Deepak Advani has a personal mission: to help companies engage with customers individually and in context, with relevance. At IBM Amplify 2015 in sunny San Diego, Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce, used the General Session on Tuesday to lay out the imperative for companies to become Customer-to-Business, C2B, operations. To do that, companies need tools and solutions that work together to provide exceptional customer experiences.
In the world as Advani imagines it, businesses will be able to target customers with videos, demos and more that will speak to them at such a compelling and personal level that they, the customer, will reach out to the company and ask to do business with them, rather than the other way around. The company will also be able to predict with much greater decision what the customer will want not just in the immediate future but even a year down the road.
In the current world, however, there is an experience gap: 81 percent of marketers say they have a holistic view of the customers, yet 78 percent of customers believe the average brand doesn’t understand them as an individual1. Bridging that gap and getting to Advani’s world of superior customer experience is not some far-off goal. It is within companies’ reach thanks to solutions that are fueled by analytics and that have mobile at the core. IBM is working with business partners today to do deep design work in order to make C2B transformations a reality.
Solutions such as Journey Analytics and Journey Designer help organizations step into consumers’ shoes and gain insights that can be applied to revamping and improving customer journeys. What used to take marketers weeks to do in analyzing a journey, redesigning the experience and redeploying, now takes just minutes. Similarly, the new Commerce Insights solution gives web merchandisers the data-backed analysis they need make product decisions based on performance. The future addition of Watson Analytics to Commerce Insights will help sellers determine, for example, what products to cross-sell to maximize sales.
Perhaps most exciting of all is the new partnership between IBM and Facebook, which promises consumer insights that marketers and merchandisers. Advani was joined onstage by Blake Chandlee, Facebook Vice President of Global Partnerships, to discuss how the partnership will allow companies to better understand and make meaningful connections with the 1.44 billion monthly users2 of the world’s largest social network. “When I first came to the Internet … we spent a lot of time talking about ‘clicks,’” said Chandlee. “What we’re moving toward is … how can we drive real business outcomes?”
The four-minute-mile used to be the ultimate achievement for runners. Now, even high-schoolers are regularly breaking that mark, and so runners must set their sights on loftier goals. Similarly, while driving business outcomes through personalized outreach has always been a goal for marketers, what that means today is very different from what it meant just a few years ago. C2B is redefining what it means to connect with consumers, and setting new bars for what outcomes businesses can achieve.
1. “The Consumer Conversation,” produced by Econsultancy in partnership with IBM, April 2015. http://ift.tt/1F5MGLM
2. Statista, “Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2015 (in millions).” http://ift.tt/1uS13AG
from Social Business Insights Blog http://ift.tt/1cSNwp6