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Between the Lines: Turning Customer Input into Customer Insights

Date: August 6 - 7, 2013

Location: Boston, MA

You will greatly benefit by bringing you whole cross-functional team to this session and get everyone on the same page and direction on customer research.  We’re not only offering a $300/person discount on the registration fee until June 15, 2013, we also have a stackable $100/person discount if you send 3 or more people.

A two-day intensive workshop focused on a new way to listen to customers, translate their stated wants into burning needs and develop the “next big thing” that they’ll line up to buy

So, how’s your relationship going with your key customers? If your answer is: “It’s great, we talk to our customers all the time”, then it’s time to rethink your approach. Talking to customers is not listening to customers. Understanding how the customer does the customer’s business is the critical task at hand and that does not involve you, your company or any of your past products or services. Add to that, they are not qualified to design your products better than you can. So if you’re heading out to a customer meeting armed with charts, brochures, questionnaires or prototypes, you’ve already slaughtered any chance you had to define a breakthrough product or service for them. Welcome to the rest of the competition pack. Get prepared for the slugfest to come of me-too offerings, cost cutting, commoditization and margin erosion.

There is a better way. It begins with identifying not just your current customers, but also your next customers and lead users. How might your brand extend? The dimensions of geography, “food chain” level, function and adjacent markets need to be explored. Once the right current and “next customers” are identified, a new approach to listening to them is needed that focuses on learning to walk in their shoes while they struggle to get their work done. On day one of this powerful seminar we will cover best practices, processes, tools and examples of how leading innovators mine, define and listen to their current and “next customers”, followed by hands-on participant exercises to drive the learning home.

Just knowing how your customer and “next customer” do their business is necessary, but not sufficient. On day two of the seminar we explore the best practices, processes, tools and examples of how leading innovators use the information they have gathered to define the “next big thing” product or service and get it right the first time. Still operating exclusively in “needs” space prior to forming solutions, participants will be facilitated through the use of an advanced tool based on Kano analysis principles to not just stack the needs by importance, but also to segregate the needs by type: must be, one-dimensional and delighters. Armed with “type” information, solutions can be generated to avoid the common problems of over-designing must-be needs and under investing in delighters - the realm of high margins.

Wayne Mackey

In this two-day workshop, Wayne Mackey, Principal, Product Development Consulting and leading product development thought leader will help you revolutionize your customer relationships and reinvigorate your product and service offerings.

Learn to:

  • Define and identify your “next customers”
  • Evaluate how your brand might best extend in multiple directions
  • Listen to your current and “next customers” to gain a profound understanding of how they struggle to succeed
  • Apply Kano principles to quantify the key value differentiators from the customers’ standpoint
  • Allocate resources to customer solutions that match the value they add in the marketplace and to your business
  • Build practical plans for institutionalizing the new way of doing business


The Expert Faculty

Wayne MackeyMr. Mackey has been a Principal with Product Development Consulting, Inc. since 1997. Prior to joining PDC, he worked in industry for 20 years in high tech, aerospace and automotive fields. He is a natural change agent and leader, having counseled Fortune 500 companies, major universities (Stanford, MIT, Carnegie-Mellon) and government agencies in product development, supply chain management, and rapidly implementing enterprise-wide change. Mr. Mackey also has worked as a senior scientist, program manager, engineering manager and systems engineering manager.

Wayne Mackey's expertise is grounded in over twenty years of hands-on leadership of large engineering, manufacturing, and procurement organizations. His management consulting is focused on product / service development, and he is especially effective in collaborative design, metrics, portfolio management and business strategy implementation. He is co-author of the best selling book Value Innovation Portfolio Management: Achieving Double-Digit Growth Through Customer Value, and co-author of the PDMA Toolbook for Product Development III.

