CMO Council: Marketers are struggling with Customer Engagement – Thunderhead

imgresBlog summarizing the CMO Council new report on the good, the bad and the ugly of how marketers feel they are coping with improving customer engagement

Source: CMO Council: Marketers are struggling with Customer Engagement – Thunderhead

Big Data Trends | Strategies driving investments in data

imgresLast year, IDG published a study 2015 Big Data and Analytics, Insights into Initiatives and Strategies Driving Data Investments that was based on interviews with 1,139 IT leaders from nine industries with high tech (16%), government (12%), financial services (11%) and manufacturing (9%) being the top four industries surveyed.

 

Key findings Infographic:

Below are a few key take-aways, the report is embedded at the bottom of this post:

  • 80% of enterprises surveyed have data-driven and big data projects in implementing or planning stages today versus 63% of SMBs. 37% of enterprises have deployed data-driven projects in the last year, and 18% are in the process of implementing or piloting projects as of today.
  • 83% of organizations prioritized structured data initiatives as critical or high priority in 2015, and 36% increased their budgets for data-driven initiatives.
  • Improving the quality of decision making (61%), improving planning and forecasting (57%) and increasing the speed of decision making (51%) are the three most common business goals and objectives driving data-driven initiatives in organizations today. The following graphic compares which business initiatives are driving big data investment and the positive impact of big data on each.
  • 36% of enterprises expect their IT budget allocations for data-driven initiatives increased in 2015, 41% anticipated budget levels would remain at current levels and 21% aren’t sure. Only 3% say data-driven and big data-related project funding will decrease.
  • Data analytics continues to accelerate as the most preferred solution for gaining greater business insight and value from data, with this category increasing in importance 55% from 2014 survey results. In enterprises, data analytics (65%), visual dashboards (47%), data mining (43%), data warehousing (40%) and data quality (39%) are the five most preferred solutions. In my discussions with CIOs in financial services and manufacturing companies, the shift away from pre-built dashboards with common metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to the flexibility of defining their own data models in metrics is the future. Dashboards in financial institutions need to have the flexibility of quickly integrating entire new metrics and KPIs as their business models change. For manufacturers, the need for interpreting shop floor data to financial results is what’s driving data analysis and dashboards in the many manufacturing industries adopting analytics today.
  • The number of enterprises who have deployed/implemented data-driven projects increased 125% in the last year, with 42% still planning data implementations as of today. The following graphic from the study illustrates a comparison of 2014 and 2015 plans for considering, planning and implementing data-driven projects.

 

View the report here:

Download the IDG Report: 2015 Big Data and Analytics, Insights into Initiatives and Strategies Driving Data Investments

Big Data Trends | Strategies driving investments in data

IDG Enterprise logoLast year, IDG published a study 2015 Big Data and Analytics, Insights into Initiatives and Strategies Driving Data Investments that was based on interviews with 1,139 IT leaders from nine industries with high tech (16%), government (12%), financial services (11%) and manufacturing (9%) being the top four industries surveyed.

 

Key findings Infographic:

Below are a few key take-aways, the report is embedded at the bottom of this post:

  • 80% of enterprises surveyed have data-driven and big data projects in implementing or planning stages today versus 63% of SMBs. 37% of enterprises have deployed data-driven projects in the last year, and 18% are in the process of implementing or piloting projects as of today.
  • 83% of organizations prioritized structured data initiatives as critical or high priority in 2015, and 36% increased their budgets for data-driven initiatives.
  • Improving the quality of decision making (61%), improving planning and forecasting (57%) and increasing the speed of decision making (51%) are the three most common business goals and objectives driving data-driven initiatives in organizations today. The following graphic compares which business initiatives are driving big data investment and the positive impact of big data on each.
  • 36% of enterprises expect their IT budget allocations for data-driven initiatives increased in 2015, 41% anticipated budget levels would remain at current levels and 21% aren’t sure. Only 3% say data-driven and big data-related project funding will decrease.
  • Data analytics continues to accelerate as the most preferred solution for gaining greater business insight and value from data, with this category increasing in importance 55% from 2014 survey results. In enterprises, data analytics (65%), visual dashboards (47%), data mining (43%), data warehousing (40%) and data quality (39%) are the five most preferred solutions. In my discussions with CIOs in financial services and manufacturing companies, the shift away from pre-built dashboards with common metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to the flexibility of defining their own data models in metrics is the future. Dashboards in financial institutions need to have the flexibility of quickly integrating entire new metrics and KPIs as their business models change. For manufacturers, the need for interpreting shop floor data to financial results is what’s driving data analysis and dashboards in the many manufacturing industries adopting analytics today.
  • The number of enterprises who have deployed/implemented data-driven projects increased 125% in the last year, with 42% still planning data implementations as of today. The following graphic from the study illustrates a comparison of 2014 and 2015 plans for considering, planning and implementing data-driven projects.

