Why Distinctive Customer Targeting is Smart Strategy – September 2016

When former NBA superstar Magic Johnson was opening Starbucks coffee shops and a TGI Fridays restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1990s, he made changes to the product offerings. “I had to take the scones out of my Starbucks and put [in] sweet potato pie, pound cake, sock-it-to-me cake, peach cobbler,” he told attendees of the October 2015 Stanford University Graduate School of Business “View from the Top” speaker series. “I was the first Fridays in the nation to ever serve Dom Pérignon, Cristal, and all the high-end liquors…. That’s what my customer base wanted.”

Read full article here…Why Distinctive Customer Targeting is Smart Strategy

An Executive Cheat Sheet to Big Data

Published from LinkedIn by Gary Edwards, PhD.

This decade has seen the rise of Big Data informing all things important in our lives. Whether “money balling” winning sports teams, accelerating the pursuit of a cure for cancer or understanding voter sentiments, Big Data has a role to play. It has become common parlance in most large commercial enterprises, some of which have undertaken significant transformative efforts using Data Science to reshape their mission and business functions. Other businesses, not wanting the appearance of being left behind, have put a marketing spin on “us too, we have lots of data”….https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/executive-cheat-sheet-big-data-gary-edwards-phd?trk=mp-author-card



Martech and marketing technologists go mainstream — 3 key stats

The good folks at DataXu, in collaboration with market research firm MORAR and Withpr, have produced a fantastic quantative research study on the current state of marketing technology management: Modernizing the Mix: Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics. You absolutely have to download this report — it’s a gold mine of insight into the current state of martech and adtech.

They surveyed 532 marketers, in both the US (174) and Europe (358), across a wide range of organizational sizes and marketing budgets, to produce one of the most authoritative and statistically significant studies of how firms are managing marketing technology today.



Where Does Customer Experience Begin?

Maybe this sounds a bit like trying to find the beginning of the Nile or the Amazon.

We live in a technology age and use technology to reach, monitor, and measure how our customers engage with our business. It is what we do. Yet, way upstream, before we monitor and measure a customer’s experience with our firm, is the people side of our business.

We need people to look at the data that we use to quantify the return on a marketing or sales campaign. We need people to answer the support desk, make the outgoing follow up calls, and greet the patrons at the door.

It is this interaction that can make or break the Customer’s Experience with our company. Once their interaction with us is done, they will take to social media to tell others about it. If they buy something from us, we will have the Point of Sale transaction and their email address to evaluate what they bought and how we can expand the “share of the their wallet” in our favor. Yet, to get to that point, it is those who they meet over the phone or face to face that has the biggest impact on their Customer Experience.


50% of top executives see Customer Experience Management and CRM as their #1 investment over the next five years.

What does it mean to have a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy and how does a company execute on that Strategy? What prevents companies from being successful in Customer Experience?

We believe a positive CRM and CX approach begins with understanding the intersection of four significant parts of your business:

  1. Understanding how your customers and prospects touch your business
  2. Benefiting from the data within your business with data available outside your business
  3. Harnessing technology as a competitive advantage
  4. Your people making the difference

CX Effectiveness Diagram

Customer Touch Points

Regardless of the type of business you run, whether you sell to other businesses, Business to Business (B2B), or direct to consumers, Business to Consumer (B2C), or through distribution, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C), your customers and prospects interact with your business in many ways. This is sometimes called your Customer’s Journey.

Unless you understand their Journey to and through your business, you run the risk of creating a poor customer experience with them. We can help.

Benefiting from Data

Fingers leave fingerprints. Customers leave digital “fingerprints”. CSI is used to uncover clues in the physical world and Digital Data Analytics, Big Data, and Data Integration is used in the digital world to understand and customize your customer’s journey experience. However, few firms are able to harness the use of this information. [insert quote here regarding the lack of big data results]

Yet, this is the most important area of your business. You run your business on numbers from your accounting department, yet fail to benefit from the data about your customers. We can help.

Technology as a Completive Advantage

Remember the first time you lost your cell phone or thought you lost your cell phone? It was panic.

We live in a digital age. The digital age for businesses started many years ago with computers and accelerated with personal computers and business software for those personal computers. The digital age for consumers started with the commercialized use of the internet and accelerated with the overwhelming success of the Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone success created competition from Google on software and Samsung on hardware. Now, more and more of our interaction with each other and businesses are done through mobile devices.

