A recent online shopping experience, which left me waiting more than two weeks for a delivery, reminded me of the importance of, and our expectations about, time.Continue reading...
Silicon Valley likes to say (with some justification) that it’s where the future is invented. From technical innovation to upended business models, it’s a major force in how we live and work today. So it’s perhaps counterintuitive to realize that one of its fundamental qualities is almost 100 years old.Continue reading...
As consumer behaviors and demands continue to evolve, brands are now focusing their efforts on delivering a good customer experience, even if that’s at the (slight) expense of the actual product or service they sell. In fact, a study by Gartner states that nearly 89 percent of companies are competingContinue reading...
The answer depends not so much on how the question is asked nor on what the subject of the data might be. Rather, it depends on the spirit of the individual who’s looking at the data.Looking Ahead with Excitement
My niece is entering the University of Michigan this fall to begin her undergrad years. She’s chosen to enter computer science, but she’s sparring with her father (a senior scientist for a chemical company) over how she intends to channel her curiosity. He wants her to take a methodical approach (especially in her free time) and learn how to code websites, for example. Or to code programs that run games. He believes the fundamentals should be interesting enough for her and that she should be excited at the notion of acquiring skills to create products that people find useful and helpful.
She says she gets his point, but that she wants to solve problems she hasn’t thought of yet. She wants to explore data and be able to recognize patterns as they surface. She wants to discover.
I don’t think either of them is wrong, and so my advice to her is to take the curriculum, apply yourself with discipline, AND surrender to your curiosity. Pursue your passion for chasing meanings hidden from view in the data. That’s where value lives.Skills for the Future
As I think about my niece and the world she’ll graduate into, it strikes me that she is positioning herself appropriately. I found support for my faith in her in this McKinsey study called, Ops 4.0: The Human Factor—Planning for Tomorrow’s Roles. In stage two of their four stage approach, they recommend this to those looking to acquire skills for the future, “They’ll need expertise in your organization’s specific domain, the ability to solve problems and execute continuous improvement activities, and the ability to work with data and advanced digital tools.”
When we look to the future of customer success and try to understand which character traits will emerge as most important, we shouldn’t assume anything based on what worked in the past. It’s a fool’s game, anyway, to blindly go with what worked before while ignoring the rapid evolution in business that’s taken place over the last decade.
Cloud, as the saying goes, flipped the paradigm. Urgency is in. Fast thinking. Look over your shoulder to make sure your competitors aren’t gaining on you, and you’ll quickly learn that was the wrong way to turn your head. The future of business is unpredictable, of course, as it’s been for some time now, but we do know one thing with certainty: Customers are emboldened, and what’s really interesting is that, for the majority of people, they don’t even realize it. It’s just the way of the business world now. There will be no putting the cloud genie back in the bottle.Still, We Know Some Things
There are two things we know about customers. No matter the size of the business:
- Value can only come from a two-way partnership.
- Customer value is a construct that we, as a vendor, can immensely influence if we take appropriate action against customer experiential data that we approach with curiosity.
Curiosity about how we can improve the ability for our customers to achieve success is a driving force behind Oracle’s efforts to pay close attention to how our customers consume information from our new portal. And curiosity is behind our efforts to monitor and iteratively improve how our customers will experience an acceleration toward their goals by using the advanced services component of the new service model we’ll be releasing soon.
Are we excited? Yes. As excited as my niece is about discovering new things? It’s a toss-up.
While you're waiting for the new release, learn how you can skillfully decipher, understand, and leverage the abundance of available data to engage with your customers and prospects. Download the Data-Driven CMO Report.
Brace your executive staff. Your organization could be spending a lot more on marketing automation technology in the next five years, according to Forrester. In its April report, “Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017 to 2023 (Global)” (fee required), Forrester researchers predict marketing automation technology tool spending will reach $25.Continue reading...
B2B marketing teams are increasingly being evaluated on their contributions to the sales pipeline or even revenue. Understandably, demand-generation marketers have as a result focused more on optimizing down-funnel efforts rather than first fixing more problematic top-funnel inefficiencies. Shifting focus to down-funnel efforts is based on false logic.Continue reading...
The theory that happier employees lead to happier customers is nothing new. While logical, it's a theory still difficult to prove through any qualitative formulas.Continue reading...
Just because something is used doesn’t mean that it is useful. Design decisions can create the wrong expectations and can send people on journeys that will end up in failure. “To simplify the process for advisers, we introduced a ‘quick links’ box on the landing page of our benefits content,”Continue reading...
This article is part of our series on customer experience where we focus on topics relating to connecting data, intelligence and experiences. Further reading: Silo Busting is Essential to Delivering Personalized Experiences.
Delivering exceptional customer experiences has quickly become table stakes for marketers. Too often, though, these experiences are undermined by inconsistent messaging and opportunities go begging.
Repeated or irrelevant messages breed consumer intolerance and annoyance, which they are not afraid to shout about to the hilltops.
Inconsistent messaging can also be a lost opportunity. For instance, when a customer expects to be informed, but there is silence. Such as when a customer signs up to a new program and reasonably expects to receive a welcome email. When they receive nothing, that can create confusion and concern — which can be just as damaging as a sending a poor message.
In markets like China, where social and ecommerce platforms are dominated by a few large players, the risk and reward of consistent messaging increases, particularly for B2C companies.
For example, WeChat and Alibaba both have an incredible reach. And, given their prominence, consumers often use both platforms. So, any inconsistent message on WeChat can quickly undermine strong messaging on Alibaba, and vice-versa.
Compounding this problem, marketers sometimes focus too intently on WeChat and Alibaba and neglect their owned channels of email, SMS, and website. The messaging in all channels must be relevant and consistent.Why It’s Happening
This isn’t rocket science, but it still trips up many marketers. The reason? The ubiquitous problems that arise from disconnected data systems and data access – marketers and systems in silos. Marketers simply do not have a single view of the customer, much less an accurate idea of what messaging has already been delivered.
That problem snowballs when channels are managed by different teams — such as a media agency for acquisition and remarketing, another agency for social marketing, while a company’s own marketing team manages email and mobile channels.
When this happens, even a central marketing plan can’t connect the data and creative for individual customer experiences.
Many organizations still lack the skills and tools necessary to unearth customer insights from first-party data. Those insights are needed to improve customer experience and deliver consistent, relevant messages through all channels automatically.How to Fix It
A great place to start is to build consistency on the areas over which you have control and where you are comfortable.
For example, implementing automation and template programs for email and mobile channels will improve consistency in message cadence and content. At Oracle, we recommend leveraging existing data and using dynamic content to personalize your messages while maintaining a consistent message.
Next, build a data strategy to inform segmentation and start to weave that in other channels. It’s likely that your first major roadblock will be addressing how customer data is managed and accessed. Therefore, when getting data architecture in order, the focus should be on creating a core customer view in a secure, transparent and privacy-compliant way. All other data — such as sales, product, and policies — can then be attached to the core customer data, creating the fabled 360 degree view of the customer.
It is no small feat to upgrade data architecture and automate marketing. However, the benefits that accrue will quickly justify the undertaking.
Want to learn more? Get the Cross-Channel Orchestration Fundamentals Guide to learn how you can give consumers the personalized, relevant, and consistent experiences they want.
Have you been heads down last week? Same. In case you weren’t able to visit CMSWire this week, I’ve compiled the top articles, events and resources all for you! Marketers: there are 25 free WordPress plugins you should be using. Make sure to learn more in the first article, below.Continue reading...