Content means many things to many people, dependent upon context
Here at Dun & Bradstreet, content is truly king: Our data assets are indeed our crown jewels, and represent one of our three core ethics pillars by providing ‘indispensable content’ to our customers.
But enough about what we do. It is what you, our customers, wish to do that is most important. With global data comes complexity, and so helping you understand and make the best use of data is something we work hard to achieve.
So, coming across this Harvard Business Review article, which focuses on customer centricity, I thought it worth exploring the synergies of what mainly B2C businesses are doing with their B2B counterparts, looking firstly at our own organisation. Most successful companies don’t just have good products, marketing and distribution, but also a deep understanding of their customers. As users of Salesforce.com, we know that to do this, you need to capture the right data in the first place and analyse it to make it actionable.
This becomes more difficult when you start to review the number of customer touchpoints a business has. To illustrate, the article mentions Unilever’s efforts to pull all of this data together into what they are calling an “insights engine,” which is a set of structures, people and processes that can translate data into an actionable strategy. In fact, Dun & Bradstreet does this type of processing daily through the provision of scores and ratings that stream into customers’ workflows.
To take that data as a trusted source for your business processes, customers need to fully understand the data ‘content’ prior to its consumption. With such a complex global data supply chain. with over 220 countries feeding their data to Dun & Bradstreet daily as well as public data feeds, to consolidate and then build the scores that customers rely so heavily on for their trade credit purposes is no mean feat. The ‘content’ experience has to be better than good.
So, although the global data supply chain is unlikely to be as complex as the Unilever distribution and customer engagement program, Dun & Bradstreet take customer experience very seriously. To this end, there is now a Global Content Experience program working with customer representatives to stitch together the many changes that occur in the global supply chain that data users need to be aware of.
These are small steps currently, as the ‘insights engine’ is in a relatively basic form but starting to provide senior executives with a view of the resources that customers find most useful. Where the business needs to focus is issue resolution, and ultimately where to innovate. We may not have our Shark Tank* yet, but it is firmly in our sights.
*Shark Tank initiative applies a technique borrowed from the CNBC show of the same name. A dozen or so start-ups pitch new technologies to a CMI executive team. Each has five minutes to tell its story, followed by five minutes of Q&A. After the presentations, the team votes on which ideas to pilot and which to reject. Since its inception two years ago, Shark Tank has screened more than 650 technologies, piloted more than 175, and scaled up 37.