Do you remember the first time you saw a targeted ad based on your online behavior? I do — I was surprised, impressed and slightly concerned.  Now, these experiences are so common you may not even notice them. In today’s digital world, businesses use data every day to increase cross-sell opportunities, re-target customers, grow loyalty, boost profits and create a seamless customer experience (CX).

And some do it incredibly well. A few months ago, I was browsing online for comfortable shoes to wear at a conference. I heard about these great shoes and visited their site. Days later, I was retargeted with those same shoes and the retargeting didn’t stop. I finally broke down and added the shoes to the shopping cart. Since I had created an account, a few days later I received a personalized email (with my name in the subject line) letting me know the item was on sale and asking if I wanted to take another look.

The Secret to Highly Personalized CX? Data

Customers have grown to expect – and demand – these types of personalized experiences. The second edition of the Salesforce “State of the Connected Customer” report shows that buyers’ standards are higher than ever. Eighty percent of those responding to the survey said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. Taking it a step further, 57% stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience.

It’s clear that organizations of all sizes, including Cisco partners, are no longer just competing on product and price, but on providing superior CX. And the secret to successfully delivering a powerful and personalized experience – at scale – is data. The right data, used in the right way, can enable you to create highly meaningful interactions that resonate with your customers and enable you to build stronger and more profitable ties with them.

Extract Meaning from Data, Make It Relevant

Data is everywhere, but the key is to be able to extract meaning and make it relevant for each and every customer. At Cisco, data-driven models enable us to know where customers are in their Cisco journey, allowing us to anticipate their needs, ensure that they’re using our solutions successfully, and uncover actionable opportunities for partners.

The Cisco Lifecycle Advantage program provides the perfect example of our data strategy in action. Lifecycle Advantage gives partners a framework to engage customers using automated digital touch points at key milestones in their product or service lifecycle. Backed by customer data and analytics, it guides partners to promote adoption, simplify renewals, and upsell customers with higher value solutions – at the right time and with the right message.

If you haven’t tapped into the power of Lifecycle Advantage yet, I encourage you to do so. It can serve as your CX engine, giving you the ability to scale your customer interactions and ensure that the Cisco products and services you are selling are producing the business outcomes that your customers expect.

As the Salesforce study indicates, when CX is a priority everybody wins. But before you can win, I firmly believe you need a solid data strategy in place. There’s a lot more to talk about on this subject. To learn more about how you can turn data into something meaningful to increase your success and grow your business (and maybe walk in my new shoes), check out our most recent webinar, Solving for CX: Using Data to Personalize Experiences.


Monica Koedel

Sr. Director of Digital Experience