Understanding the customer and the type of relationship customers wish to have is key to CRM. This means not only customer profiling and knowledge of customer behaviour but also insight into customer motivations and attitudes. Through effective market segmentation, companies can identify differences between customers and manage them flexibly. Market research has a critical role to play that, in combination with company held or other external intelligence about the customer, can provide a fully rounded view of the customer. Undertaken on an on-going basis, this process enables companies to adapt to market changes and to anticipate and cater for the specific needs and wants of individual customers, thereby consolidating customer loyalty.