keys to the DX Summit

Is a Cultural Shift Necessary for Better DX? #DXS15

6 minute read
Scott M. Fulton III avatar
Now that customers expect organizations to communicate with them personally, on any number of channels, should these organizations change their structure to better accommodate them?

This is the second in CMSWire’s Keys to the Summit series, previewing our DX Summit 2015 conference next week in Chicago.  For the three readers who haven’t seen our details yet, it’s being held Monday, Nov. 2 through Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the W Hotel City Center.

In Part 1 last Tuesday, we discussed how organizations should match their technology outlooks to their customer experience strategies, and when and where that issue would come up in discussion at DX Summit.


On the Wednesday morning docket, our Community Editor Siobhan Fagan will moderate a panel discussion, “Creating CX Culture.”  The panelists include Mayur Gupta, SVP and head of digital at Healthgrades, a research service linking consumers with the doctors, hospitals and health care providers best suited for their lives and lifestyles.

Gupta was the legendary head of marketing technology at Kimberly-Clark, credited with spearheading what many observers and analysts believe to have been a successful cultural shift in that organization.

While there in the summer of 2014, he made an appearance at a conference sponsored by The Economist, where he provided some bold and outspoken commentary, challenging the conventional wisdom about organizational shifts.

Gupta took the Gartner firm to task for having predicted that organizational shifts toward the marketing department will be reflected in corporate budgets.  “I think that has misled the entire industry, where the focus has shifted to organizational boundaries, when the real challenge is really in skills and capabilities that we all need to have.”

He believes executives, managers and implementers within organizations are fully capable of collaborating with one another — that’s not the issue.  What they need are the skills to know what to say to each other.

“We need a breed that could be technologists who are now marketers, or marketers who used to be technologists,” he said.  “It’s really that converged space that is going to be the future of driving consumer experiences and engagement.”

Gupta’s comments were soon followed by a shift in career.

Now at Healthgrades, he finds the time to produce the Inspire MarTech blog, where last June he brought forth a collection of some of the new C-suite titles he’s seen in recent years (“Chief Content Officer,” “Chief Customer Officer,” “Chief Experience Officer,” just to name a few).

Once again bucking the conventional wisdom, Gupta wrote, “You could argue that fragmentation is the industry’s biggest challenge in delivering seamless consumer experiences, so adding more C Level roles will continue to fragment already isolated and broken ecosystem even more.”

Oh yeah. You’ll want to see Mayur Gupta, along with Ernst & Young’s Phil Kemelor, Abdel Tefridj of CareerBuilder and Matthew Zaute of Rise Interactive at 9 a.m. Central Time Wednesday morning at DX Summit.


As a content strategist for Marriott Hotels, Meghan Walsh became an advocate for developing a content creation strategy within organizations that was independent of the technology used to contain and deliver it.

Bucking the conventional trend, Walsh stated publicly that her company’s CMS may or may not need to be replaced, in order for it to put its renovated content strategy to optimum use.  Put another way, if we can agree it’s not the technology that defines the strategy, we must logically conclude it is not necessarily the technology that is impeding the strategy.

So if you change the strategy, perhaps the technology can stay put.

On the other hand, the technology does need to enable this much of the vision: that a true content platform should feed all conceivable channels, rather than segment content for each one.

Learning Opportunities

“If we have solved the common content challenge through accessible, presentation-agnostic content,” she told our Dom Nicastro in December 2013, “then we can better focus and deliver on channel specific needs when they do arise.”

Walsh was credited with driving necessary changes in the culture of her organization.  Her comments were soon followed by a shift in career.

So on Wednesday, November 4 at 11:30 a.m. CT at DX Summit, be sure to pencil in “Before You Build: Creating Alignment Between C-Level, Business and IT,” as presented by Meghan Walsh, Senior Director for Global Marketing at Hilton Worldwide.

(Hope Meghan doesn’t mind she’ll be speaking at the W.)


Long-time readers of this publication will be familiar with Melissa Webster, IDC’s chief of digital media technology analysis, who has made it her mission in life to strike down compartmentalized silos,and open up organizations to collaboration and inter-communication.

In an IDC white paper last March [PDF], Webster addressed what she calls the “document disconnect” — a phenomenon where information intended to be shared among departments becomes segregated into unique and sometimes awkward workflows, becoming managed by applications other than the ones that created them.

“Information workers feel the impact of the document disconnect on a daily basis,” she wrote.  “Although three-quarters of the information workers we surveyed use one or more enterprise applications, when it comes to that ‘last mile’ of document-based interaction, they are left to improvise using a hodgepodge of general-purpose productivity and collaboration tools, stringing together a series of manual tasks.”

Cloud dynamics is making it possible for organizations to craft content management systems that directly address their own exclusive needs.  Melissa Webster is perhaps the strongest opponent of that course of action, arguing among other things that homespun solutions end up locking silos in place.

Over several years’ time, Webster has collected a plethora of success stories from organizations that IDC has studied, that were willing to undertake significant cultural changes in order to realign themselves with the image they needed to project for their customers.  She’ll present these stories Wednesday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. CT.


Did we mention there’s a conference next week?

Once you’ve registered yourself and your colleagues at, DX Summit has a mobile app where you can see our daily agenda, get insight into more of our speakers and find your way around downtown Chicago.  I’ll see you there.

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