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We Media's Andrew Nachison: Helping Companies Connect, Innovate

Connecting with Bill Sobel

When you read the “about me” section of Andrew Nachison’s personal website, you get a brief glimpse into an incredibly eclectic person. In his own words, he’s a “a thinker, explorer, creator, futurist, catalyst, convener, producer, educator, geek, photographer, musician, artist, husband and dad.” In short, he’s a man of many interests.

He’s played clarinet on stage at Carnegie Hall, studied wildlife, development and environmental policy in Kenya, managed Lawrence.com, among the world's first digital newspapers — a job that earned him a reputation as a pundit in the emerging digital news sphere — and reported for a bevy of highly influential newspapers and magazines.

Right now, Nachison is the CEO of We Media, a digital media company and creative agency, as well as iFOCOS — The Institute for the Connected Society — both of which look to help companies make better use of the many, many connected devices in improved and new ways.

How to Mind Details at Scale

2014-06-June-Street-Artist.jpgCompanies of all sizes face a similar content problem: It’s become normal for content to be scattered between CMSs, email, social media, intranets and other silos. Workers on average spend 19 percent of their time looking for information, when their time could be better spent focusing on the core tasks of their job.

It's Time for Digital Transformation

2014-05-June-Illusion.jpgAccording to Forrester Research, over 70 percent of the companies that were on the Global 500 list 10 years ago have vanished.

Netflix killed Blockbuster. Amazon killed Borders. The iPhone killed Polaroid. Digital innovation is no longer just a way to differentiate against your competitors, it is a fundamental disruption to everything in modern business, transforming how we market, sell and support our customers. Digital helps us deliver increased revenue and better customer satisfaction, while lowering costs and improving margins. Every business process is being radically transformed by digital and successful companies understand that to compete, they must think “digital first.”

But, many large organizations are doing it wrong. They’re adopting digital the wrong way. 

What 2 Companies Rate Best in Customer Service?

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Financial services company USSA and uber-retailer Amazon took the top spots in the customer service ratings released by The Temkin Group, a detailed survey that evaluated 233 companies.

Chick-fil-A, Publix, H-E-B, credit unions, Starbucks, Costco, QVC and Trader Joe’s were among the companies with the best customer satisfaction, the survey found.

5 Reasons Google Beat Apple to Become the Top Brand

2014-5-june-arm-wrestling-champ.jpgYou just can't block the buzz about Google. In the past few weeks, the company surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable brand, according to Millward Brown Optimor's 2014 BrandZ ranking.

It was a big blow for Apple, which had held the top spot for the previous three years. But Apple fell 20 percent in brand value in the past year to an estimated $147.9 billion. Even worse, there is a "growing perception that it is no longer redefining technology for consumers," according to Millward Brown, a New York City-based research firm.

Meanwhile, Google's brand value rose 40 percent from a year ago to $159 billion. Apparently it's pretty profitable to avoid evil, even as regulators here and abroad are taking a closer look to make sure that slogan is true.

What's behind Google's climb, beyond Apple's loss of founder Steve Jobs?

Getting Started with Information Governance

Consider for a moment the amount of data that businesses generate on a daily basis. Add in the increased connections through mobile devices, cloud computing and social media. This leads to a multitude of concerns, including costs, risks and security, as data is stored in disparate locations. And then there are industries like government, finance, health care and legal services that have to comply with different laws and industry regulations, which can make managing data very cumbersome.

The need for information governance was never as mission critical as it is today.

Marketing Automation is No Excuse for Lack of Strategy

2014-05-June-Conch.jpgThe gap between marketers and their audiences is growing. With more access than ever before to information, product reviews and social recommendations, many see our current stage of marketing evolution to be the “age of the consumer.”

Thinking of audiences as empowered consumers, while accurate in many ways, clings to an old paradigm in which marketers held the conch. We are not an Internet of consumers to be manipulated into one-off transactions — we are an Internet of always-connected individuals with an ever-growing array of tools and technologies that empower our ability to engage with life. And yes, these individuals at times buy things.

What Does a Chief Collaboration Officer Do?

2014-05-June-Adkins-Mark.jpgIn my 25 years covering and analyzing the vendors and end users in the collaboration space, I have never run across anyone with the title of Chief Collaboration Officer. Nor do meet many people who have the background in collaboration to support the title.

So what does a Chief Collaboration Officer (CCO) do? 

8 Things You Can Learn About CX on Your Summer Vacation

2014-4-June-Austin-Handshake.jpgI fell in love with traveling when I ran away from home at the age of five. (You would have run, too, if you were forced to eat my sister's creamed chicken.)

Years later, when I made a trip across the United States in a 1975 VW Super Beetle, I fell in love with technology, too.

There's nothing like a car without air conditioning to prove that simplicity has its limits — and that innovation is essential. 

Travel is one of the few things I suspect I won't regret on my death bed, at least now that I drive a car with all-season climate control — as well as GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a 120-volt power outlet. (Did I mention it's also Internet ready?)

And here's the thing: You can learn a lot about customer experience by traveling, regardless of whether you go by car or air. 

Measuring Social Marketing ROI: Possible or Pipe Dream?

