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Crm News & Analysis

Salesforce Social Studio Targets Organizational Silos

Salesforce unveiled its Social Studio marketing platform inside its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud in May, which brought together $3.4 billion worth of acquisitions in a platform for social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics.

The platform gets a boost this month as the San Francisco CRM giant released enhancements to its Social Studio that include the ability to deliver messages to customers across the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud from one platform.

Technology Can Help Humans Sound Human

2014-07-November-Free-Hugs.jpgIs it too much to ask a customer service rep to sound human and, more importantly, to treat the person on the other end of the line as a fellow human?

It may sound like a simple request, but too often the forces in the customer service universe can easily undermine an organization’s efforts to deliver an exceptional, personalized experience.

The Danger of Believing in a 360-Degree Customer View

2014-04-November-Out-To-Sea.jpgWhen you’re at sea, you take navigation very seriously. The 360-degree arc of the compass is the tool by which you take a bearing and understand where you are going, especially when you’re out of sight of land. It’s a constant number that relates to the compass -- both the magnetic and gyroscopic compasses, if you’re on a ship.

It also refers to the way lookouts report the things they see -- always in relation to the ship, with the bow of the ship representing 0 degrees/360 degrees. Having a 360-degree view of what’s out at sea with you is critical to avoiding hazards, collisions and other unfortunate events.

In the context of CRM, that metaphor is frequently employed. Every vendor likes to claim that its application provides a 360-degree view of the customer, implying that no bit of customer information affecting selling, loyalty, support or marketing is not captured.

That metaphor is imperfect at best. And I’m not saying that because I spent six years at sea as a bosun’s mate.

A Signpost on the Road to Marketing Automation

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As technologies mature, two nice things typically happen: the price falls and capabilities rise. Soon almost everyone can take advantage of it.

Consider cell phones. They were expensive, bulky status symbols when first marketed, but 4.55 billion people will use better, cheaper phones this year, according to eMarketer. Computers? Over the past 20 years, the price of a medium-quality PC has fallen from about $2,000 to a few hundred dollars. And today's computers are much better.

So it shouldn't come as a terrible shock that a Software-as-a-Service startup is now offering a marketing automation system with basic cross-channel customer relationship tools for $200 a month, or $180 if you pay in advance. The company's target? Mom and pop businesses.

Customer Success is a Failure

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Customer success is a stupid concept … a catchphrase that shifts the focus from people to profit.

Unlike customer experience — a phrase that suggests giving something of meaning and value to the people who matter most — customer success implies taking.

It shifts the focus from customers to companies. Or, as the Customer Success Association so bluntly states on its website, turns "customer relationships into strategic portfolio assets" with an emphasis on "sustainable corporate profitability and growth." It asks:

  • How can we gather and use personal data and market intelligence to get the most from our customers?
  • How can we lure potential new customers and entice the ones we already have to spend even more?

Customer success isn't about helping customers or resolving their complaints. It's not even about creating win-win scenarios for customers and companies. Rather, it embraces and celebrates the exploitation of customers for a company's own benefit.

At least that's how it seems. And in this so-called age of customer centricity, it's tiresome.

Chaos in the Video Content Management Market

Enterprise video content management (VCM) doesn't really fit into enterprise content management (ECM). So it's not all that surprising that it has now developed its own space, however chaotic that may be.

According to Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Video Content Management, the video content management market is immature. But it is developing rapidly, driven by parallel technologies like customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise collaboration technologies and e-commerce. And companies like Qumu, Panopto and Kaltura are leading the charge.

Is Your CRM System Failing You? 4 Ways to Tell

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Would you invest in something that has a failure rate of 46 percent? If you've recently acquired a customer relationship management (CRM) system, then whether or not you realize it, that is what you have done.

That 46 percent is the high end of the failure rate range for these systems. At the low-end, there is an "optimistic" 16 percent chance of failure, according to a white paper by C5 Insight, which analyzed the various studies on CRM failure.

C5 Insight itself believes the failure rate is 38 percent.

Salesforce Shares Its Marketing Vision #DF14

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Matteo Sala, a developer and analyst from Italy, strolled away from Salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud presentation at Dreamforce today liking what he saw.

"The marketing cloud is very exciting. Journey Map is very interesting," said Sala, already a customer of the Salesforce Sales and Service clouds. "We saw a lot of innovation in this product."

It was probably the exact reaction that Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Marketing Cloud, had hoped for during a keynote speech that included demonstrations of the ways Salesforce technologies already work at such customer-centric companies like Fitbit, Live Nation and McDonalds.

Chasing the Elusive Single View of Your Consumer

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Multinational organizations often confront ambitious proposals for global CRM rollouts that promise to power their marketing ecosystems. These proposals are typically rebuffed by difficult questions around ROI or are prematurely terminated owing to reactive corrections of marketing strategies.

