Inside Analysis

LIVE, From New York: It’s… The Customer Experience!

written by Eric Kavanagh, CEO at The Bloor Group

There’s no substitute for experience! That’s what they say *these* days about… the customer experience. Time was, that expression referred to timeworn years in the trenches, battling the forces of nature, business or life. In this era? It’s all about… Now! As in, Right Now!

The immediacy of modern business demands a new approach. No longer can companies rely on all those legacy systems. Today, an end-to-end supply chain can be stitched together with drag-and-drop. Financial reporting can be automated by dynamically generated scripts.

At least for those on the cutting edge, that is. Finally, thanks to the confluence of data management, artificial intelligence, analytics and process mining, the entire corporate world stands poised to articulate a new and powerful vision for how things really get done. 

Isn’t that exciting?!

Short answer? Yes! The longer answer? It’s going to take a lot of time, and effort, and sacrifice. Those on the front lines on this next generation should be both careful and patient. Remember: Achieving simplicity for the customer experience involves lots of complexity under the hood.

An Immersive Experience

At a recent event in New York City, near the tippy-top of Hudson Yards, senior executives from SAP gathered together with a host of clients, prospects, analysts and journalists. The upshot of this rendezvous was a fully immersive media experience, including two hours of live broadcasts.

Stealing the show was the inimitable Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media, Vayner Sports and Empathy Wines. The serial entrepreneur and consummate entertainer, took the stage to offer his insights on how to satisfy the growing demand for a better customer experience. 

“We are a culture of people who say no, when in reality the answer is yes,” he declared. “So many people say no because it will hurt finances.” But? “Moms more than ever want to be their daughters’ friend, so the daughter has real purchasing power!”

That’s the kind of clever thinking we should expect from such a successful innovator! Moms may default to saying no for financial reasons, but if their daughters really want something… guess what: The purchase might just be made!

Vaynerchuck emphasized the critical importance of agility in this new business world, and also of experimentation. “Which ads are actually underpriced for the results they generate? And which platforms give free organic reach?” he asked, rhetorically. 

At this moment in time, he says TikTok and LinkedIn are the best! This might surprise some marketers who might choose Facebook, for example. But there’s no substitute for experience… in digital marketing! Vaynerchuck clearly stressed the importance of analyzing data. 

“Entrepreneurship is a skill,” he continued. Yes, can can get better at it; but you’re not necessarily born with that DNA, though some people do have a knack. The key is to get up and running, regardless of finances. “When you have no money, you only have the ability to ask!”

On the subject of advice for existing and aspirational entrepreneurs, Vaynerchuck waxed pragmatic. “I’m thinking about convenience,” he said. “How can I remove friction?” Digital transformation should focus on streamlining business processes, making commerce easier. 

He was sure to inspire the audience, in-house and those listening worldwide, by sharing insights about himself and his success. “Every 90 days, the board wants answers,” he proclaimed, wincing at the thought. “I could never be a publicly traded organization, because I play too long!” 

He also addressed the remarkable rise of artificial intelligence: “Emerging AI technology is the big elephant in the room. I don’t want anyone to go out and build their own AI voice recognition tech. But these technologies do have the ability to impact society at scale.” 

Point being, entrepreneurs in this digital age should be cognizant of the opportunities and threats that surround us. Leverage the capabilities offered by cloud vendors and other targeted software firms. Recognize that you don’t need to build out the functionality; just rent or buy!

And embrace yourself and your vision! If there’s one thing that @garyvee knows for sure, it’s that authenticity sells in the digital age. Know yourself, and believe in yourself. There’s only one you, and your vision matters. Like he said, if you have no money, you have the ability to ask!

If these pithy quotes and big ideas inspire you, check out Vaynerchuck’s presentation, and all the others from #SAPInnovateLive, right here: bit.ly/2pL4O37!

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