Human-computer integration and the foundations of an agile future

Let’s continue our 3-part exploration of the next generation of consumers and the makings of our agile future. We are years away from the Terminator-style scenario where cyborgs, or human-machine hybrids, are roaming the earth. But that doesn’t mean that we’re that far away from the majority of humanity relying heavily on machines to do more than display information and serve as always-on search engines for us.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
True augmented reality and the foundations of an agile future

You are probably at least moderately familiar with the term “augmented reality”. While some give the industry a hard time for being overhyped, research firm IDC predicts a steady growth in investments, with $17.8 billion in 2018 (up from $9.1 billion in 2017), with that type of growth to continue at least over the next four years. Many augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies available include headsets, tablet or phone apps, or in some cases other devices that display information on top of (or in the case of virtual reality, instead of) the real world.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Forbes: Getting Started with Next-Best-Action Marketing

Organizations are increasingly thinking more holistically about how to guide consumers through the buyer’s journey in order to maximize results. A combination of marketers, experience teams, technology teams and others have been gravitating toward optimizing their entire customer experience in order to attract and retain the most valuable customers.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Democracy of information and the foundations of an agile future

The agile future requires three fundamental principles to flourish. Let’s explore each in more depth, as well as their impact on the agile consumer.

Brands that truly understand their place in their customers’ lives (and what they can help them solve) will thrive in a world where consumers’ needs and intents are made clearer and more transparent. Understanding this and capitalizing on it will set many brands apart from their competition.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
The agile consumer is an empowered consumer

In my earlier book, The Agile Brand, I talked about how brands can create deeper connections with consumers by “letting go” of some control of their brands and involving their customers to help shape some of their decisions, products, and even how they position themselves, while staying true to their values. These deeper connections come from understanding that modern consumers have derived value from experience, not the sheer act of consumption. 

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
The Advent of the Agile Consumer

We can all agree that companies and their marketing have evolved, including an evolution from a more sequential “waterfall” process into a more agile one. Now let’s explore some of the developments that have transformed the customer experience and consumer behavior.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
The Agile Consumer

We’re living in an era in which consumers have agency and control that they never had before. We’ll explore several facets of this, but this evolution of the brand-consumer relationship is built on the idea that people want to play an active part in the solutions they choose to solve their own challenges. And technology is allowing brands to individualize solutions to consumers’ problems.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
The Marketing Journal: The Agile Brand

The agile approach can be applied to many things other than software development, including marketing, branding, and even strategy. In this article we examine the agile brand – what it means and how it functions, along with the transformative effect agile marketing has on the practice of finding and keeping customers.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Forbes: The Intersection Of Customer Experience And Employee Experience

Successful companies have always understood that happy customers buy more and that they buy more often. They also understand the happy employees stay longer (which costs a company less money over time) and contribute to happier customers. This means that customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) have a lot to do with one another. Let’s explore three ways that customer experience and employee experience intersect and can work together.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Forbes: Using Customer Journey Orchestration And AI To Optimize Customer Experience

A stellar customer experience can require a lot of pieces to be in place that span the internal-facing and external-facing parts of your organization. Customer journey orchestration allows marketers to integrate different marketing technology systems and platforms together. For instance, you can tie together your social media advertising, your website, your email marketing and your customer relationship management system  or customer database. This means you can share information between them that helps each platform take the best actions based on the specific customer or their last actions.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Digital delight and the art of customer experience

While we live in an increasingly digital world, to truly measure CX, we have to be able to measure both online and offline interactions. While we may use digital tools to do so, we can’t ever forget that customer experience is wherever the customer is, and whatever interaction they may be having. This would be an in-store conversation, a phone call to customer services, or, yes, a website or social media interaction.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Forbes: Consumer-Centric Measurement Of Your Customer Experience

Measuring your customer experience takes careful planning, a solid infrastructure, and clearly articulated metrics for success. These metrics are often created by looking at what the business needs, not at how the customer perceives success. We can sometimes get so focused on achieving our business key performance indicators (KPIs) that we lose sight of the central part of CX in the first place: the customer.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom
Forbes: Preparing Your Organization For Customer Experience Optimization

While your organization's leadership may all be in agreement that investing in customer experience is important, they may not always understand the far-reaching implications of an optimization effort. After all, unlike other more siloed efforts such as marketing campaigns or IT infrastructure enhancements, customer experience touches nearly everyone in your organization.

Read More
Greg Kihlstrom