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Customer Experience News & Analysis

NextPrinciples: Bringing Context to Marketing Automation

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Marketing automation has its advantages, not the first of which is automating marketing channels and making things easier on marketers.

Satya Krishnaswamy gets it. But the CEO of NextPrinciples and former SAP vice president hears from marketers who say you miss context in automated marketing workflows.

Enter his company, which boosts marketing automation with its technology that generates better-qualified new leads and deeper insights into existing leads and customers. Its newest solution, an automated platform for social media marketing released this month, marries social media, marketing automation, demand gen and CRM.

Shaping the Future of Customer Responsive Marketing Automation

2014-16-June-Cast-Net.jpgMarketing automation (MA) has shown that it can be a smart tool -- when done right -- for shepherding and converting leads and automating marketing processes. As MA technologies have become more sophisticated, its near future role has evolved to deliver customer-responsive interactions on any channel. If this evolution continues, the name "marketing automation" will become inadequate to describe what can be accomplished when these technologies are combined with customer-focused processes, practices and strategies.

Why Transactional, Promotional Email Rocks for Marketers

customer experience, Why Transactional, Promotional Emails Rock for Marketers

Numbers from Silverpop's survey on email marketing confirm what many vendors have touted -- automated messages triggered by behaviors work —and the success of manual, blind ones are fading.

The email service provider, who many say coined the phrase "behavioral marketing," released findings this month from its 2014 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Report that included emails sent by nearly 3,000 brands across 40 countries throughout 2013.

One of the big lessons from the results for marketers?

"Marketers really need to capitalize on transactional emails," Loren McDonald, Silverpop’s VP of industry relations, told CMSWire. "Don’t overload your customers with promotional offers, but try suggesting related products or encourage reviews within transactional emails. This allows marketers to gain better insight on their customers while also creating the opportunity for upsells."

Simplicity is Key to Self-Service Success

Simplicity should be to self-service as chocolate is to joy or sadness is to taxes. Human-to-human service (the "opposite" of self-service) is rich in flexibility, cues and empathy (unless you’re dealing with an ignorant service professional). Human interaction oils the path towards successful task completion. A self-service design must be very simple because it doesn’t have that human oil.

Discussion Point: Does Marketing Automation Enhance CX?

discussion-point

The terms "marketing automation" and "customer experience" trip off the tongue of the modern marketer with increasing frequency. But it's not always clear how the former enhances the latter.

We took that question to several marketing practitioners who were in San Francisco for last week's Innovate conference, which focused on customer experience management across all channels.

The Question

How is marketing automation changing the customer experience for your customers?

Lessons From Military Intelligence For Content Marketers

2014-13-June-Military-Intelligence.jpgAs Father’s Day approaches, I’d like to tell you the story of how my father influenced my communication style. He was an Air Force officer from 1951-1978 -- when the Cold War was in full fever pitch. Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, KGB -- Dad had a front row seat to the whole thing and yes, that means he was pretty steeped in the world of military intelligence.

Now, before the oxymoron digs start flying, let me tell you, these people have impressive communication skills. Which, to my eye, is evidence of impressive intelligence.

Here’s what my father’s communication style taught me. 

IBM: We Have Better CX Analytics than Google or Adobe

customer experience, IBM: Our Customer Experience Analytics Tops Google, Adobe

For some reason, steroids has crept into our reporting lately.

Maybe that's why IBM’s Tealeaf cxLifecycle analytics reminds us of analytics on steroids. IBM seems to be bill it that way, anyway.

Traditional web analytics? Just static numbers, they told us.

IBM said it enhances the analytics experience for enterprises with quantitative, qualitative and behavioral analytics within the IBM Tealeaf cxLifecycle, a new SaaS-based IBM Tealeaf component available to customers of Tealeaf 9.0. 

Ken Bisconti, business leader for IBM's Tealeaf customer experience management solutions, is enthusiastic. He told CMSWire the analytics IBM offers are better than traditional metrics provided by Google and Adobe. "We have the ability to track the same customer across multiple interactions," said Bisconti.

Forrester happens to think they’re ALL great

Acquiring Customers Amid the Social Babble #SDLInnovate

You don't need to listen to 56 billion social conversations to build your business. You just need to hear the ones that matter.

That was the landscape  Liz High, vice president for global insights and analytics at SDL, explored at her company's Innovate event in San Francisco. More specifically, the workshop was titled: "Social Intelligence: Drive Customer Acquisition While Increasing Customer Spend." 

"When you think of social media, it's the most brilliant data set in the world," said High. "The whole way we think of social media is getting to the data that matters."

