We're experiencing an explosion of technologies that help us listen to our audience, but none of them can apply the common sense of a human being to what they collect. While you can't listen to all your customers every month, but you have to make sure you interact with a few. As David Armano points out in this article, reports and surveys can lead you astray. That's what happened to BusinessWeek.
Logic + Emotion: How Filter Failure Contributes to Business Failure, 2009-Sep-19, by David Armano
Watch this video by Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek's innovation editor and veteran employee with the company. It's a fascinating illustration of the shifts in business we are seeing in real time. ... There was something about Bruce's talk that stood out to me in particular. While he calls out corporate culture as a main factor which may have contributed to BusinessWeek ending up on the buyers market, it was this insight that really stood out for me. "somehow BusinessWeek lost deep contact with its readers ... surveys ... in the end ... were misleading."