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

Posts Tagged ‘customer service

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: Outdoor Products Maker Husqvarna On “The Partnership Of Equals” Between Marketing And IT

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One of the highlights of attending any of IBM’s events like the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Florida, last week is the opportunity to meet with and speak with IBM customers.

John Marchiodona, VP of marketing, and Simon Howard, head of IT for the Americas, at Husqvarna, are two prime examples.

John and Simon are the poster children for marketing and IT coming together to create new capabilities and opportunities for their customers, in their case for a 300+ year-old commercial concern that now focuses on outdoor products, including chainsaws, lawnmowers, and the like.

John and Simon explained in the interview Scott and I conducted with them how new digital opportunities, particularly in the social space, have required them to come together earlier and more often to map out new requirements and capabilities for better serving their clients.

As they explained, “Technology is becoming more and more a requirement for everybody,” and a good example of the fruits of their labor was a new social media section of the Husqvarna site that contained videos demonstrating the safe and productive use of their products.

As they explained in our discussion, theirs’ (marketing and IT) is a “partnership of equals,” and that to fulfill on the new digital demands of their consumers, “they have to have the necessary platforms in place to do what they want to do.”

Smarter Customers Require Smarter Commerce

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Guy Kawasaki will present a keynote at IBM’s Smarter Commerce Global Summit, being held Sept 5-7 in Orlando, Florida. Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures, a seed and early stage venture capital fund. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web—the success of which is attributed to social networking tools such as Twitter. He is considered one of the top 50 most popular bloggers worldwide. Previously, Guy Kawasaki was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy Kawasaki has a BA in psychology from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

I mentioned in previous posts the upcoming IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit that will be held in Orlando, Florida September 5-7.

As the overview for the event explains, there’s no question that your customers are in charge. They now have more information, more access, and more influence than ever, and it takes a smarter marketing organization to keep up with these ever smarter customers.

The Smarter Commerce Summit 2012 provides a great venue for business execs and practitioners to come together and gain insight and access to resources that enable them to more effectively connect with those customers.

The event combines over 150 business and practitioner breakout sessions comprised of new technology, best practices, industry perspectives and visionary thinking, all to help you potimize your own business.

It is the single largest gathering of experts and peers for discovering new solutions to today’s most complex digital challenges.

We’ve recently announced our keynote speakers, including Guy Kawasaki, founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures and a one-time Apple executive. I saw Guy speak at the IBM Smart Camp Global Finals earlier this year in San Francisco, and have enjoyed his keynote discussions at SXSW Interactive for a number of years. There’s only a handful of speakers around who can get you re-energized about the opportunity technology presents for innovation, while entertaining you in the process, and Guy is definitely one of them.

At the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Guy will discuss “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions,” a talk based on his tenth book that explains how you can not only get your own way, but also bring about voluntary, enduring and delightful change in your organization.

The Session Preview Tool is now available to give you a glimpse of some of the sessions you’ll find on the ground in Orlando, and remember, you can also follow #ibmscgs via Twitter to keep up with key announcements and information leading up to the event.

As of press time, my associate Scott Laningham and I will be in attendance as we were in Madrid, providing on-the-ground blogging and Webcasting coverage so you can better understand how IBM is helping companies around the globe practice smarter commerce.

If you’re already sold on the idea and just want to know where to go register, visit this link for all the details and the registration form.

The Right And Left Hand

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I’m back in the great state of Texas…at least for a few days…and the weather in Austin is simply spectacular.  In fact, I’m writing this blog post from the golf course it’s so nice out….

Not really, but the idea IS compelling.

Another idea that’s very compelling is something that’s been bugging me and making me bat—— crazy!

While I was traveling last week, I got a call DAILY on my voicemail from my air conditioning service vendor, reminding me to schedule my annual maintenance appointment.

Then, when I got home over the weekend and, earlier today, made the requested appointment via their Web site, guess what happens?

You got it.  Not an hour later, I get another unsolicited call from Service Experts (the vendor) asking me to schedule the appointment.


After politely, but impatiently, explaining to the nice lady that I had already scheduled the appointment via the Web, she explained in return that she hadn’t “checked the Web site.”

Well, you might just want to change those two points of intersection, mightn’t you?

My point being, the customer should have to care less which method of communication they choose to interact with — it’s the organization’s responsibility to bring those points of intersection together, not the customers’!  I’m just supposed to buy your stuff, remember???

Okay.  Now, I’m going to jump off my soapbox and pull out the bullhorn instead: This is precisely the kind of case study scenario you’re going to be hearing about from IBM customers should you decide to attend the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit coming up in Madrid.

In fact, I was just given a sneak peak at some of the customers planning on sharing their experiences in sessions at the event, and they’re a virtual who’s who of pan-European business: ING, Telstra, wehkamp.nl, Danone, Barclay’s Bank…and a host of others.

As part of the summit, we’ll also see the advent of the Marketing Innovation Summit, the most significant European gathering of marketing professionals in one place for four days of learning, networking, and exploring these types of best practices.

Check out the full agenda in this PDF to see a detailed session breakdown, then visit here to learn more and register for the event.

May 22-24, 2012, the Hotel Auditorium Madrid, in Madrid, Spain.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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