For more than a decade, Brian Vellmure has been helping organizations increase profitability through customer focused initiatives. He is an accomplished business leader, management consultant, and award winning and syndicated blogger. He is often referred to as a Social CRM and Social Business thought leader & pioneer. Specializing in strategy, process improvement, & technology selection, Brian works with executive and senior management teams to create competitive advantage through leading sustainable and disruptive innovation initiatives. 

Mitch Lieberman is a thought leader and practitioner in the areas of customer relationship management (CRM), sales enablement, customer service and customer experience. Laser focus on helping businesses to understand the importance of balance; among people, process, platforms and play. It is about the adoption and use of technology in order to get jobs done (JTBD). It is not only about the delivery architecture (cloud or on-premise), nor the source (open or closed), it is about solving business problems, aligning teams and working together. I take a modern, unique, but practical view of customer strategy, process improvement and technology optimization achieved by creating tight alignment between business strategy, team goals and individual objectives. He is currently a Success Architect at SugarCRM.

Video Transcript: CRM Analysts: Mitch Lieberman | Brian Vellmure

Michael:         

(00:04) Hello and welcome to show number 81 of CXOTalk. I’m Michael Krigsman and today we are going to talk about marketing. Digital marketing and social marketing and every kind of marketing that exists under the sun. Actually that’s’ not entirely true. So I’m here with my gloriously friendly, the guy who smiles in contrast to me Vala Afshar, Vala.

Vala:   

(00:29) Hi Michael.

Michael:         

(00:34) How are you

Vala:   

(00:35) That was so hard to do, just to hold it for a second.

Michael:         

(00:38) Well you’re the nice co-host and I’m the evil co-host, who said that, you said that.

Vala:   

(00:42) I don’t know if I agree with that maybe. What an incredible show today Michael. We have two really really smart guys.

Michael:         

(00:50) We do indeed. Brian Vellmure and Mitch Lieberman, both of these gentlemen are analysts and two of the most experienced looking at marketing, digital marketing that I know. Gentlemen, how are you.

Mitch:

(01:08) Very good thank you.

Brian:  Fantastic nice to be here.

Vala:   

(01:11) Brian, maybe we’ll start with you. Maybe a little bit background and then Mitch if you can do the same as well.

Brian:

(01:17) Sure, so I run a boutique firm here in Orange County, California. My focus area is where the digitalization of everything meets with customer experience. So that manifests itself a number of ways and I sort of split my time between a lot of the technology vendors. Some of the big ones, he smaller ones talking about product advisory, thought leadership, go to market strategies and I also work in the real world with – I was going to say that not that the digital type aren’t in the real world. They are organizations that are just trying to manufacture with self-professional services and help bridge the gap between those two audiences and that’s sort of me in a nut shell. And every once in a while I get invited to share some of this on esteemed talk shows such as this.

Michael:         

(02:05) Great and Mitch, tell us about yourself.

Mitch: 

(02:07) Hi everyone! I’m Mitch Lieberman here. Currently I hang my hat at Sugar CRM after spending a number of years in a small consultancy role and analyst role, and similar to Brian I bridge the gap, but I bridge it slightly different in gap, which is the relationship between CRM and customer experience with digital marketing thrown in.

(02:30) I’d like to just throw out the term there, Omni-marketing but I’m not sure we’re all going to like that particular term. So you know, I to appreciate being invited to this esteemed talk show host and talk show with two great hosts. And just sharing ideas and listening to people seeing what kind of fun conversations we can have today.

Michael:

(02:53) Well you seem very nice guest that we’re not use to – no that’s not true actually all of our guests are really nice.

Vala:   

(03:00) Alright, this could be our final episode.

Michael:         

(03:06) But let’s start. Mitch let’s talk a little bit about marketing and digital marketing. What are you seeing and what’s new.

Mitch: 

(03:17) when we were considering this topic and conversation, one I’m very happy to seeing it being called digital marketing. Because for a number of years I think people called it incorrectly social marketing. And among the things I’m seeing in the industry space is that we’ve progressed and what we’re really discussing is communication across the digital channel which is slightly different. So that would be the first part of the conversation and that’s what we’re discussing.

(03:47)So we’re talking about you know from SMS to e-mail. I mean e-mail is digital but it’s been around for really long time. So certain parts of digital marketing have been transformative and cultural changes because my kids for example have no interest in e-mail and they don’t like some of the channels that have been around only five years.

(04:09) So that’s where I would start, that we’ve progressed from social to digital which is a really great transition.

Michael:         

(04:17) So the movement from social to digital, Brian is that how you’re seeing it. Is digital marketing an evolution of social marketing, is that what you agree with that.

