Doubting Thomas Or Devil's Advocate? CX Does Matter To Government

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

During a recent discussion of the Age of the Customer and how it applies to government, one of the participants from a government agency essentially asked why they should care.  The argument was “If I’m providing passport services why does customer experience matter to me? My “customers” can’t walk out that door and find another passport services provider.”  

Needless to say I was taken aback – not shocked really, this is the government after all and not traditionally known for accessible or user friendly services. But personally my experiences have never been as bad as the stereotype of government.  In fact, I just received a new passport in 2 weeks, having been told that it might take 3 – 6 weeks.  And, at least the rhetoric of late has certainly embraced, in principle, more customer centricity in government.  But here it was, the government monopoly argument rearing its ugly head.  At least to play devil’s advocate, suggesting that the sentiment did exist somewhere in the organization.

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Your Ticket To Driving More Value From Insights: Be A Master Communicator

Cinny Little

As a customer insights / analytics / digital measurement pro, do you experience any of these challenges?  And what can you do right now to make progress with them?

  •  I can’t keep up with requests from my stakeholders for analysis and insights.  Does the volume of requests and your team’s capacity seem increasingly out of whack in your organization?
  • Our customer data isn’t where we need it to be – we can’t get a comprehensive view of our customer.   You’re not alone.  Marketing and technology teams struggle to align objectives, roles, budget, projects and process, and timelines to maximize value from customer data.  Marketing decision-makers report several reasons they are failing: too many data sources (44%), lack of access to technology to manage data source integration (38%), lack of budget (35%), lack of skills to support integration (34%), organizational silos (27%), and lack of an executive sponsor (23%).
  • We’re leaving money on the table because our different analytics and insights teams work in silos.  Here’s a simple digital measurement example of this:  one digital team is responsible for driving visits to the website.  Other teams are responsible for maximizing on-site conversions.  They work in their own separate silos.  A more efficient and effective approach: work together to identify the characteristics of customers most likely to convert, and work on driving that group to the site.   That type of silo breakdown needs to happen more.
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Introducing The Digital Intelligence TechRadar™, Q2 2016: Essential Analytics Tech For Driving Digital Customer Experiences

James McCormick

Digital intelligence (DI) is the practice of bringing together the big data that we have on our customers to analyze and generate insights in so as to deliver the best, optimal and/or the most relevant experiences during moments of their digital interaction. Firms that get it right have a major competitive advantage in the digital age of the customer (For more information on the digital intelligence approach, see the “Optimize Customer Experiences With Digital Intelligence [61276]” Forrester report).

This hot topic is why I am excited to announce the publication of the brand new Forrester report entitled “TechRadar™: Digital Intelligence, Q2 2016 [76021]”.  In this report, I analyze and review the business success and growth of the 15 core technologies for digital data management, analytics, and experience optimization needed to deliver great digital intelligence capabilities.

Some of my findings include:

  • DI tech is really hot at the moment. Whether its technology to ingest, manage, and merge different customer data (e.g. tag management or data warehousing), or to generate digital insights (e.g. app analytics or spatial analytics), or that for optimizing digital interactions (e.g. online testing or behavioral targeting) we found all the core DI technologies are on a trajectory for delivering a moderate if not significant success.
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MARKETING 2016 Guest Q&A with Antonio Sciuto, Nestlé Waters

Carlton Doty

The customer journey is vital to success in the age of the customer, and as technology advances, collecting data can help personalize the experience from start to finish. At MARKETING this week, Antonio Sciuto, CMO of Nestlé Waters, will share insight into the company’s brand new ‘war room’ that displays real-time data showing customer journeys and tracking customer touchpoints.

You don’t want to miss Antonio’s talk on Tuesday afternoon. I had the chance to chat with him to get the inside scoop on how he’s leading his organization with a customer-obsessed mindset, from real-time data to customized customer journeys. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Some may find it hard to see the applicability of customer journey analysis to a product as "simple" as bottled water. When did you first begin focusing on the customer journey? Why?

Antonio Sciuto: Digital is accelerating and changing several aspects of our lives.  In the US consumers are now spending 52% of total time on digital media channels. This is evolving the consumer journey shifting marketing focus from building databases to fostering communities. We aim to offer a seamless brand experience evolving from “simple” bottle water to healthy hydration solutions across all touch-points, online and offline.

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"Sustainability" - What Does It Mean For Your Business?

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.
Forrester is kicking off research on what it means to be a sustainable business and why it matters. In short, it matters because customers and investors care. But what do they care about? And, what does sustainability mean to them, and to the companies they do business with? 
 
First stop in exploring the definition of something is, of course, a search for the term. “Sustainable” means that something can go on, and continue and “be maintained at a certain rate or level.” For consumers, that might mean their health, their environment, or the health and environment of others -- but also their budgets. The literature on sustainability often refers to three pillars: social, environmental and economic. But how does this translate into business metrics?
 
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MARKETING 2016 Guest Q&A – The Next Wave: Age Of The Customer

Carlton Doty

You might have read my blog post last month about why you should attend this year’s MARKETING Forum in New York. The event is just around the corner, and I’m looking forward to all the sessions we have in store that will help marketers learn to deliver brand promise in every customer touchpoint.