This Week: Who Cares About E-Commerce? + 6 Rockin' Enterprise Social Platforms

Customer Knows Best
Citing his own company's 'reinvention,' SDL's chief said failing at customer experience is not an option

Still Care About E-Commerce?
It was all we could talk about 10 years ago. Numbers tell a different story today.

Enterprise Social Kings
New kids. Old kids. And the capabilities that make these six enterprise social platforms lead the Forrester pack. 

Transparency Rules in Enterprise
If people know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to get involved with your Enterprise Social Network tool.

Big Lessons for Data
Big data is no longer the sole domain of big companies.

Sync & Share on Public Clouds?
EFSS provider Egnyte will now leverage Google Cloud Services to store client files.

The Future of B2B Ecommerce
The 3 B2B Tips You Need to Know
Learn how they did it

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Here are the 4 Steps to Customer Success

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The hottest job title in marketing right now may be "Customer Success Officer," though there remains some debate about exactly what that means.

For example, it's fair to ask: Is customer success management  different from customer support or  customer relationship management?

Obligingly, Forrester's consulting arm  issued a paper entitled "How to Get Started with Customer Success Management." It should serve as a handy primer for those who want a state-of-the-art interpretation of this emerging marketing strategy.

The paper, sponsored by Gainsight -- a big fish in this still-small pond -- even provides a nifty, four-step process for building a customer success program that will be a revenue-generation operation instead of an extension to existing cost centers.

5 Tips from Fantasy Football to Manage Digital Analytics Teams

2014-12-June-The-Other-Football.jpgI was recently having dinner with a former colleague and he reminded me that it was only four weeks until opening day of football training camp. Normally this wouldn't be important, except he's a rival in my fantasy football league and was clearly trying to impress me with his attention to player moves, injuries and variables that would influence his draft day picks. “After all of the March free agent signings, I don’t even know who’s playing for whom anymore,” he admitted.

It made me think that of the similarities between managing a fantasy football team and a digital analytics team.

What Marketers Can Learn from a Rabbi's Use of Social Media

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Think "religious leader" — and you probably do not think "social media" in the same breath.

But then you haven't met Laura Baum, a founding rabbi and the chief operating officer of OurJewishCommunity.org and a rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Baum has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. She challenges assumptions about the nature of Jewish identity, community and religious ideas.

Through OurJewishCommunity.org — named by Slingshot as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations — Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology.

You don’t have to be Jewish or even religious at all to learn from her expertise in social media. "If we can revolutionize a 3,000-year-old product, I’m pretty sure almost any product or service can be re-imagined," she said.

Microsoft and CXM: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2014-12-June-Swings.jpgThere’s nothing quite so surprising in life as the about-face. You know how it is: someone or something spends years building up a certain set of expectations, and then -- seemingly out of the blue -- pivots almost completely away from those expectations to behave in a totally different manner. It’s the Beatles releasing Sergeant Pepper, Vince Vaughn playing a role other than “Vince Vaughn” or the English national team lining up in something other than a 4-4-2 (yes, that’s my timely World Cup reference for this column).

When it comes to a Customer Experience and digital marketing platform for internet sites, that’s exactly what Microsoft has done over the course of the last year. 

The Evolution of Marketing Automation

2014-11-June-Refrigerator.jpgAs a marketer, I have a different outlook on digital communications than most consumers.

I see the connections between omnichannel marketing strategies that trigger emails and display campaigns and site personalization tailored to me based on my previous behaviors. I understand how looking at a refrigerator on a major retailer’s website provides enough data to target me through marketing automation platforms via emails and Facebook campaigns, personalized to the model and prices that I viewed. I have witnessed the progression from one-sized fits all digital communication to the personalized experiences we have today.

I also realize how far we still have to go to reach the promise of true marketing automation -- the optimization of customer management.

Talkin' Trash: Curbing Comment Spam and Crazy People

2014-11-June-upside-down-man.jpg.jpgNothing like the illusion of anonymity to give the nastiest, angriest, most disagreeable people on the planet a voice. From slanderous, libelous and racist comments to the simply offensive and juvenile, trash trolls and link baiters create never-ending challenges for content producers.

Addressing comment spam is a frustrating and time-consuming task for organizations. Typically, companies are required to manually edit spam out of content after it has been posted or rely on moderators to filter individual posts to ensure they are legitimate, Internet security firms concur.

And every decision to delete a comment creates at least a momentarily struggle between conflicting goals. What's more important: free speech or the overwhelming desire to stomp out stupidity?

Yes, content producers have a difficult job — and it extends far beyond the challenge of finding writers who actually know how to write. Now a new report from Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Imperva reveals 80 percent of comment spam traffic is generated by 28 percent of attackers.

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