TechBytes with Scott Miller, CEO, Vision Critical

Scott Miller

Scott Miller
CEO, Vision Critical

In our MarTech Predictions Series 2018, six out of ten CMOs feel that behavioral data would be the most formidable data-set behind the marketing campaigns. To understand how omnichannel engagements at a behavioral level influence customer experience, we spoke to Scott Miller, CEO at Vision Critical.

MTS: What purpose does the ENGAGE handbook serve for research marketers and analysts?
Scott Miller:
Participation in market research activities is declining and we believe that is the greatest single problem facing the industry. At Vision Critical, we have customers that report participation in traditional research to be as low as 1%; on average, most experts admit it is less than 10%. Companies cannot be customer-centric when most of their customers will not share their opinions with them. Further, in 2016, GRBN found that as many as 7 in 10 research participants reported a poor experience, which not only challenges the accuracy of the results but also negatively affects their opinion of a brand. The industry is failing to transform insight-gathering activities into personalized, valuable experiences that actually improve customer relationships. ENGAGE is a practical collection of best practices to help researchers address this issue.

MTS: How does engagement at a behavioral level influence customer experience?
Scott: Behavioral data, which is now widely available compared to what used to be, is based on actions and shows companies what is working: what is actually closing sales, who is buying, how much they’re spending, etc. Taken in aggregate, behavioral data can be very helpful in spotlighting the effective and ineffective points in a customer journey to help improve the overall customer experience. As far as influencing the customer experience, we have an increasing number of customers who report that a positive experience in exchanging information with their customers (asking and sharing) leads to an increase in important corporate KPIs around engagement and even financial ROI.

MTS: Are marketers ready to connect with customers based on behavioral data alone?
Scott: Many of our customers have proven that the addition of the right attitudinal data increases the accuracy of predictive models. Behavioral data is 100% historical. Attitudes and opinions can be more forward-looking. The combination of the two types of data also helps researchers and marketers interpret both what happened and why. With so much competition across industries today, and with the technology and capabilities available to us, there’s no excuse for not fully understanding your customers’ wants and needs. Customers expect us to do better.

MTS: What is the foundational tenet of building ‘Insight Communities’?
Scott: The foundational tenet of insight communities is that building stronger relationships with customers yields better insight and better financial performance. In today’s marketing landscape, it’s not enough for companies to be customer-centric; they must be customer-led. This requires an ongoing dialogue between brands and customers to truly understand their wants and needs and to build genuine and trustworthy relationships. Insight communities powered by Vision Critical help brands seek insight from their customers on a consistent basis and share back privileged intelligence that customers value. This brings them back to the branded experience more frequently and helps them feel more appreciated, respected, and valued. Not only does this model create a more thoughtful exchange of information, the accuracy of results can be validated and improved over time.

MTS: At Vision Critical, how do you help companies create a very industry-specific customer experience?
Scott: At Vision Critical, we don’t believe it’s enough to only help companies create an industry-specific customer experience. The companies we work with want to create market-leading customer experiences that transcend industries and are highly tailored to their own customers, not just an “average” persona. By building insight communities of their own customers that they engage with on an ongoing basis, companies are better equipped to closely align customer experience goals with what their customers actually want from them, driving higher loyalty and higher customer lifetime value.

MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Scott.
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