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Customer Experience Hinges on What You Know and When You Know It

by Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Today’s marketers needs to be focused intently on all of the data that can be gathered about their customers. This modern reality means that data’s two dimensions—”what we know” and “when we know it”—take on a completely new and higher level of importance. This is exactly why CRM falls short when it comes to capturing interaction with the customer in a way that tracks and improves the relationship.

Marketing Is About the Context

The limited data model of traditional CRM systems lacks the context required to engage customers in the best ways possible. That’s because the data available to marketers today isn’t simply historical interaction like transactions. With the data generated by mobile, Web, social and location technology, we can have the context of the customer’s current moment, where decisions are being made, enriched by the over-the-shoulder information from systems like CRM.

Managing Data’s Two Dimensions

This data coming from all directions presents an enormous opportunity for marketers to know more and to know it much more quickly than ever before. Excellent management of data’s “what” and “when” dimensions makes customer engagement a carefully analyzed, modeled, and orchestrated event, instead of an unwanted intrusion. It has relevance and value rather than being noisy and ignored.

Order In Data Chaos

If you’ve ever been to an air show, you know that the planes involved appear to be on the edge of chaos as they make high-speed passes and other stunts. Marketing data today is the same carefully orchestrated but high-speed exercise that we see in the sky. As marketers expand what they know and shorten the time to know it, the customer feels a seamless and immediate experience with the brand. With the right technology, interacting in the “now” moment, despite the noise, looks elegant and easy. Most importantly, brands know what to expect in real time and what will likely happen next.

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Why Customer Loyalty and Why Right Now?

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I commented at the checkout that I always receive coupons for baby food and diapers along with my receipt. I said sarcastically to the clerk, “You’d think I shop for those things and they know it.” The clerk nodded and completely seriously said, “I know, right? It’s like they’re watching everything. Doesn’t it seem creepy?” I had to laugh, but not until I was out of view. Like any period of rapid change, not everyone is fully briefed on the latest events in the digital revolution.

So Much Change

The clerk’s response isn’t all that surprising in the retail world, where so much is changing so quickly. As McKinsey said recently, we’re in the middle of a data analytics revolution. Everything we thought we knew has changed, and our ability to know the customer and tailor offers and other interactions is remarkably strong. Not everyone, the clerk included, realizes that customer loyalty is the opposite of creepy. In an era where so much can be known, predicted, and acted upon, loyalty programs are the only way to help the customer to feel comfortable with a brand’s knowledge of their habits and personal information.

Giving My Permission

A brand I feel loyal to, like my local grocery story, has my permission to track my spending patterns and to make offers on the products I’m most likely to buy or be willing to try. I look forward, in fact, to seeing what discounts and other deals they have in store for me. Think back to “coupon packs” and newspaper fliers of just a few years ago, where the majority of items were unlikely to catch our interest, and you’ll see just how far loyalty programs have come. Today’s programs have outgrown the simple points and plastic of yesterday’s brand loyalty and are executed as an integrated, marketer-friendly, data-enriched, real-time system.

A Loyalty-Driven Revolution

For retail, the digital analytics revolution that McKinsey talks about is loyalty-driven—it’s that simple. Brands that don’t invest in smart customer loyalty management risk breaking trust with their customers and losing business to the competitor who does.

To learn more, download our whitepaper on Customer Loyalty Management.

What It Takes to Become a Digital Business

by Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Business and technology are on a collision course that changes nearly every aspect of the organization. The term being thrown around to describe this is “digital business,” where mobile, analytics, social, and cloud are being married up to legacy systems like CRM, supply chain, inventory, and others so that data—sometimes called big data—has uninterrupted pathways to people, and vice versa.

Right Person, Right Time, Right Context 

This is what defines the new way work is being done—the ability for information to be available to the right person, at the right time, and in the right context. For a marketer, this is having fingertip access to all of the data that defines the customer, the organization’s ability to deliver products and services, and what’s happening at the interfaces in the current moment.

That’s not a description of the latest cloud app or a report being generated by traditional business intelligence tools. It is much, much more and involves bringing data together from across legacy systems and the latest technologies for social, mobile, and visual analytics.

