SOGETI UK BLOG

In the past two decades, there have been dramatic shifts in thinking around how best to engage customers, culminating in today’s obsession with personalized omnichannel marketing, sales and customer service.  The phenomenon is not new (Proctor & Gamble introduced the “First Moment of Truth” in 2005), but recent technological advances have prompted organizations to re-examine whether they are prepared for this next wave of innovative engagement.

 

Interior of new fashion boutique in modern shopping mall

 

Consider the last time you visited a bricks and mortar store. Was it a pleasant experience navigating through the crowded aisles of a grocery store, attempting to read nutritional information on the back of packaged goods?  Was it uplifting to try on apparel that did not fit well and magnified all of your physical imperfections in the full length mirror of a closet-sized fitting room? Although anecdotal in nature, these examples illustrate why retailers are investing so much in redefining their in-store experiences, from wine bars in grocery stores to innovative fitting rooms built to provide data-driven white glove service.

Now consider the last time you visited a big box retailer.  How much time did you spend in the store?  Did you end up buying more than you had planned to purchase?  Did you end up walking through multiple aisles on your way to checkout?  Of course these in-store layouts are a product of careful planning designed to increase impulse purchases and add-ons, premium items that are often priced to cover loss leaders marketed to get customers in the door.  Costco loses an estimated $30mm-$40mm USD annually on their rotisserie chickens (priced at $4.99USD, cheaper than an uncooked chicken), a small price to pay to entice customers to make a long commute with the potential to end in the purchase of a new television.

And so retailers find themselves at a crossroad, with proven strategies of pulling customers into a labyrinth of high margin products in a half day shopping marathon on one hand, and precise, data-driven personalized interactions powered by digital technology designed to get people in and out and on with their lives on the other.  What’s the right path to choose?  The answer is both!

By cultivating a culture of experimentation, testing/measuring and focusing on the needs of the customer, an organization can best position itself to create the next generation purchasing experience at the intersection of its own and its users’ needs (without crossing over into the “creepy zone”).  Whether that intersection is in the middle of a hectic day of work and errands or a leisurely shopping weekend will be the real “moment of truth” that organizations will need to challenge themselves to identify and define.

Joo Serk Lee AUTHOR:
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA who has spent the past two years architecting major programs at Aspen Marketing Services and at Abbott Laboratories. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15 year career working in and crafting transformation programs featuring complex technologies across a wide range of technologies including Microsoft/Java stacks, mobility and large CRM and ERP solutions.

Posted in: Budgets, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, communication, Digital, Digital strategy, Human Behaviour, Innovation, Opinion, User Experience      
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In the past two decades, there have been dramatic shifts in thinking around how best to engage customers, culminating in today’s obsession with personalized omnichannel marketing, sales and customer service.  The phenomenon is not new (Proctor & Gamble introduced the “First Moment of Truth” in 2005), but recent technological advances have prompted organizations to re-examine whether they are prepared for this next wave of innovative engagement.

Consider the last time you visited a bricks and mortar store. Was it a pleasant experience navigating through the crowded aisles of a grocery store, attempting to read nutritional information on the back of packaged goods?  Was it uplifting to try on apparel that did not fit well and magnified all of your physical imperfections in the full length mirror of a closet-sized fitting room? Although anecdotal in nature, these examples illustrate why retailers are investing so much in redefining their in-store experiences, from wine bars in grocery stores to innovative fitting rooms built to provide data-driven white glove service.

Now consider, the last time you visited a big box retailer.  How much time did you spend in the store?  Did you end up buying more than you had planned to purchase?  Did you end up walking through multiple aisles on your way to checkout?  Of course these in-store layouts are a product of careful planning designed to increase impulse purchases and add-ons, premium items that are often priced to cover loss leaders marketed to get customers in the door.  Costco loses an estimated $30mm-$40mm USD annually on their rotisserie chickens (priced at $4.99USD, cheaper than an uncooked chicken), a small price to pay to entice customers to make a long commute with the potential to end in the purchase of a new television.

And so retailers find themselves at a crossroad, with proven strategies of pulling customers into a labyrinth of high margin products in a half day shopping marathon on one hand, and precise, data-driven personalized interactions powered by digital technology designed to get people in and out and on with their lives on the other.  What’s the right path to choose?  The answer is both!

