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Customer Experience News & Analysis

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.

Lose the Fat, Embrace Lean Portals

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In its recently published Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, Gartner identified a number of trends.

Among the most important: the convergence of web content management (WCM) customer demands with lean portal functionality and social technologies. The concept of lean (as opposed to bloated) portals has gained traction recently, with lean portal vendors starting to work their way further up the Magic Quadrant.

Large vendors claim they can offer all the functionality an enterprise could want and more — what smaller vendors describe as "bloat." Lean vendors claim they can respond rapidly to changing business conditions and have enough functionality for any office or mobile worker.

Democrats Tweet, Republicans Like and Other Fun Election Facts

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To hear big data master Nate Silver tell it in his FiveThirtyEight column in the New York Times, today's mid-term election is a done deal.

Republicans are favored to win the Senate, he writes, putting their chances of doing so at 76 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast, which is principally based on an analysis of the polls in each state and the historical accuracy of Senate polling. (Pointed reminder Silver makes in his post: FiveThirtyEight called the 2012 election with its finding that President Obama had about a 90 percent chance of being reelected in 2012, Democrats had a 95 percent chance of keeping the Senate that year).

So! Now that that is settled, let's move on to other data points that are less universally known -- but still telling about the US populace and the industry's data-gathering prowess.

Listening Makes Technology (and Stuff) Work

2014-04-November-Listen.jpgMeg Bear, group vice president of Oracle Social Cloud, uses an interesting term when she discusses the role of listening in the customer relationship: humility. That doesn't come up often when discussing enterprise software, but Bear stands behind it as being a catalyst for a customer-centric business.

“Customers are trying to tell you what they want -- they’re giving you breadcrumbs. With humility and listening, you’ll be on to the right thing,” said Bear during a presentation at last month's Pivotcon.

What Celum's CEO Thinks About MarTech, E-Commerce, Retail

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If brands want to reach their target customers, perhaps they should pull up a chair with Michael Kräftner to see the errors of their ways.

As Kräftner told his audience at Celumium — a presentation that his company, Celum (pronounced SELL-‘em) hosted in Chicago last week — a customer has to recognize a brand 17 times before he or she remembers it. 

Now think of all the 27 million pieces of content, including images, words and jargon, that are shared each day and seen by customers (a statistic Kräftner shared during his presentation) — and you get the feeling that information overload is as much of the problem as brand consistency.

Where's Marketing's Kevin Cochrane? Jahia Knows

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Remember Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe? Guess where he’s just popped up — apparently just a day after leaving Mindjet? At open source Web Content Management (WCM) vendor Jahia.

As of today, Cochrane will sit on the board of Jahia. He will initially serve in an advisory capacity, although Jahia CEO Elie Auvray says that the role of advisor could grow as the company grows.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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Imagine Facebook without selfies, Instagram without videos or Amazon without product images. You can’t, can you? In this digital-first world we live in, data overload is a menacing reality, and a picture is not just “worth a thousand words” … it is priceless.

The right visual element can attract our attention, make complex concepts clearer and assist in our decision making process.

Monster Partners with Twitter to Crush LinkedIn

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Monster may be the granddaddy of online job search, but that doesn’t mean its technology is archaic or rusty. In fact, leveraging the intellectual property from two acquisitions made earlier this year (Gozaik and TalentBin) and Twitter Ads API, the company is introducing a new social recruiting solution that will leave Linkedin in the dust, or at least that’s the plan.

While Monster’s initial platform was largely about jobseekers posting their resumes and employers using search tools to find them, the company's new social recruiting platform targets workers who are most likely to meet employer criteria whether they’re looking for jobs or not.

Publicis Acquires Sapient for $3.7B, Vows Digital Dominance

Publicis Groupe acquired fellow global digital agency Sapient for $3.7 billion today.

To put that into perspective, it's more than Oracle's acquisitions of Responsys and Eloqua — and more than Salesforce's purchase of ExactTarget

Publicis means business in the digital age. And the Paris-based global digital agency wants to take on the US and others by scooping up the Boston-based digital marketing specialist. It creates an $8 billion-per-year revenue powerhouse that will live off a new platform, "Publicis.Sapient," which will focus on "digital transformation and the dynamics of an always-on world across marketing, omni-channel commerce, consulting and technology."

“Sapient is a ‘crown jewel,’ a one of a kind company born in the technology space with strengths in marketing, communications, consulting and omni-channel commerce, all of which are equally important to best help clients achieve their digital transformation," Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said in a statement.

SaaS Support Best Practices: Passive, Proactive and Predictive

2014-03-November-Help.jpgAn essential part of creating a truly integrated and comprehensive SaaS customer support program is developing the capability to provide customers with the type of support experience they need, when they need it. Because of the nature of the SaaS service -- customers constantly interacting with the SaaS provider’s software solution to accomplish often mission-critical and time-sensitive tasks -- the SaaS vendor should be able to provide three types of support: passive, proactive and predictive.

Discussion Point: Are B2B or B2C Marketers Better at Digital?

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Each of them has an enormous challenge: reaching on the go, always-connected, but hardly-focused-for-longer-than-30-seconds customers.

Whether you're a B2B or B2C marketer, you're marketing in a digital world. And it's hard.

Some call them digital marketers. But we kind of like "marketing in a digital world," stolen from one of the great speakers at the Marketing Technology Conference in Boston in August.

So who's doing it better? B2B or B2C? 

Personalized Customer Service From an Unexpected Source

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Everybody likes to beat up on the airlines for customer service. Bad food was replaced with no food and reclining your seat may get you arrested. And yet it is airlines that have made some of the greatest advancements in customer service. They’ve done so across multiple channels by reducing the friction along the way.

How To Leverage Twitter Analytics

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I use Twitter on daily basis — so much so that I sometimes overlook how some people still struggle with understanding how to write a basic tweet.

Twitter has answered that struggle in launching Twitter Analytics, a dashboard suite. The dashboard is helpful in highlighting how well a profile is engaging with its followers, but is also supports the reach strategy for Twitter’s recent advertising services.

Here’s how reporting in Twitter Analytics can ensure that your social media strategy is effective.

Customer Satisfaction Is Not a Good Indicator of Customer Behavior

People are very bad at telling you what they do or why they do it. 

Getting to the Center of Customer Experience

2014-31-October-Center-of-the-Universe.jpgThink of the last time you had dinner at a four-star restaurant. Was the food well-presented, the wine pairings appropriate and the dessert tray enticing? Did you receive professional and attentive service? Was the ambience elegant, pleasant and soothing? And -- most importantly -- would you go back?

Your customers ask themselves the same sorts of questions after using your website or app, and your CMS -- how you manage and deliver content to your customer -- lays at the heart of their experience. It should be the core of your customer experience management (CXM) strategy. By placing the CMS in the keystone position, you can assemble information from multiple back office and third party sources to deliver compelling customer experiences across devices and platforms. And that's the whole game, right there. 

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