Marianne Hewitt panelist at KMG Digital Marketing Event

The Kellstadt Marketing Group staged another fabulous event for students and alumni on Friday February 24 at DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in Chicago.

The topics discussed by the power panel of marketers were Marketing Automation, SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, mobile marketing and last, but not least, careers in digital marketing.

About the panel.

Anna Gong, President of KMG, produced the event.

Register for KMG’s 9th Annual Marketing Symposium – #TellaStory

The Growth Strategy Group Sponsors Chicago AMA MarTech Conference

On October 21st,The Growth Strategy Group will sponsor of Chicago AMA’s MarketingTech SMART 2016. Scott Brinker is the headliner.

We will be there to reinforce that Technology Empowers Marketing and advocate for thinking about digital marketing as laid out in The MarTech Roadmap.

To those of you in the Chicago area, please join us. The first five respondents who would like to attend will be able to purchase a ticket for $60 (member pricing is $95;  non-member pricing is $130) by emailing .

For more information, go to MarketingTech Smart 2016.

Technology Empowers Marketing: The MarTech Roadmap

This framework, The MarTech Roadmap,  was developed to address the toughest challenges identified by CMOs and their teams.

Its components are designed to take advantage of technology to deliver superior digital marketing products and services.

Marketers are telling me consistently they need help in tying things altogether – thinking and strategies, tactics and processes, roles and responsibilities.

The MarTech Roadmap is centered on Metrics That Matter and contains four major components:  Customer Relationships, Data, Technology and Operational Efficiency.

Read more about Technology Empowers Marketing:  The MarTech Roadmap



BMA Chicago CCO Awareness/Marketing as a Strategic Driver of Growth Survey Results Infographic by The Growth Strategy Group

BMA Chicago CCO Awareness Survey Results Infographic by The Growth Strategy Group

Key Findings of this survey:

  1. The number of companies establishing the CCO position is growing
  2. Insurance companies are leading the way (nationally, high tech companies are also early implementers)
  3. Education about the role of the CCO and marketing as a strategic driver of growth is required


Chief Customer Officer: Collaboration Between Business Marketing Association of Milwaukee and The Growth Strategy Group

Marianne S. Hewitt, Customer Engagement Strategist and Founder of The Growth Strategy Group, announces Business Marketing Association (BMA) of Milwaukee is collaborating with The Growth Strategy Group to bring BMA chapter members the most current thinking and trends in marketing and customer engagement  by conducting a survey about the role of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) that some organizations are establishing to lead and champion the needs and desires of customers throughout organizations.

The scope and span of control of this role varies at this point in time. Since it is a new role in the digital enterprise of the future, the CCO responsibilities are not yet well defined, and the few organizations that have established the role have differences in how they have implemented it.

The Growth Strategy Group, in conjunction with BMA Milwaukee, is conducting this survey to determine the current level of awareness and commitment to the CCO position and the future intent for implementing this role. The survey will identify the level of responsibility and accountability for customer and financial success assigned to the CCO and determine how serious companies are in changing cultures to be truly customer passionate and making customers the center of their business.

Survey responses will be aggregated and analyzed across a number of factors including, for example, industry sector, geographic location, size of company.

Findings will be published for members. Additional forums will be available to discuss the survey and the future role of the Chief Customer Officer as viewed by members and industry at large.

The Growth Strategy Group has also partnered with BMA Chicago on this same survey.  Results to be published and shared with members in the coming weeks.

About The Growth Strategy Group (formerly Integrated Growth Solutions)

The Growth Strategy Group is a network of executive consultants passionate about helping our clients’ businesses reach their growth potential.

We focus on the development of customer engagement strategies, customer experience management and the implementation tactics for engagement marketing, sales and service in today’s environment.

Our exceptional implementation skills will engage your organization and facilitate real change.

We are your thinking and implementation partners.

We are vested in your success.

The results:

• Increased sales
• Loyal customers
•Profitable  Growth Achieved

DePaul University Graduate Analytics Night

Over 100 graduate students met analytics representatives from over 20 companies as company representatives discussed their organizations and career opportunities.   This event targeted students and alumni interested in analytical careers, and, in particular, students in the MS Marketing Analysis, MS Predictive Analytics, MS Computational Finance, MBA-Consumer Insights, MBA and MS Economic Policy Analysis, and other related DePaul University analytical programs.

