Last week in Mexico City was a pretty typical week for me in a lot of ways: customer site visits, press interviews and an executive breakfast. Even the topics that customers wanted to discuss in Mexico were similar to what we’ve been discussing in other locations: primarily social media, customer intelligence and applying analytics to your business.
It’s the same old, same old – but it’s not getting old.
The reason these conversations are still interesting is that business leaders still want to learn. And they’re willing to learn across industries. They’ve completely bought into the idea that business analytics can work in their organizations. Now they’re interested in hearing what other customers are doing, and they’re thinking about how to apply those same lessons to their own businesses.
For example, I met with a very large bank in Mexico City. This is a huge corporation with dozens of product lines, and each division within the bank looks at customers differently. Now they’re trying to switch to a customer-centric model. This is challenging from both a cultural and a data management standpoint. Suddenly, you need to share data between product lines and work cooperatively with leaders in other divisions.
It can be difficult, but the bank knows they have to do it. It’s not something they’re pondering. It’s a mandate. They know the future of their industry is going to be based on who can create the best customer experience. To do that they have to understand customer profitability and price products appropriately.
Already, the bank is thinking creatively and looking at how other industries – like retailers and telcos – have integrated customer data to accomplish some of these same things.
Later this week I’m going to visit Disney offices in California, where I will have an opportunity to participate on a panel with Tom Davenport and thought leaders within Disney speaking on similar topics. It’s the same theme: everybody understands that the technology is available. Now, everybody wants to know how it’s being applied successfully.
Spending even an hour or two on stage with Tom talking about different uses of analytics usually sparks ideas and gets people thinking differently. (Do you read Tom’s blog posts? You might get the same effect there.)
Last week, Mexico City. This week, California. Different geographies, but the same old topics. It’s not the travel that makes my job interesting. It’s the sparks of ideas that we generate when we talk with customers about business analytics.