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Customer Experience

Tapping into the Experience Economy - Trends and Best Practices with Dan Gingiss

Ignited by his marketing and customer experience (CX) background at Fortune 300 companies, Dan Gingiss is on a burning mission to “make the brand lovers louder than the haters by creating experiences they can’t wait to share with their friends and followers.” Gingiss is a keynote speaker, experience consultant, co-host of the “Experience This!” podcast, and contributor to Forbes with both of his ears keenly tuned to everything CX. That means he’s increasingly focused on the “Experience Economy”—a shift in power in which customers drive innovation and view their brand experiences as inseparable from a brand’s products and services. We asked what CX trends, tactics, and best practices are on his radar, and which brands are leading in this fascinating era. What best practices are separating the leaders from the pack? It may sound simplistic, but the first is essential: They are their own customer! Your consumer instincts will be pretty accurate with what your customers are thinking about their experience with you. The second insight is they understand that the customer journey is not linear. In the past, we researched, considered, bought, and used. But not anymore. It’s vital for companies to know there's a lot of back and forth, pauses and sideways. We go on tangents and look at competitors. Related to that is my third observation which is that leaders must eliminate organizational silos because those were built for a linear customer journey. Customers view organizations as a single experience. When we are organized in a siloed way, we create siloed customer experiences. Small changes make a big difference. Starting a CX program doesn't have to require millions of dollars in infrastructure. It’s about finding and fixing the small parts of your experience that cause customer pain. Is CX in B2B as important as in B2C? Yes, they’re equally important. I’m often asked, “I work for a B2B company. Does this apply to me?” My answer, which is not meant to sound sarcastic, is, “Are you marketing to humans?” Just because you’re in B2B doesn’t mean you're marketing to a building. The human you market to is a consumer who has had amazing CX experiences on a B2C level and expects the same from all companies, including B2B. Beyond the CX giants of Amazon, Netflix, and Uber, who else should we watch? I used to work for this company, and I swear they’re not paying me to say this, but Discover is a great example. It’s the nation’s smallest major credit card company, so leaders realized early on they needed an exceptional differentiator: customer experience. Discover is the only credit card company where the customer service is 100% based in the United States. When you call, the agent answers with, "Hi. I'm Sally in Phoenix." Oftentimes, the customer's first response is happiness that they're talking to someone in the US.   They also focus on simplicity of the digital experience. They found all the places that required two clicks and reduced them to one click. That and similar changes make it easy for consumers to do business with Discover. For example, a key customer pain point was that people didn't like being upsold when their call purpose was service, so Discover eliminated it. That was smart to say, “We know this is a painful part of our industry and we're no longer participating in it.” Starbucks has also done exceptional work drilling down to customers’ likes and dislikes. The first two “likes” are product consistency and a terrific rewards program. Also, they are one of the nation’s leaders in the prepaid market, because their mobile payment option is incredibly easy to use. Another company to watch is Imperfect Produce, based in San Francisco. They source fruits and vegetables farmers can't sell to supermarkets because they're not as pretty, but they’re just as tasty and nutritious. Imperfect Produce is absolutely nailing a social issue, with reminders that you're doing good for the world by helping farmers and eliminating food waste. They added gamification to their app so as you continue to buy from them, you can see how many pounds of produce you personally saved from the landfill, plus the equivalent CO2 and water savings from farmers not having to replant. What channels for augmenting CX are making a difference? You may have noticed a theme here that augmenting CX results in significant impacts. These companies I discussed combine multiple aspects of their business—remember eliminating silos?—into creating a great experience. Self-service channels such as Google, apps, and websites are important, particularly for Gen X and younger, as they prefer to solve problems themselves. Emailing, chatting, or—as a last-ditch effort—calling will be frustrating for them. Another trend is “private social”—social media direct messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or Twitter direct message. Companies like them because customers complain in private instead of in public on social media. Customers like them because they’re fast and easy with no active wait for an answer. Responses can sit in customers’ inboxes until they’re ready to read them. The Last Word Excelling in customer experience and the Experience Economy can be daunting, to be sure. However, industry leader Dan Gingiss distills his observations to a few key themes: embrace the Experience Economy in which customers are in charge, work together, and extend CX beyond B2C to B2B. For more information about how Oracle CX Unity helps businesses master the Experience Economy, click here.                

