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Greg Kihlstrom

Principal at GK5A

Washington DC, United States

Greg is a best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur, currently an advisor and consultant to top companies on customer experience, employee experience, and digital transformation initiatives as Principal and Chief Strategist at GK5A. He is also the host of The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. He is a two-time CEO and Co-Founder, growing both companies organically and through acquisitions, and ultimately leading both to be acquired (one in 2017, and the other in 2021). As a strategist, digital transformation, and customer experience advisor, he has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including Adidas, Choice Hotels, Coca-Cola, Dell, FedEx, HP, Marriott, MTV, Starbucks, Toyota, and VMware.

He is a member of the School of Marketing Faculty at the Association of National Advertisers, currently serves on the University of Richmond’s Customer Experience Advisory Board, was the founding Chair of the American Advertising Federation’s National Innovation Committee, and served on the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Mentorship Advisory Board. Greg is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified, is an Agile Certified Coach (ICP-ACC) and holds a certification in Business Agility (ICP-BAF).

Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience (2022), Greg’s eighth and latest book provides guidance on how to create a customer-centric culture that prioritizes customer needs while aligning internal teams around a common goal. His previous book, The Agile Workforce (2021) explores the current and future state of the workforce and envisions a world where individuals thrive in a new world of work opportunities enabled by technology, decentralization, and a shift in the power dynamics between employers and employees. Greg’s book, The Center of Experience (2020) talks about how customer and employee experience can be operationalized into a cohesive brand experience. The Agile Brand (2018), follows the evolution of branding from its beginnings to the authentic relationship with brands that modern consumers want, and gives practical examples of what you can do to create a more modern, agile brand while staying true to your core values. His podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström, launched in early 2019 and discusses brand strategy, marketing, and customer experience with some of the world’s leading experts and leaders.

Greg is a regular contributing writer to Forbes and CMSWire, and has been featured in publications such as Advertising Age, SmartCEO, Website Magazine, and The Washington Post. Greg was named one of ICMI’s Top 25 CX Thought Leaders of 2022, and a DC Inno 2018 50 on Fire winner as a DC trendsetter in Marketing. He’s participated as a keynote speaker and panelist at industry events around the world including Internet Week New York, Internet Summit, EventTech, SMX Social Media, Social Media Week, Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, ABA Bank Marketing Summit, and VMworld. He has guest lectured at several schools including VCU Brandcenter, Georgetown University, Duke University, American University, University of Maryland, Howard University, and Virginia Tech.

Available For: Advising, Authoring, Consulting, Influencing, Speaking
Travels From: Washington, DC
Speaking Topics: Customer Experience, Marketing Technology, Digital Transformation

Speaking Fee $10,000

Personal Speaking Website: www.gregkihlstrom.com
Greg Kihlstrom Points
Academic 5
Author 818
Influencer 69
Speaker 127
Entrepreneur 230
Total 1249

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Featured Videos

Return on Experience
August 05, 2022
The Agile Brand
August 05, 2022

Featured Topics

Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience

Customer experience has become the primary method of competitive differentiation between most brands today. While most companies claim that customers and their needs drive decisions and priority within their organizations, when it comes time to prioritize customer needs, it can often be more difficult and less clear exactly how and what to do. There are several reasons for this, and these reasons form the foundation of Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience. The talk provides guidance on how to create a customer-centric culture that prioritizes customer needs while aligning internal teams around a common goal.

First Party Marketing: Staying Agile in an Experience-First, Privacy-Conscious, Customer-Centric World

Customers expect personalized experiences from brands, yet are increasingly concerned about how their data is being used. As consumer preferences shift, and data regulations increase, brands are caught in the middle. The solution to these challenges is to create a first party data strategy that enables the type of personalization that customers want, yet protects customer data in a way that anticipates future trends.

Agile Digital Transformation

Great customer experience (CX) is more than something that is nice to have. It is now one of the chief points of competitive advantage for many brands across a growing number of industries. One of the biggest roadblocks to providing a more seamless experience to customers is the need to digital transformation within the organization. Whether the transformation helps the direct interactions customers have with your brand, the operational aspects behind the scenes, the measurement of CX, or all of the above, it sometimes takes large-scale organizational change to enable a better customer experience.

Digital transformation enables benefits beyond CX, including smoother operations, a better employee experience, as well as a more streamlined method to collect, analyze and improve organizational KPIs. All of these combined with a customer-centric mindset, and an agile approach to implementation and improvement can help companies succeed in their digital transformation efforts.

Company Information

Company Type: Service Provider
Theatre: North America

Areas of Expertise

Agile 34.48
Business Strategy 33.62
Change Management 35.55
Customer Experience 83.35
Digital Disruption
Digital Transformation 38.64
Emerging Technology 38.56
Innovation 30.26
Marketing 84.80
Analytics 35.45
Future of Work 35.66
HR 30.88
Startups 39.77
Leadership 33.22
Project Management 33.99
Customer Loyalty 31.77
Entrepreneurship 31.31
Sustainability 31.02
Management 30.46
AI 30.06
Culture 30.14
Retail 30.79
Privacy 30.26
Smart Cities 32.08

Industry Experience

Automotive
Consumer Products
Federal & Public Sector
Financial Services & Banking
Healthcare
High Tech & Electronics
Hospitality
Insurance
Professional Services
Retail

Exclusive Content    Join Greg Kihlstrom's VIP Club

1 Article/Blog
The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 1
Thinkers360
August 06, 2022
The first part in a 7-part series on customer experience measurement, based on ideas and insights from Greg Kihlström’s recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

Publications

4 Advisory Board Memberships
University of Richmond CX Advisory Board
University of Richmond
January 01, 2020
Greg Kihlström is a member of the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies CX Advisory Board.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty, Marketing

Founding Chair, National Innovation Committee, American Advertising Federation
American Advertising Federation
June 01, 2018
Greg was Founding Chair of the AAF's National Innovation Committee, bringing together advertisers, agencies, and martech platforms to talk about opportunities and challenges in the industry.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Industry Mentoring Board Member
Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business
April 03, 2017
Greg was a member of the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Industry Mentoring Board, consisting of industry experts that advised on both curriculum as well as other issues related to the Marketing Program at Virginia Tech

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership, Marketing

Trust for the National Mall National Advisory Council
Trust for the National Mall
January 04, 2010
Was a member of the marketing committee for the Trust for the National Mall's National Advisory Council. The Trust for the National Mall is a partner of The National Park Service.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership, Marketing

52 Article/Blogs
Preparing people for Customer Journey Orchestration: Getting started on CJO
MarTech
September 22, 2022
How to get ready to implement customer journey orchestration. First: think about the people involved.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Benefits Of Drawing And Illustrating Your Concepts
Forbes
September 19, 2022
I must confess that I write a lot: documents, articles and even books (I’m finishing up book number 10 as I write this article). While I’m thankful I’ve had a lot of readers over the years, I also know it’s hard to find time in the day to read long documents or other communications, particularly when days are spent in endless meetings—virtual or otherwise.

Yet, concepts and messages need to be communicated, and in order for projects and initiatives to proceed, there needs to be a good understanding of them. I would like to propose that you spend as much time drawing out your ideas in flow charts and other illustrations as you do describing them with prose and bullet points.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Marketing, Business Strategy

Don’t Give Up On Your Process Just Yet
Forbes
August 29, 2022
“Why do we keep following the process if it doesn’t work?”

You’ve probably heard something to the effect of this before or have even said it yourself. After all, what could be worse than following a set of rules that either isn’t logically consistent, doesn’t bring good results, is impossible to follow or all of the above?

As a consultant, I often work on aspects of marketing operations in the enterprise and am a rather process-oriented person myself. The first thing I often do when performing discovery on a new project or meeting a new client is to ask questions about the process of how things are done, how success is determined and other items related to how things are operationalized.

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Tags: Leadership, Agile, Project Management

Failing at Agile? You're Doing It Wrong
CMSWire
August 26, 2022
Agile not for you? Here are things to consider if adopting agile approaches isn’t working as well as it could.
I wasn’t always so strong in my beliefs that agile methods provide the blueprint for successful initiatives, but time and time again, I’ve seen how its adoption can make positive impacts on teams and their results.

In my previous article, I stated that agility is no longer optional in business. Now I’m going to take things a step further and say that a past negative experience or lack of understanding of agile is no longer an excuse to delay getting started.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Agile, Project Management

CAPITOL COMMUNICATOR: FOREVER UNIFIED: CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
The Agile Brand
August 24, 2022

With increasing expectations from both customers and employees, businesses are relying on experience as a differentiator for both audiences, and you’ve undoubtedly seen how experience is one of the primary points of competition among brands.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing, Agile

Forever Unified: Customer and Employee Experience
Capitol Communicator
August 22, 2022
With increasing expectations from both customers and employees, businesses are relying on experience as a differentiator for both audiences, and you’ve undoubtedly seen how experience is one of the primary points of competition among brands.

There are many good reasons for this focus on experience. Customers respond to brands that provide great experiences with greater loyalty, more purchases, and positive word of mouth.

Employees who are given a great experience reward their employees with greater productivity, more engagement with customers, all while staying employed longer, which reduces the cost of turnover.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership, Future of Work

Automation's Role in Customer-Centric Retail Operations
The Agile Brand Blog
August 08, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about automation, and how it is helping retailers stay customer-focused amidst a variety of challenges including supply chain disruptions and more.. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Doug LaBahn, CMO at Cin7.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Importance of an Initiative Prioritization Model — and Benefit for Customer Experience
CMSWire
August 08, 2022
Choosing what to do, and having reasonable certainty that it is the right thing to do, is increasingly important. How can a prioritization model help?

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing, Project Management

Getting Ready For Customer Journey Orchestration
Forbes
August 05, 2022
Let’s discuss how to prepare your people, processes and platforms for customer journey orchestration.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Improving CX with Conversational AI
The Agile Brand Blog
August 01, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about improving the customer experience with conversational AI. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Bob Summers, CEO of Goodcall.

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Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Marketing

Improving CX with Conversational AI, with Bob Summers, Goodcall — Greg Kihlström Customer…
Import from medium.com
July 31, 2022
Improving CX with Conversational AI, with Bob Summers, Goodcall — Greg Kihlström Customer ExperienceThe following was transcribed from a recent interview on The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast.Today we’re going to talk about improving the customer experience with conversational AI.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Agility Is No Longer Optional in Business
CMSWIRE
July 14, 2022
Agility is no longer an option, and agile marketing and CX organizations and businesses are best set up to weather whatever storms may be on the horizon.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing, Agile

Understanding When To Use Automation, Orchestration And Next Best Action
Forbes
July 12, 2022
Customers increasingly want personalized content and experiences from the brands they buy from, and the race to deliver the most tailored experience is on among a sea of competitors. The range of methods to provide this personalization spans from more basic event-triggered automation to a more sophisticated “next best action” approach utilizing AI and machine learning, with other methods in between.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

How To Take A Customer-First, Employee-Driven Approach To Business
Forbes
June 14, 2022
Business leaders today struggle with many competing priorities. The needs of customers who demand more personalized experiences must be balanced with the needs of employees who are demanding a better work experience.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

The Employee-Customer Experience Connection
Select Software Reviews Blog
May 30, 2022
Who is responsible for creating a great customer experience (CX)?

While your organization might have a dedicated CX team, the true answer to this question is that every employee has at least some connection to delivering value to the customer relationship, regardless of their job title, seniority level, or the department they work within.

Because of this, it is important that employees have the right tools, supportive processes, and work methods in place, as well as a proper understanding of their role in delivering customer value. This understanding helps employees become more motivated to help customers, and anticipate new potential challenges for customers.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership, Future of Work

Delivering A Seamless Omnichannel Customer Experience
Forbes
May 18, 2022
If delivering a robust, personalized omnichannel customer experience was easy, all of your peers would already be doing it. Instead, many enterprises and smaller organizations are delivering multichannel experiences at best, and many are still very siloed in their approaches.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Building a Case for Centralized Content Management
CMSWIRE
April 25, 2022
Providing personalized content across all of your customer-facing channels requires several components in order to do it well.
Providing personalized content across all of your customer-facing channels requires several components in order to do it well. You need the processes in place to ensure consistency. You need the resources in order to ensure you are able to create the variations needed to target different audience segments. And you need the platforms in order to support creation, management and measurement.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

How To Have Greater Success With Your Pilot Projects
Forbes
April 20, 2022
Initiatives that require large changes to people, processes and technology can be difficult to do well, but taking small steps can be a good way to get started for many reasons.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

How to Use Business Value to Prioritize Company, Customer Initiatives
CMSWIRE
April 18, 2022
We provide a framework that any organization can use in order to define “business value” that can be applied to the important work of prioritizing initiatives.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Importance Of Aligning People, Processes And Technology Amid Transformation Initiatives
Forbes
March 21, 2022
Transformation initiatives of many kinds are currently in progress across the business world, and they all have the intention to fix some or all of the challenges that currently plague the organization. In business, as in life, though, there is rarely a silver bullet that can fix a challenge all by itself. Instead, the solution is usually a combination of things working together. For instance, have you ever overheard someone saying something to the effect of, “Once we have [insert software product name] in place, everything will work better”? Or maybe, “Once we finish this project, things will go smoother”?

