Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for May 22nd, 2012

New IBM CEO Study — Command & Control Meets Collaboration

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Just because I’m here in Madrid covering the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit doesn’t mean that there isn’t other important news emerging from back at the mother ship.

This year’s IBM CEO study reveals three new essential imperatives for changing the nature of business: Empowering employees through values, engaging customers as individuals, and amplifying innovation with partnerships.

In fact, there’s some major news that I always get excited to report on, and that’s the results from our annual CEO study.

The ink on the report is hardly dry and straight off the presses, but this year’s study of more than 1,700 CEOs from 64 countries and 18 industries has a headline that CEOs (and their C-level ilk) everywhere may be interested to hear: CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency, and employee empowerment to the command-and-control ethos that has characterized the modern corporation for more than a century.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a headline!

The study reveals that the advantages of this fast-moving trend are clear: Companies that outperform their peers are 30 percent more likely to identify openness — often characterized by a greater use of social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation — as a key influence on their organization.

Those “outperformers” are also embracing new models of working that tap into the collective intelligence of an organization and its networks to devise new ideas and solutions for increased profitability and growth.

For those of us who have been working in the social realm for some time now, we’re probably not exactly surprised to hear this news.  But to have it come from the lips and pencils of the CEOs themselves…well, change it is a comin’ and for many, has already arrived.

In order to forge those closer connections with customers, partners, and a new generation of employees in the future, CEOs plan to shift their focus from using e-mail and the phone as primary communication vehicles to using social networks as a new path for direct engagement.

Today, only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years.

And while social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods today, it stands to become the number two organizational engagement method within the next five years, a close second to face-to-face interactions.

Top Down To Bottom Up

With this news coming after decades of top-down control, this shift has substantial ramifications — not just for CEOs — but for their organizations, their managers and employees, and also for universities and business schools, not to mention we technology suppliers.

More than half of CEOs (53 percent) are planning to use technology to facilitate greater partnering and collaboration with outside organizations, while 52 percent are shifting their attention to promoting great internal collaboration.

Of course, greater openness doesn’t come without some risks.  Openness increases vulnerability. The Internet — especially through social networks — can provide a worldwide stage to any employee interaction, positive or negative. For organizations to operate effectively in this environment, employees must internalize and embody the organizations’ values and mission.

This also means organizations must equip employees with a set of guiding principles that they can use to empower everyday decision making. And championing collaborative innovation is not something CEOs are delegating to their HR leaders. According to the study’s findings, business executives are interested in leading by example.

That is, from the front.

Big Data Means Big Changes

Given the data explosion being witnessed by many organizations, CEOs also recognize the need for more sophisticated business analytics to mine the data being tracked online, on mobile phones and social media sites.

The traditional approach to understanding customers better has been to consolidate and analyze transactions and activities from across the entire organization. However, to remain relevant, CEOs must piece together a more holistic view of the customer based on how he or she engages the rest of the world, not just their organization.

The ability to drive value from data is strongly correlated with performance. Outperforming organizations are twice as good as underperformers at accessing and drawing insights from data. Outperformers are also 84 percent better at translating those insights into real action.

From Theory to Action

This latest study is the fifth edition of IBM’s biennial Global CEO Study series.  To better understand the challenges and goals of today’s CEOs, IBM consultants met face-to-face with the largest-known sample of these executives between September 2011 and January 2012.

1,709 CEOs, general managers, and senior public sector leaders were interviewed around the world to better understand their future plans and challenges in an increasingly connected economy.

For access to the full study findings and case studies, please visit the IBM CEO Study website.

In the meantime, check out the video from Shell CEO Peter Voser to hear what he has to say about partnering to drive innovation.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM’s Yuchun Lee Doubles Down On Social Marketing

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Remember that team of blackjack-playing cohorts from MIT in the book (and, later, movie) “Bringing Down The House,” who fleeced a number of Vegas casinos before they were invited never to grace their gambling doors again?

IBM’s Yuchun Lee explains to the IBM Smarter Commerce audience in Madrid how the company is doubling down on its investments in enterprise and social marketing management.

Well, IBM executive and Unica co-founder Yuchung Lee was one of those who was asked not to come back. Permanently.

Which is okay by those of us at IBM, as we’re keeping him way too busy to bother with card counting.

Instead, Lee’s mathematical prowess is being applied to help companies improve their marketing capabilities, a key ingredient in the IBM Smarter Commerce soup.

Doubling Down On Enterprise Marketing Management

As Lee explained in his keynote session this afternoon here in Madrid, “this is the first time we’re bringing together Coremetrics and Unica.” He also highlighted the fact that out of the 1,700 participants here at the Summit, over 1,000 are marketeers!

