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Exclusive - Jeremy Waite of Salesforce Talks Analytics and the Customer Journey

Jeremy Waite is Head of Digital Strategy, Marketing Cloud EMEA for Salesforce where he is an evangelist and talks strategically to executives about Salesforce and technology shifts. He has just published his latest book on the 5 Levels of Brand Leadership, was voted the Most Influential Person on Twitter in 2015 for #BigData, is a professional speaker at marketing conferences all over the world and he still finds the time to race bicycles. Impressive.

icrunchdata News recently had the opportunity to talk to him about his work at Salesforce and what he thought when IBM’s Watson reviewed his book. We also explore his personal strategies around social media and who he is outside of big data.

Jeremy, thanks for talking to us today and let’s jump in.

You are the Head of Digital Strategy for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, “The future of marketing is 1:1 customer journeys.” How does a ‘customer journey’ in today’s marketplace compare to the traditional sales cycle?

Isn’t the traditional sales cycle just one tiny part of the customer journey? The issue for me is that many businesses operate in silos and have their sales strategies, but they rarely compliment or integrate well with the service, marketing, insights or customer experience strategies. If more companies looked at customer journeys (and understood how to measure them), I’m sure customers would trust brands more. There are two fascinating stats that I think speak to this problem perfectly.

  • 37% of execs don’t know the lifetime value of a customer according to Gartner (so how do you know how much to invest acquiring, keeping or looking after them?)
  • 77% of customers don’t want a relationship with a brand (Harvard Business Review) ~ probably because brands don’t understand their customers well enough, so they just keep pushing them into another sales funnel.

You just self-published your latest book "From Survival to Significance" and had IBM’s Watson review it. What were your thoughts as all 445 pages of your book were fed into the “artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language”?

I was impressed for many reasons, but mainly because Watson understood that I was not writing the book for personal gain, but to showcase brands that had a purpose larger than themselves. The fact that an artificially intelligent machine can understand (in-part) some of my emotional intent, is impressive.

What were you most surprised with in Watson’s review and analysis of your book?

Only 11% of the content was “emotional”. Not surprising perhaps given that a large part of the book is strategic advice for brands, but given that every brand is “emotional” by definition, I expected my passion and conversational writing style to rank higher emotionally. Instead, Watson said it was un-structured. I don’t disagree since my thinking often seems very schizophrenic!

You were just ranked by Onalytica as the Most Influential Person on Twitter in 2015 for #BigData. What is the main strategy that you’ve consistently implemented that has made the biggest impact on your Twitter footprint?

Have a single purpose. Know why you are on twitter and stick to that goal. 50% of active people on twitter never tweet – and that’s OK, since it is such an amazing news and information network. Some people use it as a conversational channel to reach their friends and associate with their favorite celebs. I only really use twitter to discover cool stuff from people I respect and admire (around tech, marketing or data) and share it with anyone kind enough to follow me. The Onalytica thing was lovely and very flattering, but probably had more to do with the fact that I attach #BigData to too many tweets!

You are active on Pinterest. What is your advice for brands that have embraced the other top social media platforms but not Pinterest?

I’m not as active as I would like to be. It’s a cool platform and was my favourite place for bookmarking and collecting things I like – like an online scrapbook, but these days I don’t have the time to maintain it properly. Like Tumblr, it also doesn’t have anywhere near the level of engagement for me that it had 12 months or two years ago. I like the words of Ben Silberman – founder of Pinterest – “Use it to discover things that you didn’t know you wanted / needed / liked”.

You are a constant traveler speaking at events all over the world. What is your favorite airport and what one do you try to avoid?

London for both. Gatwick is a nasty airport. It’s not very kind of politically correct but I’d rather have an extended runway at Heathrow than an additional one at Gatwick. I also live 20 minutes from Heathrow which helps. Terminal 5 is world class. I love JFK too but more for the fact that it means I’m in NYC than because it is a great airport!

You are also an avid cyclist and racer. Road or Mountain and what is your favorite bike?

Road. Parlee Z5SLi

What app or wearable do you rely on the most for tracking your cycling performance?

Microsoft Health band connected to GPS, my heart rate and Strava.

Today you have over 72K followers on Twitter and have tweeted 29.9K times @JeremyWaite. On May 1, 2009, your very first tweet was “Isn’t it great when work really doesn’t really feel like work? : ) That is a pretty solid first tweet. Do you still feel that way today?

I have one of the best jobs in the world for what I believe is the best company in the world. I’d probably do it for free if I could. Although I suspect my wife would have a slightly different view.

Jeremy, I can’t end our conversation any better than that. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today.

Article published by Todd Nevins
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