 

View the report here:

Download the IDG Report: 2015 Big Data and Analytics, Insights into Initiatives and Strategies Driving Data Investments

The Best BPM Platforms for Digital Business

In the last quarter of 2015, Forrester Research identified Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM as leading the field of suppliers of business process management platforms for today’s digital business.

This post focuses on the value that Pegasystems delivers to today that is transforming how their clients engage with their customers throughout each stage of engagement.

photoSource: Pega.com The complexity of today’s business makes it hard to truly know a person across marketing, sales and service. There are too many customers, too many permutations of what they need and too many obstacles. Your customer base has grown, and so has your need for more sophisticated technology that not only understands prospect and customer demands but also helps accomplish your business objectives. Initially, your systems did what you needed: track customers and help you market and sell to them. But as your enterprise acquires companies and systems, technology becomes a barrier to how you engage with customers — across departments, time zones and geographies. Complexity has also brought inflexibility, making it hard for systems to adapt to changing needs, changing markets and changing regulations. It also makes it difficult to train employees because they’re battling systems, not servicing customers..Click here to read more.

The 8 white boarding videos that follow will help you visualize the unique value that Pega is delivering value today to their clients customer engagement management initiatives around the customer experience…

Build for Change: Directly Capture Objectives (DCO)

With Pega 7, you capture the policies and procedures that define your business – including rules, data models, UIs, integrations, reports, and organizational structures – in the model. Pega 7 automates the code generation. As the requirements change, a change in the model equates to an immediate system change.

Build for Change: Situational Layer Cake

Situational Layer Cake™ (SLC) architecture enables organizations to differentiate, specialize, and reuse their business applications. Pilot projects can grow into enterprise transformation programs overnight. Instant reuse dramatically accelerates the time to value for organizations seeking to be more agile in response to changing market and regulatory demands.

Build for Change: Case Lifecycle Management™

When a business person starts explaining their needs for an enterprise, they don’t generally dive into process details. And they certainly don’t describe “transactions.” They think in terms of the case and its stages. Rather than drawing an end-to-end process, Pega 7 provides tools for business people to define the major steps of how work gets done – essentially building the skeleton on which you hang the more detailed process. You establish a business view of the data before debating the details.

Build for Change: Mashup

Traditional service or API-based architectures result in hard-coding the UX logic into each channel independently. Process changes must therefore be made in multiple places, making it impossible to deliver a consistent customer experience. By embedding the Pega UX directly into the mobile or web channels, all of the intelligence and capability of Pega 7’s Case Management is brought directly to the customer touchpoint.

Build For Change: Omni-Channel UX

Pega’s Omni-Channel UX delivers an optimized and consistent user experience in every channel. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build For Change: Event Strategy Manager

Pega’s Event Strategy Manager gives you the tools you need to turn streams of customer data into valuable business decisions and actions. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build for Change: Pega Live Data

Pega Live Data allows users to quickly and easily define the data required to build the apps they need, and then access that data in their running application – all without having to worry about how and where the data is actually stored and accessed.

Build for Change: Next Best Action

The real value from Big Data and analytics comes when every customer conversation delivers exactly the right message, the right offer, and the right level of service to both give the customer a great experience and maximize the customer’s value to the organization. With Pega’s Next Best Action, business experts develop decision strategies that combine predictive analytics,
adaptive analytics, traditional business rules.

 

The Forrester Wave™: BPM Platforms For Digital Business, Q4 2015

Key Takeaways: Pegasystems, IBM, and Appian lead the pack

Forrester’s research uncovered a market in which Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM continue to lead the pack. Software AG, Oracle, Newgen Software, OpenText, Bizagi, K2, and DST Systems offer competitive options. Red Hat and TIBCO Software lag behind. The BPM Platforms Market Is Growing As EA Pros Accelerate Digital Transformation The BPM platforms market is growing because more EA professionals see BPM as a way to address emerging challenges for customer experience and digital business. This market growth is, in large part, because EA pros increasingly trust BPM platform providers to act as strategic partners, helping them transform how they use technology to win, serve, and retain customers in the digital age. Differentiators Include Rapid Development, UX Design, And Case Management As legacy BPM technology becomes outdated and less effective, improved delivery speed and process flexibility will dictate which providers will lead the pack. Vendors that can provide fast ramp-up, flexible mobile experiences, and dynamic case management position themselves successfully to deliver speed and business agility to their customers.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAYJAAAAJDhlMzQ4ZmZiLWViMDQtNDM3OC1hZGZlLWFlYmJjNjFmYzhhYg

 

 

 

5 Steps to Building Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

5 Steps to Build a Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increasing change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones.