Others, that manage to clear the budget approval and allocation viability gates falter in selling their global vision to their local counterparts. The few who hit the finishing line often struggle to assimilate the massive amounts of consumer data and its implications. These organizations cave in under a self-fulfilling prophecy of “big data cannot be tamed.”

The few who excel in justifying their investments have probably paid close attention to the following consideration in their CRM strategies: Is a “Single Consumer View” your holy grail?

Salesforce Shifts Focus to Customer Success with Analytics Cloud #DF14

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Salesforce.com will launch a major strategic shift next week from a sales-driven CRM company to one focused on long-term customer success. 

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff leaked part of the plan last month with a tweet that mentioned plans for an Analytics Cloud, but that is only part of a broader vision. The company, a pioneer in cloud-based software, will announce the new analytics service on Monday. On Tuesday, Benioff will outline how those tools will enable the company's evolution into a "customer success platform," a source close to the company confirmed today.

"We will be announcing the Analytics Cloud at Dreamforce, but that's just one of the new announcements we've got," CMO Lynn Vojvodich said during an interview with Bloomberg TV

SMBs Going Global with Mobile

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Gone are the days when a company launched locally, slowly expanding into other markets. Today, businesses are thinking globally from the start, thanks to the ever-expanding use of mobile technologies.

BIA/Kelsey’s US SMB Spending Forecast revealed that by 2015 SMBs will allocate 30 percent of their marketing budgets to traditional advertising (down from 52 percent in 2010), with the remaining 70 percent going to digital/online media, performance-based commerce and customer retention business solutions.

Today, TapSense, an independent mobile advertising exchange released its annual eBook: "A Complete Guide to Mobile Marketing 2015" which provides insights, forecasts and advice on what the mobile landscape will look like in 2015. The report covers mobile advertising industry predictions for 2015 in relation to The Internet of Things, mobile payments, real-time bidding, mobile video advertising and businesses using mobile to think globally. 

Hackers Want Your CRM Data: Here's What To Do

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The cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase has affected 76 million household accounts, a far larger number than originally expected. The inroads hackers made into the bank has rattled the tech and financial community, to say nothing of Capitol Hill, where legislators are looking anew at cybersecurity legislation.

The reason for their nervousness is clear: JPMorgan Chase is probably one of the most protected institutions in the world. If hackers can successfully breach its security, what chance do other companies stand?

It's a sobering question and there is no pat response other than to treat the event as a wake up call: if a company or industry is perceived to have a rich treasure trove of data within its systems, know that it's fair game to hackers.

And what contains more rich, personalized data than customer relationship management (CRM) systems?

Salesforce CRM Users Embrace the Cloud, Mobile Tech

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Some people get freaked out by the thought of going to the cloud. We heard that last month at the SharePoint Technology Conference, for sure.

It's not the case in Salesforce's CRM world, at least according to a survey of 1,000 Salesforce users conducted by a Salesforce partner.

New York City-based Bluewolf, a global business consulting firm, today released its third annual State of Salesforce report. It found that 70 percent of Salesforce CRM users are diverting budget from on-premise to cloud-based solutions, down slightly from about 75 percent last year.

"In my view the security debate should have been retired years ago," said Eric Berridge, CEO of Bluewolf, which claims to be “born in the cloud” and was Salesforce.com’s first consulting partner more than 14 years ago. "The cloud and Salesforce.com specifically are serving some of the largest and most demanding global organizations on the planet, with tens of thousands of users, complex regulatory and compliance issues and multiple layers of both security and redundancy."

Measuring Community Success: More Than Just ROI

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Social leaders ready to take the next step in their community journey now have access to a new assessment tool to help them evaluate their community’s strengths and weaknesses, and make better decisions to build more successful online sharing spaces for their employees, customers and partners.

The Community Performance Benchmark (CPB), developed by The Community Roundtable and released today, helps leaders understand how effectively their community management efforts are performing against organizational objectives. 

“Community management has evolved to the point where organizations understand the impact of communities and the best have created roadmaps and ways to measure value,” Rachel Happe, co-founder and principal of The Community Roundtable and CMSWire contributing author, noted in a press release. 

“However, goals simply tell you where you want to be, not how to get there. The Community Performance Benchmark gives you an understanding of where you are, your management gaps and your opportunities.”

Razorfish Exec Shares Tips on Data-Driven Marketing

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What today's marketers can do, want to do and intend to do often doesn't match what they actually do in data-driven marketing.

In yesterday's CMSWire Webinar "How to Avoid Failing as an Always-On Marketer," Jack Lynch, vice president for data science at Razorfish, shared observations and advice based on his 20 years of experience with marketing technologies and analytics. The webinar was co-sponsored by Razorfish and Adobe.

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