By cultivating a culture of experimentation, testing/measuring and focusing on the needs of the customer, an organization can best position itself to create the next generation purchasing experience at the intersection of it’s own and it’s users needs (without crossing over into the “creepy zone”).  Whether that intersection is in the middle of a hectic day of work and errands or a leisurely shopping weekend will be the real “moment of truth” that organizations will need to challenge themselves to identify and define.

 

Joo Serk Lee AUTHOR:
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA who has spent the past two years architecting major programs at Aspen Marketing Services and at Abbott Laboratories. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15 year career working in and crafting transformation programs featuring complex technologies across a wide range of technologies including Microsoft/Java stacks, mobility and large CRM and ERP solutions.

Posted in: Digital, Digital strategy, Human Interaction Testing, Infrastructure, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT strategy, Marketing, Omnichannel, Research, Social Aspects, User Experience, User Interface      
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Science Art WonderAs someone who studied Art Theory and Practice and subsequently spent many years in the world of technology, I’ve always been fascinated by relationships between seemingly disparate interests.  I’ve had countless discussions with clients on the relationship between Business and IT, and have seen these relationships run the gamut from strong and collaborative to hopelessly dysfunctional.  The emergence of marketing as a driving force behind organizational direction (has pushed marketing and marketing technology into the C-Suite) has renewed emphasis on this relationship, one that today’s enterprise will need to epitomize the spirit of partnership in order to thrive.

Remember the old days when marketing was viewed as a ‘soft’ discipline?  The average organization recognized the value of brand and that marketing played a big role in defining and elevating it, but as a capability its influence was difficult to measure.  In a recent Adobe survey of digital marketing organizations, mature companies were found 200 percent  more likely to have mobile app analytics, 330 percent more likely to have done multivariate testing and 250 percent more likely to do attribution modeling.  There’s nothing soft about that.  Marketing and technology professionals have been pushed even closer together by the pursuit of the omni-channel vision, where personalized and high-touch marketing interactions are powered by increasingly sophisticated mobile devices, ad tech, big data and predictive analytics.

This convergence of marketing and technology has led to some very interesting results.  Organizations are placing an unprecedented amount of emphasis on upfront user experience design as an entry point into application development cycles.  Marketing teams are increasingly tapping data and analytics teams for better insights into their customers.  Creative processes are also being re-examined; with agencies adopting agile constructs such as scrum teams to facilitate speedy, iterative production of creative assets.  Even organizational structures are being re-examined, as enterprises seek to develop the ‘athletes’ that will carry customer engagement to the next level of sophistication, where powerful moments that delight are the norm rather than the exclusive domain of the Googles of the world.  These welcome developments illustrate the possibilities that open up when the powerful forces of Marketing and IT align, and when an organization’s Marketing and IT leaders embrace the spirit of partnership.  Perhaps these are not such strange bedfellows after all!

For additional insights into the intersection of marketing and technology, check out Scott Brinker’s blog at http://www.chiefmartec.com

Image Credit: 1.bp.blogspot.com

 

Joo Serk Lee AUTHOR:
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA who has spent the past two years architecting major programs at Aspen Marketing Services and at Abbott Laboratories. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15 year career working in and crafting transformation programs featuring complex technologies across a wide range of technologies including Microsoft/Java stacks, mobility and large CRM and ERP solutions.

Posted in: Ad hoc testing, Application Lifecycle Management, Automation Testing, Big data, Business Intelligence, Digital strategy, IT strategy, Marketing, mobile applications, privacy, Scrum, User Experience, User Interface      
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grappling with rising expectations - resizedThe notion of technology stirring human emotion is not new. However, recent focus on experience design and robotics are prompting an examination of our complex relationship with technology – to which anyone, who witnessed the gasps of the crowd at the recent Darpa Robotics Challenge or the Queen of England being charmed by a waving robot, can attest.

The speed at which technology is accelerating is putting immense pressure on enterprises, forcing them to grapple with the challenge of balancing the demands of rising customer and employee expectations against the constraints of legacy technology investments. Surprisingly, customer expectations are proving easier to manage, as a lovely facade and a few sweeps under the rug can oftentimes give enough of a perception of a high-performing system to get by (although this is certainly not a recommended approach).  Many organisations’ operational technology users, however, are not so lucky. Behind the curtain, they are faced with the striking contrast between the endless keystrokes of  dated systems and spreadsheets, compared to personal pocket technology that does the heavy lifting “below the waterline” and then anticipates what they want to do next. Which systems would you rather use?

