Seth Ulinski, Senior Analyst, Technology Business Research, joins SAPinsider Studio at the SAPinsider SCM-CRM 2016 event to discuss customer-centricity, the evolving demands of customers, and re-thinking business strategy to put the customer first.
This is a transcript of the discussion:
Natalie Miller, SAPinsider: This is Natalie Miller of SAPinsider and we’re here at the SCM CRM and IoT event in Las Vegas. I’m joined today by Seth Ulinski who is Senior Analyst at Technology Business Research. Hi Seth, how are you?
Seth Ulinski, Technology Business Research: I'm great. How are you, Natalie?
Natalie: Thanks for being here today.
Seth: Thank you, it’s a pleasure.
Natalie: I was hoping we could start by you telling us a little bit about yourself and your role.
Seth: Sure. In my role, I provide business analysis of key technology vendors in the marketing, tech, and ad tech landscape. I also look at agencies that enable clients on those platforms. So it’s really interesting to see how technology, data, and services are coming together to help clients with this digital transformation which is a huge initiative.
Natalie: That’s obviously one of the big themes at the conference here today. Can you talk a little more about that and how that’s changing the game for your clients?
Seth: Sure, I think in the past from a marketing standpoint which is kind of where I focus, it was a lot about messaging and it would be one way, shout as loud as you can, if you’re a marketer, and do it across as many channels as possible. Now it’s really more of a customer-centric landscape where we’re talking about customer centricity today and it’s not so much about how loud you can shout, but can you actually listen. So having a two-way dialogue, a true dialogue, between brands and consumers. And in order for that to happen, you really have to have timely, contextually relevant messaging for consumers and understand where they are in their buying cycle – whether they are a repeat customer or potentially a new customer.
Natalie: What are some of the implications in businesses today in terms of the change of customer needs and expectations?
Seth: So definitely the customer is demanding more of brands and again that goes back to the brand’s ability to listen and be able to provide timely, relevant messaging and offers, and then if there is a challenge or an issue with a product or service, to address it very timely. If you’re not able to do that, then you’re really at risk for being replaced. If you’re a vendor in the technology space, for example, it’s hyper competitive, highly fragmented – there are about 1,500 vendors in the marketing tech landscape alone so if you’re not ready, willing, and able to answer the need of one of your clients, somebody else will.
Natalie: What are some of the biggest challenges and concerns you’re hearing from the businesses you speak to?
Seth: As I mentioned, it’s a fragmented vendor landscape, so it’s really tough to build your ideal stack. That’s where a lot of IT services and agencies come into play – whether it’s an Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, or Razorfish, Ovigele, etc., really helping clients kind of navigate the vendor ecosystem to put together not just the best tech stack but the strategy that powers the stack.
Natalie: What’s the biggest advice you can give to some of our listeners who are evaluating how their business communicates with customers and translating that into a business strategy?
Seth: Great question – I would say agility is key and always be testing. So what you thought was yesterday and for the past five years, things are just changing and evolving so quickly due to technology, due to the new ways that consumers are engaging with brands, consuming media, cutting the cord, for example, going over the top, video on demand, these sorts of things are really changing how marketers are able to engage with consumers.
Natalie: Alright, Seth. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you giving us these insights.
Seth: My pleasure, thank you.