In the decades since the new thinking on emotions' role in decision-making emerged, there's widespread acceptance around its importance. This is apparent in the same Forrester study, commissioned by FocusVision, where 93 percent of companies agree that consumers are more likely to spend money with a brand that they feel connected to. Additionally, 88 percent agree that better understanding of how their customers think and feel will help them win new customers.
However, despite recognition about the role of emotion, and the need to understand their customers in order to engage them in ways that will resonate, only 38 percent strongly agree they know why one customer chooses to buy from their brand while another doesn’t. There's clearly a disconnect.
That disconnect is explained when looking at the data that companies are using to understand their customers: More than half (56 percent) report relying more or fully on Big Data (versus Small Data) to answer questions about how their customers think and feel. Big Data—clickstream, transactional, POS, CRM, location and so on—is an important way to understand what your customers are doing. However, it can't tell you why they are doing it. It can't convey how they think and feel.
This is demonstrated in the Forrester study—which found that Big Data such as the frequency with which consumers interact with the brand, the length of time the consumer has subscribed to the brand, and the frequency with which consumers purchase from the brand—are not statistically relevant indicators of how they’ll act: the intent to continue subscribing, loyalty or advocacy.