C-Suite Puts Emphasis on Customer Experiences: IBM Report

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Companies are prioritizing customer experience over products, according to IBM’s latest Global C-suite Study.

Data plays a huge role in shaping those experiences, and marketers have a lot of it at their disposal. Only about 20 percent of the world’s data is public, notes Robert Schwartz – IBM’s Global Leader, Agency Services, IBM iX. That remaining 80 percent residing within enterprises is a tremendous opportunity.

“As companies get better about saying they need integration of data sources that can be intelligently leveraged to build new ideas and products and services, they’ll be positioned to see it was more of an asset than in the past,” he says.

Making those experiences seem personalized is key, and an overwhelming 86 percent of organizations surveyed said they were “at least somewhat effective” in creating experiences that cater to individuals. Fifty-three percent consider themselves “quite effective.”

Personalization can lead to significant gains. One recent report cited by IBM shows that in the retail, healthcare and financial services alone, personalization will drive a revenue shift of $800 billion to the 15 percent of companies that get it right.

But, making this happen does take work. “The elegant design of irresistible personalized experiences is of daunting complexity—and not just because it must be orchestrated across channels,” according to IBM. “The design of the experience requires deep understanding of what makes individuals human—the motivations, desires, temperament and in-the-moment moods of customers.”

When asked what external forces will impact their businesses most in the next two to three years, market factors, which includes things like increased competition and changing customer preferences, returned to the top position, while technology slipped to second place. People skills came in third, taking into account the rise in value of intangible assets like talent and ideas.

Over one-third (36 percent) of C-suite executives reported little or no impact from disruption in their industries, and 44 percent say they don’t see any urgency to transform their enterprises in response to disruption. Only 27 percent reported significant disruption in their business. “This was surprising,” says Schwartz.

What marketers should take away from all this, says Schwartz, is the idea that CMOs should be thinking about what they are doing to drive growth and change across their organizations. This means understanding your place in the organization as a leader, and how that plays out across the organization.

“Key points include getting as much data as you can, leveraging AI to be more insightful and focusing on the customer as your center,” he says.

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