Being Customer-Centric Is Hard. But, C'mon, It's Not THAT Hard!

My wallet was stolen yesterday. What a nightmare -- I feel violated. This morning I've been making the rounds through all of my financial services institutions. That's what I want to talk about.

Our research shows that most firms agree that improving customer experience is a top priority. My personal experiences this morning tell a sad story. The following reflects my experience with Bank of America, Capital One, and American Express.

Read more

Don't Confuse Integrated Marketing With Multichannel Marketing

After a week that included no less than three conversations about the difference between "integrated" and "multichannel" marketing, I felt the need to raise the topic here. Most experts and practitioners generally agree that integrated marketing is more than mere coordination of the marketing message across channels. Way back in early 2003 we too noted this. In The Essentials Of Integrated Marketing, Forrester defined the next evolution of integrated marketing as:

Weaving together digital and physical channels to engage consumers' emotions, deliver brand experiences, and form ongoing relationships.

Fast forward more than three years to today and compelling integrated marketing case studies are still few and far between. Why?

We think it's because true integration of the marketing process requires that firms make a philosophical shift in how they approach marketing. Today, most marketing organizations have three centers of power that vie for predominance: brand marketing, direct marketing, and interactive marketing. Furthermore, these functions are all goaled and measured differently – often with competing metrics. Of course, reorganizing marketing to inherently support an integrated approach is easier said than done. As Pete Kim pointed out in our conversation: "inertia is easy – it's much easier to stick with the status quo than to risk failing." We're not going to let Pete off the hook that easy, however. Stay tuned for his new research later this quarter that will focus on how the role of marketing needs to change to meet corporate demands, capture the voice of the customer, and ensure ongoing innovation.

Read more