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Digital News & Analysis

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

Get Serious About Your Brand's Mobile Presence

Mobile gives brands a significant opportunity to reach consumers on the go, but many haven’t been able to figure out the right way to deliver a quality mobile experience. A poorly designed mobile site can create a disjointed, confusing and cluttered experience which doesn’t foster brand loyalty or drive sales -- all important goals for brand marketers. It’s not just about creating a great desktop website and squeezing that onto a smaller screen. Brands need to think about mobile first design.

5 Minutes with Forrester's Melissa Parrish

Thumbnail image for 2014-10-April-Melissa-Parrish.jpgMaybe it's a phone on a bus, or a tablet in a store or the laptop on your coffee table. Maybe you're wearing it on your wrist or over your eyes. Whatever it is, it knows who you are, where you are and the best way to reach you at any moment.

That may seem a little creepy until you consider you bought those devices to get helpful information, and in order to help you, they need to know the who-where-when-why of what you're all about. Of course, marketers want that info, too.

In the parlance of Melissa Parrish, this makes you "addressable," and it's transforming the very nature of marketing. About half of US online adults are now "always addressable," she says, and the number is rising oh-so rapidly.

Twitter Gets Its Grip on Gnip

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Twitter has just announced that it is buying social data harvester Gnip, but it hasn’t explained how it intends to make money on the back of the deal.

Neither has it explained how Gnip will sit with Twitter once the deal has closed, nor indeed, what is likely to happen in the future.

Maybe it’s a bit premature to be looking for answers to questions like those given that the deal was only announced this morning, but details about how this will unfold over the coming months are so scanty that you’d almost think Twitter doesn’t really know how it is going to incorporate Gnip into the fold. It hasn’t even disclosed how much it paid.

Manage Ad Hoc Analytics Requests Before They Bog You Down

Five Ways to Decrease Ad Hoc Analytics RequestsIn my first job as a web analyst in the late ‘90s, I worked in an IT department of a large telecommunications company. The analytics team consisted of me and another person who was part time. We worked out a pretty good process of providing standardized reporting to about 40 marketers, content editors and executives on a monthly basis.

This system would work great until our manager would stop by one of our cubes with a time-consuming, ad hoc request that would throw off our timing and perfectly tuned schedule.  The requests weren't necessarily difficult -- like running a geolocation visit report based on a specific date range -- they just came at inopportune times and would throw our schedule off. We called these random requests “drive bys.”

Adobe CMO: Put People and Process Before Technology

Adobe CMO: Put People and Process Before TechnologyFor those who think technology alone can make their marketing efforts more successful, the chief marketing officer of Adobe has some advice: "I wouldn't waste your money on it."

Ann Lewnes offered the candid comment during an on stage appearance at last week's Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders in San Francisco. She had just been asked for the one major piece of advice she'd give the audience.

"The major thing I would advise is that technology is not enough. You can bring in tons of technology, but if you don't take care of the organizational issues and the process issues....?" she mused, letting the question hang unanswered over the crowd.  

"Without making the process changes and the people changes ... the technology? I wouldn't waste your money on it."

Dream On Salesforce, SAP Prez Unimpressed by Your Threats

Dream On Salesforce, SAP Prez Unimpressed by Your ThreatsSAP is too classy to laugh at Salesforce president Keith Block’s pretentious remarks, as he runs from city to city saying things like “You’re going down SAP.”

“It's great that Salesforce.com has aspirations to be bigger than SAP,” said Steve Lucas, president, SAP Platform Solutions. “But ultimately we don't care what competitors think, we only care about what our customers and partners think and how to make them successful.”

“If we stick to that,” added Lucas, “we will win.” 

This Week: Hackers Take Over B2B Site + Game-Changer for Big Data

No One's Safe From Hackers
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack employed an apparently unprecedented technique to cause thousands of online video viewers to unwittingly bombard a B2B e-commerce website with junk traffic.

Marketing Tips by the Bay
Marketo was in San Francisco for the Marketing Nation Summit to tout its customer experience platform and discuss making emails more human among other topics. Meanwhile, Forrester swooped into the Bay Area and stressed that marketing campaigns are dead.

