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It is evident today that the walls between organizational units are crumbling, and marketing, the voice of the customer (well, it should be), holds the reins. Customer knowledge, backed by actionable insights, stands as a pillar of influence within the P.I.C. model – Product, Industry, and Customer knowledge. 

Marketing, as the driving force of customer connection, is vital. Silos are dissolving, requiring seamless collaboration among departments. To foster cross-functional unity, marketing must guide others towards creating value for customers, the organization, and stakeholders. 

Getting to know customers sounds extremely simplistic and straightforward. Rarely will you find anyone refuting the need to know customers; it just so happens to be placed down the pecking order of “to-dos” when administrative work, reports, deadlines, and short-term goals begin to swamp those in charge.

The essence of marketing, defined by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, lies in identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer wants and needs profitably. To achieve this, certain traits are required. Curiosity paves the path, followed by cultivating the art of asking the right questions. A knack for experimentation fosters innovation, while venturing into the field provides genuine insights from direct customer interactions. So frequently leave your desk and start observing or speaking to end-users. 

Translating data into actionable insights is also vital – data collection without a purpose is a futile exercise. The story of Apple’s audacious challenge against Blackberry’s 50% market share dominance of the corporate smartphone market exemplifies this. Despite what seemed a herculean task, Apple remained unperturbed because they knew they were delivering on what their target audience wanted. A classic grasp of the P.I.C model. 

Customer knowledge might seem the crown jewel of the P.I.C. model, but its power is incomplete without the other two components. Just as a product without customers or customers without a product yields fiction and failure, each piece must fit together seamlessly. In mastering all three knowledge areas, influence becomes a force that shapes not only marketing but the entire organization. 

The P.I.C. model is an orchestra, harmonizing product, industry, and customer knowledge to create an influential symphony. It is a call to action – a duty to foster cross-departmental collaboration, a commitment to cultivate traits that turn insights into innovation, and a promise to wield the combined power of knowledge to shape the destiny of your organization. 

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