Embracing the Experience Economy: Exclusive Q&A with Oracle’s Rob Tarkoff and Michael Krigsman of CxOTalk

September 23, 2019 | 4 minute read
Rob Tarkoff
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Customer Experience
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Q&A with Michael Krigsman and Rob Tarkoff

In recent years, organizations have started to understand the importance of customer experience (CX) as a key differentiator. Driving this is the “Experience Economy,” a dramatic shift in the power that consumers have that is inspiring companies to rethink, retool, and revamp CX in entirely new ways. Data, intelligence, and experiences must all be connected across marketing, commerce, sales, and service in order to win in the Experience Economy.

To unpack the notion of the Experience Economy and understand how organizations can thrive in it, CX industry analyst and CxOTalk podcast host Michael Krigsman interviewed Rob Tarkoff, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Oracle CX and Data Cloud. Here, we share highlights from their conversation.    

Michael Krigsman: What is the Experience Economy, and how does it drive business model change?
Rob Tarkoff: The Experience Economy is the phenomenon that consumers are fully in charge of their relationships with brands, and they are driving brand interactions in ways that are unique to them. It’s pushing technologies in ways we never envisioned.
Therefore, business models must change to be more responsive to customers’ desires and let them drive innovation, rather than force-fitting consumers into prescribed models of interaction. When it comes to service, for example, organizations must be predictive rather than reactive, and fix it before it’s broken. In marketing, we must target and serve customers in micro-moments of where they are—on social media, on the web, in apps, and more.

It’s important to know that the Experience Economy will disrupt every industry and will be fundamental to the way organizations relate to revenue sources. For example, rather than buying a large asset like a car and seeing its value depreciate over time, consumers are gravitating toward subscribing to goods and services, and paying for use as needed. 

How is the Experience Economy impacting CX strategies specifically?
The Experience Economy is forcing organizations to completely rethink their CX strategies. As mentioned before, consumers are fully in charge of their brand relationships, and they hold their experiences with a brand in equal measure with the brand’s good and services. Customer journeys are dynamic, not linear as they often were before. Additionally, time is valued as the customer’s most precious resource.

To address these behaviors and expectations, organizations must place customer experience data at the core of their business model and orchestrate data flows from all interaction points. This means that true customer experience doesn’t just impact employees who interface with customers for sales, marketing, and service. It impacts all areas, including finance, logistics, and supply chain. Organizations must recognize how to connect discrete processes in all areas and manage data flows to thoroughly understand customer needs, mindsets, and expectations—and deliver accordingly.

What role does technology play in the Experience Economy?

Technology is an enabler of change to thrive in the Experience Economy, but it’s actually not the most important part. The key is understanding and connecting data and insights that your customers are delivering about what matters to them. Equally important is acknowledging that disconnected data leads to disconnected customer experiences.

An important part of successfully collecting and connecting data is keeping it safe. It’s paramount to maintain it as a protected company asset while it works to provide instantaneous access to real-time customer signals.

The most difficult part of technology for organizations in this space is determining how to build policies, governance, and cooperation among departments to ensure that all necessary data is continuously available to employees at each point of customer interaction.

What is Oracle CX Unity, and how is it helping organizations succeed in the Experience Economy?

Oracle CX Unity is a customer intelligence platform that empowers whoever gets to the customer first—sales, marketing, commerce, service—with key intelligence to optimize processes for the customer. We offer a wide array of apps on top of the core system, so each of these professionals can orchestrate the optimal brand experience in the precise moment it’s needed. My colleague Des Cahill wrote about Oracle CX Cloud’s partner ecosystem and how it delivers value to our customers. What’s more, Oracle CX Unity delivers an engine that helps you build relevant content to ensure that content and experience are deeply connected and received via any device and format the customer needs.

What final advice would you offer to organizations attempting to survive and thrive in the Experience Economy?

Companies are still thinking of CX in a silo, trying to source best-of-breed applications from different players and acting as a system integrator to put it all together. Unless they want to do this full time, it’s best to find one or two trusted partners who can facilitate this process from end to end.

Experience the full conversation between Michael Krigsman and Rob Tarkoff, and learn more about how Oracle CX Unity is helping organizations win in the Experience Economy at www.oracle.com/CX.   









Rob Tarkoff

Executive Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Customer Experience

Rob Tarkoff joined Oracle in 2018 to lead Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud product and strategy across marketing, sales, commerce, and service. His goal is to build products that help companies succeed in the Experience Economy.

Tarkoff spent the last 15 years focused on the customer experience, developing products for both large and early-stage companies. Most recently, as president and CEO of Lithium Technologies, he created the leading software in online communities. Prior to that, Tarkoff ran the Digital Enterprise business for Adobe.

Tarkoff holds a BA in political economy from Amherst College and a JD from Harvard Law School.

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