In thinking about the value of the information companies can obtain about their customers, their products and services, etc… from structured and unstructured data, who do you think should lead this effort in an organization? Each department – Marketing, Sales, Customer Service / Contact Center professionals can all do their part, but often are not high enough in the organization to drive widespread change that is required to get the results from digital disruption. I had a really great conversation with some of the best thinkers in the world at IBM who are working on Watson and it got me to thinking more about the issue of getting companies started down this path and who really should lead it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you think CEO’s or CFO’s or COO’s really understand the value that can be obtained by this data? Do they see the opportunity to use it to become a company that lives in an ecosystem where their are no other competitors, i.e., the competition is irrelevant?

Some of the best ways to take advantage of the digital disruption is to:

1. Change your business model to include using the structured and unstructured data to make better products and services and deliver better customer experiences and make a better workplace

2. Change how your functional departments work together using the structured and unstructured data so that the customer experience is not disconnected and actually becomes enjoyable and drives advocacy, loyalty and referrals — and long-term customer lifetime value

3. And in the end the data will change your business model and how your functional departments collaborate and your products and services will be get better from all this structured and unstructured data if it is turned into actionable insights so that you can create a blue ocean strategy where your company is in an uncontested marketplace where the competition is irrelevant.

But for that to happen, it has to be driven by folks who are not too low in the totem pole, but rather by those who have the positional power to really drive this digital disruption change.  And I believe, unless and until the CEO, CFO and COO change the metrics the functional departments get measured on, people will keep doing what they are doing.

Yes, there are some companies where marketing, sales and service work together; but those are the innovators and early adopters. The majority of the marketplace is the early majority and they are thinking about things the way they have always been thinking about things…

Who is going to be the instigators in this new digital disruption? Come join us at our Connected Enterprise Conference to hear how other leaders are dealing with the questions.

VP and Principle Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Drive Brilliant and Lastly Customer Experiences.