I recently caught up with a few of our guest speakers to chat about their sessions, their brand strategies when it comes to innovation and personalization, and how leading their organizations with a customer-obsessed mindset has brought them success.

Be sure to check out The Next Wave: Age of the Customer sessions that will close out the event on Wednesday afternoon, which will feature talks from Anna Fieler, EVP of marketing at POPSUGAR Inc. and Michael Medenhall, CMO at Flex.  

I hope to see you at the Hilton Midtown next week – register here! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at the Forum.

Q: Personalization is one of POPSUGAR’s core strategic pillars. Can you explain how you create personalized experiences for your customer base? Some make a distinction between "personalization" and "individualization" -- what do those terms mean to you?

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No Change, No Gain: Stop Your Siloed Approach to Digital Measurement

Cinny Little

The number of tools, technologies, and techniques for measuring digital customer experience has exploded, but many firms continue to build out their growing capabilities in separate silos, such as campaign measurement, web analytics, mobile, social listening, voice of customer, online testing.  My colleague James McCormick and I have just published a report that lays out the full range of metrics of a mature digital intelligence measurement framework (see figure below).  Take a look.  How many of these measurements do you work with today?

Your firm may have capability to produce many - or all of these metrics - but are you using them to improve customer experience and business value?  Several vendors we’ve talked to recently, who represent a cross-section of digital measurement technologies and services, described what they hear about this from prospects and clients. A (scary) summary:  the firms report that they now have boatloads of data and a growing number of digital measurement technologies, mostly in silos  – but don’t think they’re getting enough value from what they have.  It’s as if some firms are paralyzed.  This can’t continue.  Operating silos of separate digital measurement approaches is not good enough any more. You risk falling behind competitors who are successfully combiningg approaches and continuously maturing their digital intelligence. 

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What Should I Order? A Tasting Menu Of Customer Analytics Techniques

Brandon Purcell

The primary objective of customer analytics is to transform data into valuable insights that impact organizational goals.  With an abundance of organizational goals, petabytes of data at their disposal, and a whole slew of potential techniques for analyzing that data, customer insights professionals often (quite ironically) find themselves in a state of analysis paralysis.

Forrester’s updated TechRadar™: Customer Analytics Methods, Q2 2016, originally published in 2014, aims to help CI pros by highlighting 15 customer analytics techniques their peers are using to extract insights from their data.  In this edition, we have emphasized the need for customer entity resolution, a foundational precursor to many of these techniques.  We have also broadened sentiment analysis to text analytics to reflect the move toward more actionable categorization of unstructured data.  And we have updated examples of relevant technology and services vendors, the estimated cost of implementation, and our assessment of where each technique sits on the analytics adoption curve.

The techniques run from descriptive to predictive, and employ structured, unstructured, and geospatial data.  Potential use cases run the customer lifecycle gamut from acquisition to personalization to loyalty and retention.  Since customer analyses don’t exist in a vacuum, the report describes the interrelationships and dependencies between different techniques. 

CI pros who face an ever-expanding list of stakeholder requests should use read this report to help plan and prioritize customer analytics projects.

Before You Reorganize Customer Insights, Press “Pause”

Cinny Little

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”  - A.A. Milne  

There’s good food for thought in that statement.  “Organizing” is a topic that customer insights (CI) professionals and their marketing, digital, and other business partners are asking about. And one frequently asked question is “what’s the best way for us to organize?”

Why is that question so top of mind?  Consider this: Forrester research shows that despite continuing investments in people, big data, and technology, companies are not driving enough insights to actions. For example, 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” yet only 29% say they’re good at connecting insights to actions.  In addition, business satisfaction with analytics went down 21% between 2014 and 2015.  These numbers show that there’s an insights-to-action disconnect, and it’s an expensive problem.

In addition to organization, CI pros also frequently mention two day-to-day pressures they experience:

  1. They can’t keep up with the volume of stakeholder requests.
  2. There’s what one CI pro described as “the black hole” between insights and actions: CI pros may never know what action, if any, resulted from insights they provided. 
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The “Quantent” Quandary

Brandon Purcell

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a teleconference highlighting IBM Watson’s success stories over the past year.  Most of them are under NDA, so I can’t go into the details, but I will say they covered an incredibly broad range of use cases.  One use case that I was hoping they would cover and didn’t was content analytics for marketing, aka “quantent.”

In the customer analytics arena, we often talk about “getting the right message to the right customer at the right time.”  This is only partly true.  Well-built and rigorously tested propensity models will deliver you the right customer and the right time.  Behavioral segmentation models may even specify the best channel to use to deliver the message.  But that still leaves the message itself.  Whatis the right message?

Content analytics begins with entirely different data than customer analytics, and the two analytical streams merge just prior to the point of action.  Whereas customer data contains information about customer profiles, transactions, and behaviors, data about content characterizes tone, length, wording, dates, products mentioned, type of offer (if applicable), and other key themes within the content itself.  Most importantly, content that has been subject to A/B testing also creates data about the success of the message on an individual customer basis.

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