The Power of Customer Centricity

Posted by Gregory Heinz on Apr 6, 2015 10:28:00 AM

How a simple mindset change can position a business for long-term success in the “Age of the Consumer.”

In today’s Internet-focused world, consumers have more authority and less patience than ever before. The line that once differentiated consumers from B2B buyers has been blurred, and businesses must remain agile enough to easily adapt to these changes, or risk falling behind. For independent packaging manufacturers specifically, it’s about employing a business practice that focuses on the customer—not just in the value that a business offers (quality products and service), but realizing the long-term value the customer will provide in return. It’s about open lines of communication and a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s about customer-centricity.
According to  Forbes, customer-centricity means a better understanding and engagement of customers, as well as enhancing capabilities for serving customers. E-commerce giants and Zappos are great examples of companies that have successfully employed a customer-centric approach. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, famously said his goal was to become the “Earth’s most customer-centric company” and would do so by “focusing obsessively on the customer.” In the end, what really differentiates these companies is that they do not just claim to provide the greatest customer experience—they deliver it.

Packaging manufacturers, too, can deliver such an experience to their customers by adopting a customer-centric model based on four key principles: self-service, real-time access, collaboration, and business agility. The importance of the customer experience cannot be overemphasized, and it has become vital that businesses make their products and services easily accessible.

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What's the big deal about Big Data?

Posted by Gregory Heinz on Apr 1, 2015 3:10:00 PM

Originally published in the March/April issue of AICC Boxscore

As a marketer working in the information technology space, I am constantly challenged by innovations that address key issues in business productivity and data security. I may not always comprehend terms such as big data, business intelligence, fabrics, and cloud computing; they require a little research to uncover their meaning. My goal is to share these findings with you and attempt to explain, in the simplest way possible, how these concepts can impact your business. Today, let’s tackle “big data.”

Wikipedia defines big data as “an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large or complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications.” Further digging reveals that there are two types of data: structured and unstructured. Structured is the traditional data we capture from our business systems and store in databases. Unstructured is everything else—email, social media, website interactions, customer services conversations, etc. The latter makes up nearly 90 percent of all data, which is eye-opening when you consider how much we rely on data to make informed business decisions and how little unstructured data we can comprehend.

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Moving to the Cloud

Posted by Gregory Heinz on Feb 2, 2015 2:19:00 PM

Originally published in AICC Boxscore's January/February 2015 Issue

As the director of marketing at Amtech Software, I use cloud-based services on a daily basis. Whether it’s for file storage (Dropbox), creative design (Adobe Creative Suite), or website development and content distribution (HubSpot), cloud-based software provides the resources necessary to communicate and collaborate with my team.

So what is the cloud, exactly? More than a fancy tech-industry buzzword, the cloud allows users to communicate with a network of remote servers that provides anything from data storage to software applications and online access. The term “cloud” dates back to the 1960s, stemming from the original use of a cloud-shaped symbol on flow charts and diagrams to symbolize the Internet. It may have taken 50 years, but the concept has come to fruition, and it is delivering significant advantages for business leaders who are willing to take the leap.

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