Brian: 

(04:29) So I don’t know if I would view it as linearly as that but I do think that social is a subset of digital. And you know going back a few years there was a lot of – and there certainly always is and we’re part of that social, mobile and big data and I’ve been asking the question, what is at the center of all of these things, and it was what I ultimately term digitalization and that I kind of think the answer was no digital marketing what I think was the original question.

(04:55) I think we have to understand the context of what’s happening to our world and it’s actually these little smart phones have gotten smarter and they have the ability to do more things for us. More and more of what we do and who we are happens in the digital realm, where we go, who are we connected to, what we think, what we buy – all of these things and it’s that profession and we can look back and say that’s been happening for a number of years. I really think we’re at the start of it.

(05:22)After mobile devices will become wearable and in between that and after that will become embeddables. We’ve seen sensors in our phones from having one or two sensors to now nine, so I think all of those are illustrations of our world that is digital.

(05:37)So if we’re going to talk about digital marketing, ultimately we need to understand the landscape isn’t digital. A marketer’s job has always to get attention and do it in a way that’s meaningful. So I think that part hasn’t change and just the fact that that’s not happening and the landscape is the difference that we’ve been talking about.

Vala:   

(05:58) Yeah, you recently wrote a blog and wrote about the speed of innovation and speed of this hyper-connected you know ecosystem that we are all a part of and you mentioned that there’s certain organizations and leaders that were falling behind. There exhausted and falling behind with all of this digitization around us. I mean how do you come back to that, how do you whether you are a CMO or a CIO or any line of business leader in an organization.

Brian: 

(06:28) Yeah I think we’re as a place and I don’t think there is an easy answer to that and I know you in your role follow and it’s that context. I think we are coming out of the industrial age, which is largely been hierarchical driven, command and control – and for good reason, that was a good model for the age.

(06:50) And I think we are now at a place where the networks and the connections are overwhelming that organizational structure. So a lot of the leaders all over the map are trying to wrestle how do we deal with this. I think it was Camp Gemini at MIT recently did a research project to kind of create a map of how digital organizations are, and they created four quadrants and they were spread out all over the globe, so I don’t think we see a common trend with you know, most people are digital or most people are lagers.

(07:19) I think they are evenly distributed all across-the-board and I believe it hinges on fundamental understanding, the characteristics of a network versus the characteristics of a traditional organisation. Because the way that we find people, find information communicate, collaborate, shift, measure – all of these things have changed pretty dramatically in a digital world. We are no longer dealing with a standard Gaussian distribution developer and are not dealing with operation distribution.

(07:54) So ultimately what that means is those that are successful and are doing things well, get hyperbole rewarded.

Mitch:

(08:06) One of the things that I’ve seen that companies are trying to do this, they are being overwhelmed. So when we think about some of the studies and where things are going so quickly, innovation is happening, and transformation is happening. Whereas things that I’ve noticed recently is that the front of the train is moving faster and the back of the train is moving slower, which is basically stretching out the train.

(08:32) So the distance between the leaders and the laggers is significantly bigger than its being even in the last 10 years, which is a problem I’m seeing and when talking to companies when trying to figure this out. So it is hard to manage what exactly what we are trying to accomplish. Because by the time somebody brings something on board and starts using it, you know some future thinkers are already passed it and moving onto the next thing.

Michael:         

(09:02) Well we have a question from Twitter from Frank Scavo, who is really one of the enterprise analyst that I respect the most and he asks a basic question, he says what exactly do you guys mean by digital.

Mitch:

(09:19) So al take the first stab at that and say what digital means is communication via electronic means of which would be the first part. And maybe it’s sometimes easier or I’ll share what it’s not, it’s not in person.

(09:29) Many of you have gone to conferences recently and I’ve been in front of customers and that internal meetings. Digital is all the things that happen when we’re separated by distance. Minus, God forbid using that mobile phone with nine sensors in it to talk on it to someone on the other end of the line.

Brian:

(09:59) So I would define it a little bit different or I don’t know if I would define digitally different, but I think it’s important to highlight the characteristics of digital. And once things move into a digital realm and Mitch, just to sort of balance that and traditionally that’s true, but in the future or the near future, if you and I are together and talking – and actually we have done this at conferences, we may also be having a digital exchange that may be explicit or implicit in terms of where we are geographically or who else we are connected to.

(10:26) So I don’t think it’s just that. We don’t have to be separated by difference, but if something is digital it will be archive, it can be measured. I think that’s a primary difference that as we move into the digital realm those things are now trackable. There is a digital footprint that happens on what we do. And because we now have that information we can do lots of different things.

Michael:         

(10:53) So data is defining attribute of digital marketing.

