IT and the New Culture of Business Measurement

As organizations start to get a greater appreciation for all things related to customer experience management, a lot more emphasis is being placed on measurement. In fact, Jeff Seacrist, director of partner solutions at Webtrends, a provider of Web analytics software, says what we're really seeing is the emergence of a new culture of measurement, which accounts for why there is so much more emphasis on making sure that data from Web analytics tools can be fed into business intelligence and predictive analytics applications from vendors such as SAP.

Arguably, business has always been about measurement. But clearly business activity is now starting to be measured at a much more granular level as part of a broad-based effort to enhance the customer experience by exposing them to specific goods and services based on what the organization already knows about their interests. This involves measuring not only what's happening on a company's website, but also keeping track of what is said about the company both online and offline, while also making sure that interactions with customers are correlated across multiple channels, ranging from instant messaging to the call center and back again.


In fact, Seacrist says that one of the first things that many organizations discover when they first start engaging in sentiment analysis on social media sites is that they have a lot more fans on those sites than they do visitors to their websites, which suggests that there's lots of room for improvement in the website experience. In addition, organizations become a lot more conscious of the larger ecosystems because they can more easily see how events can wind up either creating new opportunities or adversely affecting sales.

Seacrist says all this activity is serving to give chief marketing officers and CIOs a stronger common cause that is generally a good thing for all concerned, especially as marketing organizations continue to morph into sales engines.

But for all the high ideals associated with customer experience management, the danger is that many companies will embrace the concept without doing the IT due diligence needed to succeed. In other words, for all the high-minded concepts emanating from marketing specialists about the critical importance of customer experience management, the battle itself is going to be won and lost in the IT department.


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