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9 monochrome world " The past is another country, they do things differently there." The Go- Between, L. P. Hartley

10 It didn't used to be like this. The last chapter explained how data creates customer benefits; next, we shall be returning to the past to analyse how the marketing industry has evolved, enabling a better understanding of how transactional customer data can transform business. Even 20 years ago when the Ford motor company had learnt to appreciate the importance of offering a rainbow spectrum of cars, marketing was very different. It was less about saying thank you to existing customers and more about chasing new elusive ones. It was less about personalisation, more about acquisition. Even as companies began to understand the importance of gleaning business insights from their customer base, the process of information gathering was time consuming and arduous. Say what you do; do what you say Once companies had appreciated the importance of understanding their customers a little better they started asking them questions. They asked them what they did, what they liked to do and what they thought about different products or services. Traditional quantitative market researchers such as Nielsen used panel and sampling methods to provide manufacturers with sales and market share trends. Meanwhile, traditional qualitative research placed a handful of customers behind a two- way mirror in focus groups. Sometimes they were given products to sample, sometimes they were asked to watch a TV ad. The researcher asked them questions about a product or service, which they then answered. Traditional research asked people what they did, rather than watching them in action. We now know that there can be a big difference between what people say they do and how they really act. Attitude to sustainability is a case in point. There has always been a disconnection between consumers who say it's important to buy green products, and consumers who really do. People's principles don't necessarily translate into action, especially in a tough economic climate. An interim industry? The research industry was invented because we didn't know what was going on. It was an interim industry, created to fill a gap. It has served its purpose well, enabling companies to connect a little better with customers. any colour you like as long as it's any colour you like We know that there can be a big difference between what people say they do and how they really act