Mitch: 

(10:56) It’s one of them because we’ve been analog for a number of years and there was data so that’s an interesting concept. I think the sheer magnitude and volume of data is bigger and we can completely sidetrack and I’m not even going to mention that other two other buzz words and we’ll move on from there or could could sidetrack, but it is a difference in data, agreed.

Vala:   

(11:27) Allan Burkson on Twitter is already impressed because you’ve used stretched train and Gaussian distribution in the first five minutes, so just want to let you guys know you’re hitting it out of the park.

Mitch: 

(11:40) Just wait till you get to my third law in putoniphysics.

Michael:         

(11:40) We have another comment from Twitter, NetanBudjavia, who I know on Twitter and not sure I’m pronouncing your name correctly and I apologize who says, isn’t digital also a synchronous, guys didn’t say that.

Mitch: 

(11:58) Yes it is, thank you Netan for that. I mean it is because one of the things between analog and digital is were sitting at a conference and having a beer, I can’t ignore you and just turn my back and just go talk – well I could, but I won’t, right. So being in person is a synchronous conversation. But that’s interesting because I think certain digital channels are attempting to be closer to synchronous. When you send an SMS, very often you expect a response. When you send an e-mail you don’t expect an immediate response.

Brian: 

(12:32) So let me ask you this, is this conversation digital and is it a synchronous.

Mitch: 

(12:39) This conversation well no, I would say it’s not digital.

Brian:  Really?

Michael:         

(12:45) Even although it’s totally enabled by digital means since my glorious co-host Vala Afshar and we’re sitting about three feet apart, and of course we’re not going to share cameras, we have our own cameras.

Mitch: 

(13;00) Okay, let’s phone a friend, those listening on Twitter is this conversation digital.

Brian:

(13:05) Yeah a poll for the audience.

Michael:         

(13:08) So audience, we are taking a poll is this conversation digital. Just respond back with CXOTalk.

Vala:   

(13:16) So it’s the audience members on a mobile device connected to a public cloud social Twitter and they respond, does that mean it’s digital or not.

Mitch:

(13:25) This is where it’s funny where we got into definition wars a number of years back. The fundamental issue does in some ways it doesn’t really matter, we are communicating. So at some point in the future just like in the CRM world we got rid of social CRM as a describer in front of it. We’re going to market and we are going to communicate and it doesn’t really matter. The channel is going to become irrelevant.

Vala:   

(13:54) Let me focus on the data part, because I think from many marketeers, and today that is the theme digital marketing and customer experience, the holy Grail is personalization. To be able to have the amount of contact that you need to add value specifically to a target audience of one. Are you working with marketeers that are taking advantage of this notion that can measure more effectively with digital marketing, and now they’re using that data to actually deliver personalized service and value to their end customers or prospects.

Brian:

(14:35) Yes, I think we are very very early. I think that’s at the cutting edge and there is some interesting stuff happening with geosensing. If I think about company like (Sale?) Who is actually the technology engine that is enabling a lot of their customers and they’re tracking user behaviour on the web to surface up more relevant content and more relevant products. Absolutely that’s happening. But the reality is you know, getting back with my practitioner hat, I think there are plenty of organizations that are still trying to merge multiple CRM systems and just get the basic fundamentals.

(15:12)So going back to Mitch’s analogy and understanding that we are living in the creation world. There’s a few that are way way out in front and the laggers are still dealing with fundamentals, you know there are some that are still home spot released at CRM products, and the reality is that a lot of their clients with small outside businesses are still working with Excel. You know, they’re still trying to get a centralized fundamental database.

(15:35)So is it happening? Absolutely and it’s happening across-the-board. But there is plenty of laggers that aren’t quite there yet.

Michael:         

(15:51) You know I talk with CIOs and IT departments and a surprising number with what Brian was just talking about laggers, a surprising number are still struggling with the basics of CRM and trying to get a more complete view of the customer. And I sometimes think that that all of these advanced and innovative disruptive concepts and things that we talk about are almost a plaything for analysts and pundits and observers, because much of the market is lagging behind.

Mitch:

(16:34) I want to bring Vala’s comment back in there and sorry Michael I’m going to give Vala credit for a great word. The word is context and that’s the goal, the goal is to give context to what I’ll call noise. You know in the world of information some people you can think of data, you know data flows to information and understanding and wisdom and that’s in prior works and people did some interesting work there.

(17:00) The really interesting question is from a marketing perspective, can you draw a direct analogy who touches interactions and engagement. Is that the same progression, whereas every time touches at a piece of data and every time you interact, is that a piece of information. And that’s what I think we are struggling with now and to bring your CRM question into it, which is what’s the relationship between CRM, which is the context of the conversation and the customers experience on the other side.

