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CXBuzz Interview With Jay McBain Principal Analyst at Forrester Research

Some background about Jay McBain

Jay McBain is an accomplished speaker, author, and innovator in the IT industry. Named 2021 Channel Influencer of the Year by Channel Partners Magazine, Top 40 Under Forty by the Business Review, Top 8 Thought Leader by Channel Marketing Journal, Top 20 Visionary by ChannelPro, Top 25 Newsmaker by CDN Magazine, Top 50 Channel Influencer by Penton, Top 100 Most Respected Thought Leader by VSR Magazine, Global Power 150 by SMB Magazine, and Top 250 Managed Services Executives by MSPmentor.

Jay is often sought out for keynotes, consulting, thought leadership, and industry guidance. He has spent his 27-year career in various executive sales, marketing, channel, and strategy roles within IBM, Lenovo, Autotask, ChannelEyes, and now Forrester. Jay is the principal analyst for global channels at Forrester – one of the most influential global research and advisory firms in the world.

Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?

Marketplaces grew more in the first 3 months of the pandemic than the last 10 years combined. We see this as the digital connective tissue that will drive subscription/consumption/embedded models of the future. We are predicting 17% of the entire tech industry (of $3.5 trillion in B2B spend) will flow through marketplaces as quickly as this year.

What is one element that must always be considered when working on a CXM (customer experience management) strategy?

75% of world trade flows indirectly – through retailers, franchisees, dealers, agents, resellers, etc. Most companies miss the PX element of managing their partners effectively to drive great CX.

Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?

76% of CEOs think their current business model will be unrecognizable in 5 years – and ecosystems are the reason why. Driving customer value creation, co-innovation, and leveraging network effects will determine winners and losers in the next decade – the decade of the ecosystem.

What are some of the ways companies can strive to eliminate the CX Gap?

Focus on partner experience in parallel with the new buyer and CX.

What’s the most insightful book you read in 2020?

I re-listened to all of Malcolm Gladwell’s library of books – they are truly timeless.

Jay’s predictions for the future of CX

What are your predictions for trends in customer experience in the coming year?

Partner Experience (PX) Will Catch Up To Customer Experience (CX)

B2B channels are in transition — from a tiered, resale, and fulfillment function to a more fluid indirect ecosystem of affiliates, advocates, alliances, and referral partners. Upward of 75% of global revenue comes from third-party channels, and partners play a key role in shaping the customer experience. But most organizations have been slow to make the link between partner experience and customer experience.

A strong 43% of global B2B marketing decision-makers rank improving customer experience as a top priority in 2019, while 39% are looking to improve the partner experience. We predict marketing decision-makers will rank improving partner experience on par with improving customer experience in 2020, and both will rise to more than 50%.

Brands are wising up to the notion that customer obsession also means partner obsession and are looking for channel organizations to deliver.

About the author

Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons is the CEO & Co-Founder of PR Soprano and the editor of CXBuzz parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.


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