How IBM Champions a Customer-Driven Culture in a Time of Crisis

Using machine learning to help with end-to-end experience

IBM is using this time of crisis to break down assumptions and break down silos. IBM
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Michelle Peluso knows about opportunities during a crisis—she was at Citigroup during the financial crisis. And right now, in her words, “Everything about the customer experience is changing. When the world is swirling, there’s actually no better time to think about the customer.”

The CMO and svp of digital sales at IBM said the opportunity that lies in understanding the customer journey over the past six months. Cloud computing helps facilitate market learnings, according to Peluso, who made the comments during a recent Adweek webinar on the topic.

“There’s no human way to fully process this,” she said. “It is a time of intense listening and learning.”

Peluso added that machine learning gives businesses a better understanding of what matters most right now, like interactive advertising and customer chats. It also provides more time to test and break down assumptions and silos. And in a world where you can’t control everything, you can control the end-to-end customer experience. It’s also important to close the feedback loop, embed AI into workflows and be transparent with models.

Within the walls of IBM, it’s a learning culture that asks employees to undergo 80 hours of training a year to better serve its customers.

“The skills of any employee are obsolete in three years,” Peluso explained. “We have to be lifelong learners.”

@koimtv Ko Im is the community editor at Adweek and co-host of Adweek's podcast Yeah, That's Probably an Ad.