(17:38)You know I view them as mere images of each other, because CRM is an internal process and the customer experience is the external perception. And data is what helps you bridge the two and bring them together.

Brian:

(17:52) If we are talking about digital marketing, I think context is at the centre of all that. So if we understand the more people and more things, and quite frankly we don’t need to get onto the Internet of things conversation, but if the world is more connected than therefore the customer with the  B2C or B2B has access to more options than they ever have before.

(18:13) So context becomes more important, both because it’s more difficult for vendors to get in front of their customer. But it’s also hard for the buyer and I don’t think we focus on that enough. When I go looking, yes I have access to a zillion things and a zillion options but it’s a lot of work for me to actually sift through who are all of these competitors and where can I buy from and how can I do all that stuff.

(18:36) So I think context becomes very important and what we are talking about Vala with data, we as marketers have more data points to make sense of who our prospective buyer is, what they are trying to get done and what are they trying to accomplish so we can surface the right message, the right offer, the right product in context of what is that you are actually accomplish.

Vala:   

(18:58) I think that the promise of digital and from we talk about CRM, roadblocks or obstacles, my experience is that it’s usually a culture, a business process, data quality – all of that is at the root of why the technology doesn’t enable you to take advantage of some of the automation and potential ability to gain the insight that you need to be more proactive, more responsive to your customers. But taking the CRM piece of just one piece, if you’re trying to transform your marketing to digital and you need to invest in social listening tools and technologies. You need to have a marketing automation platform, you need to invest in community platform – all of that needs to be integrated into your CRM.

(19:46) So there is a lot of pieces that need to integrate well and you have to have again, the culture of innovation to achieve that. So I go back to your speed of innovation blog and I see a complex that it really is for vendors and organizations to be able to truly understand their customer needs and then respond appropriately.

(20:15) Can a CRM marketing transform and deliver the promise of digital without working very closely with IT?

Brian: 

(20:32) I don’t think so, no I don’t think so. Going back and Mitch I would love to hear your opinion on this. Going back a few months and even to today, there is still plenty of buzz or commentary around you know the IT budget shifting the marketing and so on and so forth. But my observations are just anecdotally is, yes, the software and the service and computing has made a lot more tools available to marketers, but I think once they get into that they realise like, wow, not only do I need a social listening tool and not only do I need marketing, but I need this to be connected to all of my other systems.

(21:09) What I really need this information to flow seamlessly within and without my organisation and it’s kind of beyond my capability to understand how all of that stuff works. So I need a technology partner and whether that comes from the CIO, or whether that comes from building your own staff, who actually understands how this technology works to help inform some of that stuff that’s going on. That’s my perspective.

Mitch:

(21:30) I would agree with that. Because a lot of these systems have grown up over the last few years in silos. I hate that overused word, they grew up in different departments because they had different needs. Because in the executive board room, the CEO looks at the head of marketing and demand generation and says get me leads, get me more people to talk to. Where the head of sales says, close me more deals is being said.

(22:00) By the way, customer support stop people from leaving and prevents churn. I mean churn is a really important number. It was always huge in the telephony space and then we had a pause, and then it became really big in the SAS space, but these were different groups.

(22:14) So these are – you have to bring in the common objectives all the way up to the boardroom and then trickle them down, and then integrate the processes and then figure out how to integrate the data. I said it that way because many of them are already in place, so we are kind of backpedalling a little bit trying to figure out how to put the pieces together.

Michael:         

(22:37) We have a another comment from twitter from Janet Josopack and I hope I’m pronouncing your name correctly and she says, you must understand the necessities of the technology, the processes to make sense and make the data work. So how do you uncover it. And to me that’s what we were talking about a moment ago about the intersection or the collaboration between the IT side and the marketing side, because the reality is once you are in the digital world where you are using technology to put forward your marketing messages and to listen. And your gathering data and your analyzing that data, you need both the technology infrastructure and the process infrastructure to make it work on the one side. And on the other side you need a very intimate nuance understanding of the set of marketing problems, and these are two different fields and to different career path for most people. So the answer to how you uncover the practical necessities is to get the people in the room who can handle both sides. I don’t think there is any other way.

Vala:   

(23:44) Or you hire a digital officer.

Michael:         

(23:48) Or you hire a chief digital officer and they are going to get the two people in the room. These are still two different career paths.

Brian: 

(23:56) I would even add to that to make the soup a little bit muddier is that both of those career patterns have changed pretty dramatically over the two or three years. So a traditional CIO is having to re-shift and retool their skills set as a traditional CMO.