Ignited by his marketing and customer experience (CX) background at Fortune 300 companies, Dan Gingiss is on a burning mission to “make the brand lovers louder than the haters by creating experiences...

Account Based Marketing

5 Lead Management Best Practices That Build Account-Based Marketing Success

Co-written with Andrea Tucker, Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud Lead generation and lead management both play an equally important role in fueling the revenue engine for your business. Where lead generation creates interest among your target audiences, lead management tracks, manages, and engages these leads to qualify them for sales. However, the rules of B2B engagement are quickly changing. Brands are embracing account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, which revolve around engaging the right buyers, not just generating thousands of unqualified leads. It brings together the right people in your organization to develop coordinated strategies for engaging, converting, and expanding target accounts. As B2B organizations prioritize lead quality over quantity, marketing and sales must take a sophisticated, data-driven approach to lead management. According to SiriusDecisions, there are three ways organizations can think about this: Large accounts: “A very small number of large existing or targeted accounts.” Some call this “one-to-one,” as this is when they employ highly targeted marketing and engagement tactics, such as including the company name in a piece of content, landing page, etc. Named accounts: “A moderate or larger number of defined existing or targeted accounts.” This is also known as “one-to-few” ABM. Industries/segments: “A moderate or larger number of new or existing accounts in the same vertical or other specific segment,” also known as “one-to-many” ABM. Effective lead management improves alignment between marketing and sales to better identify and prioritize high-quality leads for sales outreach. This means focusing on key accounts with a high intent to buy. However, few organizations have a solid process to successfully prioritize and identify those accounts, impacting the organization’s ability to reach and exceed revenue targets. 5 Core best practices to ABM success 1. Align sales and marketing around the buyer’s common goal. This has been a popular narrative in the B2B world as organizations work to create more seamless customer experiences across all channels. Every buyer journey is unique. Some may never interact with sales while others expect a high-touch, consultative experience. It’s up to sales and marketing to have unified goals and follow a cohesive brand story and approach to buyer engagement. Therefore, any combination of sales and marketing can be ready to assist buyers wherever they are in the decision-making process. “The job of defining shared goals may at first glance seem like a marketing job, but there’s a key role for sales operations to play.” says Steve Silver, Service Director of Sales Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions. “Sales ops is in a unique position to reach across organizational boundaries and help synthesize revenue generation targets handed down by sales leaders, provide practical suggestions for mapping go-to-market strategy to account and territory assignments, plus translate these decisions into reliable sales forecasting data so that even finance is working from the same clear picture as sales and marketing.” 2. Prioritize accounts. In order to identify and prioritize the right accounts, you need robust, connected data. Company data including location, industry, and revenue, plus online signals such as new acquisitions, hires and funding rounds can help you select accounts that are most likely to buy—even when it may not seem obvious to your sales operations or demand generation team. This data should integrate into your CRM environment, so both sales and marketing have a comprehensive view of the accounts. Marketing can leverage these insights to fuel marketing campaigns while sales can use data to guide account and territory planning. Your ABM approach (one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-many) will dictate how many accounts you need to select. 3. Enrich account insights. Typically, sales and marketing have an established lead scoring method, aligning certain behaviors and actions to a numerical value. When leads and accounts reach a specific threshold, they’re officially qualified and handed off to sales. Both marketing and sales should contribute to the lead scoring methodology, accounting for the number of contacts within an account that engage with your brand. These metrics can help marketing and sales understand which accounts may have a higher propensity to buy. For marketing, this helps guide lead assignment. For sales, this helps reps prioritize the leads in their queue and determine where to focus their time and energy. When it’s time to engage, sales can pull from a wealth of account information and smart talking points to guide their conversations with these target accounts.   4. Tailor account engagement accordingly. In their conversations with prospects, sales reps can have deeper conversations focused on the specific contact’s unique situation within the organization. These can be more emotional insights that often funnel up to larger, account-wide issues such as the strategic direction of the broader business. Plus, marketing can relay important engagement metrics, such as an account’s behavioral interactions with campaigns and messaging, so sales knows what resonates. All of these insights transform the selling process from transactional to consultative, helping forge stronger customer relationships. Using innovative technology like artificial intelligence (AI), sales can receive automated actions on how to further engage a contact. 5. Measure and optimize. ABM isn’t just a one-off tactic. It’s an ongoing strategy that should influence the way your entire organization engages with accounts and buyers. That is why having access to real-time insights is critical to ongoing success. Data around campaign reach and impact, sales engagement, and results will help you gauge the impact of your ABM efforts and help you identify opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell within certain accounts. Reinventing Lead Management for the Experience Economy In the Experience Economy, marketing and sales should collaborate more closely to ensure they’re delivering on their brand’s promise and exceeding buyer expectations at every touchpoint. It’s the responsibility of marketing and sales to stop thinking simply in terms of lead handoff. Instead, they should think of new ways to collaborate to meet each and every buyer at their point of need. Oracle is dedicated to helping sales and marketing professionals thrive in this era and that’s why the company has once again been named a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management 2019. Most notably, Oracle has been recognized for native tools and solutions that support ABM strategies. The reason is because Oracle’s deep legacy in data drives product innovation. In the age of ABM, those insights are critical to driving client relationships and generating long-term value for the organization. Learn More! Download Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management 2019. You can also contact us to learn more about how the Oracle CX Suite of products can help you reach your sales and revenue goals with engaging, connected customer experiences. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management, Ilona Hansen, Julian Poulter, Noah Elkin, Christy Ferguson, 23 September 2019 Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.    