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 225: ITERATING TOWARDS GENIUS WITH MIKE ZELLER, AUTHOR OF THE GENIUS WITHIN
The Agile Brand
March 11, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about iterating towards genius, and how to take steps to determine what you can be truly great at doing. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Mike Zeller, author of The Genius Within, Your Natural Pathway to Impact, Fulfillment & Wealth, and recently named one of the top 8 most influential speakers to follow in 2022 by USA Today.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

The 3 Key Components of a First-Party Data Strategy
CMSWIRE
February 15, 2022
Customer expectations are rising as data privacy demands are growing more complex. A first-party data strategy can help you navigate between the two.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Using An Agile Approach For Marketing Success
Forbes
February 15, 2022
Marketers face increasing pressure to provide relevant offers to customers, and the competition only seems to increase as consumers have more options to choose from and seemingly endless ways to get what they are looking for.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing, Agile

Understanding the Key Components of a Customer Data Platform
CMSWIRE
February 03, 2022
Choosing the right CDP involves many factors. In some cases you may license a product labeled as CDP only to find you need to augment it.
You have undoubtedly heard about the important role a customer data platform (CDP) plays in creating customer-centric marketing, sales and customer service within your organization. With the continued move away from using third-party cookies and data, these platforms are helping organizations implement a first-party data approach. While the term CDP is used frequently, there are many different definitions and combinations of features that these platforms use.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Getting Maximum ROI From Your Personalization Efforts
Forbes
January 18, 2022
You’ve most likely read the statistics on consumers being more likely to spend money (and more of it) with brands that offer personalized content and experiences. While this in itself sounds compelling, creating high-performing personalized content is easier said than done.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Key Considerations For Implementing Customer Journey Orchestration
Forbes
December 22, 2021
A common goal for marketers is to ensure that the right customers get what they need in order to move toward a purchase. While every organization’s customer journey is unique and every individual’s journey is a little bit different, the role of orchestration in ensuring there’s a seamlessness in going from awareness to a sale (and beyond) can make or break the success of your marketing efforts.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

How The Great Resignation Is Affecting The Customer Experience
Forbes
November 15, 2021
You have most likely heard the term “The Great Resignation” to refer to the current workforce environment we find ourselves in. With record numbers of employees either quitting or considering quitting their jobs, and an equally record-breaking number of job openings that are going unfilled, this phenomenon is affecting the internal workings of a large percentage of organizations. Just as importantly, it is having an impact on end customers and the customer experience.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Your Company’s Biggest Investment In Customer Experience Is Your People
Forbes
October 12, 2021
Any leader knows that labor costs, including payroll and contractors, can be the largest expense a company has — as much (or sometimes more) as 70% of a company’s budget. Not only is this important from a purely financial perspective, but it is also important to remember from a customer experience (CX) one as well.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

How Cognitive Biases Can Create A Negative Customer Experience
Forbes
September 10, 2021
Cognitive biases are errors that affect an individual’s judgment based on unconscious factors like recency, preconceived notions and other factors. So what do they have to do with customer experience?

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

What Digital Transformation Is, And What It Is Not
Forbes
August 16, 2021
There is a lot of talk these days about digital transformation in business, and many organizations have projects underway. As is the case with many buzzword-worthy trends, there are valuable aspects businesses can benefit from when undertaking digital transformation, as well as misconceptions that can waste time and money.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Real-Time Insights Are The Future Of Customer Experience Measurement
Forbes
July 22, 2021
Competition for customers is increasingly focused on providing the best possible experience. In order to improve and sustain a great customer experience (CX), the quicker you can get insights from your audiences, the better.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Why You Need Real-Time Insights to Improve Customer Experience
CMSWire
July 14, 2021
Customer experience (CX) is a major point of competition and differentiation between brands these days, so it's no surprise the ability to measure and improve CX has become a bigger priority for organizations trying to pull ahead.

Surveys are a common way to measure CX and customer satisfaction, providing us with metrics such as net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT) and other, less common variants. Yet surveys and NPS aren’t always the best measures of certain aspects of CX, and definitely shouldn't be the only measures used.

The growth of real-time data collection and insight tools has made it possible to more robustly measure CX at multiple key points in the customer journey, instead of relying on a survey completed at the end of one experience. These real-time data collection tools capture quantifiable insights about when something happens, how long it took, what device it happened on and exactly when in the customer journey it took place. This article will explore some of the benefits of incorporating real-time insights into your customer experience measurement plan.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

When A Great Customer Experience Requires Digital Transformation To Succeed
Forbes
June 15, 2021
With so many brands in a race to compete on customer experience, it can often take a lot to pull ahead of the pack. For organizations that have a disconnected experience for consumers, or that are unable to clearly see critical data points in order to improve the customer journey, it is often necessary to make some broad changes. This digital transformation can require changes to operations, data and technology infrastructure, customer touchpoints and other aspects. Quite often, changes that happen within a digital transformation initiative can have a positive impact on the customer experience.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Why NPS Should Not Be Your Only Customer Experience Metric
Forbes
May 17, 2021
It can be challenging to meaningfully measure customer experience (CX) in any organization. Several metrics have been touted as good ways to see the effects of CX and its impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty and recommendations.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Focusing On The Most Meaningful Metrics
Forbes
April 22, 2021
If you play some type of management role or have read a fair amount of business writing, you’ve most likely run across W. Edwards Deming’s famous quote in one form or another: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This quote is actually not what Deming originally intended. The full quote is: “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it — a costly myth.” That is quite a difference if you ask me.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Embracing agile creativity, Part 3: how to use process to be more successful with creative projects
Import from medium.com
April 02, 2021
It would seem that process and creativity are at odds with one another. How, for instance, could a rigid set of rules help inspire great design, great experiences, or new approaches to challenges? In fact, the two can not only co-exist, but work together to create better results and enable teams to

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Embracing agile creativity, Part 2: how process can enable greater creativity — Greg Kihlström
Import from medium.com
April 01, 2021
Embracing agile creativity, Part 2: how process can enable greater creativityIt would seem that process and creativity are at odds with one another. How, for instance, could a rigid set of rules help inspire great design, great experiences, or new approaches to challenges? In fact, the two can not o

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Embracing agile creativity, Part 1 — Greg Kihlström
Import from medium.com
March 30, 2021
Embracing agile creativity, Part 1It would seem that process and creativity are at odds with one another. How, for instance, could a rigid set of rules help inspire great design, great experiences, or new approaches to challenges? In fact, the two can not only co-exist, but work together to create

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

How To Create A Great Remote Employee Experience
Forbes
March 23, 2021
Many workforce experts refer to a “hybrid workforce” as part of our future. This is made up of several types of workers, including independent consultants, full-time employees and it also incorporates both on-site and remote workers.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Upskilling Creates An Agile Workforce
Forbes
January 21, 2021
To meet the demands that the future of work will bring, we need to develop an agile workforce. This means that professionals will need to adapt and change with the growing and shifting needs of businesses that are being faced with continual pressure to increase profits. This needs to happen while also shifting to automation, more data-driven approaches and competitive pressure to innovate.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing, Agile

How Hybrid Teams Are Critical To Growth
Forbes
December 02, 2020
The workforce is in a continual shift as markets change, companies grow and refocus, and external factors shape how, when and even where we work. Because of these considerations, and countless others, companies need to be agile in their approach to the composition of their workforce. Hybrid workforces build on this idea, by creating teams that are a mixture of full-time, long-term employees and short-term contract and freelance workers.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

How Do You Measure Company Culture?
Import from medium.com
February 03, 2020
The battle for talent is in full swing, and companies are trying harder than ever to create environments that encourage greater productivity and higher retention. The differentiator in this competition is organizational culture.Even though some companies may make it seem easy or natural, creating an

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Company Culture and the Center of Experience
Import from medium.com
February 01, 2020
Culture also extends to external perceptions and customer behavior. For instance, 87% of customers’ positive sentiment about Starbucks has to do with the way they treat their employees[iii]. That’s pretty powerful, and a win-win if you ask me. Not only has the company committed to supporting the

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Introducing the Center of Experience
Import from medium.com
January 03, 2020
A blueprint for the customer and employee experience-led enterpriseWe find ourselves at an inflection point in the relationship between brands and their audiences, where customers and employees are demanding better and more valuable experiences.Companies must keep up with this demand in order to rem

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

15 Essential Business Book Recommendations for 2020 — Greg Kihlström
Import from medium.com
December 27, 2019
15 Essential Business Book Recommendations for 2020 — Greg KihlströmI’ve never done this before, but I will say I’ve had a record year for the number of books I’ve consumed. As my gift to you, I wanted to share the very best of what I read. I was tempted to expand this list a little mor

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Human-computer integration and the foundations of an agile future
Import from medium.com
October 12, 2019
This post is based on ideas from my latest book. To learn more or purchase the book, you can read more.Let’s continue our 3-part exploration of the next generation of consumers and the makings of our agile future.We are years away from the Terminator-style scenario where cyborgs, or human-machin

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

True augmented reality and the foundations of an agile future
Import from medium.com
October 01, 2019
This post is based on ideas from my latest book. To learn more or purchase the book, you can read more.Let’s continue our 3-part exploration of the next generation of consumers and the makings of our agile future.You are probably at least moderately familiar with the term “augmented reality”

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Democracy of information and the foundations of an agile future
Import from medium.com
September 20, 2019
This post is based on ideas from my latest book. To learn more or purchase the book, you can read more.Let’s let’s begin a 3-part exploration of the next generation of consumers and the makings of our agile future.The agile future requires three fundamental principles to flourish. Let’s expl

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The agile consumer is an empowered consumer
Import from medium.com
September 10, 2019
This post is based on ideas from my latest book. To learn more or purchase the book, you can read more.In my earlier book, The Agile Brand, I talked about how brands can create deeper connections with consumers by “letting go” of some control of their brands and involving their customers to hel

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Four Rules of Success with the Agile Consumer
Import from medium.com
August 26, 2019
This post is based on ideas from my latest book, The Agile Consumer. To learn more or purchase the book, you can read more on my website.As I was creating my latest book, The Agile Consumer, I’ve defined four rules that apply to the agile consumer. Understanding these will help you navigate and s

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Advent of the Agile Consumer
Import from medium.com
August 14, 2019
This post is based on ideas from my latest book, The Agile Consumer. To learn more or purchase the book, you can read more on my website.Continue reading on Medium »

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Commentary: Our brave new world of communication
The Washington Post
September 07, 2014
Op-ed for The Washington Post.

More than any other skill in business, none may be more fundamental than the ability to blend, grow and seamlessly transform with our changing times. As a communications professional in the D.C. area, I know firsthand the impact change can have on an industry and a business.

We have come a long way already — some of us have seen the advertising industry grow from print and broadcast to digital, social, mobile and beyond.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

2 Board Memberships
Board member, Workhouse Arts Foundation
Workhouse Arts Foundation
July 01, 2022
Greg is a Board member and Chair of the Marketing Special Committee for the Workhouse Arts Foundation, based in Lorton, VA

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

American Advertising Federation - DC Chapter
American Advertising Federation DC
January 01, 2014
Was President of the Board of Directors for AAF DC for two years.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership, Marketing

10 Books
The Agile Brand Guide to Customer Data Platforms: Evaluating, buying, and implementing a CDP for marketers
The Agile World
September 15, 2022
The current marketing technology landscape has thousands of platforms, with a continually growing set of feature sets, functionality, and potential. It is becoming increasingly difficult to determine how to approach marketing technology growth in the best and most relevant way.
Agile Brand Guides are created to help marketers evaluate, buy, and implement critical pieces of marketing technology infrastructure most effectively.
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are increasingly important in a marketing landscape where one-to-one personalization based on a customers behaviors and preference is key to achieving long-term customers. This, balanced with an increased need for data privacy and transparency over how customer data is used, make CDPs a critical part of a brand’s marketing technology infrastructure.
In this first Agile Brand Guide, Customer Data Platforms are explored and demystified. The Agile Brand Guide to Customer Data Platforms: Evaluating, Buying, and Implementing a CDP for Marketers by Greg Kihlström is now available in print as an ebook.
The book explores marketers’ need for a Customer Data Platform, as well as the roles a CDP should play, the different types on the market, as well as how to evaluate and implement a platform once you have selected it.
Drawing on Kihlström’s experience working with top organizations, and his ongoing conversations with leaders in the marketing technology industry as part of his award-winning podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström, this guide to CDPs provides insights, ideas, and guidance for marketers of all experience levels as they work to successfully implement Customer Data Platforms in their organizations.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Agile Brand Guide to Customer Data Platforms: Evaluating, buying, and implementing a CDP for marketers
The Agile World
August 20, 2022
The current marketing technology landscape has thousands of platforms, with a continually growing set of feature sets, functionality, and potential. It is becoming increasingly difficult to determine how to approach marketing technology growth in the best and most relevant way.
Agile Brand Guides are created to help marketers evaluate, buy, and implement critical pieces of marketing technology infrastructure most effectively.
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are increasingly important in a marketing landscape where one-to-one personalization based on a customers behaviors and preference is key to achieving long-term customers. This, balanced with an increased need for data privacy and transparency over how customer data is used, make CDPs a critical part of a brand’s marketing technology infrastructure.
In this first Agile Brand Guide, Customer Data Platforms are explored and demystified. The Agile Brand Guide to Customer Data Platforms: Evaluating, Buying, and Implementing a CDP for Marketers by Greg Kihlström is now available in print as an ebook.
The book explores marketers’ need for a Customer Data Platform, as well as the roles a CDP should play, the different types on the market, as well as how to evaluate and implement a platform once you have selected it.
Drawing on Kihlström’s experience working with top organizations, and his ongoing conversations with leaders in the marketing technology industry as part of his award-winning podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström, this guide to CDPs provides insights, ideas, and guidance for marketers of all experience levels as they work to successfully implement Customer Data Platforms in their organizations.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

The Agile Workforce: Automation, Decentralization, and Their Role in the Future Workforce
The Agile World
March 25, 2021
We live in an agile world. Incremental growth and continuous improvement have brought about change in just about every field imaginable. The workforce and work as we know it has been changing for a while, and it's about to undergo a major shift.