(24:12) So not only are they to different career path’s but they are both merging, and my final comment on that is I think it is less about title today and more about the people and the competences that you have. And Vala I think you are a great example of this is by trade historically, you’re an engineer and you have more multiple hats to customer offices and CMO, and ultimately it is because you brought a certain skill set over time. And whether you had been CMO or not, you with the most relevant person who did the job there. And I think I’m seeing that more of a cap I his bow.

Vala:   

(24:49) Do you think all new marketing hires in the future will have analytical, technical and maybe even coding skill set or a vast majority.

Brian: 

(24:57) I think the analytical thinking is a must. If you’re dealing with digital and you’re dealing with data and going back to the previous comment, if things are being tracked and I’m relying on data – not just to use the scientific methods to see if I was right. But also to discover the things that I didn’t even know the questions to ask.

(25:17) Then absolutely, a marketer either by themselves or with their extended arms as a team, has to be very analytical in the nature of today’s world.

Mitch: 

(25:27) I think we need to – I would agree with that statement that you have to have a balanced team. Vala, you probably look around when you’re talking to your teams and your staff, you have to have a balanced team.

(25:40) So to Brian’s point about what is the top level role called underneath, it’s what’s the objective. And the objective is to focus on the customer. If your objective is to focus on the customer, then weathered you are using digital communications, PDFs, or emails you want to sit in their shoes and have people that can understand, when I extend this what are they going to think. What is their perception going to be when I do this. Then you have to have the analytical mind if you are going to do that 1000 times in an hour or in a day. You need to put it together.

(26:18) you can’t get away from the fact that marketing is to raise brand awareness and sent to communicate and engage people at a human level. And sometimes I was technical geeks aren’t always great at that just to put a point on it.

Vala:   

(26:14) I think one of the best parts of digital is the ability to measure and collect data is to understand your campaign influence. In the past you say would I invest X amount of dollars in this marketing campaign, what can I expect in return whether it’s going to a tradeshow or having a webinar or creating a White Paper on data assets.

(26:57) Today, the common issue of CRM and marketing automation you’re able to track your pipeline and your revenue to campaigns and measure the touch points. I don’t know what the study was, I think it was Harvard business and B2B, you can expect a dozen or so meaningful touch points along the buyers journey. Experience tells us it is true it’s very close to a double-digit number or meaningful touch points.

(27:24) Do you work with clients where they’re able to actually track their marketing campaigns and determine ROI?

Brian: 

(27:36) Yeah, I think tracking campaigns determining our lives and it’s very possible that it takes a little bit of magic and stitching things together, I think that’s possible.

(27:47) Where I think most organizations or many organizations that are sort of trying to get better at this, is understanding attribution and what levers along this touch point meaning if I had 12 touch points, which one contributed the most to that ultimate conversion or transaction.

I know that most are dealing with first touch attribution and last touch attribution and trying to figure out, well if they touched on 12 or all 12 were important and necessary. Or did this thing in the middle, was that where we really accelerated and you know what we were doing and really increased our conversion rate.

(28:23) So, yeah measuring our life with us a doubt, getting more intelligent about understanding the details and the mechanics across that entire engagement, that’s a challenge and more people are spending some of the time I gather.

Michael:         

(28:34) so Frank asked a really interesting question he says for a truly digital business you don’t need a CBO, and I’m assuming the reason for this is the digital mindset and the relationships and the organizational hierarchy, structure and processes are baked in already and he asked the question, name one purely digital business that has a CBO. So from this perspective, maybe Frank has a point that if you have to appoint a CBO, it means that at the root level you’re not a digital business and the CBO is a temporary or band aid solution to help move you there.

Mitch: 

(29:14) I wouldn’t call it a Band-Aid, but I can actually understand the perspective. I would call it a transformation agent or somebody who has helped to guide people. You can’t throw a chief digital officer on top of a purely analog or traditional marketing organisation without some parameters around it.

(29:31) But I actually can see that it is a way back to help organizations become more digital. So it’s not digital overhear one side and analog overhear on the other. It’s how do you start to merge all of those things together. I mean just look at the four of us on this talk right now. I mean five years ago we were I guess to most analog people and we’ve transformed ourselves, so work overtime and get more comfortable with the different channels – and by the way are we having a digital conversation or an analog one now?

Michael:         

(30:04) Let’s actually talk about channels for a moment because this is key aspect and we hear terms like Omni-channel and multichannel, and by the way when one vendor says I’m multichannel and another vendor says, I’m Omni-channel, I wonder whether but the tiniest sliver of their market actually knows what in the world they are talking about.

Mitch:

 (30:28) I want somebody to stand up and say they have sent a fax in the last six months and then also say they are Omni-channel.

Michael:         

(30:34) So okay, so let’s talk about channels, so somebody give us a very very brief summary of what do we mean by channels and then Omni-channel, multichannel and what is all of this heavy buzzwordness about.

