IBM Identifies Gap In Creating Innovative Customer Experiences

Three market segments -- mobile at 64%, Internet of Things at 62%, and cloud computing at 59% -- will have the highest impact on business models this year as brands scramble to create a "better" customer experience for consumers, according to a study from IBM analyzing responses from 723 CMOs.

The IBM Institute for Business Value study outlines the importance of tying marketing to sales and now service, through what it identifies as "creative disruption."

Two-thirds of global CMOs point to industry convergence as their greatest challenge, as disruptive technologies break down barriers that once existed between industries.

Responses from participating CMOs in the “Redefining Markets" study found that 63% will prioritize investment around delivering more relevant customer experiences this year.



IBM divided responses into two categories: Torchbearers and Market Followers.

Only 6% of all enterprises represented in IBM's study, called "Torchbearers," lead the group embracing "creative destruction," making their respective organizations "digitally literate" and far better able to manage the "data explosion" in an increasingly complex advertising and marketing world.

Two-thirds of the Torchbearers are exploring new revenue models such as licensing and subscriptions, compared with just half of all in the second group, Market Followers. They are more willing to become pioneers and explore collaborative business models, putting them in the limelight when it comes to buzz on social and media sites, changing consumers into brand fans.

Torchbearers also want to make changes in what it means to offer a better customer experience. These companies are more likely to move the customer experience from selling a consumer a remodeled shower stall in their home to adding a five-day membership to a local gym along with the purchase. That way, customers can take a shower while their home shower is being remodeled.

"The better customer experience focuses on the purpose, rather than the purchase," said Kevin Bishop, vice president of customer engagement solutions at IBM Commerce.

Bishop says the biggest change within the past five years has been the importance of marketing to the C-suite. The shift puts more responsibility for business results, such as increasing the number of customers, and profit per customer, in the hands of CMOs. 

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