Why a Digital Business?

A digital business has the ability to move and use the data that drives their business in new ways, whenever necessary. A digital business can disrupt itself time and time again because they can change product and customer attributes as necessary and create new combinations that form business ecosystems. A new channel, product, or customer pattern is no problem for a business that defines itself and its operations digitally.

Fundamentally, a digital business is flexible to change as the world changes; this is the secret to being the disruptor and not the disrupted. It is the only way businesses will survive into the future. What does it take? Leadership commitment and an ability to integrate legacy systems with the best and latest technologies.

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Making Marketing Magic Happen

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Customer experience management is a simple term that describes both a level of effort and wealth of insight that’s never before been required of marketers. The effort is higher because a customer’s experience is very personal and connected to a wide-ranging set of information that describes every past interaction with a brand—whether online, in the store, or on their smartphone. To top that off, customer experience is also defined by the environment around a customer at the moment in which they interact. It is a perfect combination of past and present.

The Enterprise Service Bus

Making the magic happen is all about being able to see customer historical data combined with contextual data arriving in real time. A company needs to be able to capture and use this data—that makes the magic happen. This isn’t a simple affair; it requires a level of connectivity provided by technologies like an enterprise service bus (ESB).

When we talk about integration technology like an ESB, it’s really important to make the distinction between technologies that connect the entire enterprise and technologies that connect anything less. Only an enterprise-wide integration plan can pull together the many pieces of data that support a great customer experience. Marketing analysis of an unlimited set of data is what sets the stage for everything to happen.

Establishing Meaningful KPIs

Given enough data, self-discovery visualization tools create insights leading to development of triggers that allow a brand to intervene in moments of risk or opportunity. It could be a customer about to depart a loyalty program or contract, or a chance to cross-sell or up-sell a purchase. Regardless, the rules that are written to create the best brand responses need to be used in simulation to prove their value and improve their accuracy. This proof step allows KPIs to be established that will be used later to ensure campaigns are working as planned. Having KPIs planned early, when risk is low, is a very important step.

The best approach isn’t a monolithic system that purports to do it all for you as marketing-in-a-box—that would be inflexible. In reality, it all comes together as agile marketing magic when marketers access enterprise data for analytics, a simulation environment to test their insights, and a way to measure the outcomes and change course when necessary during campaigns.

Are you ready to create marketing magic?

Watch our webinar, The Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014, to learn more about how loyalty, integration, and analytics technologies are intersecting and empowering marketers.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014



To learn more about TIBCO’s Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014, download the whitepaper and watch the webinar.

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Monetizing the Game by Turning Customers Into Fans

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Turning customers into fans is more than a catchy phrase; it’s the goal of every marketer to get beyond the next purchase and into the heart and head of the customer. The same rule applies for sports teams—it’s one thing to bring a customer to a game, but quite another to use technology to create an outstanding experience, win or lose. Whether the business is an NFL team like the Oakland Raiders or a grocery retailer, better experiences have a profound impact on loyalty and create far more revenue than traditional approaches.

Creating True Fandom Through Technology

In the case of the Raiders, TIBCO’s mobile apps draw fans closer by offering a more contextual real-time experience that draws on fan preferences and details of the games and the team. It allows fans to feel a level of participation that wasn’t possible before, and allows the team to compile important preference and interaction data.

The Principles Apply Everywhere

The same principles apply to any brand that sells a product, not just professional sports teams. By knowing what’s happening in the customer’s world and being responsive, brands pull fans closer and optimize their experiences. In the game, it might be a score; in the retail world, it could be reaching a status level or entering the website or brick and mortar store. As humans, we love to cheer for the things that define our life, be it a local team or the places we like to shop. Turning customers into fans is as simple as giving a customer a reason to feel appreciated and informed.

Are You Turning Customers Into Fans?

Marketing is changing thanks to technology that makes mobile and other data a key part of getting to know your customers, and giving them a much better experience—the kind that makes them fans.

Learn what technologies smart marketers must master to stay ahead of the pack. Watch the webinar and read the whitepaper, Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014.