Vala:   

(30:56) Or maybe in five years what’s the most popular form of communication or channel between a B2B or even a distinction of B2B, B2C. You know, will social be their number one form of communicating business.

Brian:

(31:11) I mean how many questions are you going to ask at once, holy cow.

Mitch:

(31:14) Well their omni-channel.

Michael:         

(31:34) Start with channels and then we can move to what’s going to happen in five years and the power of thought waves and you wouldn’t need these because of our thought waves.

Brian: 

(31:43) I think channels is modes or means of communication. So when we say channel it might be, Twitter, Facebook or email and I think everybody’s okay with that.

(31:53) Multichannel you know means that we are available to communicate across multiple channels. Omni-channel, I’m not a huge fan of the word and on some it’s really rubbed the wrong way. For me though there is a distinction in using it and I don’t use it quite often, but I think the difference is I may be available across multi channels and I may be available on social phones, fax and I may be available. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that those channel interactions are orchestrated together.

(32:24) Meaning I don’t necessarily know, you can reach out to me on Skype and you can call me on the phone, but I don’t necessarily know that that same identity and it would mean I’m on both channels. So I may have a multichannel offering, but they are not orchestrated together, they’re not communicating together.

(32:37) Omni-channel at least it implies that it is theoretically true and fair me a get a mental anger that says, I actually know that when Michael reaches out to me over the phone or had an email via Twitter I’m communicating in context, meaning I can have one communication on one channel and pick it up on the other channel. And you know, in the sense of a big organisation that’s operationalized, so that would be a true Omni-channel environment. Though I think the word from Michael’s point, it’s not helpful in most situations, so I don’t use it. But I think there is a distinction at least for me in understanding the difference and striving for something better.

Michael:         

(33:17) So in plain English then what exactly is it.

Mitch: 

(33:24) So al translate for Brian. Actually I think he did a good job frankly.

Michael:         

(33:29) He did a great job now you translate.

Mitch: 

(33:31) The translation is a channel is a line of communication, and where you can talk voice, SMS, email, Facebook there’s different lines of communication.

(33:44) Omni-channel or multichannel says that you are making yourself available to communicate with your customers – firstly, the customer is on the other side of this channel right. But you are making yourself available to communicate and we are back to really communication is the fundamental issue here on anything anywhere, if where the customer wants to reach us, if we are B2B or B2C that they can reach us and speak to us, communicate with us in some way.

(34:12) Multichannel is the more typical and traditional which is why I think some people try to move to Omni, which is I’m going to run a multichannel marketing campaign that means I’m going to drive and send out emails and have landing pages and then and going to may be message people and am going to put some information on Facebook, and may be paying some things on Pinterest. And and going to try to put all of these on various places and channels, and to Brian’s point you need to quarterly those efforts and understand what you get coming back to figure out what was the last touch which is the best touch.

(34:52) I think Omni by the way is just too much. I saw an airline that will remain nameless for this conversation, talk about the customer experience as being totally focused to the point and time where they took off to the point in time where they landed, and they had their nice visual image of a flight attendant helping a passenger.

(35:12) Which I think is interesting because every complaint that we ever hear through our own network, or we see on Twitter has nothing to do with the flight experience. Or barely ever. It’s everything that happens before or the things that happened after.

Michael:         

(35:29) So what about the role of identity, one of you I think Brian or it was you, brought up the role of identity and the crucial aspect that identity plays in all of this. So that is kind of identity which in a way is another form of data and it is the unsung hero. So does somebody may be want to touch on that aspect.

Brian: 

(35:51) So

Michael:         

(35:53) Why the weary groan this is a happy place.

Brian: 

(36:00) I think identity actually is one of the most important things over the next decade and I said that a couple of years ago and here’s why, because in order for us and marketers as organizations to do something relevant and in context which we’re all agreed and the market would agree that’s the most important thing right now.

(36:17) We have to understand who it is that we’re talking to, and doing that the scale requires the identities are aggregated over multiple channels and the channels to me will just explode. So how do I actually know that Vala is the same guy that’s browsing my website, calling in to my call center, sending an email and you know presence chat is really hard to do that together.

(36:43) Some have taken a stab at that, but even when you solve the technological challenges around it , now enters the privacy conversation and is it okay for me to opt Vala in because I’ve just been able to discover that and smart enough (unclear 36:58) to do that. Or if I need Vala’s explicit permission for each channel.

(37:04) So I think identity is a big piece of this and we’re still working it out, and I don’t know anybody that’s really cracked this code, although there’s progress being made across the mobile front.