With continued globalization, an increase in the use of artificial intelligence to perform both routine and complex tasks, and the rise of outsourcing and contracting in new industries, the Agile Workforce is here.

The book discusses the future of work, and how humans and AI-driven machines will work together to create our future. It also describes the rise of the freelance economy, and how remote work, gig workers, and a global mindset will transform the traditional workplace into a hybrid model where the best of all worlds can be combined for the benefit of individuals and companies alike.

The Agile Workforce is the fourth book in Kihlström's Agile series, which started with 2016's The Agile Web, exploring how the agile methodology applied properly website design, can create dramatic improvements in their efforts. 2018's The Agile Brand explored how brands that embrace consumer feedback and create a "living" brand that evolves over time while staying true to its values. In 2019, Kihlström released The Agile Consumer, which gives practical examples of how agile thinking and approaches, as well as a shift in consumer behavior are changing the brand-consumer relationship with the opportunity for better outcomes for both.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Future of Work

Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience
The Agile World
January 11, 2021
Customer experience has become the primary method of competitive differentiation between most brands today. While most companies claim that customers and their needs drive decisions and priority within their organizations, when it comes time to prioritize customer needs, it can often be more difficult and less clear exactly how and what to do.

There are several reasons for this, and these reasons form the foundation of Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience. The book provides guidance on how to create a customer-centric culture that prioritizes customer needs while aligning internal teams around a common goal. It also provides a framework to create a system of meaningful measurement that can not only improve the customer experience by holistically looking at the customer journey, but provide a sustainable method for analysis and optimization with a more agile approach to continuous improvement. This provides internal teams with the metrics and justification they need to continue improving the customer experience, creates a collaborative, customer-centric culture aligned around common goals, and ultimately benefits the customers, who buy, buy more, buy more often, and tell others about their experiences.

Drawing on Kihlström's experience working with top organizations, as well as dozens of interviews with Fortune 1000 customer experience leaders for this book and his podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström, the secrets of planning, implementing, analyzing, and improving great customer experience in a sustainable way are demystified and made practical.

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Tags: Analytics, Change Management, Customer Experience

The Center of Experience: A blueprint for creating the experience-led enterprise
The Agile World
January 28, 2020
We find ourselves at an inflection point in the relationship between brands and their audiences, where customers and employees are demanding better and more valuable experiences. Companies must keep up with this demand in order to remain competitive. This includes competition for both customers as well as employees. More importantly, while many organizations have traditionally focused on external-facing initiatives first, it is the ones which start internally that have the greatest potential to provide long-term positive benefits.

"With honest expression and stimulating, provocative thinking, Greg comes from a place of passion and understanding of what it takes to achieve value. You'll be reading words from someone who has been there and done that. Who has a vision and a plan for the "how to" rather than just theory," says Diane Magers, CEO of Experience Catalysts.

The book provides a blueprint for organizations to implement a center of excellence incorporating brand experience, or the combination of customer and employee experience. Each property of experience is articulated and explained in detail, including brand, governance, culture, platform, measurement, and environment. The book also provides recommendations on how an organization can begin to implement a Center of Experience of their own, and how success is measured. The Center of Experience features a foreword from Diane Magers, Former Interim CEO for the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and Founder and CEO of Experience Catalysts, and pioneer in the discipline of experience.

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Tags: Change Management, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

The Agile Consumer: Navigating the Empowered Economy and the Future of Customer Experience
The Agile World
August 04, 2019
We are living in an agile world. What started with technologists and marketers has spread across entire organizations, and didn't stop there. Consumers are thinking agile as well. They are more willing to be part of product development and the process of building brands than ever before, due to a number of social, technological, and economic factors. Also, as employees, they are also more interested in sharing values with the companies they work for, and are looking for new types of management and work environments. All of this adds up to the makings of an Agile World led by newly-empowered consumers in an evolving economy.The book gives practical examples of how agile thinking and approaches, as well as a shift in consumer behavior, are changing the brand-consumer relationship with the opportunity for better outcomes for both. As brands become more sophisticated and consumers have an increasing amount of choices, the power dynamic in the brand-consumer relationship has shifted to giving consumers more control than ever before. While this is a shift from the early days of branding and marketing, it is one that provides new opportunities for consumers and positions brands as facilitators of an evolving creative economy. It provides examples of how companies like Procter & Gamble, ING, Google, Betabrand, LEGO, and others are shaping this new dynamic while achieving innovative and profitable outcomes.The book features a foreword from Lisa Nirell, Chief Energy Officer of EnergizeGrowth and author of EnergizeGrowth NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company and The Mindful Marketer: How to Stay Present and Profitable in a Data-Driven World.The Agile Consumer is the third book in Kihlström's Agile series, which started with 2016's The Agile Web, exploring how the agile methodology applied properly website design, can create dramatic improvements in their efforts. 2018's The Agile Brand explored how brands that embrace consumer feedback and create a "living" brand that evolves over time while staying true to their values.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Digital Delight: Planning, measuring, and optimizing great digital customer experiences
The Agile World
April 16, 2019
We are truly living in the age of customer experience. With the proliferation of tools that allow better and more holistic design of customer experience and consumer journeys, comes an increased ability to measure, analyze, and optimize. This new age of increased integration means that successful customer experience involves many teams and departments within an organization to become successful.

Marketing, Customer Service, Technology, Operations, and HR are now all on the front lines in an effort to provide the absolute best experience that draws new customers in, and keeps existing customers coming back.

Digital Delight uncovers the methods, approaches, and measurements needed in order to compete in a customer-centric world. The book gives practical examples of how to plan, build, measure, and optimize a successful customer experience platform, as well as how to prepare an organization for such an effort.

Digital Delight is Kihlström’s latest Ebook, following Ever Seeking: A History and Future of Search. These have been completed in addition to his Agile series of books, which started with 2016’s The Agile Web, exploring how the agile methodology applied properly website design, can create dramatic improvements in their efforts. 2018’s The Agile Brand explored how brands that embrace consumer feedback and create a “living” brand that evolves over time while staying true to its values.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Ever Seeking: The History and Future of Search
The Agile World
October 17, 2018
Starting from the origins of the classification of information, to early Web-based search engines, and finishing with predictions about the future, this book discusses search and its impact on marketers and society.

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Tags: Emerging Technology, Marketing, Startups

The Agile Brand: Creating Authentic Relationships Between Companies and Consumers
The Agile World
June 17, 2018
Brands have evolved over several centuries from simple tools for recognition to something much more nuanced and sophisticated in the modern age. Being an agile brand means taking part in a relationship with consumers. While this means giving up some control over your brand, it rewards you with loyal long-term customers. The Agile Brand follows the story of branding from its beginnings to the authentic relationship with brands that modern consumers want, and gives practical examples of what you can do to modernize your brand in meaningful ways.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Agile Web: A Challenge to Re-Examine the Methods and Processes Used to Plan, Enhance, and Optimize Websites
The Agile World
October 02, 2016
By tracing the history of software development back to its beginning, this book forces a re-examination of the website design, development and optimization approach that many organizations take for granted.

Building upon agile software development and agile marketing practices that are still evolving, author and agency founder Greg Kihlström walks the reader through new ways to look at the way we treat websites, and plan for their redesign and optimization. The life of a website becomes a marathon with incremental improvements over time, instead of a sprint that ends when a new website is created to replace the previous one.

Kihlström builds on his experience designing and marketing interactive experiences for top brands, and running an agency since the early 2000s and provides a unique vision for how marketers can create websites that continue to grow in sophistication and effectiveness over time without the need for a continual process of redesigns.

This book is aimed at the marketer who wants to create the most effective website possible, and is willing to take a fresh look at how they approach their organization’s online presence.

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Tags: Agile, Customer Experience, Marketing

1 Courseware
On Demand Course: Measuring and Improving the Customer Experience
Association of National Advertisers
October 13, 2021
Customer experience (CX) is quickly becoming a key competitive differentiator for brands, yet many marketers and CX practitioners do not have a clear understanding of how measurement (establishing the right KPIs, methods, and processes necessary to make meaningful improvements) can bridge the gap between ‘good’ CX and one that consistently drives sales, brand affinity, and lifetime value.

Enabling great experiences for customers supported by people, processes, and technology within an organization is a game-changer for those companies that succeed. The speed at which these practices are applied could mean the difference between steady growth and losing out to the competition. A critical step to success is the ability for an organization to understand what, where, when, and how to measure customer experience.

The framework outlined in this course was created to help marketers with the tools, methods, and processes needed to measure customer experience with the goal of continuous improvement. Led by an industry expert, best-selling author, and keynote speaker with 20+ years in the marketing and customer experience profession for Fortune 1000 companies, this workshop will walk you step-by-step through the processes and methods needed to successfully measure and optimize customer experience efforts.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

2 eBooks
Forever Unified: Customer and Employee Experience
Medallia
August 22, 2022
More engaged employees create more engaged customers, benefiting everyone, including the business. Leading companies understand customer and employee experience as a unified element, and benefit from a lift that occurs when both are done well and in coordination with one another.

Download our latest guide and learn how to achieve growth in ways that other companies can’t replicate by connecting employee and customer experiences.

What’s inside:

How a unified view of customer and employee experience contributes to revenue growth
Tips for continually gathering and measuring feedback
Best practices for ongoing experience improvements
How to turn experience measurements into action

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Tags: Business Strategy, Customer Experience, Future of Work

Ektron to Drupal Website Migrations: A Guide
Acquia
August 03, 2016
In January of 2015, Accell-KKR, a private equity firm, combined Ektron and the Swedish company Episerver into a single company and CMS platform.

Between the high cost of an Episerver license upgrade and the fact that the open source landscape had evolved significantly over the prior decade to the point where many enterprise organizations (from private and public corporations to government entities) had embraced Drupal and the open source community, this has caused many organizations to choose to migrate off of the Ektron platform and onto a CMS like Drupal.

As one of the top three most-used Content Management Systems across the Web, Drupal is a natural choice for many organizations based on its popularity alone.

But there are several other reasons that Drupal earns top consideration. Since you are reading this eBook, we assume you are either considering a switch from Ektron to Drupal or are perhaps already decided and looking for some further advice. Let’s briefly discuss some of the benefits of Drupal versus Ektron, or in choosing a different licensed Content Management System.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

3 Founders
Digics
Digics, Inc.
July 01, 2020
Co-founded in 2020; acquired in December of 2021 by Alef Edge Inc.

SaaS-based freelance hiring platform utilizing AIML that we built and grew to an audience of over 850,000 freelancers.

We graduated through the Newchip Accelerator Program in late 2020. In January 2021, we acquired Moonlighting, a complementary SaaS platform that enabled strategic growth for the platform.

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Tags: Future of Work, HR, Startups

Founder and Principal, The Agile World, LLC
The Agile World, LLC
January 01, 2018
Founder of The Agile World, LLC which runs both The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast as well as GK5A, a strategic consulting company that helps organizations with digital transformation, marketing technology, and customer experience strategy.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Carousel30
Carousel30
December 13, 2003
Carousel30 was a digital experience agency founded in 2003 and acquired by Yes& Agency in 2017.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

3 Industry Certifications
ICAgile Certified Professional - Agile Coaching
ICAgile
September 01, 2021
Received a certification from leading Agile certification and training company ICAgile for Agile Coaching.

Credential ID 6bfd45e1-d913-47d9-90e1-5083aa28e4d5

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Tags: Agile, Change Management, Leadership

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
The Council for Six Sigma Certification (CSSC)
March 01, 2021
Greg earned the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from The Council for Six Sigma Certification (CSSC)

Credential ID j0qD5OwKGQ

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Tags: Business Strategy, Change Management, Project Management

ICP-BAF Business Agility Foundations Certification
ICAgile
January 04, 2019
Achieving the ICAgile Certified Professional in Business Agility Foundations (ICP-BAF) demonstrates an ability to articulate the values, principles, and dimensions of business agility. Business agilists can formulate an action plan for applying agility in their workplaces and can appraise and use a variety of frameworks, tools, and techniques to jumpstart the organizational and individual transformation towards a more responsive, value-driven reality.

