MarTech Interview with Bibhakar Pandey, Vice President, Digital Customer Experience at Capgemini North America

“As we continue to grow within an experience economy, the “phygital” (physical + digital) customer experience is going to evolve and become much more mature,’’ shares Bibhakar Pandey, Vice President, Digital Customer Experience at Capgemini North America while sharing a few thoughts on the future of the digital CX and what marketers need to keep in mind:


Welcome to this MarTech chat Bibhakar, tell us more about your role at Capgemini and your journey through the years.

I am a Vice President and Leader of Digital Customer Experience at Capgemini North America. Through multiple years of client engagements, I have built and led strong digital businesses in the customer experience domain specially focused on omnichannel marketing and content, sales, service, and commerce. It’s also a privilege to coach and mentor to help leave a positive impact in the industry.

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How are you seeing the customer experience game being redefined in today’s market?

The pandemic has clearly disrupted the traditional business models for companies across industries. Though the market is evolving every day, I would summarize the changes in four broad areas:

1. Customers:

The pandemic has accelerated a long-awaited paradigm shift in how businesses interact with their customers and vice versa.

2. Engagement:

Digital channels are now overtaking traditional B&M channels in generating sales. Though brick mortar channels will never be obsolete, they are going to look very different post-pandemic.

3. Marketing:

As more and more businesses become digital, the focus on digital marketing for engagement is becoming core to the success of all offerings.

4. Content:

There’s more focus on driving intelligent, relevant and personalized content to consumers across the B2B, B2C and B2B2C space. Combining multi-source data with customer profile and engagement channels for real-time decisioning holds the key for the enterprises to provide a dynamic and personalized experience.

In essence, what was before a “nice to have” experience or an evolving experience is becoming more and more the norm in our post-pandemic world. The companies that have invested proactively in re-imagining their customer experience in the pandemic are going to scale new heights.

What are some biggest challenges that you see CMO’s struggling with today when it comes to building out a seamless online customer experience and customer journey?

There are multiple challenges that today’s organizations face in terms of providing a seamless customer experience. With increased traffic on digital channels, it’s becoming more and more challenging for businesses to understand who their customers are so that they can provide a more personalized experience. Also, there’s significant fragmentation of customer data and journey orchestration due to the siloed business engagement across marketing, sales and service organizations; organizations need to provide a continued business engagement and unified experience across the channels.

In addition, there’s this expansion of new and niche customer experience (CX) platforms and technologies that are evolving every day. For organizations, it’s a big challenge to keep pace with the changing dynamics in the selection and implementation of these technologies along with building and maintaining an ever-evolving talent pool.

What are some top marketing technologies that you feel marketers today need to implement to help boost their end-to-end customer experience?

Before implementing any new marketing technologies, it’s important to really understand the clear and measurable business outcomes and metrics that the organization is driving to enable CX transformation. Also, it’s equally important to understand the current investments – let it be infrastructure, platforms, or technologies. Then, make sure to tie any investments to the future ROI based on the defined business outcomes. I think it’s more important to first make your current architecture nimble enough to scale for future CX transformation. A lot of larger, well-known technology providers are investing in data led personalized CX features, which will continue to evolve over time.

How can marketers build a data backed and enriched process to support better customer experiences?

At a time when conditions can change from hour to hour, the traditional mode of collecting user data and acting on it can be far too long to deliver a useful perspective. Companies should look to quick and novel ways to keep a pulse on consumer sentiment and drive real-time decisioning through that process. With the change in expectations, there’s a lot of investment being made in technologies such as Customer Data Platforms (CDP). In simpler terms, CDPs leverage multi-source data to generate user profiles and create useful information which enables businesses to drive real time next best actions around personalized business experience. Organizations have started to understand the true potential of such technologies in the CX transformation space and have started to adopt across their customer engagement lifecycle.

A few predictions that you have for the future of MarTech and the future of CX?

It’s difficult to predict where the CX transformation journey will take us in the next few years. However, as we continue to grow within an experience economy, the “phygital” (physical + digital) customer experience is going to evolve and become much more mature. As the exponential growth of customer engagement across digital channels continues, data-driven personalization will likely become the default norm for organizations. Like all maturing technologies, one thing that’s long due in the MarTech space is consolidation, ease of usage, and more self-service capabilities. For marketing and more importantly MarTech, the core premise of Customer Data Platforms for real-time decisioning will continue to evolve and mature in the next couple of years.

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Some takeaways for marketing leaders and CMOs/CEOs in 2021: top factors they should keep in mind?

1. Adopt Agile Innovation:

Organizations need to continue to reimagine their CX transformation journeys leveraging disruptive technologies. As we navigate this pandemic, it’s important for organizations to stay nimble on the CX strategy side while continuing to invest in automating processes that leverage AI/ML technologies.

2. Focus on speed:

Experimentation, test and learn, optimize, and then scale is a strong path forward for many companies. This is because the rapid changes in both the technologies and business environment are happening so fast it is imperative to stay ahead of the curve.

3. Investing in Talent of the Future:

Given the current unpredictability around the global economic crisis, it’s an easy decision to focus on the current initiatives and talent optimization, but companies that invest in talent and technologies for the future will scale much faster.

4. Celebrate Success and Scale Together:

Don’t boil the ocean; focus on small implementations within a defined metrics framework. Measure the success (or failures) constantly. And yes, it’s important to celebrate and help scale together as a team.

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology and engineering services.

Bibhakar Pandey is the Vice President, Digital Customer Experience at Capgemini North America.

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