SharePoint's Mobile Challenges
While changes to Office don't equate changes to SharePoint, the iPad launch spurred on a broader discussion amongst critics of the faults with SharePoint's mobile collaboration capabilities.

Content Catch-up in Mobile Enterprise
As companies work to extract value from mobile disruption, delivering a consistent experience across devices as their biggest challenge.

Office 365 Moving Essentials
Making the case to move to Office 365? These 10 talking points should help you explain your recommendations to management.

Top 7 Success Factors for Optimizing Customer Experience
Improve your marketing efficiency and realize the complete benefits of optimizing customer experience.
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A Beginner's Guide to Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design emerged in 2010 as an option for businesses scrambling to deliver their websites across multiple devices. Though the approach is not new, some businesses still don't know what responsive web design entails and what value it provides. Here's a developer's introduction to the basics.

News Bites: Google Smart Lists, Contact Center Tips, & More

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And now, the news. Google gets Smart Lists, Sysomos integrates with Clarabridge, Bulldog gets Boosted, and 3CLogic goes 5.0.

Also in the headlines: multichannel contact centers get tips, addresses get corrected, reps need to know what they need to know, and Clari offers a new mobile sales productivity platform.

The Network Approach to Location-Based Services

Location-Based Services Benefit Consumers and BusinessA shopper in a department store decides to buy an expensive handbag. But when she hands her credit card to a sales associate to swipe, the shopper’s bank detects the purchase is for a suspiciously high amount. The shopper’s mobile service provider immediately initiates a request to verify the card user’s mobile location. This information is in turn shared with the card company’s fraud engine and the transaction is cleared to be processed -- all without ever inconveniencing the shopper.

This scenario is just one example of how location-based services can help consumers -- in this case, by balancing fraud protection with convenience. When consumers don’t have to endure the embarrassment and annoyance of having their card unnecessarily declined, merchants benefit because sales aren't lost, and sales associates don’t have to go through the stress of dealing with an irate customer.

Oracle Launches Enhanced Mobile Cloud Access

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Sales force automation (SFA) and user experience management have pitted Oracle and Salesforce against each other with Marketo snapping at their heels. All three have been piling the pressure on with new releases and announcements as they battle to dominate the market.

Yesterday, at its Collaborate annual conference for the Oracle application and technology community, Oracle added some major enhancements to its CPQ Cloud. It also announced a number of upgrades to it sales cloud that are focused principally on making SFA more mobile.

Why Can't Lawyers Learn to Use Hashtags?

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Lawyers have a lot to learn about digital content and social media. A second study confirms US law firms haven't grasped the potential of digital and social technologies, as CMSWire reported two months ago.

The new study by Living Ratings (.pdf), a London-based firm that analyzes how financial, professional services, property and technology firms are using digital communications, found most American law firms are struggling with technologies.

It essentially confirms the findings of the earlier report by consulting firm Good2BSocial and Above the Law, which concluded US law firms are beginning to dabble in social technologies, but the practice is still limited and "ineffective."

Can Twitter's New Profile Help Brands?

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In another step towards becoming more Facebook-like, micro-blogging network Twitter has revamped its profile page. How will the change affect Twitter-oriented marketing?

To see some examples of the new profile, check out the pages for US first lady Michelle Obama, actors Kerry Washington, Channing Tatum or Zac Efron or even CMSWire editor Noreen Seebacher (shown at left).

 In a post on its company blog, Twitter designer David Bellona wrote this week that the new profile layout "will be easier (and, we think, more fun) to express yourself through a new and improved web profile."

Wharton Professor Focuses on Strong Brands, Happy Customers

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Barbara Kahn knows a thing or two about marketing. In fact, it helped her earn a unique claim to fame: The former English lit major is ranked as one the best business school professors in the world according to Poets & Quants, a social network for MBA candidates.

Kahn is the Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing and director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also spent three and a half years as the Dean and Schein Family Chair Professor of Marketing at the School of Business Administration, University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

An internationally recognized scholar on variety seeking, brand loyalty, retail assortment and consumer decision making, she is also a prolific author. Between 1982 and 2006 she was the world's seventh most published author of articles in the most prestigious marketing journals. She wrote Global Brand Power: Leveraging Branding for Long-Term Growth and co-authored the book Grocery Revolution: The New Focus on the Consumer.

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