Credential ID 17-11869-6bfd45e1-d913-47d9-90e1-5083aa28e4d5

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Tags: Agile

3 Influencer Awards
25 Best Marketing Technology Podcasts
Feedspot
August 01, 2022
The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlstrom featured on Feedspot's 25 Best Marketing Technology podcasts.

The best Marketing Technology podcast list curated from thousands of podcasts on the web and ranked by traffic, social media followers, domain authority & freshness.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Marketing

ICMI Top 25 Thought Leader of 2022
ICMI
January 13, 2022
Greg Kihlström was named a Top 25 Thought Leader in Customer Experience by ICMI

Those who make a good career in the contact center industry are often happy to share their knowledge to help others grow. That’s one of the great things about this field.

Each year, ICMI puts out a call for nominations for the Top 25 Thought Leaders in the spheres of contact center management and CX; those nominated share their wisdom on social media so others might benefit from what they’ve learned.

From the many nominations we’ve received, we’ve hand-picked this final list of thought leaders. Click on their names to find a link to their Twitter or LinkedIn account, and be sure to thank them for collectively offering professional development for the contact center professionals.

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Tags: Customer Experience

DC Inno: 50 on Fire Award
DC Inno
October 02, 2018
Greg Kihlström was named one of DC Inno's 50 on Fire in the Media, Marketing & PR Category.

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Tags: Marketing

10 Keynotes
Master Class: The ROI of Personalized Digital Experiences
DigicMarCon
May 02, 2022
DigiMarCon is the premier digital marketing, media and advertising conference and exhibition in the Mid-Atlantic. I presented a Master Class on the ROI of Personalization on May 2, 2022

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

AGILE CREATIVITY - HOW TO USE PROCESS TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL WITH CREATIVE PROJECTS
American Advertising Federation Baltimore
January 12, 2022
How to use process to be more successful with creative projects

It would seem that process and creativity are at odds with one another. How, for instance, could a rigid set of rules help inspire great design, great experiences, or new approaches to challenges? In fact, the two can not only co-exist, but work together to create better results and enable teams to be more creative and productive. The secret is in how project process is designed and connected to the creative process.

what is discussed

The “healthy tension” between process and creativity
How repeatable processes free up mental real estate so that more creative work can be done
The value of continuous improvement to the creative process

what you’ll learn

How a carefully designed process can bolster new ideas and creativity while saving time and effort
How to design a process that enhances creativity while boosting productivity
How to sell your internal team and stakeholders on creating a process that is sustainable and achieves long-lasting success

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Tags: Agile, Marketing, Project Management

The Agile Brand: Creating authentic relationships between companies and their customers
American Marketing Association Madison Wisconsin
September 30, 2021
Greg Kihlström spoke at the AMA Madison Annual Conference on the topic of The Agile Brand, his book by the same name.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Spotlight Speaker Series: The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström
American Advertising Federation Buffalo, NY
November 17, 2020
Join our Spotlight Series session with Greg Kihlstrom, CEO & Co-Founder of CareerGig, to discuss the impact of the evolution of the brand-consumer relationship and what it means for the future of marketing and advertising.

Greg is a customer and employee experience & digital transformation expert, as well as best-selling author of the Agile series of books and host of The Agile World podcast. His presentation will cover a few examples of what to do and what not to do in order to stay agile, along with discussions about customer-centric, agile brands withstanding change while staying true to their values.

Read more about Greg here.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Fusion92 Presents: The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström
Fusion92
November 05, 2020
Chicago, Nov. 5,2019 – Today, Fusion92 hosted guest speaker Greg Kihlström at its River North office to discuss the theme of his new book, “The Agile Brand.” The talk, titled “The Agile Brand: Creating Authentic Relationships Between Companies and Consumers,” centered around the future of brands and how an agile, collaborative approach to branding and marketing creates strong brand-consumer relationships that yield lasting results. Kihlström’s visit is part of the Chicago-based marketing innovation company’s Bits & Bites series that it launched in spring of 2018. Fusion92 created the series as a perk dedicated to educating employees on relevant topics in the world of digital marketing and innovation.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Rochester Advertising Week: The Agile Brand
Rochester Advertising Week
November 04, 2018
Greg Kihlström will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2018 Rochester Advertising Week. He will then moderate a panel comprised of industry experts from Xerox, Constellation Brands, and Partners & Napier. The keynote and panel discussion will be based on thoughts and ideas from Kihlström's 2018 book, The Agile Brand.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

October Speaker Series with Greg Kihlström
American Advertising Federation, Charlotte, NC
October 25, 2018
An award-winning creative director and digital strategist who's worked with brands like AOL, MTV, Starbucks and Toyota, Greg will be speaking on how to apply agile marketing principles to a brand with examples drawn from his new book, The Agile Brand. Learn how companies can remain relevant beyond a logo and how to embrace customer feedback without compromising core values.

After a hugely successful inaugural event last month, we're expecting an even better turn out on October 25th. Get your ticket today before we sell out!

And thanks to a generous donation from Robert Half, The Creative Group, the first 10 people to purchase tickets will receive a free copy of The Agile Brand.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Return on Creativity: The Agile Brand Book Release Keynote
Arlington Economic Development, BizLaunch
August 16, 2018
Telling the story of how business and branding work gets a novel look when creatives become published authors.

In the third seminar in the Return on Creativity Series, Arlington Economic Development partners with Arlington Public Library, the Rosslyn BID and the American Advertising Federation in Rosslyn’s brand new pop-up retail space at The Alcove.

Keynote speaker Greg Kihlström is Senior Vice President, Digital, at Yes& and Chair of the American Advertising Federation National Technology Advisory Committee. His new book, “The Agile Brand,” traces the evolution of branding, from its beginnings to its authentic relationship with brands that modern consumers want.

The book gives practical examples of how companies can create a more modern, agile brand while staying true to their core values.

According to Kihlström, being an agile brand means taking part in a relationship with consumers. While this means giving up some control, the reward is loyal, long-term customers.

Immediately following Kihlström’s presentation, a distinguished panel led by moderator Genelle Schuler of Arlington Public Library will continue the conversation and discuss the place that books play in today’s society and their approach to writing.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Digital Day Forum Keynote
Direct Marketing Association Digital Day Forum
October 16, 2013
The Direct Marketing Association (DMAW) is providing a “Digital Day Forum” in McLean, Virginia on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, to help uncover new revenue opportunities emerging from online media.

Web-based media is the fastest growing medium out there as more organizations integrate it into their marketing mix. The “Digital Day Forum” will provide ‘non-profit’ and ‘for profit’ organizations ways to capitalize on the latest tools and technology to help grow their business.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Emerging Technology, Marketing

The Convergence of Customer Service, PR and Marketing on Social Media
Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business 2011 Conference on Social Media and Tourism
October 11, 2011
Web 2.0 communication platforms such as blogs and other forms of social networking are altering the playing field for many hospitality and tourism providers. Therefore, the purpose of the 2011 Conference on Social Media in Hospitality and Tourism is to explore opportunities associated with this revised business environment.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

12 Media Interviews
15 Potential Game Changers For Underperforming Campaigns
Forbes
August 09, 2022
14. Focus On More Personalized Offers And Multichannel Experiences

If you aren’t doing so already, start focusing on more personalized offers and on personalizing experiences across more of your channels and touch points. Work to create a more consistent experience and messaging for an individual everywhere that they interact with your brand, and increase your ability to understand which offers work best with which individuals and segments. - Greg Kihlstrom, GK5A

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Connecting CX to your bottom line with Greg Kihlstrom, GK5A
Zoomin Software
June 09, 2022
The most valuable brands out there are able to draw a direct line between customer experience and their bottom lines. In this episode, Greg Kihlstrom, best-selling author, speaker, advisor and Principal and Chief Strategist for GK5A, breaks down how to measure important aspects of CX so you can put the right metrics in front of a CEO. As you listen, you’ll learn how to tie customer experience to revenue enabling CX to become an investment priority for your organization.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Customer Experience, Marketing

Creating Your Personal Brand with Greg Kihlström
Entrepreneurs Circle
June 06, 2022
The goal of this show is to bring my experience (both successes and failures) to the table and to share some of my insights to building businesses and relationships. I’ll also interview fellow entrepreneurs to inspire and give you some tools you may need on your journey to freedom, legacy, and spiritual growth!

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Tags: Customer Experience, Entrepreneurship, Marketing

Daily Ad Brief
Daily Ad Brief
March 17, 2022
“More 2 Media” is a show made for people in the world of marketing and media who want to grow their media knowledge. Interviewing experts around the country, “More 2 Media” is the place to go for tips, tricks and entertaining quips to take your business to the next level.

This week our host interviews Greg Kihlstrom from GK5A.

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Tags: Analytics, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Greg Kihlström: King of Agile
Tech 2025
July 01, 2021
On this episode, Charlie crowns Greg Kihlström “King of Agile” and with good reason! Greg (founder of The Agile World where he consults, writes and hosts a podcast) has spent the past several years helping companies to incorporate agility into their digital transformation strategies and also advising on customer and employee experience.

He has written several books on how companies can become more agile including: The Agile Workforce (2021), Center of Experience (2020), The Agile Consumer (2019), Digital Delight, 2nd edition (2019), The Agile Brand (2018), Ever Seeking (2018), The Agile Web (2016).

Greg and Charlie discuss what it means to be agile during and post-pandemic, how companies should navigate bringing employees back to the office in a way that optimizes employee experience, and how the pandemic is forcing companies to innovate in ways they never imagined before the pandemic (and why that’s great but also challenging).

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Tags: Agile, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

The New P&L Business Book Review Club speaks to Greg Kihlström, author of The Agile Workforce
The New P&L
May 26, 2021
We believe in a New 'P&L' for business: one focused as much on Principles & Leadership as Profit & Loss, because we know that if your principles are right and aligned with your purpose, and your leadership has clarity of vision and is strong and empathetic, then your business will be in profit and not in loss in many ways. Each week we interview entrepreneurs and business people to understand their views on the importance of Principles and Leadership, and how to work together to build more productive, collaborative, creative and ultimately successful businesses. www.principlesandleadership.com

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Leadership

THINK Business Podcast: Jon Dwoskin Talks with Greg Kihlström
THINK Business Podcast
April 06, 2021
Greg was interviewed by Jon Dwoskin on the THINK Business Podcast.

Greg is a best selling author, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur. He is currently CEO and Co-Founder at CareerGig, after his digital experience agency, Carousel30, was acquired in 2017. He has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including Coca-Cola, Dell, FedEx, GEICO, Marriott International, MTV, Starbucks, Toyota and VMware. He currently serves on the University of Richmond’s CX Advisory Board.

Greg’s newest book, The Center of Experience (2020) talks about how customer and employee experience can be operationalized into a cohesive brand experience. Greg’s previous book, The Agile Consumer (2019) explores the most recent shifts in the brand-consumer relationship and how companies must become more agile across their entire operation to remain successful. Greg is a regular contributing writer to Forbes, and has been featured in Advertising Age, SmartCEO, Website Magazine, and The Washington Post.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Startups

Navigating the Customer Experience: Episode 122 : The Advantages Of Mastering Agility While Navigating Your Customer’s Experience
Navigating the Customer Experience with Yanique Grant
March 17, 2021
Greg was interviewed by Yanique Grant for her Navigating the Customer Experience podcast.

Greg shared that he has played a few different roles over his career and depending on how you look at it, he has been a freelancer and employee, entrepreneur, executive, so on and so forth.

Also, he has played roles in creative marketing technology and what he has tried to do throughout his career, some of that is he likes to learn new things and so he constantly tries to challenge himself to learn them. But some of it also is he thrive when he’s able to find connections between whether it’s different disciplines or industries or things like that.

And so, he has always just tried, at first it wasn’t so intentional, he’ll confess but towards getting a few years down in his career, it started to become more intentional that he always wanted to kind of push himself and be a little bit uncomfortable. If he was too comfortable, it meant that he wasn’t learning enough, and he wasn’t pushing himself to do more than he was currently doing.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Idea to Exit to SaaS Founder - What it takes to build an Enterprise B2B brand with Greg Kihlström
LeadGen Podcast
December 07, 2020
Greg is a digital transformation expert with a very interesting resume. He is in the online industry since the early days of the New Economy and Dotcom boom.

He spent 3,5 years working at a SaaS-based tech start-up in Virginia (US), before he made the jump to start his own digital agency, Carousel30 back in 2002.

Greg has come a long way, building up the brand into a leading digital experience agency, working with brands like NASA, Toyota, Volkswagen, Porsche and the United Nations.

We are speaking with Greg to hear about his journey building up an agency from the ground up, from humble beginnings to working with the most renowned enterprises in the world.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Marketing, Startups

NBC4 Washington DC: Virginia Company Connects Freelancers with Projects and Offers Benefits
NBC 4 Washington DC
September 24, 2020
Greg Kihlström was interviewed by NBC4 in Washington DC about his role in an Arlington VA-based startup.