Mitch: 

(37:15)I think I find it really interesting issue about what some people call VRM which is the inverse of CRM which is that I would like to control my identity. I would like the scenario, we’ll get to the five-year thing may be in a different context Vala. I would like a scenario that if ever I moved houses or moved location, and when I’m talking to my cable company, my phone company, and my electrical company, I have on my device exactly what I need and what I’m required to share, with each one of those organizations. And I press a button and it is exactly what you get.

(37:47)It’s exactly what the government says I have to share and that’s all you get. And your telephone company gets this, your cable company gets that and maybe in the future we don’t have cable, but you know I think you understand the point.

(37:57) I want to be in control of my own data and my own information and that comes back to Brian’s point about permission. What permission did I give for you to communicate across all of these channels, and I think the customers experience is important. This is what I was trying to get to earlier and I don’t think I said it very well.

(38:19) Customer experience is the reflection of your internal processes, and when I say CRM I mean sales processes, marketing processes, customer services processes, and you can’t force them on your customers. So when those are out of alignment is when you have friction, and the personalization and the who owns your data is part of that friction component. They need to be aligned.

Vala:   

(38:44) Is the true power when you combine identity and location. I mean I’m kind of please that there has been a couple of times where I have tweeted and foursquare checked in at a hotel, and I get to the desk and I’m automatically upgraded to the top.

Mitch: 

(39:07) I don’t have that kind of pull.

Vala:   

(39:11) Well is becoming somewhat of a frequent coincidence but I feel like, okay they’re listening and they know I’m here and they are trying to deliver a different type of service and experience.

Mitch:

(39:28) What do you think actually prompted them to do that. So I’ll take a stab at it and say, what they actually want is you check in to a certain brand and they said that and you are going to retweet, look what I got from this brand. So I’ll tikka selfish approach if I was a brand and say, they actually wanted something more than they were actually giving.

Vala:   

(39:51) They know they are going to get a Vine or Instagram video of the penthouse suite as soon as I check in, so word-of-mouth marketing is – and they get that and I don’t know if it’s just the natural processes and thanking them or it’s a humble brand or whatever it is, you know that’s what I’ve done the last two times.

Michael:         

(40:17) So what’s basically happening in that case there is a trade being made. They are upgrading you in exchange for which you are willing to offer promotion. So they are buying promotion from you.

Mitch:

(40:32) Brian, to your point how does that go into the permission, did Vala give them permission to know more about him.

Brian: 

(40:39) I believe he did implicitly.

Michael:         

(40:41) Implicit social contact or something.

Vala:   

(40:44) Well it’s like Weh Wang said primacies is indebted it’s just for sale. I mean if I know that I’m going to a hotel just checking in and saying I’m here and they might potentially upgrade me to their top suite, it’s worth sharing my identity and location – I mean that’s my choice, you know that’s my choice.

Brian: 

(41:07) And I think that’s at the very center of new business models, you are just to kind of go on a little segue here is I believe that privacy will continue to road because a lot of the technologists whether they come from it should dish and no digital technology business or others they are learning, is that if the utility of what they are offering exceeds the perceived value of that person’s privacy, they are willing to exchange it and Google has built their entire business on this very concept and we see others doing the same thing, Facebook and Whatup and all of this stuff.

(41:40) I am willing and most people are willing to exchange privacy for some level of utility and organizations should very very responsibly understand that and create models because data is very very valuable, for all of the reasons that we are talking about today.

Vala:   

(41:59) Wearables are going to expand that even more, get all Charlie Isaacs just said identity, location, especially micro location-based on services ‘beacons’ are driving real business. I mean you are going to walk into a store and you’ve got your Google glass or your IWatch or Apple watch and whether it is low energy Bluetooth and beacon technology that says you know, Michael’s here Brian’s here, this is what they bought last time when they were in the store. Why don’t we send them a digital rebate coupon to incent them while they are here?

Brian: 

(42:34) Over the last two weeks this is what they have been browsing when they’ve been hitting my website.

Vala:   

(42:40) That’s right, and we have a question…

Mitch:

(42:42) That’s the fine line between personalization and spooky!

Michael:

(42:48) So we have a question from Twitter and now we are getting towards the end, so and so these now quickly. Barry Dalton asks, so, how was that type of buying promotion different from traditional paid endorsement. Does it cloud authenticity?

Mitch:

(43:08) It privately clouds authenticity.

Michael:         

(43:11) What does that mean it privately clouds authenticity.

Brian:

(43:14) We’re going to talk about private clouds, okay.

Vala:   

(43:18) It helps the distribution, you knew that private cloud was going to come in.

Michael:         

(43:21) So I’ll take that as a yes, what’s cloud authenticity.