Lee provided a broad overview of the Enterprise Marketing Management portfolio at IBM, explaining that “we’ve shared progress as a group within IBM over the past year,” sharing that also incorporates lessons learned from both the market and IBM customers.

“The pieces of our portfolio are better connected,” Lee explained, but also highlighted the fact that “We now have a more comprehensive suite for relevant and personalized offers across all channels, and social media,” a capability recently introduced in Unica 8.6

The social buildout also incorporates enterprise analytics, tag management, and full mobile and social market capabilities that tie more closely together the marketing automation experience with the social realm.

Acquisitions That Count

Lee also debriefed quickly on two recent acquisitions, DemandTec, which expands IBM’s EMM offerings with pricing, promotion, and product mix optimization, and Tealeaf, which rounds out IBM EMM solutions with customer experience management and analytics.

As Lee explained, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” and that’s precisely what TeaLeaf provides, the ability to look at snapshots of individual user sessions to help determine where, exactly, it is that you’re driving them crazy with your convoluted web experience!

But where Lee really “hooked” the audience was in his observations about the Generation C customer, who is more connected and in control than ever! Did you know that 4 in 10 smartphone users search for an item in a store? Or that 77 percent of B2B buyers check with their peers before buying?

If you didn’t know that, then this is your reality check and maybe it’s time you get more focused in your own customer centricity.  Marketing, Lee suggested, must “move beyond its silo and focus on business value.”

Which, he expanded, means that it must work more closely with other disciplines and functions, including merchandising, on- and offline sales, customer service, and even with IT.

Marketing must move that customer centricity beyond marketing as well, so that they understand and influence the entire customer experience, as well as “own the operational process to influence social conversations.”

But, Lee indicated, they can’t stop there.  Marketing must also share customer insights with other parts of the business so that all functions can benefit from these insights.

Finally, they must extend that sharing of customer insights with other key stakeholders who can benefit: Partners, agencies, customer communities, and so forth.

Lee also explained that many organizations must adjust their marketing cultures to fully capitalize on the “Generation C” (“C” for “connected”) culture.  They must build organizations that balance analytics and creative talents (easier said than done!), work with IT rather than around IT, and break down marketing siloes — digital and traditional marketing must consolidate and collaborate.

Finally, accept mistakes and learn from them, and be agile enough to iterate and improve upon them. As even Lee can explain, there are only so many opportunities to double down in blackjack, and in business.

The enterprise marketing management opportunity vis-a-vis IBM’s Smarter Commerce strategy is one of those rare opportunities.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: A Q&A With Mobile Startup Deja Mi CEO Justin Miller

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The great thing about IBM events — other than the food and the building locations out in the middle of nowhere — are the exceptional people you meet.

Scott Laningham and I have been milling about, keeping an eye out for “smarter” folks (smarter than us, anyway) to chat with here in Madrid, and we found one in the form of one of our partners right here on the ground: Raleigh, NC-based Deja Mi, whose co-founder and CEO, Justin Miller, is here helping promote his mobile photo geolocation service as another way of conducting “Smarter Commerce.”

If you haven’t seen or heard of Deja Mi yet, believe me, you will.  As Justin expressed it, they’re a mashup of one part Foursquare and one part Instagram — yeah, that little smartphone picture company Facebook just picked up for a cool billion dollars (You remember that line from “The Social Network,” where Napster co-founder Sean Parker tells Mark Zuckerberg that it’s a billion dollars, not a million, that’s cool!?)

Anyhow, Deja Mi takes the smartphone photography app one step further.

Let me set the scene: You’re in a location, your smartphone knows where you are, Deja Mi knows where you are, and suddenly, a shared experience in the real world becomes a shared experience through a photostream.

As I indicated to Justin in our interview and as the light bulbs went off (I’m slow that way, so sometimes it takes me awhile), Deja Mi is word of mouth being replaced by “picture of mouth.”

Or was that “word of eye?”

In any case, download it at the Apple App store or Google’s Play store to a mobile near you soon.

You don’t want to be the last one on this particular mobile phone bandwagon!

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Craig Hayman On Remembering Great Customer Experiences

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At this afternoon’s opening general session at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit here in Madrid, the laughter was immediate, yet amazingly technologically relevant, as UK broadcast presenter Jon Briggs helped ring the conference opening bell….or was that cash register?

IBM Industry Solutions general manager Craig Hayman reminds the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit audience convened in Madrid that customers remember both their good and bad experiences with brands, online and off.

Briggs explained the critical importance of voice as commercial presence, highlighting the fact that the mood of a room can be dramatically altered as soon as we open our mouthes.

But we had no problem in listening to Mr. Briggs and his opening comments, whereupon he explained that his was the voice of the U.K. version of “Siri,” the intelligent agent for the iPhone 4S (which, in the U.S., has the voice of a female).