Whether you’ve lost your job during the pandemic or simply need a more flexible schedule because the kids are stuck at home, a new local company may be able to connect you with your next career.

Digics is based in Arlington, Virginia. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll only pay if you land a project through the site. The fees range from 3.5% to 10% of what you earn, and the more you work, the lower your percentage.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Startups

CareerGig: The Ultimate Gig Marketplace | Greg Kihlström
Radio Free Enterprise with Frank Felker
August 05, 2020
Greg Kihlström, CEO of CareerGig was interviewed via live stream on Radio Free Enterprise Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

If you’re a gig worker looking for contract jobs that include benefits, or an employer trying to rapidly locate and onboard verified skill workers, you need to tune in.

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Tags: Future of Work, Innovation, Startups

Greg Kihlström: “Inspiration comes when you are able to relax your focus and be in the moment”
Top Interactive Agencies
July 31, 2015
Greg was interviewed by Top Interactive Agencies about his experience with his digital agency, Carousel30.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Leadership, Marketing

3 Panels
Digital Experience Summit: How AI is Evolving the Customer Experience
CMSWire
August 17, 2022
AI promises to provide us with information that can transform the interactions we have with our customers. At every touch point, brands now have the opportunity to gain valuable insights on the individual needs and pain points of their consumers. In this panel, we’ll learn how to provide intuitive and personalized connections using AI.

Topics may include:

How to build a more human AI interface
What Does the AI-Powered Journey look like
How to increase customer satisfaction metrics at each touch point

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Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Marketing

Live with CXPA: Exploring CX Metrics and Measurement
CXPA - Customer Experience Professionals Association
April 26, 2022
Greg Kihlström will be part of a panel with Jeb Dasteel, Founder of Customer Strategy Alliance and Muneer Mubashir, Co-Founder & CEO of Xmata. The panel is produced by CXPA and will feature a discussion of CX metrics and measurement.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Marketing Skills Needed in an Age of Disruption
MAC Summit 2020: Marketing, Advertising & Communications
November 10, 2020
2020 has been a year of massive disruption in almost all areas of marketing — not to mention day-to-day life. What skills for marketers are even more necessary now after the disrputions of the past year? What skills are becoming less important? How can marketers position themselves by learning and acquiring the new skills that will be demanded the coming years.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing, Future of Work

45 Podcasts
Part 2: Achieving Business Agility: How to Build a Digitally Resilient Enterprise
The Agile Brand
August 26, 2022
To create and maintain a competitive advantage in a postpandemic world, businesses must modernize by building digital resilience and embracing transformation. TEKsystems leaders share how building agility and shaping mindsets offer the key to successfully modernizing the business.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 272: FOREVER UNIFIED: CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE, WITH DAVID OSTBERG, MEDALLIA
The Agile Brand
August 23, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about Customer Experience and Employee Experience and how these are forever unified. For the show today, to help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome David Ostberg, Solutions Principal, Employee Experience at Medallia.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Business Strategy

S4 | EPISODE 267: SUCCESS WITH INFLUENCER MARKETING, WITH MAGDA HOUALLA, ASPIRE
The Agile Brand
August 05, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about how to be successful with an authentic influencer marketing campaign. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Magda Houalla, Director of Marketing Strategy at Aspire.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 266: THE BUSINESS VALUE OF PARTNER PROGRAMS WITH BERNIE KASSAR, XACTLY
The Agile Brand
August 02, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the business value of partner programs to both the sales pipeline as well as to the Customer Experience. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Bernie Kassar, Chief Customer Officer at Xactly.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Management

S4 | EPISODE 265: PRODUCT MANAGEMENT & CX WITH NICHOLE MACE, VP PRODUCT GROWTH AT PENDO
The Agile Brand
July 29, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the evolution of product management, and its importance to the customer experience. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Nichole Mace, who has spent a career in product management at companies like LastPass, BevSpot, Quilt and Zipcar, and is now VP of Product Growth at Pendo.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Management

S4 | EPISODE 264: THE POWER OF CUSTOMER COMMUNITIES WITH JAKE RANDALL OF COMMON ROOM
The Agile Brand
July 26, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the power of customer communities to drive great CX for everyone. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Jake Randall, COO of Common Room.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Management

S4 | EPISODE 263: CONVERSATIONAL AI WITH BOB SUMMERS, GOODCALL
The Agile Brand
July 22, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about improving the customer experience with conversational AI. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Bob Summers, CEO of Goodcall.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Leadership

S4 | EPISODE 254: HYPER-PERSONALIZED CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS WITH ERIC FRANKEL, ADGREETZ
The Agile Brand
July 21, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about hyper-personalized communications and why it is so important to tailor the customer experience you provide. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Eric Frankel, CEO and Co-Founder of AdGreetz.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 262: SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIC GROWTH FOR THE ENTERPRISE LEADER WITH STUART LEO, WAYMAKER.IO
The Agile Brand
July 19, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about how enterprise leaders can achieve sustainable, strategic growth and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Stuart Leo, CEO of Waymaker.io.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Sustainability

S4 | EPISODE 261: INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED TEAMS WITH PATRICK TOUHEY, AUTHOR OF FOREVER TEAMMATES
The Agile Brand
July 15, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about creating healthy work cultures that are intrinsically motivated to contribute and be great teammates. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Patrick Touhey, President at Elite Performance Too-E, and Author of Forever Teammates.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Leadership

S4 | EPISODE 260: THE VALUE OF A STRONG BRAND STRATEGY WITH STEPHEN HOURAGHAN, BRAND MASTER ACADEMY
The Agile Brand
July 12, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the value of branding and a strong brand strategy. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Stephen Houraghan, freelancer turned brand strategist and the founder of Brand Master Academy, Brand Building Master.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship

S4 | EPISODE 259: CITIZEN DATA SCIENTISTS, WITH TIM KRASKA, PROFESSOR, MIT AND CO-FOUNDER AT EINBLICK
The Agile Brand
July 08, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the power of citizen data scientists, and making data science and machine learning more accessible to non-technical users with the goal of increasing the ability for greater collaboration. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Tim Kraska, Professor at MIT and Co-Founder at Einblick.

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Tags: AI, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 258: HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURES WITH GARY DAVID, BENTLEY UNIVERSITY
The Agile Brand
July 05, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about experience design from a systems perspective and what creates a healthy organizational culture. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Gary David, Professor of Sociology, Information Design, and Corporate Communication at Bentley University.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Culture

S4 | EPISODE 257: MAKING BETTER MARKETING DECISIONS WITH BRAND TRACKING, WITH ANGELEY MULLINS, CMO, LATANA
The Agile Brand
July 01, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of brand tracking in order to make better marketing decisions. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Angeley Mullins, CMO & CGO at Latana.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 256: AUTOMATION'S ROLE IN CUSTOMER-CENTRIC RETAIL OPERATIONS WITH DOUG LABAHN, CIN7
The Agile Brand
June 28, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about automation, and how it is helping retailers stay customer-focused amidst a variety of challenges including supply chain disruptions and more.. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Doug LaBahn, CMO at Cin7.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Retail

S4 | EPISODE 255: CREATING AN UNBEATABLE B2B BRAND WITH DREW NEISSER, RENEGADE
The Agile Brand
June 24, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about creating an unbeatable B2B brand that is able to adapt and grow in an increasingly competitive marketplace. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Drew Neisser, founder of Renegade and CMO Huddles and author of The CMO’s Periodic Table, and Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Build Unbeatable B2B Brands.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 253: THE FUTURE OF NONPROFITS WITH SINDY YEH AND STEVE BLAIR
The Agile Brand
June 17, 2022
Welcome to a special episode of the show brought to you in partnership with Arlington Economic Development, where we discuss issues related to the workforce, the role of place in the future of work, and the role of the creative sector in a larger business context. We call this Return on Creativity.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship

#252: Automation in the workforce with Aaron Kwittken, PRophet
The Agile Brand
June 14, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the use of automation and machine learning in the workforce, and how it can be used as a force multiplier for organizations to be more agile and increase the quality of their work. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Aaron Kwittken, Founder & CEO of PRophet.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship

#251: Creating a Consistently Great Customer Experience, with Wendy Pravda, Medallia
The Agile Brand
June 10, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about how to ensure your organization takes a structured approach to providing a consistently great customer experience through CX governance. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Wendy Pravda, Principal Customer Experience Advisor at Medallia.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Agile

#250: The Future of ESG with Chuck Amman, Semtech
The Agile Brand
June 07, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of ESG, or Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives as a part of corporate citizenship. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Chuck Ammann, EVP, Chief Legal Officer and Chief ESG Officer at Semtech.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Sustainability

S4 | EPISODE 249: DIFFERENTIATION IN A CROWDED MARKETPLACE WITH MATTHEW STIBBE, CEO ARTICULATE MARKETING
The Agile Brand
June 03, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about differentiation in crowded marketplaces. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Matthew Stibbe, CEO of Articulate Marketing, entrepreneur, pilot, wine enthusiast, and more!

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 248: THE VISIONARY / MANAGER BINARY WITH DARBY VANNIER, AUTHOR OF THE INDISPENSABLE LEADER
The Agile Brand
May 31, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about successful leadership and breaking out of the visionary/manager binary To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Darby Vannier, Director of Operations & Technology and author of The Indispensable Leader.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Leadership

S4 | EPISODE 247: ADVERTISERS AND DATA PRIVACY WITH CAMERON HORTON, ATTRIBUTION
The Agile Brand
May 27, 2022
Welcome to a special episode of the show brought to you Attribution, an advanced multi-touch attribution company that empowers every marketer with the data to convert more buyers and maximize ROI. You can learn more about Attribution at www.attributionapp.com

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Privacy

S4 | EPISODE 245: THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYER BRANDING WITH ROY ABDO, DIGITAL REVAMP
The Agile Brand
May 20, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the continued importance of employer branding, and why it is so important to be intentional about documenting and codifying culture, processes and the way internal communications are handled. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Roy Abdo, CEO, Digital Revamp.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Retail

S4 | EPISODE 244: IS YOUR BUSINESS READY TO RUN WITHOUT YOU? WITH JEFF FINNEY, AUTHOR AND ENTREPRENEUR
The Agile Brand
May 17, 2022
Is your business ready to run without you? Today we’re going to talk about learning to let go as a business owner and giving more control over to your team members. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Jeff Finney, owner of Ultimate Cabinet Components, and Author of That’s It, I’m Fired.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship

S4 | EPISODE 243: PEOPLE, PROCESSES & PLATFORMS WORKING WELL WITH SONCIARY PEREZ, CO-FOUNDER, QUALA
The Agile Brand
May 13, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about building a smart, scalable customer success program that utilizes the best of people, processes, and software. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Sonciary Pérez, Co-Founder of Quala, and Mentor with Techstars Boston.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 242: SCALING YOUR BUSINESS WHILE MAINTAINING GREAT CX WITH TYLER "SULLY" SULLIVAN OF BOMBTECH GOLF
The Agile Brand
May 10, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of understanding your customers, as well as how to find ways to meaningfully scale your business while remaining successful. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Tyler “Sully” Sullivan, entrepreneur and eCommerce Email Marketing Expert, and CEO of Bombtech Golf.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

S4 | EPISODE 241: DELIVERING MEANINGFUL CUSTOMER AND BUSINESS VALUE WITH PREETHI MADHU, CEO, GREYAMP CONSULTING
The Agile Brand
May 06, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about going beyond the theory of agility and towards delivering meaningful customer and business value. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Preethi Madhu, CEO, Greyamp Consulting.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 240: UNITING PEOPLE, PROCESSES & PLATFORMS TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL WITH SUSAN ROTHWELL, CRO AT VERICAST
The Agile Brand
May 03, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about unifying sales teams and bringing people, processes, and platforms together to achieve a common goal. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Susan Rothwell, CRO at Vericast.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 239: CAREER AGILITY WITH ERIK CABRAL, ON AIR BRANDS
The Agile Brand
April 29, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of agility in your career and how to know when to make a big or even a little change. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Erik Cabral, Founder & CEO of On Air Brands

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Agile

S4 | EPISODE 238: SUCCESS WITH GOOGLE ADS WITH SEAN MARSHALL, ATTRIBUTION
The Agile Brand
April 26, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about how both B2C and B2B marketers can utilize Google Ads for the greatest success, and how to overcome some of the challenges that recent changes have posed. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Sean Marshall from Attribution.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S3 | Episode 237: Special Episode: The Power of Decision Intelligence with TEKsystems featuring Devang Pandya
The Agile Brand
April 22, 2022
For years, organizations have leveraged business intelligence dashboards to help users make data-driven decisions. Unfortunately, often the analytics platforms are chosen to fit the data rather than leading with what the company is trying to solve for. The sheer volume of data and lack of context provided can lead to poor decisions and less than ideal outcomes. That’s where decision intelligence comes in.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 236: HOW PEOPLE AND PROCESSES RELATE TO TECHNOLOGY WITH SARA TAHERI, PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL
The Agile Brand
April 19, 2022
Organizational change of any kind requires a mix of people, processes, and technology. While the technology component is an important aspect of this mix, it is often people and processes that have the most opportunity to allow an initiative to succeed… or fail. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of ensuring you are approaching the “people and processes” component of your change initiative in the right way. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Sara Taheri, Chief Platform Owner for the Contact Center Transformation & Robotics at Prudential Financial.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 235: STRENGTHENING YOUR BUSINESS, CUSTOMERS FIRST WITH PAULETTE CHAFE, ZENDESK
The Agile Brand
April 15, 2022
After nearly two years of continual adaptation and transformation, companies and their leadership need to start looking to the future in order to meet rising consumer expectations for service and overall experience. Today we’re going to talk about how leaders need to look to their customers in order to find ways to strengthen their business. Zendesk recently released its CX Trends 2022 report, which discusses key ways to improve your bottom line by putting customers first. To help me discuss this topic and the Zendesk CX Trends 2022 report, I’d like to welcome Paulette Chafe, Head of Consumer Insights & Research at Zendesk.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Leadership