Mitch:

(43:24)To answer Barry’s question, you know since the beginning of time get people to talk about your stuff by offering value and then they exchange. Or highlight a kid that has the really good YouTube video and he makes money based on the ads on the number of times the YouTube video, is that – that is also another example, so I think Barry’s point is spot on, but it’s probably not going to go away.

Michael:

(43:18) Well the issue I think the issue is one disclosure and in traditional journalism, it’s very very clear or even blogging it’s very very clear. You mentioned somebody and they are your client or what have you and you are getting paid and you need to have disclosure. Or there is a financial relationship of any kind, you have to have a disclosure. But on twitter and all of these personal social channels, the norm have not yet caught up to what people are doing on the technology. So if I’m upgraded and I take a Vine video, strictly speaking at the end I should say, and sponsored by… But of course I’m not going to do that.

Vala:   

(44:36) I’ll think about that the next time I’m there.

Mitch: 

(44:40) Put a little hashtag, sponsored by Vala.

Vala:   

(44:44) This beautiful room, sponsored by my Tweet

Michael:         

(44:49) Before we go I just have to point out that Frank Scavo on Twitter has been pointing out, there’s been a little bit of a discussion on Twitter, Frank pointed out that Trader Joe’s has no online presence and just killed its iPhone app and so he says there, they are a single channel business and it demonstrates that being digital is not always a mandate, it’s not always a requirement in today’s world.

Brian: 

(45:18) I think it’s an awesome point and an awesome question, so Trader Joes and I think this is really important is that everybody races to digital. The reason why Trader Joe is so successful is because they have created an experience that people want quite frankly. Now we’ve got all the digital tools in in our toolkit, that doesn’t necessarily mean that in every case it will augment the experience.

(45:44) When I go to Trader Joe’s I know I’m going to get somebody that may even know my name, they are going to be friendly, they’re going to have great products, great prices so it solves the need that and trying to accomplish, and I don’t need digital for that.

(45:58) So I think it’s a great way of selling point is that digital and everything that we are doing, it expands the capabilities and it expands the optimum opportunity that we have to engage with our customers. But, if it’s not enhancing the experience it may not be worth the investment.

Mitch:

(46:18) Let me ask you a question, I mean to jump on Brian’s point there is Trader Joe really not digital at all. Have they taken themselves off Google maps, do they prevent you from checking in on foursquare. Do they stop any conversations on Facebook about them?

Michael:         

(46:33) Frank clarifies he says they have a website but they don’t sell online.

Mitch: 

(46:39) But I think Brian’s point is valuable and I think the inverse of multiple channels, I think there are many instances of companies that are providing – they push people towards the particular channels that their target markets are in and they provide a killer experience on that particular killer channel.

Michael:         

(47:01) On this point, you know each of you guys give us your last word on anything you want.

Vala:   

(47:15) How about the next big technology spend on marketing.

Mitch:

(47:22) I think that the next big spend is coming back to where we started, which is I think we are only at the tip of the Gaussian if you will and there are lots and lots of businesses that are really need to understand and gain the full value of the tools that are already here. There is just a lot of businesses that -  I think that is the next big spend. You know, people getting on board with CRM, marketing automation, customer communities there are so many businesses that don’t have it yet and then I think all of the rest of us figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Michael:         

(48:01) Brian, you’ve got the last word.

Brian: 

(48:12) Everything right now I think the next big spend is about predictive, it is moving into predictive. So having the machines get smart enough to learn on their own and to recommend both to marketers and to customers in for they should be doing next. Whether that is buy a product and we are in our early stages but I expect that over the next few years to make huge inroads and it’s a very very very complicated thing. But we are already seeing indications of that working in certain scenarios. So I think predictive – I’ve got my radar finally tuned to see how that is going to be leveraged by marketers.

Vala:   

(48:54) Marketing algorithms yes, I actually totally agree with you totally. The more advanced digital marketeers are absolutely looking to deeply study predictive analytics and all of this stuff that is coming from your CRM and marketing automation and communities.

Michael:         

(49:15) Okay, well you know, we have more comments and questions on Twitter but our time is up. And that’s it, you have been watching show number 81 of CXOTalk and we’ve been speaking with Brian Vellmure and Mitch Lieberman. I’m Michael Krigsman with my friendly co-host.

Vala:   

(49:38) Michael I’m exhausted, you can’t have two really really smart guys at the same time and not be exhausted.

Michael:         

(49:43) I know, and it’s not fair to us because we are used to 2 against one.

Vala:   

(49:51) Alot of science was dropped on both of of us today, so thank you very much. It’s going to be an interesting blog from next week.

Michael:         

(49:58) all right everybody, thank you for watching and thank you to Brian and Mitch and we’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Bye bye.