Customers Never Forget

Jokes about role reversal and artificial intelligence dating aside, Mr. Briggs, aka “UK Siri Dude,” also apologized in advance for being from the U.K. And NOT being a Chelsea fan, a head nod to Chelsea’s recent victory in the European Champions League final, and groans all around, of course, from the Germans in the audience (whose Bayern Munich team lost 4-3 to Chelsea last Saturday in penalty kicks).

It was then Craig Hayman’s turn to share his voice, and Craig hit the stage explaining that this was IBM’s first Smarter Commerce event in Europe, and that there were over 1,700 people in attendance, ranging from as far away as South Africa and Australia.

Hayman explained that the world was changing quickly, and that people and companies both were struggling with the amount of technology that has been thrust into their lives and/or operations, and that “the amount of information they [customers] have in their hands now surpasses what you have inside the four walls of your organization.”

Customers also expect their experiences to be seamless, and increasingly, for global brands, they must reach out across markets and multiple countries, but that the value of those truly global brands is instantaneously recognized.

Growth In Growth Markets

Hayman explained that one can see the importance of brand simply by visiting emerging markets — China, India, Brazil — where people will pay more for and perceive more value for brand.

And, in turn, global companies who wish to be global leaders in business are anticipating and delivering new models that facilitate this kind of “smarter commerce,” hence the conference and the discussions going on here in Madrid.

By way of example, Hayman explained we all knew LPs and CDs would eventually go the way of the do-do bird — but did we know they would be replaced by a service like Spotify, which gives us personalized music on the go?

IBM’s Smarter Customers’ Adoption Of Smarter Commerce

Or how about some of IBM’s smarter commerce customers, like SNS Bank, which realized a five percent lift in product sales its first year of intelligent targeted marketing. Or Wehkamp.nl, which used targeted promotions to to increase revenues by 30 percent.

Or countless others who are utilizing IBM smarter commerce technologies to create their own business advantage.

How we got here, to this stage, Hayman explained, was exactly this: We realized at IBM there’s something in common with all these customers around the world, and that when we put those customers at the center and keep an eye on the data that emerges, we’re able to choose the next best action for the customer before even they realize it, and that such capabilities improve growth models and provide cost reduction.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, Hayman suggested.  Think of the time when you’ve been treated well, or badly, as a consumer — you remember both those experiences, do you not? But wouldn’t you prefer to be remembered more for the great experiences than the bad?

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Deja Mi, Deja Vu

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I’m still here in Madrid…they told me I can’t leave until later in the week, that I’ll be chained to my laptop.

Deja Mi, the Raleigh, NC-based mobile startup, is being featured at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid. Self-described as a combination of Foursquare and Instagram, Deja Mi’s technology is being used at the event to create a shared pictorial experience based on geolocation data. I just downloaded the app, and will soon be interviewing the CEO and co-founder, Justin Miller (@imjustinmiller).

But, they don’t have to chain me, as I’m very excited about the opening day of the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit.

Being stuck here in a hotel on the outskirts of Madrid — and I do mean, the outskirts — there’s been a lot of time to focus and reflect on the conference tidings.  I’m especially excited about today’s opening general session, which will transpire in the early afternoon Madrid time (way early for you U.S. East Coasters).

Craig Hayman, the general manager of IBM’s Industry Solutions group, will be providing the set up for the rest of the event in his keynote, “Smarter Commerce Engaging the Empowered Customer.”

As mentioned in my initial post yesterday, in the age of the empowered customer, the customer is the center of all interactions, and is driving many of the decisions companies are taking to accommodate changing consumer requirements.

We’re also going to hear from a couple of IBM customers, including ING CIO Ron van Kemenade, who will explain “Changing the Way Companies Interact With Customers Based on Mobile and Social Media.” A topic near and dear to my heart.

And Ruth Spencer, Boots UK’s Director of Insight, Loyalty, and Multi-Channel, who will discuss “Driving Customer Loyalty Across All Channels,” which will examine Boots’ strategy for segmenting and targeting customers based on deep insights.

I aspire to have a recap of some of this session later on today, but in the meantime, keep your eyes on the Twitter hashtag for the event, #IBMSCGS, as there will be lots of folks Tweeting real-time throughout the day.

In the meantime, if you’re following along with our bouncing ball virtually, you’ll want to go check out this white paper, which explains the opportunity and benefits of Smarter Commerce far better than I could.

I’ll also be leading a Tweetup at 12 PM Madrid time (6 AM EST), where I’ll be discussing the drivers and realities of using social media in social commerce.  If you’re in the U.S. and can’t sleep, feel free to join us, again via the hashtag #IBMSCGS.

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