Henry Dreyfuss wrote (in 1955!) that “[w]hen the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the industrial designer has failed.” The principles of the “frictionless” experience remain relevant today. Successful organisations have been quick to respond to rising expectations by placing the customer or employee at the heart of their thinking … charting their emotional journeys, and then working to build technology-powered points of contact around them. But why stop there? In light of the emerging API economy and the Internet of Things, organisations can also consider an enterprise-centric view in addition to this user-centric focus – one where the points of contact are not between users and their applications, but between the company itself and a broader ecosystem of partners. It is within this ecosystem that experiences orchestrated between people, businesses and our technology can fulfill its highest potential.

As Dreyfuss articulated six decades ago, friction is the enemy of engaging experience (and the catalyst for frustration), and this applies to products, applications and organisations alike. In the age of the platform economy and IoT, the agile, connection-ready enterprise will be positioned for success by delighting its customers, employees and partners, in the same way that a pleasing experience serves as competitive advantage for a product. The slow, frustration-prone and experience-deficient enterprise will end up like the printer in Office Space. What does the future hold for your organisation?

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Electric Dreams

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  4. The Power of Partnership

Joo Serk Lee AUTHOR:
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA who has spent the past two years architecting major programs at Aspen Marketing Services and at Abbott Laboratories. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15 year career working in and crafting transformation programs featuring complex technologies across a wide range of technologies including Microsoft/Java stacks, mobility and large CRM and ERP solutions.

Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Business Intelligence, communication, Developers, Enterprise Architecture, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT strategy, Technical Testing, Technology Outlook      
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MjolnirRecently, two starkly contrasting news articles caught my attention. The first was a commentary on wearables, biometric sensors and new ways of authentication, which included using your face too (with hopefully more than a Facebook picture). The second one covered yet another data breach (a media event these days) with healthcare payer Premera, the unfortunate victim this time around. Fascinating, isn’t it? On one hand, technology continues to drive innovations that allow your face, fingerprint, heartbeat and other biometric readings to be read off from your mobile phone or smart watch as the basis for authentication … even for financial transactions. On the other hand, according to the Washington Post, over 128 million users have had their personal and medical information compromised in the healthcare industry alone. It’s clear that consumer electronics and enterprise security are becoming indistinguishable in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and that the adage “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” has never been more relevant. But what is the X-factor in this push and pull between consumer and enterprise security? The answer may surprise you.

It’s hard to imagine disciplines, which are at face value more disparate than User Experience and Cybersecurity, with the former (UX) conjuring images of excited teams, creating personas at a whiteboard adorned with colorful Post-it® notes; especially when, the latter’s Hollywood stereotype is the uber-techies in dark control rooms abuzz with monitors, probing rootkit vulnerabilities while monitoring intrusions. However, recent enterprise-focus on experience as the driver of all things IT, has made UX and Cybersecurity unlikely bedfellows. As consumers continue to drive more and more elegance in their interactions with technology (does anyone really think that 2FA is the epitome of authentication?), the pressure has never been greater for security technology to enable this elegance, while protecting individual and enterprise assets alike at the same time.

The pace of digital innovation and the proliferation of the Internet of Things has driven a massive land grab, dominating recent conferences like CES and SXSW. This innovation, however, has not always been driven responsibly (the recently released Markey report found flaws in nearly every connected car system it probed). As enterprises push digital investments, it’s important to ensure that User Experience and Cybersecurity teams are engaged, as odd as it sounds. Let the balance between the ideal experience and the realities of protecting customers, employees and the enterprise alike be established by those most invested in promoting those interests. The result will be an appropriate compromise between two of the highest priorities of today’s businesses, while technology drives towards enabling the perfect security experience.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: UX and Cybersecurity – Seemingly Unrelated, Inextricably Linked

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Joo Serk Lee AUTHOR:
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA who has spent the past two years architecting major programs at Aspen Marketing Services and at Abbott Laboratories. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15 year career working in and crafting transformation programs featuring complex technologies across a wide range of technologies including Microsoft/Java stacks, mobility and large CRM and ERP solutions.

Posted in: Innovation, Internet of Things, mobile applications, Security, Technology Outlook, User Experience, Virtualisation, wearable technoloy      
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