Adapt to Grow

Panel with Experts – Rethink the customer journey with CURIOSITY (Reflection: Part 2)

On February 2 2021, Adapt to Grow hosted a panel with experts in data science. Wrapped around a theme of curiosity, the event discussed a topic of how we can use data differently to better understand our customers.



We talked a lot about data — why it’s important, how to make best use of the plethora of data we can access, and how we can bring diverse team members and perspectives on the same page with data. And on part 1 of this blog, we previously shared some immensely valuable nuggets of wisdom that our panel brought on these areas. But there’s so much more!

What does data mean to you? 
When Meg asked our two more data experts what data meant to them, we heard analogies of it being ‘a lifeblood’ and ‘a fuzzy blanket’. Hear them out! Ajay Gupta, Co-founder & CEO of Stirista, pointed out that right before the pandemic, “data was being talked in harsh tones, almost as if it’s a bad thing. But luckily the pandemic forced us to be innovative and to market differently – and as a lifeblood of everything we do in business, data has become very relevant again.” Pamela Isom, President/CEO of ICE Safety Solutions, says “Data is a warm fuzzy blanket”. Why? Because having data means having information to make us happy. Data can not only help us test and iterate things to the next level, having really good data can also help us make things better. She said, “it helps us to gain trust, and people only do business with those they trust.”

What are some of the trends that’s come to light as a result of the pandemic?

We all know 2020 was a year like no other and it gave a whole new meaning to the word ‘unprecedented’, but it also brought data quality, speed, insight and its need to the front line for businesses like never before. It’s become clear that what was considered advanced not too long ago is now as essential as gas and electricity.

Marketing was one of the first jobs that organizations cut and a lot of professionals turned to Netflix and the like to get through the day and the woes. Ajay pointed out that as a result, we’re seeing a rise in connected TVs and streaming services. And with the growing number of streaming solutions, a lot of advertisers are now spending their ad dollars with 1:1 personalized targeting through CTV.

Pamela shared an innovative pivot story on building consumer trust amidst the pandemic. She said, “as the pandemic hit, everything stopped. All that we knew went away — and we had to pivot. So we called a lot of customers and prospects to simply check-in but asked for nothing — and the response was amazing and it really helped us make the connection.” She shared that the response from the exercise taught her that we can use data to connect with the customers in a very empathetic and personalized way.”


How can leaders empower their team to grow forward?

We learned a lot about data. A lot about the trends. A lot about the pivots. So we were curious: knowing what they know now, what do our data experts think is key for leaders to empower their team to grow forward? And their answers helped us learn so much more!

Pam shared about the three C’s: “You have to Care. You have to Call. And you have to be Compassionate. People have to know you care. You can ‘t say “I know you’re busy, but I’d love to have a meeting”. That doesn’t show you care!” She shared that the answer is in curiosity and communication. We need to get curious and look into the successful past engagements and seek answers on why they were successful. We need to communicate and ask our own customers why they work with us or continue to do so. The answers will come.

One of the key things that came out of the pandemic is the need to adapt. Those who’ve been adaptive, have been the ones that survived. And Ajay shared that if we continue to adapt and help our customers adapt, we can collectively survive and thrive. 

So where to from here? 
Pam shared that we need hope. Yes, the word hope – as well as the acronym ‘HOPE’.
   H: Happiness (How can you keep your customers happy?)
   O: Opportunity (How can you find opportunity by presenting new solutions?)
   P: Profitability/Passion – (Pivot with passion, which will take you to profitability)
   E- Excellence (Whatever you do, do it with excellence)
So, there we have it. 
Behind all the data, our audience are all human. In the virtual world we’re operating today, with little to no interaction, data becomes even more important — and while it’s crucial to use that data but even more important to focus on empathy. 

Final Thoughts:

The event was absolutely engaging and so was the audience. Before the event, some of the topics that the audience had shared they wanted to learn more about were how to find the right customers fast, how to find them online, how to understand and retain their customers, and how to unify the team and marketing. Not only did the audience walk away with insights and actionable tips on those questions, but were also left with even more questions than answers, as was promised.

Join us on our next event

Theme: Empathy
How can you empathize and connect with your online, invisible customer?


About the Author

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.