Omnichannel is now a must-have. At both events, omnichannel retail was front and center. Adyen underscored the opportunities inherent in integrating online and offline payments. At the Borderfree event, Stephen Sadove, the former chairman and CEO of Saks, kicked off the event with 10 disruptive trends. He declared that #1 and #10 were most important: #1 was the shift to omnichannel. Sadove cited the substantial gross margin implications of being able to move inventory between channels; he also emphasized it’s “not a sustainable point of view ” to believe that getting one view of the customer is just too expensive.
The demands of retail leaders have shifted. Other issues that came up regularly with attendees at both events were the changing needs of retail and the challenge of hiring qualified talent (“talent requirements” was the #10 big trend on Sadove’s list above). Today’s business leaders must be able to deal with a laundry list of new topics — e.g. mobile payments, cross-border eCommerce — many of which wouldn’t have registered on their agenda just a decade ago.
Naysayers love to complain that real customer experience (CX) improvement is only for the private sector because government is subject to unique and insurmountable pressures. Don’t believe these cynics. Many major corporations must overcome the same hurdles, and some federal agencies are finding ways to break out, too. Use this list of comebacks to subdue government CX skeptics the next time they start raving about:
Entrenched organizations. Even the most stagnant agency can change. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking a wrecking ball to its ossified structure with a major CX pivot that includes an overhauled organization; revised policies and procedures; and personnel changes that include the appointment of a chief customer officer. Private sector companies in perennially paralyzed industries like airlines are also breaking free. Delta Air Lines has soared in our CX Index thanks to major innovations to its policies, procedures, technical capabilities, and training.
Complex regulations. Health care companies groan under the weight of federal and state regulations, yet some companies in this industry find new ways to provide outstanding CX while working within the system. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan shot up over 20 points in our CX Index last year by simplifying technical terminology and making interactions clearer for customers. Despite being hamstrung by outmoded regulations and Congressional meddling, the US Postal Service just tied for first among the 18 federal agencies on our CX Index.
All the big data technology in the world won't close the gaps between data and action. One global bank told us, "even with all the capabilities and tools in place, we are drowning in data and starving for insight."
To harness the power of all your data to attract and serve customers -- to be a digital business -- you also need a new way of consistently harnessing insights that matter: insights teams using an insights-to-execution process anchored by a new digital insights architecture. We call this combination of people, process, and technology "systems of insight" (see Figure 1).
What we found is that successful firms go beyond big data and business intelligence practices to build the business discipline and technology to harness insights and consistently turn data into action. This approach works by linking business actions back to data and discovering and testing insights to take action (see Figure 2).
Systems of insight embody four essential advances over previous approaches:
First, systems of insight use a new operating model that combines business, technology, and data expertise. You will use small insights teams led by business leaders and domain experts working together in both directions: business-to-data and data-to-execution. Only in this way will you focus on data and insights that matter.
Today, it is vital for companies to understand and connect to every moment of the digital customer journey. But for most organizations, there are so many delivery challenges that they can’t do it alone: 84% of companies we surveyed use agencies and/or system integrator partners to help deliver digital customer experiences.
Choosing the right services firm takes some match-making magic: the partnership can either end up as a happy marriage or end in bitter divorce. In order to help Forrester clients, we recently released our report, Market Overview: Digital Experience Services Providers 2015, in order to provide an overview of nearly 50 services vendors with significant digital experience delivery practices. These are all vendors that have experience helping firms strategize, design, implement, and optimize customer-facing web and mobile experiences. Over the course of this research we discovered:
Despite similar messaging, services vendors come from distinctive DNAs. Thousands of services providers have popped up, hoping to help firms solve these digital experience delivery challenges. But despite similar vendor promises that they can “solve it all” we found that firms come from a variety of different DNAs (e.g. technical services, global agencies, specialist agencies, consultancies) that reveal which types of initiatives they are best –fit to help solve. For example, technical services firms are often better suited for initiatives with heavy integration needs and large, complex global implementations.
Two weeks ago I stood on Forrester's mainstage at its 2015 Marketing Leadership Forum in NYC (see a few minutes of the speech below). There I told a audience of hundreds of our clients about hyperadoption, a term that I'm amazed no one has coined before now. Get used to the word. Because it's the characteristic that will define the next ten years of your personal and business experience. In fact, in our first report debuting the concept of hyperadoption - released the same day I stood on the stage - I claim that hyperadoption will cause the next ten years to generate an order of magnitude more change in your life than the last ten years did.
That's an audacious claim. Because the last ten years gave you the smartphone and the tablet. But I mean it and over the coming year, I intend to prove it in my research.
