Know your customer better to deliver exceptional consumer experiences
Jane Stockdill-Mander 110000EG3T firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  websphere composable_business soa messaging application_integration customer_experience
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As a married, 30-something female, I’m frequently targeted by advertisers based on a common social profile for my demographic: having babies! I get emails, Facebook adverts and more telling me which diapers are the best and how I can join local parenting clubs. The thing is, I don’t have any children!
So I’m feeling rather disengaged. I know my every move is being tracked online, so why when I click like on the thousandth picture of some cute cat are they not sending me savings vouchers to try a new cat food? And they certainly know which country I live in, so when I clicked through to buy that new personalized running T-shirt I was very disappointed to find out I could only order it if I lived in the US (I don't). Despite all that advertisers seem to know about us, they still haven’t quite understood how to reach me as an individual. How can they do better?
How well do you know your customers?
Seeing each customer as an individual
Becoming a composable business
To better reach your customers, your existing enterprise infrastructure needs to be based on strong foundations. Recently I called an architect to look at building an extension onto my home, and the first thing we had to discuss was whether the existing structure was strong enough that we could build on top of it. Each extra brick adds weight and puts pressure on the foundation, and the same is true for IT systems. Each new request to your enterprise system increases the workload that perhaps you did not originally design for. Is your system responsive enough to meet the expectations of your customer?
Build a foundation
IBM Integration Bus integrates applications and data throughout your enterprise with access to patterns, reducing the time and skill needed. This allows your systems of record to be in sync with your systems of engagement, creating positive customer experiences.
Imagine your customer has just tweeted that he is excited to have booked a holiday. Last winter he bought some boots from you so you know his shoe size, and now when that customer enters your store you already have information on what you have in stock for him and can proactively engage with him.
IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration rapidly bridges software as a service (SaaS) and on-premises applications so that information from all systems, wherever they are hosted, is available. From this information you can build a complete customer profile.
IBM WebSphere DataPower secures the enterprise boundary, allowing you to integrate beyond your trusted network with the assurance that your valuable internal assets are protected. Not only does this give you simple-to-configure OAuth security that authenticates without your mobile app users having to enter passwords, but it also provides the ability to securely expose and control services to third parties over mobile, web, application programming interface (API), service-oriented architecture (SOA), business-to-business (B2B) and cloud workloads.
IBM API Management and WebSphere Service Registry and Repository help expose and manage services through APIs to accelerate the pace of innovation. They make it easier for applications to consume information from within your enterprise without the need for in-depth knowledge.
IBM WebSphere Application Server and IBM Messaging deliver responsiveness for timely insights whether that is optimization for caching and intelligent load distribution or lightweight mobile messaging for Internet-scale delivery to deliver real-time value to your customer.
To learn more about how to build a solid foundation so you can better understand your customers, please engage with me on Twitter @JaneSM19. And when this page ends up in my unique customer profile, please be aware that I also like discounts for sushi!