Co-written with Andrea Tucker, Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud Lead generation and lead management both play an equally important role in fueling the revenue engine for your...

Data-Driven Marketing

Defining the Customer Intelligence Platform, and Why You Should Care

Have you ever been talking with a service person and had to repeat yourself?  Of course you have. We all have, and we all hate it. It still happens even in 2019 and when it happens once, that’s one time too many. When we engage with a brand, we don’t care how its service or marketing departments are set up. We just want our issues resolved, quickly.  When each and every interaction with a brand is an opportunity to please and delight that customer, forcing them to provide the same information again and again creates a terrible brand experience. The problem begins with the data! When every customer interaction operates as its own distinct conversation, each touch – marketing, sales, logistics, delivery, service, loyalty - produces more siloed data, making a single view of the customer impossible. Without a single view of the customer, delivering a great, consistent experience across the customer journey itself is impossible. Consumer Data Platform (CDP) Solutions Fall Short CDPs have emerged with a promise that they’ll enable marketers to unify their customer data across their organization, and activate audiences across the broader ecosystem to deliver consistent experiences across channels. CDPs are the latest step in the evolution of data management systems that use data from platforms such as CRM systems and data management platforms to help you get a 360-degree view of your customers, and deliver unified customer experiences. But, point CDP solutions generally fail to provide a unified customer profile to all systems across the enterprise. The key problem is they’re too narrowly focused and do not consider the entire end-to-end customer experience across marketing, sales, service, loyalty, commerce, etc. The customer information contained in a CDP is of value to everyone across the company, not just to marketing. In its October 2018 report “For B2C Marketers, Customer Data Platforms Overpromise and Underdeliver.” Forrester states that “CDPs lack crucial capabilities to solve for identity resolution, data hygiene, and cross-channel orchestration.” The analyst firm further notes that without these capabilities, CDPs “can’t meet enterprise B2C marketers’ expectations for personalized and targeted customer engagement.” The Next Evolution Is The Customer Intelligence Platform (CIP) CIPs incorporate anonymous, third-party data as well as first-party known data to provide a complete understanding of the customer. They have a layer of intelligence that uses machine learning for predictive models and recommendations to produce more powerful and actionable insights. CIPs share those insights with any other system to enable sales, service, marketing, commerce, field service, finance, social and others with more, better intelligence. For example, if a customer is interacting with a service agent to report an issue, it’s imperative the sales system informs the agent that this is a high value customer who just made a major purchase. Similarly, if a customer has an open support ticket, it’s crucial that marketing system informs the marketer to not to include that customer in a marketing campaign until their issue is resolved. It’s infuriating to get a marketing email from a brand asking you to refer a friend or consider an additional purchase, when you're having service issues. This approach enables the brand to optimize customer engagement and helps to improve customer satisfaction and increases customer lifetime value. The Oracle Customer Intelligence Platform The customer relationship with brands is in constant motion. As marketing, sales, commerce, and service professionals, we must adapt to these shifts or they’ll take their business elsewhere. At Oracle, we launched our customer intelligence system at OpenWorld 2018, called CX Unity. It's a behavioral, transactional system that allows you to dive into the key intelligence about your customers and use it to optimize a process, whether