Customer Experience Truth: Eighty Percent Right Better Than Three Months Late

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

There’s a truth in customer experience management brought about by rapidly changing technology—marketers are better off 80% right today than 100% right three months from now. Today’s marketing math delivers better results from fast turnaround with good data rather than perfect data that takes far too long to assemble. Traditional marketing approaches looking for perfect data segments simply aren’t competitive any longer.

Intersection of Big Data and Real-Time Information

The math has changed because of a combination of new technologies like mobile, social, and in-memory storage, all creating and managing enormous amounts of data that feeds remarkably powerful analytics. At the intersection of Big Data and real-time information, marketers are finding that analytics changes the game of interactions in the moments that count, in the context of the customer.

Visualization and self-discovery performed against a growing list of available digital information shows patterns we could never see before that allow us to test and learn with every interaction. But there are challenges to taking full advantage of marketing’s new math. The biggest challenge comes from the fact that customer data is found in many places, never in just one.

Customer Systems Evolved Separately

As computerization of commerce progressed over the past few decades, the many things we need to know to provide the best customer experience evolved separately. Information today is stored in many disparate systems, which are even located both on and off premise. Waiting for change won’t help—no monolithic system is going to show up that can replace what already exists, and anything that does is too rigid to be useful as consumers and markets evolve rapidly.

Connecting The Dots

This is precisely why integration is hot technology for marketers, feeding analytics with all kinds of current and historical information that allows marketers to be mostly right very quickly—right enough and fast enough to make a difference.

Discover how companies are making up with volume and speed what they lack in accuracy and completeness. Download the whitepaper Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014.

Marketing in the Eye of the Storm: The Trends You Must Understand

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

To say marketing is in the eye of the storm may sound a bit overblown, but it’s an accurate analogy. Customer experience management (CEM), driven by Big Data, mobile, analytics, social media, and a host of other rapidly changing trends, are fundamentally shifting the game away from everything we knew just a short time ago. In the midst of so much change, the most important action to take first is to break down the components of change so that a clear marketing strategy can emerge from that understanding.

Top Marketing Trends for 2014

The trends that are changing marketing this year include the following:

  1. Highly valuable customer data will go unused.
  2. At the same time, marketing will become even more data driven.
  3. Analytics will become a very hot skill.
  4. CIOs everywhere will cede control over marketing data to the CMO.
  5. Actionable models and analytics will steal the show.
These are just some of the topics that will be covered in detail in our upcoming webinar, Top 10 Trends Marketing Trends for 2014, on Thursday, February 13.

Marketing in the Eye of the Storm

Storms aren’t necessarily a bad thing when they bring renewal and fresh business opportunities. For those caught napping, a storm is a bad event that only brings risk of potential failure. Don’t miss the webinar and learn how to make the most of the storm.

Customer Experience: Where CRM Falls Short

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems were built to do exactly what it stands for—to capture interaction with customers in a way that tracks and improves the relationship. In the new world of always-on, real-time, Big Data-driven customer experience management, a CRM is no longer even close to sufficient. They simply weren’t built to manage the key data available today.

Not in the CRM

When a customer opens their mobile browser, a CRM can’t capture this. When a customer enters a store, or browses the product catalog or team schedule with the intent to buy, there’s no way for a CRM to capture that information. Likewise, when a customer enters their hotel room, rental car or aircraft, the CRM has no idea. These moments are critically important in the new world of customer experience as each represents an opportunity for a better, more personal experience than ever before. Today’s CRM can’t manage the information necessary to turn that moment into a meaningful interaction.

Meaningful Interaction

It takes an ability to manage real-time information alongside data captured from the past. This is why data squirreled away in a CRM database isn’t enough to create great customer experiences. The goal must be to make all engagement more personal and intentional—every customer touchpoint, every interaction. Each discreet point adds to the amalgam of contextual information that makes it possible to better understand where the customer has been and what they’re doing right now, in real time. This connecting of the dots is what makes a customer respond, creates loyalty, and turns customers into fans, brand advocates, and far more valuable assets.

The point isn’t to pick on CRM systems. There’s still a need to have a source of data about opportunities. That source, however, only satisfies a much larger need to manage the complete customer experience.

Don’t miss TIBCO Loyalty Lab’s next webinar, Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014.