Guest companies included Walgreens, Deloitte, Edelman, United Stationers, Leo Burnett and Axiom to name a few.

Students were armed with resumes and business cards. They had practiced their elevator pitches, and Marketing Advisory Council members including Marianne S. Hewitt with The Growth Strategy Group, Dick Wasser with Chiquita Brands and Michael Fogel were there to review student resumes and offer recommendations for improvement.

DePaul Resume photo vertical



Marianne S. Hewitt announces relaunch of Integrated Growth Solutions, LLC as The Growth Strategy Group

To our colleagues and friends,

Organizations are increasing investment in Customer Experience. The high tech sector and insurers are leading the way in the creation of the Chief Customer Officer position.  Those same institutions are challenged by non-traditional providers of products and services and must create an environment where superb customer experiences are a differentiator to prevent erosion of market share.

We have worked with companies in recent years to define their customer and customer engagement strategies and drive those strategies through to implementation tactics for positive customer experiences.

To reinforce the market transition and our contribution to it, we are now doing business as The Growth Strategy Group.

What’s changed?

Simply stated, The Growth Strategy Group will focus on the development of customer engagement strategies, customer experience management and the implementation tactics for engagement marketing, sales and service in today’s environment.

Our new name and messaging reinforce:

  • the partnering environment in which we operate (we partner with other boutique consultancies that have deep data, social media and people change expertise) and
  • the value proposition of top executive talent and expertise as opposed to the more expensive leveraged models offered by the global consultancies.

What stays the same?   

Beyond the new logo, tagline (Growth Achieved) and website is our continued passion and excitement for strategizing and implementing solutions that define and enhance Customer Experiences.

Our commitment to client success will not waiver. Our pursuit of operational excellence is inherent in how we work with our clients.  In addition to helping our clients’ businesses prosper, we continue to differentiate ourselves by advising our clients on their professional growth.

I invite you to follow us on LinkedIn  View our profile on LinkedIn .

Thank you for allowing us to contribute to your success.


Marianne S. Hewitt

Customer Engagement Strategist and Founder
The Growth Strategy Group


The Difference Between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Experience Management (CXM)

Since this topic has emerged twice this week (most recently in the CCO LinkedIn group), my thoughts –

Since the late 90s, many have used CRM to refer to “their tool” that provides data to support their customer service (and sales) processes.

But many of us used the term “CRM” to define a way of doing business. We view Customer Experience (CE) as the central component of the next phase of that evolution – the Age of the Customer.

CRM was siloed and had limitations for cross channel and cross functional integration. Customer Experience is total channel and addresses division or enterprise wide responses to customer needs and wants (there is still more to be accomplished on this front).

CRM does not invite a dialog and it was focused on the masses. Offers were extended in direct mail in search of something that would stand out and be accepted.

CXM is a conversation. The conversation is relevant, contextual, timely – as close as we’ve ever been to 1:1 with the use of data to deliver personalized next best actions.

Tools are needed for both CRM and CXM, and we are doomed without them. We also need executive sponsorship, culture change, and processes that enable the customer journeys that we seek to deliver.

Journey Maps: Keeping it Simple

I was listening to a description of one of a company’s customer journey maps last week. It spanned 3 legal size sheets of paper and was meticulously laid out in painstaking detail.
With the number of interaction channels and the complexity of interactions and subsequent transactions increasing each year, it is safe to say that mapping every step in every possible journey could be an arduous task and may not be necessary or prudent.
Journeys are no longer linear paths along one or two channels. Focusing on key junctures in any channel and delivering the content and experience to drive loyalty and, therefore, revenue growth and churn reduction may be the better part of valor.

Part II: Journeys vs Processes, Let’s have it both way

It is likely there is a mismatch between the E2P (Easy, Pleasant, Productive) customer journeys we desire and our ability to deliver on them because of inefficient processes and poor cross functional hand offs in siloed organizations.

How do we address the mismatch with the customer experience we envision and processes that won’t deliver a positive outcome?

Aligning members of the executive team around the customer experience desired and its attributes is the best first step. Establishing governance to set priorities for improvements and monitor the realization of benefits – customer experiences that delight; stronger customer loyalty; increased revenue.