GBTA Aftermath: Is it just more Chaos and Conflict or are we really ready for Customer Obsession?

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Like you, I get literally hundreds of emails a day.  I spend about half a second on most of them, with my finger hovering over the delete key.  Today, this one made me stop and it was this “teaser” story for a new Forrester report by Josh Bernoff that caught my eye, as his report says just what I’ve been thinking in the “afterglow” of GBTA 2011.

At the Conference this week in Denver, I was asked if I was on the airline or GDS side of the Direct Connect argument.  While I clearly appear sympathetic to the existing distribution ecosystem, it is not really about the technology or even the business models.  It is about the customer.  The end user.  The buyer.  The TMC servicing the corporations.

We are right, smack dab in the middle of “marketplace disruption”

Here is the teaser for purchase of the $499 Forrester report.  While you are welcome to purchase the report, that is not the point of this blog.  Just think about these points as you think about the chaos and conflict that was portrayed this week at GBTA

Empowered Customers Instigate Disruption To All Business Models

Josh’s report, “Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer,” calls on executives to be ready for the disruptions that are coming to their industry, if they haven’t already arrived. As the expectations increase for products and services to cost less and do more, marketing leaders will need to stay ahead of customer sentiment and the technology-fueled ability to make those opinions heard.

To become customer obsessed, the marketing organization needs to shift its budget toward real-time customer intelligence; cross-channel customer experience and customer service excellence; customer-aware sales channels; and customer-relevant content and interactive marketing. This money will come from the operational and less-scalable call center and focus group efforts that often define a customer-centric culture, as competitors tap into these new sources of knowledge and differentiation. 


The bottom line: 

Only Customer-Obsessed Companies Can Survive Disruption

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