Forrester clients can read the report, which synthesizes much of the work I've done over two decades, where I've had a front-row seat to the changes in how consumers adopt, such as the first consumer experiences in what was then known as the World Wide Web, including that very rare behavior known as online shopping. That experience, combined with the neuroscience research I've followed since my own days in the lab have convinced me that the economics of digital disruption now allow people to bypass the ancient, loss-avoiding algorithms running in our heads that used to make us cautious of new things and now no longer do.
In digital business analytics, only delivering insight at the point of action matters. Did your customer get the right information, in context, at her moment of need? Did your firm use that engagement to make the right offer and up sell? Do your sales or call center reps have the insight they need to set priorities or meet customers needs efficiently? Talk of big data, advanced analytics, and agile BI is all about turning data into insight. But that is only part of the solution. How is your firm systematically testing insights and finding those that matter? How are you embedding insights in the software that your customers and employees use to engage? Are you even thinking about how to tap all the data that results from that engagement to find out what worked and what didn’t?
If you are not addressing all of these holistically, then Hadoop and that shiny new predictive analytics or streaming tool that sit on it are going to leave your business wanting. Don’t get caught in the trap.
My colleague Ted Schadler and I spent a year researching what it really takes to be successful; we found many companies drowning in data and starving for insight that made a difference. But a few leaders were working at the beginnings of closed loop systems to: 1) discover the insights that matter most; 2) embed them into the software their customers and employees use to engage; and 3) continuously measure and learn from the results.
We call these “systems of insight” and believe they will be the engines that power the digital business of the future.
This blog is the first in a series I've devised where I've asked a few millennials (some on my team, some in my family, and others) to look at their shopping experiences across the multichannel field and report back. Those reports will be featured here, in my blog over the next few months.
I attended Huawei’s 2015 global analyst summit in Shenzhen last week and studied its latest strategy for big data innovation. In a change from its previous big data offerings around storage, Huawei has reorganized the data analytics department and focused on infrastructure software that enables big data applications from ISV partners. Mr. Zhu, General Manager of Huawei FusionInsight, talked about FusionInsight, which financial institutions like ICBC and China Merchants Bank use to enhance customer analytics capabilities like customer recognition, segmentation, and marketing automation. Basically, Huawei FusionInsight is a data analytics platform with two major components: 1) a distributed open “database” platform that includes Hadoop, Sparc, and Storm and 2) “middleware” with open APIs to enable multisource data management and analytics.
Chinese financial institutions have a huge amount of legacy transactional data as well as in-motion online and mobile banking data, but they are unable to deal with all of it. With the previous systems of record, financial institutions couldn’t analyze all of this structured and semi-structured data in a unified “data pool.” To solve this problem, they are using Huawei FusionInsight to consolidate multisource data and enable more efficient customer and marketing analytics. Huawei FusionInsight is creating new value in the customer journey for a leading Chinese commercial bank by allowing it to:
Mobile expectations are high in the world’s largest smartphone market. However, marketers lag behind consumer mobile adoption in China and need to do a better job understanding trends in mobile behavior in order to develop effective mobile strategies. My most recent report, The New Mobile Mind Shift Index: China, introduces Forrester’s new Mobile Mind Shift Index (MMSI) to China.
MMSI is a tool to enable marketing leaders to determine how urgently they should provide mobile services and which features to include. It measures how far an individual has shifted in their approach to mobile across three components:
The Mobile Intensity Score determines if it is appropriate to connect with customers. This score, on a scale from zero to 100, indicates how intensely people use interactive mobile devices.
The Mobile Expectation Score determines the urgency to create mobile applications. This score, also on a scale from zero to 100, indicates what people expect from companies on their mobile devices.
Three Mobile Behavior Scores determine which types of features people are ready for. We calculate three behavioral scores, each on its own scale of zero to 100. The Communicate Score indicates participation in mobile communications behaviors like reading email and texting. The Consume Score measures behaviors like reading news and watching video. The Transact Score tracks behaviors like online buying and service.
CIOs will be orchestrators of digital ecosystems to boost innovation, production, and go-to-market capabilities. In the age of the customer, every business needs to put the customer at the center of marketing, sales, service, and delivery in order to support the brand promise.
Business ecosystems comprise many market players, including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, and government agencies. People, processes, and technology are the fundamental building blocks of business ecosystems. They evolve as a form of collaboration between these market players as part of the process of developing and delivering products or services. Now business ecosystems are going digital.
The digital transformation is a huge challenge and opportunity for each individual business. Business processes are changing significantly as a result of real-time information exchange, the mobile mind shift, always connected and mobile devices, and the opportunity to collect and monitor structured and unstructured data. As a business enabler, no CIO can ignore the digital transformation. Digital ecosystem management is much more than a sourcing project: According to Capgemini, businesses with the digital maturity to build digital innovations and to drive enterprise-wide transformation are 26% more profitable than their average industry competitors on a range of measures including EBIT margin and net profit margin. The CIO must actively help the organization to deliver value in the emerging digital ecosystems.