By Mark Kersteen - November 24th, 2014

Incite Summit: East has blown through Midtown like the most informative two-day run of a Broadway play the city has ever seen. Even if you missed it, we’ll have plenty of information and insight for you to mull over.

 In our headlining panel ‘Customers Aren’t Numbers’, we were treated to a host of fantastic takeaways on using data to get closer to customers. Kara Segreto, CMO of Prudential Retirement, made the point that data can be used to make your storytelling stronger. Data gives you a wider context in which to tell your stories. It gives you even more material, providing information on real behavioral trends. You can then use individual stories to flesh out these trends with human examples. Allie Kline, CMO of AOL Platforms, stressed that marketers need be sure they’re not measuring metrics for the sake of their own egos. It’s easy to find numbers that agree with you. It’s much harder to find the ones that really tell you what your customers are doing. Yet by doing that hard work, you can better find the authentic, human aspects of the relationship you have with your customer. Ken Lain, Vice-President of Sales and Service Operations at Verizon, encouraged marketers to ask themselves: “If there was a customer in the room sitting next to you, would you make the decision you are making right now?” It’s one thing to say you’re customer-centric, but it’s only through that kind of rigorous examination that organizations can make the changes in their behaviors that customers require. The overarching theme of the discussion was: ‘We don’t need more data, we need to do more with data.’ As Ken described it—to understand the customer journey, we need to be using data to make sense of the connective tissue of the journey itself. Journey analytics allow you to make informed decisions, and learn where you are and aren’t succeeding with your customers. Data has become so valuable over the last several years, it’s hard to discourage your organization from hoarding it. However, it’s only the intelligent, sensitive, human-minded application of data that makes it valuable in the first place. This is just a fraction of some of the valuable tips and strategy delivered by our speakers. To see Ken Lain speaking about Verizon’s data-focused take on customer-centricity, check out the video below!  

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