Mr. Mackey is an internationally acknowledged expert in metrics and has been a keynote speaker on achieving rapid organizational change, partnering and applying the voice of the customer to product development. He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and economics from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in engineering, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California




August 6, 2013 Day 1

7;30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast and Registration
8:30am – 10:15am
Session I. Customer Value Context: Where does it fit within your R&D systems

A. The four stages of customer centric design
B. Inbound versus outbound marketing
C. Working within gates and cycles of learning
D. Brand equity and brand extension
E. Finding and competing in "blue oceans" to avoid commoditization
F. The metrics of success

10:15am – 10:30am Refreshment Break
10:30am – 11:30am Session II. Customer visit matrix: Covering all of the bases with a minimum investment

A. Define, but not over-define the bounds of the investigation
B. Dimensions of use as the discriminator
C. The critical element of segments

11:30am – 12:30pm Session III. Listening: It’s way beyond just a conversation

A. The economy of words
B. Open ended questions
C. Turning feature talk into real impact insights

12:30pm – 1:30pm Day 1 Lunch

1:30pm – 3:30pm Session IV. Interview practice

3:30pm – 3:45pm Break

3:45pm – 4:45pm Session V. Requirements translation: Painting the customers’ environment picture

A. Intelligently transforming customer wants into burning needs
B. The three elements of every good customer requirement

August 7, 2013 Day 2

8:00am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast
8:30am – 9:45am Session VI. Industry Speaker, TBD Case Study

A. Business purpose and goals
B. Implementation challenges and successes
C. Results to date

9:45 - 10:15 Refreshment Break & Q&A with industry speaker
10:15am – Noon Session VII. Customer surveys: Defining the importance and type of need

A. Three sections needed
i) Introduction to define the segmentation possibilities
ii) Kano survey to define the type of need
iii) Self-sated importance to determine weights

Noon – 1:00pm Day 2 lunch

1:00pm – 3:00pm Session VIII. Real-time Kano survey application: an internal survey

A. From the perspective of your real job
B. From specific segment perspectives

3:00 - 3:15 Refreshment Break

3:15 – 3:45pm Session IX. Using the customer survey data to solve the burning problem

A. What’s in and what’s out and why
B. Allocating resources to match their value-add for the customer and the business

3:45pm – 4:00pm Session X. Summary, Q&A and Next Steps


Who Should Attend

This seminar is aimed at decision makers in all industries who are responsible for growth and can impact the way their business goes about devising, evaluating, and approving new products. This includes vice presidents, directors, and senior managers in marketing, strategy, corporate development, corporate venturing, R&D, product engineering, business development, and innovation management.

Registration Information

On day one (August 6) registration/continental breakfast begins at 8am and the day ends at 4:45pm; on day two (August 7), continental breakfast starts at 8:00am, session begins at 8:30am and concludes at 4:00pm. Please see the course agenda for specifics.

$1695/person before June 15, 2013 (1995/person after June 15, 2013). Fee includes program materials, luncheons, continental breakfasts, networking reception and refreshment breaks.

Team Discounts: 
Groups of 3 or more may deduct $100 per person. Groups of 6 or more, please call 800-338-2223 for special pricing.


Metro Meeting Centers – Boston
101 Federal Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 737-1200

Sleeping rooms are available at several nearby hotels including:

  • Club Quarters
  • Hyatt Regency Boston
  • Langham Hotel
  • Hilton Boston - Financial District

You may send a substitute attendee in your place at any time with no penalty -- please inform us in advance if possible. Cancellations made within 5 business days are subject to a $500 administration fee or the full fee can be credited towards a future purchase. No-shows are liable for the full fee.

Workshop Attire: 
Business casual.

How to register

Register for this event:

Or register by phone:

Call 1-800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080 (9:00am - 5:30pm EST)

In company training

This session can be brought directly to your site. Benefits include:

  • Lower cost per participant
  • Time savings
  • No travel required
  • Content tailored to your specific needs
  • Implementation is jump-started through team participation and instructor's hands-on guidance

Contact 781-891-8080 for more information and price quote.