Technology is like fire. Fire can be used to boil water, cook food, produce heat. It can be destructive as well. Technology can be used to automate business processes, give insight to solve problems, and experiment with to create new products. If not used properly, it too can destroy.

Effective businesses establish various areas that are led by leaders to create focus and efficiency. Thus we have Chief Information Officers for IT, Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Digital Officers, Chief Financial Officers, and Chief Sales Officers to name a few. The speed at which cloud based software is changing how quickly a business can use technology created tension between IT and the business area leaders. In the most extreme cases, some in IT leadership believe that the business leaders in their company do not appreciate nor care about what it takes to implement and support new software and technology. Some business leaders believe that IT is a hindrance to what they have to do to increase revenue or reduce costs. Thus “shadow” IT organizations have developed in some companies to support the business leaders’ requirements for information technology.

Emerging on the scene is roles in companies that bridge the gap between IT and the business leader. The most recent is the Chief Marketing Technologist. It is someone who understands the analytical and methodology required for IT services and the creative nimbleness required for marketing campaigns and customer engagement.

Few companies have this resource. We can help.

Your People Make the Difference

Regardless of knowing the ways your customers’ touch your business, or how you harness the data from within and outside your company, and no matter how you use technology, your people still make the difference.

We install automated call answering and distribution systems to make telephone call processing faster. We use automated email response, Community Forums, and Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) menus for self-driven customer support. Each of these, if done properly, deliver positive results in the number of people served and the quality of overall support. Yet, if someone (a person) is not monitoring these systems, these helpful systems can create a poor Customer Experience.

It is a person who needs to analyze and interpret the data collected. It is a person who must design the marketing campaign. It is a person who documents the journey your customer takes.

All are important tasks. We can help.


Business and Technology

Imagine running your business without using technology.

AbilityDCX understands that technology plays a pivotal role in the customer journey and your customer’s experience.

Each time we use our smart phone and use an app or place an order over the internet with our credit card or visit a store and use our phone number to identify ourselves at the checkout, we are using technology.

The business we are buying from created what we call a Customer Experience Moment. And each of these Moments brings the customer closer by building a better relationship bridge, or further away by building a relationship barrier.

Each customer interaction produces data and how your business uses this data is critical to quality of your Customer Experience.

The Cx Suite Tension

Since technology is crucial and vital to our business it has moved from a nice to have to a competitive advantage. How we use technology may well be the difference between staying in business verses how profitable we can be.

One of the biggest challenges for the IT department over the past 10 years is balancing the pace of innovation with the budget, security, and implementing technology for the business. Look at the kinds of advances in software, hardware, and internet technology produced in the last decade that affect IT and the running of a business:

Windows 11 IOS and Android OS Crowdsourcing
Microsoft Office Azure, AWS and Elastic Computing Cloud Software Subscription Services
Blogging and social media Instant Messaging Salesforce.com, the App Exchange, and all CRM systems
Smart Phones, Tablets and “Bring your own Device.” Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RFID Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer (to name a few)
Linux and Open-Source Software AI and Machine Learning Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
Cybersecurity Marketing Automation Tag Management
Web Analytics GPS and Geo Fencing Predictive Analytics

There is little wonder why executives leading Marketing, Sales and Finance looked for ways to augment or even bypass IT to implement some of these technologies quickly. Yet this bypass behavior can lead to security breaches, increased support costs, and “shadow” IT teams.

AbilityDCX Bridges the Gap

AbilityDCX is experienced in bridging the gap between the IT team and the business team. We work with top technology partners and understand the capabilities of how technology can make a business better. We sift through the hype and speak the language of the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Sales Officer and the Chief Information Officer.


Know Thy Customer

It is said that if you do not take care of your customer someone else will.

Data is at the core of how we can know our customer. Data leads to information and information leads to decisions. If the data is accurate, if we transform the data into useful information, we still need to make the proper decisions with that information to transform our business and take care of our customers.

Customer Intelligence is a Process

Do not be fooled.

We are inundated with articles and books about “Five Ways to…” or “Seven Principles for…” that take the mystery out of success. Granted, “success does leave footprints” and one of the guiding principles for CRM and Customer Experience success and Customer Intelligence suggests starts with your company’s mindset.

At the core of your Customer Intelligence process is the mindset of building your business around your Customer Experience. From this point of view, AbilityDCX helps you build the necessary data gathering processes, use the proper technology to transform that data into useful information and then to aid in what to do with that information through effective decision making.