2014-04-June-Windmills-La-Mancha.jpgPretty much any company worth their salt is engaged in using social media in some capacity for business purposes at this point. As someone who has built a solid consulting agency using social media and content marketing, I can attest to the value of it holistically.

But as with any marketing channel, return on investment comes into the conversation especially when discussing social strategies with medium and large business clients. Businesses as a whole have become metrics obsessed, and the day of saying we “have to do social media” regardless of the numbers is past (for the most part).

So how exactly does one measure social ROI? Is it even possible, or should we be evaluating its performance in some other way?

Finding the Perfect Balance Between SaaS and In-House DAM

2014-04-June-Bearded-Juggler.jpgIt's a delicate balance to develop a hybrid strategy for Digital Asset Management. While Cloud SaaS solutions appeal to many organizations as a way to reduce costs and infrastructure, there are compelling reasons not to move all assets to the cloud. The secret to finding this balance lies in understanding what assets should be moved to the cloud and what should stay in-house.

The Latest Marketing World Casualty: Mass Marketing Campaigns

2014-04-June-Police-Line.jpgNo one is waiting to be wooed by your elaborate campaigns.

Marketing success today depends on customers seeing, engaging with — and sharing — your content within their trusted social networks. The path to purchase no longer looks the same to everyone, and it requires a very unique level of engagement. 

Apple's iBeacons Could Reinvigorate Retail

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Brick-and-mortar store locations are declining — and online retail continues to devour market share. Could Apple's iBeacon technology be the catalyst that slows the slide of traditional stores or even stops their predicted demise?

It’s no secret the majority of physical retail locations have trouble competing with online retailers. There are a number or reasons why, including convenience, selection and price. But iBeacon might be in a position to level the playing field.

Just by itself, iBeacon is an interesting technology. It takes advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), thereby allowing users to be alerted by their mobile device when they come within range of the iBeacon. Like anything in the Internet of Things (IoT) realm, the device itself is only half the fun.

The data it can capture and the benefit it can bring the end user are where we see the real bang for our buck.

Shoe Shopping, Supply Chains and One Very Happy Customer

2014-03-June-Shoes.jpgFollowers of Gartner's yearly Supply Chain Top 25 list may have noticed signs of progress over the last few years toward a responsive, demand-driven supply chain. As a student of the supply chain, I watch to see who makes the list and what market advances it highlights for suppliers and retailers. Last week though I got to experience the progress firsthand.

Mobile Helps National Brands Master Local Marketing

2014-03-June-Brands.jpgAs a career-long marketing vendor, I've always been taught that large national brands and small-to-medium companies behave differently. They cannot be sold, marketed or serviced with the same principles. They have different targets, ideals, KPIs and most importantly — budgets.

While this remains largely true, today’s always-connected consumer means that any size brand, anywhere, needs to be more mindful of a very important consumer detail: their location.

Social Ideation Finds Ideas Worth Pursuing

2014-03-June-sticky-notes.jpgKnowledge-based companies have been driving much of the economy, especially in the United States and Europe. Information technology, media, biotech and pharmaceutical, financial services companies and many more are based on the ability to generate good ideas, turn them into technology and, eventually, products. The “business” of these companies is intellectual property (IP) — basically an idea that has value. Even companies that don’t make money directly on IP have to worry about it.

IP is not only a product idea. It may also be a better way of doing business, a price model that offers a competitive advantage, or a way to achieve operational efficiencies.

How to Make Your Branded Content as Likeable as a Kitten

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Think you have top-quality content? Maybe you do. But that isn't enough, according to Jonah Peretti.

"Quality helps, but quality isn't enough," the BuzzFeed  founder and CEO told more than 600 marketers at Lithium's recent LiNC conference in San Francisco. "Making shareable content is an art and a science."

And Peretti's got the numbers to prove it. At a time when most media organizations are struggling, Buzzfeed reaches 130 million people a month, putting it in the same league and MTV and CNN. And where do those people come from? The vast majority come from links on social networks.

Organizing Your Content Means Cleaning Out the Junk

2014-02-June-Yard-Sale.jpgYour information is the lifeblood of your organization. It’s content you create, it’s content you obtain from customers, suppliers, partners. And there’s usually a lot of it. That’s where solutions like SharePoint and Office 365 come in — to help you manage it all.

But before you start storing every last piece of information you have, ask yourself if it’s really something you need. Just because you can save and store almost limitless amounts of content, doesn’t mean you should. 

Marketing Automation: Don't Build It If You Can't Use It

2014-02-June-Construction.jpgThe problem with marketing automation is that it takes people and processes to use the technology and companies often treat that as more of an afterthought. The result is a much higher percentage of failed programs and implementations.

The problem is not the technology. The problem is being prepared to use it.

Google Wants to Tap Your Brain

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While the quest for the ultimate in marketing automation technology continues, I'm still struggling to get my email spam filter to work properly. But Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, says that more intelligent systems are coming faster than we think.

By 2030, computers will be able to handle natural human language and experience emotions, Kurzweil said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this weekend. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. By 2045, we will attain "full singularity," he continued, which means that humans will be completely integrated with technology — with direct links to the cerebral neocortex.