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Having worked in technology and with technologists for the past twenty years, I find myself every now and then getting caught up with the latest technology. Have I downloaded the latest mobile application? Do I want to upgrade to the latest version? Shall I store my data in the cloud?

In meeting after meeting, when we are discussing solution architecture, business process modeling, master data management, data dictionaries, and other atomic level items, I often have to bring the discussion back to one simple question – How will this solution help move the needle? How will current discussions drive customer acquisition? According to Peter Drucker, “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.”

The era of Customer Experience has arrived. More and more businesses are embracing Drucker’s fundamental truth and adhering to a customer strategy as a business strategy. This approach requires marketing to no longer be an afterthought. And for that to happen – marketing must have integrated data driven capabilities to identify, target and attract profitable customers.

Effective Customer Experience Management (CXM) requires four components:

  1. Data Acquisition
  2. Data Analytics
  3. Campaign Management
  4. Integrated Measurement platform

Data Acquisition – while only a fraction of the solution, without good clean data from all your sources, you’re dead in the water.

Data Analytics – is a significant portion of the solution – both in terms of time and expense. Analytics enables executives to determine where their dollars and time are best spent.

Campaign Management – key to CXM is the migration from product centric to customer centric. An integrated campaign approach, across all customer touch points, allows your organization to focus on more relevant promotions, leading to incremental lift.

Integrated Measurement Platform – The ability to measure is essential in successful CXM. Companies that continue to keep data silo’d will have valuable, but ineffective databases. With the advent of ‘big data’, the ability to acquire extraordinary amounts of data from sources that did not exist 5 years ago requires a well-designed strategy to harness the power of that data.

The role of the customer has changed. Digital media has empowered the customer – who now take an active role in their own purchase decisions.

So – the next time you are in a room full of technologists – ask them how their efforts are helping to ‘move the needle’. I think you’ll be surprised by their answer.

Andrew Fletcher, Ex-VP of B&D North America, leads B&D North America’s BI Service Line and is responsible for BI strategy, project delivery and sales support. With more than 25 years of experience leading sales and technical teams for diverse organizations from start-ups to the Fortune…

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