S4 | EPISODE 234: BUILDING PLACES FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK WITH MARIAN MARQUEZ, ARLINGTON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Agile Brand
April 12, 2022
While hybrid and remote work are here to stay in many roles across most industries, there is an even greater need for the creation of spaces that can incorporate what the workforce needs to both live and work. Today we’re going to talk about what it takes to build a place for the future of work. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Marian Marquez, Director, Business Investment Group at Arlington Economic Development.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Smart Cities

S4 | EPISODE 233: VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER AND PRODUCT ROADMAPS WITH MATT YOUNG, USER VOICE
The Agile Brand
April 08, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the role of the voice of the customer in driving product roadmaps. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Matt Young, CEO of User Voice.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 232: PREDICTIVE BRAND INTELLIGENCE WITH GRANT MCDOUGALL, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, BLUEOCEAN
The Agile Brand
April 05, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about using AI and Machine learning to achieve predictive brand intelligence, and what this means for marketers in a shift to a world of first-party data strategies. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Grant McDougall, Co-Founder & CEO of BlueOcean.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 231: SUCCESS OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE WITH DAVID WOOD, FOCUS.CEO
The Agile Brand
April 01, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the value of experimentation and getting outside of your comfort zone, and how this can lead to results both personally and professionally. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome David Wood, High-Performance Coach and Founder of Focus.ceo

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 230: EXPERIENCE LEVEL AGREEMENTS WITH WESTON MORRIS, UNISYS
The Agile Brand
March 29, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about XLAs - experience level agreements, and how they have an opportunity to transform how IT products and services are delivered and measured. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Weston Morris, Director of Global Strategy - Digital Workplace Services, Unisys .

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 229: BUSINESS GROWTH THROUGH CUSTOMER INSIGHTS WITH DARSHAN METHA, IRESEARCH.COM
The Agile Brand
March 25, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the value of customer insights to business growth and how organizations can more easily understand their key audiences. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Darshan Mehta, Founder of iResearch.com and ConnectQik.com, and author of the book, “Getting to Aha! Today’s Insights Are Tomorrow’s Facts”.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 228: MEANINGFUL TWO-WAY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS, WITH MATT GILLIN, CEO OF RELAY NETWORK
The Agile Brand
March 22, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the current state of customer engagement, and what organizations can do to improve customer relationships by nurturing meaningful two-way relationships. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Matt Gillin, CEO of customer engagement platform Relay Network.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 227: TELLING THE STORY OF INNOVATION, WITH JON EBERT, JOHN DEERE
The Agile Brand
March 18, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the value of storytelling for brands that continue to evolve as the role of technology continues to grow within even the most established of industries. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Jon Ebert, Manager, North American Public & Industry Relations at John Deere, a company that was founded in 1837, and continues to evolve and innovate, as its image continues to shift from being an equipment company to the tech company it truly is at heart.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Innovation

S4 | EPISODE 226: WINNING OVER CX SKEPTICS, WITH SAMI NUWAR, MEDALLIA
The Agile Brand
March 15, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about CX skeptics and how to win them over to adopting customer-centric thinking in a meaningful way. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome Sami Nuwar, Customer Experience Advisory at Medallia.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 224: CX AND THE GREAT RESIGNATION WITH PATTY SOLTIS, KINETIC EDGE CONSULTANTS
The Agile Brand
March 08, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the connection between employee experience and CX results, and how The Great Resignation is affecting the customer experience. To help me discuss this topic, I'd like to welcome Patty Soltis from Kinetic Edge Consultants.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

S4 | EPISODE 223: PEOPLE, PROCESSES, TECHNOLOGY, & CX WITH STEVEN PETRUK, CGS
The Agile Brand
March 04, 2022
Today we’re going to talk about the continued evolution of customer experience, and how people, processes, and technology play critical roles. To help me discuss this topic, I’d like to welcome a guest with more than 20 years of experience in IT, infrastructure, and customer service including prior roles at Toshiba and IBM: Steven Petruk, President of Global Outsourcing at CGS.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

7 Profiles
Author Profile on MarTech
MarTech
September 19, 2022
Profile of Greg Kihlstrom on MarTech as an author and member of their SME contributor program.

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Tags: Analytics, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Greg Kihlström Profile on Fast Company
Fast Company
September 06, 2022
The profile for Greg Kihlström on Fast Company Executive Board.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

From Exiting Digital Agency to SaaS Co-Founder: Greg Kihlstrom
SpeakerHub
July 04, 2022
Profile of Greg Kihlstrom on SpeakerHub

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

CMSWire Profile on Greg Kihlstrom
CMSWire
August 03, 2021
Greg is a best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He has worked with some of the world’s leading organizations on customer experience, employee experience, and digital transformation initiatives, both before and after selling his award-winning digital experience agency in 2017.He has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including AOL, Choice Hotels, Coca-Cola, Dell, FedEx, GEICO, Marriott, MTV, Starbucks, Toyota and VMware. He currently serves on the University of Richmond’s Customer Experience Advisory Board, and is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified, and holds a certification in Business Agility from ICP-BAF.

He currently provides consulting, training, and speaking services at The Agile World, and writes for top publications while working on his latest book. His podcast, The Agile World with Greg Kihlström is available on all major outlets.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Greg Kihlström on Crunchbase
Crunchbase
August 01, 2021
Greg is a best selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is currently President and Chief Experience Officer at Cravety, after selling his digital experience agency, Carousel30, in 2017. He has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including AOL, Choice Hotels, Coca-Cola, GEICO, Marriott International, MTV, Starbucks, Toyota and VMware.He currently serves on the University of Richmond’s Customer Experience Advisory Board, and was the founding Chair of the American Advertising Federation’s National Innovation Committee, and served on the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Mentorship Advisory Board.
Greg’s newest book, The Center of Experience (2020) talks about how customer and employee experience can be operationalized into a cohesive brand experience. He wrote another book on customer and employee experience called Digital Delight (2019), that focuses on designing, implementing, and measuring CX and EX. Greg’s previous book, The Agile Consumer (2019) explores the most recent shifts in the brand-consumer relationship and how companies must become more agile across their entire operation to remain successful. The Agile Brand (2018), follows the evolution of branding from its beginnings to the authentic relationship with brands that modern consumers want, and gives practical examples of what you can do to create a more modern, agile brand while staying true to your core values. His first book, The Agile Web (2016), discusses the changing landscape of digital marketing and customer experience. His podcast, The Agile World, launched in early 2019 and discusses brand strategy, marketing, and customer experience.

Greg was named a 2018 50 on Fire winner from DC Inno as one of DC’s trendsetters in Marketing. He is a regular contributing writer to Forbes, and has been featured in publications such as Advertising Age, SmartCEO, Website Magazine, and The Washington Post. He’s participated as a keynote speaker, panelist and moderator at industry events around the world including Internet Week New York, Internet Summit, EventTech, SMX Social Media, Social Media Week, Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, ABA Bank Marketing Summit, and VMworld. He has guest lectured at several schools including VCU Brandcenter, Georgetown University, Duke University, American University, University of Maryland, Howard University and Virginia Tech.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Marketing, Startups

ANA Profile for Greg Kihlstrom
Association of National Advertisers
July 01, 2021
Profile for Greg Kihlström's position as an instructor for Association of National Advertisers.

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Tags: Agile, Customer Experience, Marketing

Muck Rack Profile for Greg Kihlstrom
Muck Rack
June 02, 2020
Greg is a best selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He has worked with some of the world’s leading organizations on customer experience, employee experience, and digital transformation initiatives, both before and after selling his award-winning digital experience agency, Carousel30, in 2017. He has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including AOL, Choice Hotels, Coca-Cola, Dell, FedEx, GEICO, Marriott, MTV, Starbucks, Toyota and VMware. He currently serves on the University of Richmond’s Customer Experience Advisory Board, was the founding Chair of the American Advertising Federation’s National Innovation Committee, and served on the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Mentorship Advisory Board. Greg is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified, and holds a certification in Business Agility from ICP-BAF.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Customer Experience, Marketing

1 Visiting Lecturer
Lecture on Agile Branding
Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business
October 17, 2018
Greg Kihlström was a visiting lecturer at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business in Fall of 2018, speaking to a Marketing class at the Blacksburg, VA campus

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Emerging Technology, Marketing

6 Webinars
Omnichannel Personalized Experiences: 3 Components of a Winning eCommerce Platform
CMSWire
July 27, 2022
While brands know that customers increasingly expect more personalized experiences across all channels and devices, delivering on that promise is not without its challenges.

This live, hour-long webinar will talk about three key components of an omnichannel personalized customer experience, based on real-world experience and best practices.

This webinar will cover three primary areas:

Understanding the importance of a first-party data strategy and how it impacts the buyer's journey
Understanding how personalized content, offers, and actions can increase critical metrics such as revenue per session and customer lifetime value
Understanding ways to measure and optimize your e-commerce efforts to continuously improve your results

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Emerging Technology, Marketing

Boston CXPA: Agile CX Roundtable
CXPA Boston Chapter
May 17, 2022
A follow up discussion with the Boston chapter of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) about using agile practices within CX.

This interactive session will continue our November 3, 2021 agile CX discussion, diving deeper into how to meaningfully implement agile methods and work in an agile method even if the rest of your organization isn’t agile. We’ll also explore how to build a cross-disciplinary agile workflow as well as how to build the business and ROI case to help engage, educate, and gain internal support from stakeholders and executive sponsors.

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Tags: Agile, Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty

AMA DC: First Party Marketing
American Marketing Association DC
May 11, 2022
Greg Kihlström gave a talk on first party data strategies and the need for marketers to take new approaches to collecting and managing customer data.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

How to Create (and Support!) a Happy, Productive Hybrid Workforce
Mitel
March 24, 2022
There are plenty of benefits to remote work from an employees’ point of view. No commute, your own private bathroom, no one to complain if you burn your popcorn — you get the idea.

But there are also positives to being in an office with your peers. There’s the ability to bounce ideas off each other, meet for impromptu chats, hold meetings where everyone actually pays attention, and many more.

The pros and cons of both sides have many businesses opting for a hybrid model: Some employees work remotely, some show up to the office, and some might even switch between the two.

When a hybrid work environment is implemented strategically, with the right employee support, it can provide the best of both worlds. Without a solid plan and strong leadership, however, it’s sure to be the opposite.

This webinar will focus on the practicalities of planning and implementing a hybrid work strategy. We’ll cover topics including:

Ensuring equitable experience for remote and in-person employees
Supporting remote, in-person and flex employees from a tech perspective
How tech can help augment your team’s unique skill sets
Using technology to promote work-life balance and increase productivity
Pitfalls to avoid and obstacles to overcome
Making sure your work plan is stable and sustainable

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Tags: Customer Experience, Future of Work, Leadership

HOW TO CREATE AND SUPPORT A HAPPY PRODUCTIVE HYBRID WORKFORCE
Mitel
March 02, 2022
Watch this webinar to see how you can implement a strategic hybrid working program with the right support for your employees and create the best of both worlds. Check it out here.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Future of Work

AAF DFW: Return On Experience: How Do You Measure ROI of Customer Experience
American Marketing Association Dallas Fort Worth
June 30, 2021
Every company claims that customer satisfaction and experience is top of mind. There are often challenges, both internal and external, to following through on delivering great customer experience, however. Greg Kihlström, CX thought leader and author of the book The Center of Experience, details how to define, measure, and optimize return on experience-related initiatives by putting both customers and employees first.

Drawing on principles from his book that outlines a methodical approach to setting up an experience-led center of excellence, Kihlström will provide insights on how to deliver great experience that is consistent and continually improving.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

2 Workshops
CX Forums Chicago 2022
CX Forums
June 06, 2022
Greg Kihlström delivered a workshop on Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience for CX Forum Chicago.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

Workshop: Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience
Document Strategy Forum
April 04, 2022
Greg Kihlström presented a workshop on meaningful measurement of the customer experience.

For the past 14 years, DOCUMENT Strategy Forum (DSF) has been the only peer-driven, peer-reviewed and peer-produced educational event for professionals working within Insurance, Financial Services, Government, Healthcare, Utilities and other sectors. BOTTOM LINE: If you are responsible for creating and managing content, communications and strategies to support the customer experience, then DSF ’22 Chicago is a must-attend event!

