The Smarter Commerce Global Summit held annually in the U.S. did not disappoint. Having been to last year’s event, I found this year’s Summit in Nashville, with more than 3,000 attendees to be meatier, yet easier to digest. For midsize companies there was no shortage of ideas, examples, and tools to help any company improve marketing, sales, and procurement.
I created a collage of links to some of the most interesting posts and links here.
Six ideas I found to be most helpful for smaller and mid-market companies:
Multiple Ways to Learn
Nuggets from many sessions as well as from Tweets were recorded graphically by ImageThink. They did an excellent job, and you never know which executive or IBM’er in attendance picked up something new by seeing it graphically. Since many of us are visual learners, I find that this was a great addition to help us adults learn new things.
Delighting Your Customers
The event theme was Your Customer in Context, and all the keynotes as well as many of the sessions I attended reinforced the idea of relating to the customer on their terms, where they are, when they want your interaction. Host Jay Baer was a breath of fresh air – he studied the event ahead of time and always had thoughtful and helpful questions in addition to some fun and even funny comments at times. It is easy to take one’s self too seriously at an IBM event – I love the way Jay got the audience engaged and smiling.
A new addition to the event this year was a video short contest that the summit audience voted on via Twitter. The contest was done through MOFILM, a crowd sourcing site that brings together videographers and big brands. This contest for us to decide between three films that best represented “Your Customer in Context” was innovative. Each of the short films were well done. I was glad that my favorite, Cookies, was the winner. Maybe it was because I was quite the Girl Scout cookie salesgirl in my day – OR it was just that it best conveyed what we as marketers and sellers are working to do (perhaps both?) You can see the two other videos, Painting, and also The Proposal.
Big Data Integrated
Instead of keynotes all about how great the idea of Big Data will be, there was a treasure trove of stories on how data – big and small – is transforming and improving customer service, response times, interaction with customers and buyers, and improving bottom line revenues. I liked hearing about how Dannon – the yogurt folks, are using big data and predictive analytics to own the yogurt market.
Marketing Study Update
I’ll be posting more about the top findings of IBM’s annual Chief Marketing Officer survey. If you have not seen the survey results yet, take a look to hear about omni-channel shoppers and more.
It was fascinating to hear about the new procurement study benchmarking top Chief Procurement Officers. The study clearly shows that the top officers drive 22 percent higher profit margins. More on that in a follow up post. Press release here.
Resources for Learning
IBM is good about centralizing resources for more information. If you’d like to see all of the press releases and what was talked about at Smarter Commerce Nashville, go here. If this sounds like the event for you, it’s not too late to sign up and see what you missed – June 18-20 in Monaco!
What does “your customer in context” mean to you?
How can you improve your response times and responses in general with your customers to delight them and grow the relationship?
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012 and 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.