March 17, 2011

Get Elastic / Forrester Response

Unfortunately, when folks leave comments on blog posts, almost nobody reads them, life moves on.

If the comments are worth reading, they deserve their own blog post.

Here are responses from Linda Bustos (Get Elastic) and Brian Walker (Forrester), following the Tuesday Mailbag (click here to read the original article).  How about you offer your thoughts as well?  It doesn't matter what I think ... in the end ... heck, I agree with 70% of both what Linda and Brian say, and then differ in several key areas ... and that's fine.  Honestly, it matters what YOU think.  You're a business leader.  What do you think of these issues?

Linda Bustos said...

Hi Kevin, love this format :)

To answer "Dan," the spirit of Brian's report is to be provocative and even controversial - multichannel is still multichannel, it's the mindset about it (and the technology that supports it) that needs to catch up to what the consumer is already doing. The channels aren't going away, but the organization should view the channels in a holistic way rather than in silos, and support the consumer with a seamless experience across them all.

Brian's argument is that it has already come to fruition - the customer IS engaging across touchpoints and there is a real problem with siloed management of these channel/touchpoints.

Multichannel attribution is very important, but extremely difficult. A shift to "agile" ways of managing these channel/touchpoints can help this problem, but not completely erradicate it. I don't believe any vendor or thought leader will emerge the winner here (Charlie Sheen excluded), as there will always be a large market of point solutions and commerce platforms that can support this shift. If anything, that playing field will grow as the market demands more such solutions, there can't be a vendor winner. Also, technology is only half of the pie, the other is how the business organizes itself, and the co-operation between touchpoint "owners."
Always appreciate your commentary,

 Linda Bustos

Hey Kevin, Life has a way of coming full circle doesn’t it? This is Brian Walker, formerly of Eddie Bauer where we worked together years ago, and now with Forrester and author of the idea in question. BTW - Here is the actual post where this idea can be found ( After reading the comments and your thoughts I think we are in more synch than you may think. Linda does an excellent job of describing the issue above, but I want to be sure to state that I (and my colleagues at Forrester) thought long and hard about the name of the phenomenon. The reason we determined “multichannel” no longer described the ways businesses are working is because that is what clients told us. Through surveys and many, many conversations we heard this over and over. Organizational models that are organized against channels no longer work – they are monolithic and unresponsive to the gaps in the customer experience. Operating in silos does not make sense as customers expectations long ago moved beyond channels – and your work at EB long ago proved this – and yet companies do not really address it. And eCommerce technology is being pushed and pulled everywhere – mobile, in-store, call center, etc.. Calling for companies to embrace “multichannel” was falling on deaf ears, and it is actually not accurate – it is no longer multiple channels in the customers’ eyes. Time for a wake-up call, I say. I actually tried to connect with you as this idea was developing to get your input, but our schedules conspired against us. I look forward to doing that soon, as I would enjoy hearing that feedback. Thanks, and glad to see you are doing so well,

Brian Walker, Forrester, @bkwalker

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