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Radar

Blog

7 Article/Blogs
The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 7: Process Measurements for Customer Experience
Thinkers360
September 19, 2022

The following is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere. 

What do we mean by the term “return on experience” after all? I will start this chapter with a definition. Return on experience is the tangible return on investment from initiating, completing, and optimizing customer experience-related activities within an organization.

The goal of customer experience is to benefit customers (as the name implies) by creating consumers who buy, buy more often, and refer others. The goal of return on experience is to repeatedly demonstrate that, when customer experience is improved, the company also tangibly and directly benefits. This means that return on experience is as much about the company as the customer. Because of this, companies that measure return on experience are more likely to sustain their investments and initiatives related to CX.

Return on experience would be easier to measure if it was simply based on one of the dimensions I mentioned in the previous chapter. Instead, though, it is the return on investment in creating the overall experience that leads to either the customer or employee’s perception of their experience.  While this is more difficult than calculating individual touchpoints such as the effectiveness of an e-commerce checkout process, or measuring completions of an engagement survey, it is ultimately more rewarding and provides better insights on how you can create long-lasting customer and employee relationships.

While I will mainly focus on the customer experience portion of return on experience, it is important to understand the relationship between customer and employee experience as well. This is something I’ll discuss in a little more detail in the next article in this series.

Why is return on experience so important?

Let’s start with the obvious. Return on experience is important, just like it is critical to show a return on investment on any initiative in any organization. Diving deeper, however, there are several dimensions to its importance.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE THEIR CUSTOMERS?

I bet if you asked just about any company if they love their customers, their answer would be a definitive “yes.” After all, what kind of company doesn’t appreciate the individuals and organizations that bring them revenue and more customers through word of mouth?

While everyone says they love customers, many companies have a hard time justifying the expense of creating delightful experiences that go beyond selling a product or service for a reasonable price. One could argue that some companies have a hard enough time delivering on that.

The reasons behind why so many companies are still lagging behind in providing great customer experience are vast, and we certainly can’t go into detail about each rationale in this chapter. We can, however, say that companies that don’t invest in creating great experiences are losing out in an area that has become the primary differentiating factor between brands[vi].

RETURN ON EXPERIENCE HELPS BOTH THE CUSTOMER AND THE COMPANY

This brings us to return on experience, and why it is so important to companies in a world where consumers want and expect personalized service, and are surrounded by choices from other brands willing to go the extra mile to compete on experience.

The first step in creating great experiences is the intent to do so, but unless you’re able to measure it, you won’t know how or where it needs improvement. Being intentional about measuring and optimizing your return on experience initiatives helps you do just that. 

This helps your company to better allocate resources to areas where they are needed most, and it helps your customers by emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to customer experience throughout the organization. It is only when customer experience is thought of in this way that you can create a win-win for both your customers and your internal stakeholders.

RETURN ON EXPERIENCE MAKES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE A REPEATABLE PROCESS

Back to the idea that just about every company talks about loving their customers. Return on experience benefits an organization by demonstrating that investments in CX are worthwhile to the health and sustainability of the business itself.

While some might wish that it was enough to simply say that a company has happy customers and great word of mouth, the fact of the matter is that most companies simply can’t make long-term investments in initiatives that bear no tangible returns. So while a short-lived focus on customer experience may be able to occur in just about any organization, the long-term ones are those who measure return on experience from the start.

How to measure return on experience

Now let’s discuss how to measure return on experience by talking about the components of creating a great measurement program.

DEFINE YOUR KPIS

You can’t possibly be successful in customer experience improvement and measuring return on experience unless you can paint a clear picture of what success looks like.

First, remember that the things that are often easiest to measure are not always the most valuable. Start first with your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before deciding what and how you will measure. As you dive into your platforms and measurement tools, you will undoubtedly run into statistics and metrics that you can plot out on charts, but just because there is a pre-formatted report that might look impressive doesn’t mean it will show you meaningful measurements of your customer experience.

Also remember that in order to ensure you are able to justify the return on experience, you need to keep both internal and external measurements in mind. Not only does this mean revisiting the measurement framework we explored in a previous chapter, but it also means that you need to be able to prove that investments in CX have real business returns.

MAPPING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY

A critical part of improving the customer experience is to truly understand the path a customer takes to get from start to finish. For this, the tool of customer journey mapping is incredibly helpful and increasingly used by all types of organizations. 

For large organizations, the thought of mapping all customer journeys can be overwhelming, so it’s best to start small, with only a handful. It’s more important to be thorough in mapping only a few, instead of trying to capture every possible persona, journey, and edge case.

CREATE AN OPTIMIZATION PLAN

I’ll go into much more detail on this when we get to the section on operationalizing great customer experience, but for now, I will just say that any plan to measure return on experience (or return on investment in general), needs to be accompanied by a plan and processes to systematically measure, analyze, and improve them. As a proponent of both agile methods and and Lean Six Sigma approaches, I can say that it matters less about the exact methodologies than the fact that you are consistent in how you optimize your CX measurements and efforts.

How to prioritize measurements

Finally, with all of the potential data you can measure, and a good understanding of your customer journeys, you will be left with a potentially daunting amount of metrics that you can use to measure your customer experience.

This requires a method to prioritize your measurements, and that you regularly report on those metrics. Different companies approach this in different ways, but your KPIs should help point the way here. Create a method to prioritize your measurements by taking into consideration the following:

  • Alignment with KPIs

  • Potential audience(s) they impact

  • Potential for improvement when measured

  • Cost and difficulty to measure

In my experience, creating a weighting system based on those categories and similar ones can help you easily prioritize and determine what measurements will have the biggest impact.

As you can see, while the specifics may vary from business to business and industry to industry, there is a clear link between customer and employee experience. It is also important to understand the types of customer experience measurements available, as well as to be able to prioritize them for your organization and your return on experience initiative.

Making customer experience a metric tied to business success makes measuring return on experience such a valuable thing for any business. This approach also makes measuring, analyzing, and improving your customer experience more sustainable, and allows you to focus on getting results that create a more sustainable business.

Thanks for reading this article series on customer experience metrics. I hope you enjoyed it, and for more information and insights, check out my latest book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 6: Process Measurements for CX
Thinkers360
September 07, 2022

The following is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere. 

In the last article in this series we explored the first category of internal customer experience metrics: product metrics. Now, we have the second of the two internal subcategories of customer experience metrics, which are the process metrics, as shown in the figure below (Figure 2.7.1).

 Figure 2.7.1, Quantitative measurement as defined in the CX measurement framework

Definition

Process metrics can be defined as the workflows and systems that enable a customer experience to occur. This includes how long it takes to respond to a customer request, or the number of steps or “hands” that need to touch a request in order for it to be fulfilled. A lot of this is based around efficiency and waste.

Examples

Here are a few examples of process metrics as they relate to customer experience:

  • How long it takes to respond to a customer request

  • The number of steps it takes or “hands” that need to touch a request across teams, departments, or partners

  • The frequency and process by which products or processes related to customer experience are analyzed and improved

  • The speed by which improvements to customer experience tools, platforms, and processes are designed, tested, and launched

How to Measure

Here are a few examples of how to measure process metrics for customer experience:

  • Time to solution for improvements to customer experience processes and platforms

  • Efficiency and productivity, including cost savings and/or revenue gains

  • Indirect methods such as increased purchases and customer satisfaction

Opportunities

Process measurement provides the biggest opportunity to have long-term sustainable gains and improvements in customer experience and satisfaction. Just as methods such as lean manufacturing or agile software development became game changers in those (and many other) areas of business, investments in customer experience process measurement and improvement ensure that what might be a good CX today doesn’t stagnate and become less effective over time.

Challenges

Measurement of process is probably the least direct of the four subcategories when it comes to tying improvements to customer experience gains. Thus, it can be one of the hardest to justify continued investment in, unless an organization is driven by a strong agile, lean, Six Sigma, or similar mindset.

The last category of customer experience in the framework helps organizations continually analyze and improve CX across people, processes, and technology. While the ultimate measure of any of these methods is customer satisfaction and return on experience (which we will explore in the next article in this series), being able to break CX measurement down into these parts gives insights that might simply get lost otherwise.

In the next article, we’re going to discuss how to tie all of these customer experience metrics together to measure and calculate return on experience.

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 5: Product Measurements for Customer Experience
Thinkers360
August 29, 2022

The following is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere. 

In the last two articles in this series, we explored two external, or customer-facing categories of customer experience metrics: quantitative and qualitative. Now we are going to move from the external, or customer-facing customer experience metrics, to the internal metrics. We will start with product metrics, as shown in the figure below (Figure 2.6.1).

Figure 2.6.1, Quantitative measurement as defined in the CX measurement framework

 

Definition

Product metrics include the tools and services the organization produces for customers. Thus product metrics can be defined as how a product or service performs, such as the up-time of a mobile app or website, or the effectiveness of search engine functionality. These types of measurements are often diagnostic in nature.

Examples

Here are a few examples of product metrics as they relate to customer experience:

  • Mobile app or e-commerce website up-time

  • Effectiveness of search functionality in FAQs/knowledgebase

  • Wait time in-store, online, or on a customer service line

How to Measure

Here are a few examples of how to measure product metrics for customer experience:

  • Analytics tools for web and mobile applications

  • Diagnostic tools for system performance

  • Customer service metrics such as queue times

Opportunities

Product metrics are ones that an organization often has direct control over, and they are most often objective, quantitative ones. This means that as long as the important metrics are well-defined, and measurement platforms are in place, they can be measured with relative ease.

This type of internal measurement also gives companies an opportunity to get out ahead of potential issues by seeing, and in some cases anticipating, them in advance of an issue that might create a poor customer experience.

Challenges

There are obvious cases such as an e-commerce website being unavailable, or content not loading in a mobile app, where customers will complain, or simply go elsewhere and not purchase from your company if they occur. Outside of those examples, you might not hear from your customers about some of the challenges they face, because your product or service metrics are not something that is as directly understood by consumers.

Instead, the onus is on your product and service teams to measure and identify existing and potential issues and stay on top of them as promptly as they can. Ideally, this would be before your customers even notice.

This can sometimes be a challenge because many products and platforms that affect your customers are managed by teams outside of the customer experience, success, or service departments. Whether it is marketing, IT, or any other number of teams, product metrics and issues with products often require collaborative solutions. Depending on how closely teams are aligned, and how much of a priority CX is across all teams, this can prove more of a roadblock than it should. When you add other partners and third party platforms to the mix, this can provide even greater complexity.

Product metrics provide an internal window into what your customers are experiencing and also provide a direct method for your teams to make meaningful improvements to key processes within the customer journey. You shouldn’t wait for customers to start complaining or for sales to drop off to measure, analyze and build processes to improve them. Get ahead of these potential challenges before your customers even realize they could have it better!

In the next article in this series, we are going to discusss process metrics for customer experience. 

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 4: Qualitative Customer Experience Metrics
Thinkers360
August 21, 2022

The following is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere. 

In the last article in the series, we explored quantitative customer experience metrics. Let’s now explore qualitative customer experience metrics, which will be the second subcategory of CX measurements within the framework, as shown in the figure below (Figure 2.5.1).

Figure 2.5.1, Quantitative measurement as defined in the CX measurement framework

Definition

If you are new to qualitative metrics, let’s compare them to quantitative metrics. While quantitative measurements are objective, verifiable numbers such as how many sales were made, or how many visits were made to a web page, qualitative metrics are based on someone’s subjective opinion. For instance, qualitative measurements include asking your customers what their experience was like in terms of good or bad, which is not as easy to interpret and assess. It’s like asking someone if they liked their cup of coffee. All of that depends on whether they like light or dark roast, hot or iced, sugar and cream or none, or any of the other myriad combinations possible.

Thus, qualitative measurements are those that can be subjectively measured like Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), or things like sentiment analysis and other similar types of metrics.

Examples

Here are a few examples of qualitative metrics as they relate to customer experience:

  • Net Promoter Score question(s), such as “How likely are you to recommend this product or service?”

  • Other types of survey questions and responses

  • Sentiment analysis on social media comments

How to Measure

Here are a few examples of how to measure qualitative metrics for customer experience:

  • Customer surveys, which can include measurements for NPS and CSAT

  • Focus groups

  • Other feedback mechanisms

  • Sentiment analysis tools

Opportunities

Qualitative measurements can be helpful because sometimes objective measurements are simply not enough to tell a story. For instance, a customer can make it through a shopping experience which counts as a successful sale, but if they were made miserable every step of the way, they are unlikely to return or refer others. Thus, getting their subjective opinion can add insight in order to provide a better understanding.

Also, while I stated earlier in this book that qualitative measurements like NPS or CSAT shouldn’t be the only methods your organization uses to measure customer experience, these types of qualitative measurements can be extremely useful when you look at them as a relative point over time.

In other words, if you are measuring Net Promoter Score, and have been for many years, you can look at it as an important baseline measurement that you can use to see upswings and downswings over time. Used this way, they are an extremely helpful indicator that something is either going very well or very poorly.

