of customer insights and arguably a highly accurate longitudinal Market IQ.

  • Rocky

    I came to your blog just when I was surfing on this topic. I am happy that I found your blog and information I wanted.

  • Term Papers

    I really like this blog, It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also get knowledge, from these type of blog, nice entry. Thanks

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