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Marketing Excellence: Capturing Customer Insights and Creating a Common Language

Acumen’s approach starts with understanding stakeholder needs, assessing participants’ competencies, and tailoring the syllabus to the client’s brand purpose and values.

Tony, head of marketing communications for a large local bank, oversees the review and approval of briefs from various product managers, ensuring that excellence standards are maintained across the bank’s many divisions.


As such, he finds himself spending an inordinate amount of time editing these briefs to become clear and inspiring; time he cannot afford given all his other responsibilities. 


Tony is not alone. The challenge he faces resonates with many marketing executives who, in informal conversations, have voiced their concerns and even frustration over the time spent developing their team’s technical skills in marketing.


Recognizing this need for skills development among their managers, the bank tapped Acumen to customize a Marketing Excellence Program that they can adopt as part of their own marketing academy.


Acumen’s approach starts with understanding stakeholder needs, assessing participants’ competencies, and tailoring the syllabus to the bank’s brand purpose and values.


Using these foundational information, the Capability Building Program was designed beyond basic brief writing to cover such areas as:


· Defining business vs. marketing vs. communication objectives

·       Customer profiling and generating insights through research and Acumen’s proprietary 6-Step Insight Generator™

·       Proposition and marketing plan development 

·       Creating a common language

·       Agency briefing and copy evaluation

·       Campaign monitoring


Participants engaged in theoretical and live case studies, leading to significant improvement in their post-test performance, particularly in developing insights and customer-centric propositions.


“Both the content and faculty allowed us to understand the framework to be better in capturing the customer insight to get the proposition statement closer to the customer’s truth. This will benefit me as a program/product owner,” said J.B., one of the program participants.


They also had a chance to actually present their briefs to the agencies working on these products. Agencies, for their part, praised the bank marketers’ ability to profile target customers and write insights in customer language.


“We learned important concepts that help us do better marketing communication plans — zeroing in on topics that marketers are usually stumped with consumer insights, the differences between business, marketing and communication objectives, how to write a good proposition statement, etc.,” said another participant, T. I. 


Feedback from participants underscored the program’s effectiveness in enhancing marketing communication skills, with commendations for its relevance, educational value, and practical application to their roles.


“The syllabus was good. Whether it's someone whose knowledge just needs refreshing or someone new to marketing, the learnings learned from this program are invaluable,” T. I. said.


“It provided the fundamentals to digital media marketing that whatever new technologies and tools come our way, the thinking is rooted on the rigor and basics of media strategy and planning,” T. I. added.


Other participants like J. A. also appreciated the program’s structured approach and the opportunity it provided for them to speak a common marketing language. 


At the end of the program, Tony lauded Acumen for its collaborative approach, openness to ideas, and deep understanding of both training and business needs.


“Acumen is a strategic partner for bridging the bank's marketing vision and the team capabilities through bespoke L&D (learning and development). Acumen was able to share their expertise with our employee participants and positively contributed to their individual development,” he said.


Encouraged by the program’s success, the bank is considering rolling out the initiative to a wider audience of managers, a recognition of Acumen’s role as a trusted partner in fostering marketing excellence.  Written by: Liel Gonzalez - Client Director, Acumen Strategy Consultants


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