Applying Digital Marketing | Happy People | Stronger Brand

MANY years ago, marketers would invest in massive advertising campaigns with headlines like “When EF Hutton speaks, everyone listens” and convince customers that their broker was the best in the business.

TODAY, customers drive the conversation and ultimately the brand. As an example, a happy or angry customer can pulse into conversations over social media with rave reviews or complaints about your brand to millions of people who in turn can have the power to exponentially impact your brand in either a positive or negative direction.

At every stage of customer engagement there exist opportunities to create advocacy around your brand. Companies are just beginning to realize that there are relatively simple ways to utilize digital marketing tactics to improve the overall experience that people have with their brand.

5 simple ways to apply digital marketing to drive improved customer experience:

  1. SEO – Use search engine optimization to help companies find your Contact Us page.

  2. Retargeting – Serve engaged visitors with progressive profiling forms like surveys.

  3. Analytics – Use analytics to track, map and predict how customers contact you.

  4. Testing – Test landing pages to optimize your sales and marketing objectives.

  5. Mobile Apps – Encourage your customers to install your mobile apps.

Ultimately, efficiencies are what drive business decisions. From a cost perspective, digital marketing is the most efficient channel through which to drive new customer acquisition, improve customer retention and  and expand existing customer relationships. Applying these digital marketing principles throughout each stage of engagement will ultimately enhance your customers’ experience and transform your business into one that is more agile and able to react quickly to the changing needs of your customers and future market opportunities.

With the #digital #revolution in the rearview mirror now, for many organizations that were quick to adapt to change during the first decade of the new millennia, firms are now focused on their digital evolution.  So the good news is that there is time to catch up for those firms that were late to the show.

#Happy #marketing, happy #customers.

Innovation | The Future | A Fresh Perspective

While researching trends in innovation, I read an article that ran in The Atlantic earlier this year entitled “Bill Gates: ‘The Idea That Innovation Is Slowing Down Is … Stupid.” The title of the article is what caught my attention, as many analysts have been projecting that the rate of innovation is slowing down, but it was Gates’ comments on government and education that got me to click through to watch his full conversation with Jim Bennet, Editor in Chief at The Atlantic.

Watch the full conversation between James Bennet and Bill Gates.

There’s no disputing Bill Gates’ contributions to humanity through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the success he’s had in business, but thirty minutes into the interview, the gentle, kind, giving genius and sage, transformed into a benevolent dictator and I realized that this was an impossible topic for him to not have a biased opinion. So I clicked out and continued my search on this topic for other points of view.

My search would eventually lead me to Phillip Coggan’s review of Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the 21st Century” in The Economist, in which Coggan, columnist of Buttonwood’s Notebook, links history and economic data that supports Piketty’s points of view on economic growth, innovation and economic inequality. Coggan ultimately suggests that we are following in the footsteps of the Roman Republic, not post eighteenth century Europe, and we are marching towards our fall.

So, has the rate of innovation slowed down? It’s highly likely that it has and that there’s a correlation between economic inequality and the rate of innovation.

Piketty writes –

“in a quasi-stagnant society, wealth accumulated in the past will inevitably acquire disproportionate importance. The return to a structurally high capital/income ratio in the twenty-first century, close to levels observed in the eighteenth century, can therefore be explained by a return to a slow-growth regime. Decreased growth – especially demographic growth – is thus responsible for capital’s comeback.”

The present economic inequalities compared to other periods over the past three centuries has us on a trajectory similar to that of late eighteenth century Europe where a small aristocracy controlled most of the wealth. Thomas Piketty insists that a “return of the slow growth regime…is responsible for capital’s comeback.” The Digital Revolution in the post Great Recession era is benefiting a very small portion of the population. If you are reading this post it is likely that you are part of this new tech-savvy elite and would not identify with the others that have been left behind. To this much larger group, that continues to expand upward into the upper middle class, average is over, and the level of economic equality from the past is never coming back.

Phillip Coggan reminds us of history and suggests that we are living in a plutocracy similar to years that preceded the fall of the Roman Republic. So maybe we should care more about economic inequality than we do about innovation, because if we don’t we might be doomed to repeat the past.

Empathy should become part of the innovation conversation, because it is ultimately the human sense that failed societies lacked.

Happy holidays!

Rick Vargas

Video: New Thoughts on Capital in the 21st Century – Thomas Piketty

Piketty explains the simple, brutal formula of economic inequality: r > g (meaning that return on capital is generally higher than economic growth).