I had the good fortune to work with Josh Bernoff, co-author of Groundswell and Empowered, on a groundbreaking new report. Along with colleagues from across Forrester, he has raised the red flag on a new era of competitive advantage that ties together what technology has brought us — information — with the end goal in mind — the customer — to define a new strategic focal point for companies that he and we now call the age of the customer. See his initial blog post here, or watch this video about the report:
Why is this so important? Because many companies have maximized the value of information that has dominated technology investment and decision-making since the early 1990s when the Internet boom began, computers got substantially cheaper and more powerful, and connectedness began to change the dynamic between people and companies. Over the next decade or more, the only way companies will truly stand apart from their competition will be a devotion to combining information, technology, and decision-making into a defensible and fundamentally stronger position — obsessing about the best customers that they have and demonstrating that value in terms of products, marketing, and service.
Do you think your company is customer obsessed already? Look at your customer systems and ask yourself some key questions:
Do you know the share of wallet you maintain with customers?
Do you engage customers when they are not in the buying cycle?
Forrester’s Consumer Forum is less than a month away. I am very much looking forward to the forum and wanted to call your attention to this worthy industry event.
I’ve been involved with the development of the Interactive Marketing track, and the topics and speakers we’ve arranged will be interesting and informative. I’ll be presenting about Social Media Marketing ROI and the Balanced Scorecard. Melissa Parrish will lead an excellent panel on how marketers can empower employees throughout the enterprise with social media; her panel includes leaders from Dell, salesforce.com, and IBM. Forrester’s Joanna O’Connell will present new data and guidance on how marketers are improving their online ad targeting versus the same old “Spray and Pray” approach. And Zena Weist of H&R Block will share how her organization changed strategic direction from a social media marketing push mentality to addressing client needs in the social sphere.