Challenges

The thing to remember with qualitative customer experience measurements is that they are an individual’s opinion, at a specific point in time. Both of those factors are worth discussing, albeit briefly.

An individual’s opinion about how their customer experience should proceed is useful information, but as every individual is unique in their own way, so is their expectation of what the optimal CX should be. In the aggregate, this is less of an issue because trends tend to normalize with a higher volume of inputs, but taken one-off, an anecdotal piece of evidence can sometimes skew internal perceptions about what may be either right or wrong.

The second component here is the fact that this is data gathered at a specific point in time. For instance, a customer may be extremely happy (or extremely upset) by the end of a process, but there might have been many things that went wrong (or well) throughout. If you only measure an individual’s opinion one time throughout the process, you’re really only gathering information about their feelings at a single point. I’m simplifying this here, of course, because good or bad experiences are built from multiple touchpoints, but it is also important to note that you may have extreme challenges at certain points in your customer journey that your buyers simply overlook because they made it through the process. Shoring up those gaps earlier in the process are still critical, because not all customers are alike, either. Some may be more affected by setbacks early on, or have longer memories!

Qualitative metrics are essential to understanding customer perceptions of your organization’s customer experience. As long as they are balanced with other metrics, including the quantitative ones, as well as the internal metrics we’ll be discussing in the two articles that follow in this series, they provide good context that is difficult to measure otherwise.

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 3: Quantitative CX Measurements
Thinkers360
August 17, 2022

The following is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere. 

 We’re going to start with the first of two of our customer-facing, or external sub-categories of measurement: quantitative measurement, as shown in the figure below (Figure 2.4.1).

 Figure 2.4.1, Quantitative measurement as defined in the CX measurement framework

With each of these measurements, we’re going to explore them according to five dimensions, which consist of the following:

  • Definition of the type of measurement

  • Examples of metrics that fit the description

  • How to measure, including methods and platforms that can be used

  • Opportunities that measurement of this type provides

  • Challenges in measuring this type of metric

The important thing to remember is that no single subcategory should be the only method that you use to measure customer experience.

Definition

Quantitative measurements are things that can be objectively measured, like repeat purchases, referrals, visits, or complaints. While this is often the easiest set of things to measure in terms of discrete metrics (e.g. Google Analytics can provide the number of page views, or your email platform can measure click-through rates on a campaign), it must be tied to multiple touchpoints and/or platforms to be most meaningful.  

Examples

Here are a few examples of quantitative metrics as they relate to customer experience:

  • Repeat purchases

  • # of complaints

  • # of referrals

  • In-store purchases through a loyalty program

  • Calls to a customer service hotline

  • Customer churn rate

How to Measure

It can be said that quantitative metrics can be some of the easiest to measure because they are numbers taken directly from interactions, though that can sometimes be misleading. Measurement and analysis of the most meaningful ones often takes more effort, statistical analysis, or the combination of several metrics to tell the story of a customer journey (or at least the full story of one stage within the journey) . Here are a few examples of how to measure quantitative metrics for customer experience:

  • Analytics tools such as website or web application statistics

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools and analysis

  • Other sales data platforms

  • Customer service/call center measurement data

Opportunities

Quantitative metrics provide an objective (i.e. “the numbers don’t lie”) method of gaining insight into your customers that can help build a comprehensive view of how they are interacting with your brand and your people, processes, and platforms throughout the customer journey. Because there are many tools available to capture quantitative data, the initial step of data collection can often have a low barrier to entry.

When measured and processed in real-time, quantitative metrics can also provide the foundations for a uniquely personalized customer experience. Real-time insights and customer journey orchestration can help set your organization apart from your competitors, and provide the type of personalized that customers have come to expect from the brands they purchase from.

Challenges

As I mentioned earlier, there are a myriad of quantitative metrics that you can collect in order to analyze. A challenge that often occurs, however, is that looking at one quantitative metric in isolation rarely tells the whole story.

This means that you often need to collect data from multiple sources and find methods to combine them to produce a clearer picture of the customer experience. Many organizations are undergoing digital transformation initiatives to make this easier, and as anyone who has undergone one of these types of transformations will attest, it is not a quick or inexpensive process. It is, however extremely valuable to be able to piece together all of your data points, quantitative and otherwise.

Quantitative customer experience metrics are a critical part of your measurement. Your organization’s ability to directly measure them, and analyze them to tell the story of your customer’s journey, makes them valuable in providing objective data about where there are challenges and opportunities, or strengths and weaknesses, in your CX program.

In the next article in this series, we will discuss qualitative measurements of customer experience. 

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Marketing

The Metrics of Customer Experience, Part 2: A Framework for Customer Experience Measurement
Thinkers360
August 08, 2022

As we read in the previous article, a single metric like Net Promoter Score or CSAT doesn’t tell the full picture, and it isn’t prescriptive to all of the teams within your organization for how to improve customer experience along the entire customer journey. Because it is true that customer experience is everyone’s job in an organization, we need more holistic methods of measurement, analysis, and guidance or ideas for improvement.

The framework that I will be walking through in this chapter has been shared already in my previous book, The Center of Experience (2020), as well as with anyone who has seen one of my talks on return on experience. In the pages that follow in this chapter, I’m going to go into more detail about my customer experience measurement framework, and why I believe it is so valuable in order to get a fuller picture of the state of your CX.

We start with two primary categories, each with two subcategories underneath them, as shown below:

  1. External (Customer)

    1. Quantitative

    2. Qualitative

  2. Internal (Company)

    1. Product

    2. Process

As you can see, the main level categories are split into external, or customer metrics, and internal, or company metrics. Let’s take a look at these main categories, as well as why we split things in this way in the first place.

External and internal customer experience measurements

We will start our exploration of the dimensions of customer experience measurement with the two main categories and continue in the next four chapters by diving in deeper on the two subcategories within each one.

CUSTOMER METRICS

External, or customer metrics, are most often directly gathered from interactions with consumers. These could be qualitative insights, such as those from a survey or focus group, or quantitative, such as return visits to a website, or purchases in a store. Regardless of the exact metric, they are all measurements that result from a customer taking an action. We will explore these in more detail in the chapters that follow as well.

COMPANY METRICS

Internal, or company metrics, can be thought of as more indirect measures of factors that make up a customer’s experience with a brand. We will explore these in more detail as well in the chapters that follow this one, and they include measurements of your products and their performance, as well as the internal processes you use in order to measure, analyze, and improve your organization’s performance as it relates to CX.

How this helps create better delivery of customer experience

By looking at your customer experience metrics according to a breakdown such as the one I am proposing, you are able to better separate the more explicit metrics, such as the ones you receive directly from customers, with more implicit ones, such as those that exist “behind the scenes” or may be more opaque to customers, yet still impede their overall satisfaction.

Customers don’t always know how to articulate their exact reasons for having a poor experience, and often systems, processes, and platforms don’t give them enough feedback or information to be able to share anything specific even if they wanted to. Approaching your customer experience measurement in this way allows you to look at both the surface interactions as well as what is happening beneath the surface to create either great or lackluster experiences.

The next four articles in this series are going to discuss each of the four subcategories in more detail and provide some ideas on how you can start to think more holistically about your customer experience measurement. You’ll quickly find that many of these measurements are not things you can look at in a silo, either. This is why it is so critical to get cross-departmental buy-in.

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Marketing

Measurement and the Customer Journey
Thinkers360
August 06, 2022

The following is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere. 

I’m sure you’ve run across this phrase at least a few hundred times: “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” It might be on a poster with some mountains, or an empty desert road, written in a script font in front of a sunset. Trust me, it’s been done to death. But that doesn’t make it untrue. You could say something similar about the customer experience—it’s definitely a journey, not a destination.

Because the definition of customer experience is an individual’s perception of their entire experience with a brand, CX itself isn’t defined by any single point within the beginning, middle, or end.

Additionally, from the company side of things, it is very important to not just understand what it takes to get a customer to complete a stage of a journey. It’s just as vital to understand and empathize with a customer at the many individual moments that occur during the journey.

In this article, I’m going to explore measurement and the customer journey so we can better understand how to effectively measure customer experience.

What happens after a sale?

Some would say that the real experience of being a customer begins after the first sale, with everything leading up to that being the equivalent of dating someone before moving in or getting married. Or, as I have often said, the real test of a relationship is when things go wrong, not when things are still in a “honeymoon” phase, whether that’s a real honeymoon or a figurative one.

By the same token, there are a number of moments and opportunities to win over a customer before that first sale, so you need to consider all of it.

All of this adds up to the need to clearly define and understand the process a customer goes through in order to learn about your product or service, choose it above your competitors, purchase it, and buy it again and/or refer it to their colleagues and friends.

This means that you need to map out your customer journey if you haven’t done so already.

Life’s a journey

Every organization I’ve worked with has their own slightly different definitions or delineations for the stages within  a customer journey, but most of them follow the one shown in the figure below (Figure 3.3.1) to some degree.

 

Figure 3.3.1, The Customer Journey

You can see that we’ve split the customer journey into the following stages:

  1. Educate, where the buyer still has fundamental questions as to the exact challenge they need to solve, as well as the potential providers of solutions.

  2. Influence, where the buyer has created a consideration set for brands and solutions, and is considering how each compares from a value perspective.

  3. Acquire, where the buyer begins and eventually completes the process of purchasing the product or service, resulting in a sale for the brand.

  4. Activate, where the buyer starts to use the product or service and has the opportunity to recommend it to others, purchase more products and services from the brand, or in some instances may run into technical difficulties which require customer service.

Now let’s explore some measurement considerations at each of the four stages in the journey.

Measurement considerations at each stage in the customer journey

You may have an overall metric you use to judge relative performance of customer experience from year to year, such as NPS, CSAT, CES, or all or some of the above. Regardless of that baseline metric, it is extremely important to be continually measuring, analyzing, and improving interactions with customers at each stage of the journey.

Let’s take a look at some of the considerations that should be made during the stages of the customer journey we defined earlier.

EDUCATE

As a customer is learning both about the problem they are trying to solve, as well as about your product, it is important to lead with information that educates (as the name of this stage suggests) more than sells. There will be plenty of time to make the sale and roll out all of your best marketing copy and offers. For the time being, however, you need to make sure that the customer knows what they need to buy in the first place, and positioning your brand as a helpful guide enables you to have a prime place once they are considering their options.

Metrics at this stage can include interactions with your thought leadership or educational materials, as well as inquiries at a high level about your product or service offerings. A well-educated buyer might reach out through some of these channels, but quickly identify themselves as belonging in the next stage.

INFLUENCE

At this next stage, you have an educated customer that needs to make a sometimes tough decision between several options, including your brand. This is the stage where you get more “marketing” heavy by providing personalized offers, and work more aggressively towards pushing to the next stage, which involves a purchase.

Make sure you find ways to identify if this buyer really belongs in this stage, or if they still need more education on their fundamental challenges. If you are able to do this, you will save a considerable amount of time and resources, and when you are able to educate the buyer, you’ll have a much easier sale on your hands. This process can be made much easier through customer journey orchestration tools, particularly if you are dealing with a large volume of customers.

ACQUIRE

You made the sale! Hold on, not so fast. This stage includes the entire sales process, and ends with the sale being made. Whether you are a B2B provider with a months-long sales process, or an e-commerce brand whose goal is the quickest checkout possible, it always takes a little more effort than you think it should to make the sale.

It is important to have metrics associated with buyers starting this process, and measuring how long it takes, what issues were encountered, and more. Again, regardless of the amount of time it takes and the people, processes, and technology involved in making the sale, there is a wealth of information to be gained.

While there are plenty of customer-facing metrics, both quantitative and qualitative, to capture during this stage, this is also one where the internal aspects, or product and process, are incredibly important. The last thing you want is for a small but critical point to be missed, take too long, or malfunction when a buyer is ready to buy!

ACTIVATE

Wait, aren’t we done after that last stage? Of course not. The sale can really be thought of as the beginning of a new relationship. A prospect now becomes a customer and many opportunities await. The customer experience measurement at this stage includes their behaviors using your product or service, their referral and word of mouth behavior, as well as whether they choose to purchase from your organization again.

This means that you have several teams working in parallel paths. For instance, in a B2B setting, you might have a customer success team working with a customer to ensure they are getting onboarded and extracting as much value as possible from your product in the first 30 days. Then, you have a marketing team that wants to cross-sell, up-sell, or get the customer to spread the word to their colleagues to increase the overall customer value. Finally, you might have a customer service or technical support team that addresses issues or questions when there is a real or perceived problem. This doesn’t even take into account any other potential teams, such as technical integration, or third parties that may be involved.

Suffice to say, there is a lot going on across many teams in your organization at this stage. It is critical that you have both an overall measure of success, as well as individual measures and goals for each of those teams. Your processes and governance of CX will unite these teams in their actions.

As you can see, there are so many opportunities throughout the customer journey in order to influence CX for the better, and just as many opportunities to measure the effectiveness at each of these stages. Through strategic planning and prioritization, you can make the most of this potential wealth of information.

This article is based on ideas from my recent book, Meaningful Measurement of the Customer Experience, now available everywhere.

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Tags: Analytics, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation

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