April 28, 2010

The Next Steps in Customer Experience

So, as many of my regular digital community know, I am going to become Chief Strategist at a small firm named Covalent Marketing.  While leaving IBM is a big deal, I love its people and its forward thinking, it is time again to get closer to shaping new customer approaches that meet the SHARE (simple helpful alternatives that are reliable and easy to use) paradigm.

This means three core areas for me:

  1. An approach to customer management that is inclusive and exclusive for participants on both sides of the equation:  the marketer and the customer.  Marketers should find it easy to understand, reach and measure their customers interests and interactions.
  2. An approach to analytics that is customer centric.  IBM’s definition is Advanced Customer Insight.  While they have massive amounts of firepower and the tools and technologies to back it up (and I will refer to their world-class portfolio often and with respect), I want my solutions to reflect post-modern simplicity.  So you can spot opportunities for improvement- not hunt for them.  So you can move seamlessly from insight to action (relying on the marketing technologies you already own)
  3. An approach to social media integration that is not “tacked on” but represents a considered and minable source of data, conversation and interest that contributes to building a brand.  This involves a changed mindset for marketers.  Where we are not focused on customer strategy in a vacuum but we put the world at large and our customers (target and actual) as continual inputs into our efforts.

Those of you who know me also know I have a few principles that will also be dimensions in how we move forward:

  1. Experimentation – I have preached the gospel of disciplined testing for years.  The tools and the data now make it easier than ever and we need it more critically
  2. Accurate Metrics and Analytics – with experimentation at the center of what we do, measurement and forward-looking scenario planning – placing well-informed and winnable bets – becomes more important
  3. Customer success – the point is that we need to get better at understanding how effectively we are at using dialogues and shared information to improve what we are doing and how happy our customers are with our performance

One of the reasons I am making the big move of leaving Big Blue where I have had so many great opportunities to learn and grow is to give myself more time.  It is my hope that I can begin to share more thinking with you – and have you share yours with me.

So, on Monday, we begin the next chapter.  We’ve been on this road trip together, and you have tolerated my rants, my praises, and my perspective. I hope as we start the next leg of our journey on the path forward, that you will come along for the ride.  –c-

Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz

You can read her personal blog at: museandmaven.wordpress.com

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