service, sales, marketing or commerce. CX Unity applies that data-driven intelligence to determine the next best experience by feeding those actions directly into Oracle and non-Oracle applications. The Power of a Customer Intelligence Platform Connected Customer Profiles Oracle CX Unity connects and unifies all of your customer data together in context, in motion, and in real-time, regardless of source or size. This ensures that each and every customer interaction is data-driven. Across the entire customer lifecycle, we are identifying and building profiles, capturing each customer’s key event data to help better understand passions, interests, needs and attentions. With built-in ID resolution, CX Unity unifies and resolves customer identities across all disparate systems to build a single, unified customer profile for each customer. It captures events based on behavioral data, not just profile ID’s that it collects, but it analyzes what those profiles are doing behaviorally at the granular, individual level in real time. Enriched for Personalization While most marketers’ view of the customer may stop and end here, there is so much more about your customers that you simply just can’t glean from various sources.  CX Unity has an enrichment layer that provides seamless access to the world’s largest 3rd party data market, the Oracle Data Cloud. You can learn much more about your customers such as geo-demographics, estimated net worth, family size, offline shopping behaviors, intent and much more. Augment your connected customer profiles with data enrichment that blends second and third party probabilistic data with first party deterministic data to provide a true understanding of your customers’ intent for hyper-personalization. Intent-curated Segmentation A single view of the customer is great. But, that view doesn't mean much unless it’s actionable. With built-in predictive modeling and machine learning algorithms, CX Unity provides deep, granular, segmentation-of-one scale across as much data as you want, in real time. With segmentation as a core offering, it allows you to centralize audience creation and then execute those audiences across your entire CX ecosystem. AI/Machine Learning is natively embedded, allowing you to pick the best audiences for your campaigns. Actionable Customer Analytics Detailed analytics provide a deep understanding on why something performed the way it did. Often, causality is still hard to identify when you are looking at terabytes of engagement data. A detailed root cause analysis helps you optimize your campaigns by taking actions straight from the analytics. Seamless Experiences After you decide what experiences you want to serve your customers, you have to actually deliver them. Customers don’t think in channels. They expect an individualized experience wherever, whenever and however they interact with the brand. Great experiences should be delivered through every channel - direct mail, contact center, email, mobile, social, your website, and through advertising channels like search and display. CX Unity enables one-to-one personalization at scale. Create faster time to value with out-of-the-box integrations and a push-button ability to build and publish segments into Oracle and non-Oracle applications. More and more, we see the most innovative companies are starting to compete on this type of holistic experience, and Oracle is the only vendor that has the pre-integrated and industry leading solutions across this entire range of CX. You don’t need to take our word for it, we were cited as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q3 2019. Your customers deserve a great experience whenever they interact with your brand. CX Unity enables companies to deliver contextually aware and highly personalized experiences that delight customers whenever and however they engage with them, improving customer satisfaction and increasing greater customer lifetime value. For more information, visit oracle.com/cx-unity              

Have you ever been talking with a service person and had to repeat yourself?  Of course you have. We all have, and we all hate it. It still happens even in 2019 and when it happens once, that’s one...