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Digital 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.

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.

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.

Madison Logic Creates Sister Company to Focus on B2B Data

B2B data and marketing provider Madison Logic launched today a sister company born from what it calls outpaced revenue expectations.

The New York City-based provider created Madison Logic Data, to be run by Madison Logic founder and CEO Erik Matlick.

Tom O'Regan, who most recently served as president and chief revenue officer for Martini Media and as senior vice president of advertising sales at TheStreet, takes over as CEO for Madison Logic. Matlick will serve as the chairman of the board for both companies. 

Company officials say its "intent data" is "core to the company's business model" and is a powerful generator of ROI and brand awareness in the B2B marketing space.

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.

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. 

News Frights: Getting Social, Embarrassed and ... Scared

The latest in self-service, simplicity, the ties that bind, postscripts and things that go bump in the night from Hong Kong on the Hudson, the City that Knows How and the Fair City, Venice of the North and the Colonial Capital.

Breaking the Dam of Digital Asset Management for Better CX

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Is it just me, or is everyone and his mother dropping the phrase digital asset management (DAM) around as if it were big data or the catch phrase du jour?

The big consulting firms ā la Accenture use it. Creative agencies have moved into the space. Social media representatives claim they do it to some degree. And we cannot neglect my personal favorite — the plethora of “technology services companies,” big and small, that are using it with clients.

It’s like a game of charades out there. Everyone can put on their own form of DAM for us to guess if it works, but ultimately, the ones who win are those brands that form deeper relationships and bonds with their customers. Said differently, what matters most is that retailers use all of their assets to their advantage so that customers and brands feel deeper connections with one another. 

IBM's Tencent Deal Could Best Twitter Partnership

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IBM announced today that it has partnered with the Chinese Internet Services Provider (ISP) Tencent Holdings — a deal that has the potential to be a lot more lucrative than its recently announced partnership with Twitter.

IBM is trumpeting this one as a major step into the Chinese market that it has been targeting for a long time. What's really interesting is that the agreement between the two is for the provision of public cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in China. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hell on Deals, Vamp Attacks and Frightfully Good Marketing

2014-31-October-Happy-Halloween.jpgHalloween is arguably one of the greatest marketing successes of all times. From a modest holiday that provoked kids to raid their parents' closets in search of a makeshift costume, Halloween has grown to a spook-tacular extravaganza.

Mike Kercheval, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, said this week that consumers have become more and more be”witch”ed with Halloween. According to an ICSC survey,  nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of US households plan to spend money on costumes, candy, decorations and Halloween-related items this year.

Eight out of ten households plan to spend the same or more than they did in 2013, giving the holiday an estimated $11.3 billion price tag for 2014. "This is good news for retailers because Halloween spending is considered non-essential or discretionary, so all signs point toward a similar consumer sentiment during the holiday shopping season," he stated in a blog post.

You gotta love Halloween ... Go ahead, click. I dare you.

Top Challenges for Multichannel Marketers #DMA14

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Two-thirds of marketers in enterprise companies fail to tightly coordinate campaigns across all marketing channels, and just 43 percent state that their marketing departments share common goals across channels, reveals new research released during this week’s Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Annual Conference in San Diego. 

The report (registration required), sponsored by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, was based on a survey of more than 300 marketing executives in large- and mid-sized companies, and found that organizational silos continue to hamper marketers from effectively implementing multichannel strategies.

IBM, Twitter in 'Landmark' Enterprise Analytics Deal #IBMandTwitter

2014-29-October-Budgie.jpgTweet this -- enterprise software met social media today in one of the first major business partnerships of its kind. 

IBM and Twitter have joined forces in the red-hot enterprise analytics software market.

The social media platform will integrate its data into IBM's Watson cloud analytics portfolio, customer engagement capabilities and consulting services in what company officials call a "landmark" partnership announced today at IBM Insight, the Armonk, NY-based technology giant's big data and analytics conference in Las Vegas.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told the Insight crowd today that no one matches Twitter's ability to deliver real time insights from the real world.

"And IBM brings a unique ability" to deliver analytics, complex systems and data together for deeper trends and insights, he added.

Forrester Shows Little Love for SAP, Marketo in Marketing Wave

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When you think "marketing cloud" you probably think Salesforce.com and Adobe — and for good reason. These two providers have solid offerings that stay competitive with a steady addition of new features, industry experts concur.

They are not the only game in town, though, as a new report on the sector from Forrester Research makes clear: users interested in other offerings might want to investigate SAS Institute, Oracle, Teradata and IBM, it concluded in its Forrester Wave: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites for Q4 report.

But the report was less enthusiastic about SAP and Marketo. These two providers, Forrester stated, "have work to do to catch up with the others."

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