Marketers invest in next-generation experiences

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BtoB: In the down economy, how have clients been redirecting their interactive investments? Quin: The first thing to get cut in the choppy waters of the recession has been fluffy, unnecessary campaign microsites—all those gee-whiz Flash sites that agencies love to do for no particular reason. However, at the same time that companies are pulling in their marketing horns, embattled buyers have made the Web a bigger part of their lives than ever. Seeing this, brands have realized that their digital storefronts—from their Web sites to everything else—are now where they can win or lose. The result is investment in lots of next-generation marketing experiences and new ways to connect digitally with customers. BtoB: What are the core capabilities interactive agencies need to better serve b-to-b clients today? Quin: Part of the thinking is that the 20th century was the time to perfect supply chain management and distribution for companies, but today winning is all about customer experience, especially in digital channels where businesspeople seem to live these days. This means that any agency worth its salt needs to be very good at creating digital marketing that is engaging, effortless, enjoyable and valuable. It takes a combination of serious customer insight strategy, user experience science, deep technology and great creative. BtoB: What do you see as some of the most promising new technologies, and how are you taking advantage of them? Quin: At IQ, we're excited about data-driven dashboards, a new and exciting technology that allows customers to track and manage data of all kinds so that only the information important to the user bubbles to the top. It makes everything from managing the complexity of a company's health care to a complex business relationship much simpler. The idea is that any brand that simplifies the complexity of modern life wins customer loyalty. Microsoft Corp. recently launched a data-driven dashboard that offers people a variety of tools and widgets to upload, organize and monitor health information (at http://myhealthinfo This technology applies to virtually any business and allows marketers to cement themselves to the daily lives of their customers. M
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