The Surprising Challenge Of CI

Hello, everyone. As a new analyst on Forrester's Customer Intelligence team, I'm taking over coverage of enterprise marketing platforms. I'll range everywhere from cross-channel campaign management to interaction management to analytics and optimization tools. 

I'm thrilled to join Forrester. We live in a time of extraordinary change in the way we conduct marketing. Businesses succeed and fail on how they bring the Customer Intelligence role to bear. I have the enviable task of following Suresh Vittal — who's since taken over the leadership of the CI role — as well as Dave Frankland, Zach Hofer-Shall, Fatemeh Khatibloo, Srividya Sridharan, and Joe Stanhope. As an aside, if we meet up, be sure to ask me the story of how Joe lured me to Forrester.
 
Extraordinary times imply that extraordinary challenges lurk underneath. CI professionals face the test of integrating data into a holistic view of customers. Recently in my report "CI Teams: Blocking and Tackling Is Not Enough," I dug into why data integration is such an omnipresent issue. As you might expect, a number of factors -- the explosion of touch points, the staggering amounts of data generated, budget, and skills -- contribute to the problem.
 
Yet, strikingly, 50% of CI professionals report that organizational silos are the biggest limitation to achieving a comprehensive view of customers. 
 
 What limits CI's comprehensive view?
 
So how can we best tackle this organizational issue? Taking a cue from previous work by Suresh Vittal and Dave Frankland, I'm actively researching the creation of a marketing technology office. I need to hear from you. Join the discussion at The Forrester Community For Customer Intelligence Professionals (open to the public) on how to organize marketing technologists
 
I hope to learn how a marketing technology office can help CI pros:
 
  • Develop and implement technology strategy. With technology constantly advancing, how can CI professionals help their firms plan, implement, and embrace new tools?
  • Improve alignment between marketing and IT. Marketing and IT have never had the greatest relationship, yet there has never been a time when both groups needed to collaborate better. Can more effective organization reconcile their differences?
  • Make the case for more funding and better technology. Increasing budget for established programs is hard enough. What do CI professionals need to do to fund new and emerging customer data initiatives?
  • Speed innovation and unlock creativity. Customer data and the processes by which firms act on it are competitive weapons. How do CI pros evangelize and encourage adoption of marketing technologies?
 
Please visit the CI Community to share your thoughts on how marketing technology is organized and managed in your organization.
 
Enterprise marketing platforms are a fascinating coverage area. I look forward to working with all of you as we live through this period of ever-greater opportunities. Please reach out and let me know about the problems and concerns you face.