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Digital News & Analysis

Format-Based Navigation is a Symptom of Organization-Centricity

Navigation based on formats, tools or systems is a sure sign that an organization is not customer focused. 

How to Measure Facebook Fans from Device-to-Device

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Metrics are certainly important in comparing the performance history of a digital marketing campaign. But that comparison is getting harder as customers gain new ways to access online platforms and services.

Facebook has worked to ease that comparison for marketers. The popular social media platform announced a cross device reporting protocol, a means to assess performance of advertising across devices. The cross device reporting will enable marketers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.

This new cross device solution enhances analytic strategies related to the social media platform.

Experience Matters in Omnichannel Commerce

Experience matters in omnichannel commerce -- both the customer experience and the software ecosystem that supports a buyer’s journey from initial discovery to customer advocate. Just as shoppers see products on display in physical stores, digital experiences have to provide relevant content and compelling interactions to convert browsing to buying. Connected consumers expect convenience and flexibility across channels, whether brick and mortar, catalog, print, in-store kiosks, web, mobile and social platforms. Nothing frustrates customers more than dead-end, can’t get there from here experiences. And second chances are rare.

News Bites: Predictive Insights, Brainshark, Avaya, Google, More

Insights, shark-sights, CS on and off-site, hiring right – it’s all outasight ...

The latest in viewing, accelerating, collaborating, joining and accessing from the Pilgrim State, the Mission City and the City that Knows How.

A Look Ahead: Community Manager Appreciation Day 2015

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What runs for 24 consecutive hours in late January?

No, it’s not the Super Bowl pre-game show -- although that certainly comes close. It's Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), which will take place Jan. 26, 2015.

In a blog post that established the first CMAD in 2010, industry analyst and founder of CrowdCompanies Jeremiah Owyang called for the event to take place on the fourth Monday of January. The purpose, according to Owyang’s post, is “to pause, recognize and celebrate the efforts [of] community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.”

A Fresh Pair of Eyes Keeps Customer Experience From Going Flat

2014-10-December-Flat.jpg“Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.” -- Thomas W. Higginson

We all know the importance of a fresh pair of eyes. They can catch mistakes and spark inspiration when you're too close to your work. While the term usually refers to visuals, it can also apply to a more universal sentiment: the power of perspective.

Perspective impacts what we produce when it comes to customer experience. While we work to deliver top-notch experiences, most are designed with a certain time, audience and goal in mind. But if we approach this with a single unexamined perspective it will quickly become outdated. Just as the thrill of a new car fades over time, when a company does little to innovate or inspire, its customer experience can become stale and flat.

Emotions and Ecosystems Drive Customer Experience in 2015

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Companies that provide good customer experience (CX) will miss the mark in 2015, states a new Forrester report.

Instead, as companies strive to differentiate themselves based on the quality of their customer experience, only those that deliver great customer experience will come out ahead, according to "Predictions 2015: The Race From Good To Great Customer Experience Heats Up" ($499 fee).

Discussion Point: To Cross-Post or Not to Cross-Post on Social Channels

Discussion-Point-640x480.jpgMarketers are falling short when it comes to building real social relationships with their customers.

This from the recent Forrester report, "Social Relationship Strategies That Work," which suggests that more often than not, the carefully crafted messages they post on social media essentially go off into space. Customers either miss them or ignore them. “Top brands Facebook and Twitter posts reach only about 2 percent of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1 percent of fans and followers interact with each post,” according to the report.

It's a crowded field and businesses are looking for effective strategies to engage with customers on social media.

This means answering more detailed questions about how, when and what to post. To save time, some marketers cross-post content on social channels -- is this a good or a bad idea?

Shep Hyken: A Guy Who Embraced Customers Before It Was Popular

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Anyone who knows anything about customer experience (CX) knows Shep Hyken.

Hyken is a go-to source for anything related to CX. He's also a professional speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build lasting relationships with their customers and employees.

In addition to writing in hundreds of publications, he is the bestselling author of "Moments of Magic," "The Loyal Customer," "The Cult of the Customer," "The Amazement Revolution" and, most recently, "Amaze Every Customer Every Time." He is also the creator of The Customer Focus program, which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

Did we mention he's the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations — a company he founded in 1983?

Organizational Ego is Eating Trust

I had reason to visit the International Monetary Fund website recently. Based on its content, the IMF is an organization overflowing with ego. Dominating the homepage was IMF chief Christine Lagarde with a very large picture of herself. In imperious language we are told that Lagarde “welcomes the pledge by the G-20 group of advanced and emerging economies to step up efforts to boost growth and create jobs.” 

Is Newly Sold Ektron Merging with EPiServer?

It's hard to separate fact from fiction in the continuing saga of Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron.

But we wanted to share the newest rumor this morning — namely, that the company that just bought Ektron is also buying EPiServer and has plans to combine the technologies.

Company President Tim McKinnon, the guy who runs the day-to-day operations at the web content management firm, told CMSWire today that he doesn't know anything about the alleged merger.

But McKinnon also told us yesterday that Ektron's minority investor — a private equity firm called Accel-KKR was not buying the company — just before a document that refutes that statement surfaced online. You can view it in the story here.

Once Red Hot Ektron Reportedly Sells for Paltry Sum

Privately held companies have it easy: they can vaguely boast of double-digit growth, record profits, strong cash balances and bright futures even when reality seems to suggest otherwise. At least that seems to be the case with Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron.

The web content management firm, which was consistently ranked one of the fastest growing tech companies in New England in the early 2000s, seems to have come to a stunningly disappointing end.

(UPDATE: Ektron confirmed to CMSWire this afternoon that it closed a second round of equity funding with Accel-KKR, but stopped short of acknowledging a sale.

In a conversation with CMSWire's Virginia Backaitis, Ektron President Tim McKinnon claimed the company is profitable and growing — and contended that rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

In a press release issued mid-afternoon today, McKinnon stated that the Accel-KKR investment "provides strong support for Ektron as it delivers upon its vision and mission to provide solutions to customers," and adding that the company is "well positioned for continued growth in 2015."

Greg Williams, managing director at Accel-KKR and a member of the Ektron board, noted in the statement that the private equity firm has been "more than impressed by the momentum, profitable growth in the business and the results the team at Ektron have been achieving."

The press release contains no comments from — or makes any mention of — Ektron CEO and co-founder Bill Rogers.)

Want to Retain Your Customers? Get Personal

Many marketers are stuck in the personalization slow lane. Personalization is no longer a luxury reserved for big players like Amazon but is an expectation. So marketers who want to keep up with the competition must employ a personalization strategy. The good part? It's easier than ever to get on board with personalization. A number of tools exist that will amass customer data for you and provide you with opportunities to tailor your customers' online experience.

But there's one area where personalization can have impressive effects -- customer retention.

Dear Marketers, Thanks for Ruining My Holiday Shopping Experience

2014-04-December-vintage-christmas.jpgMy earliest memories of my late father include heading out to scoop up bargains on the day after Christmas. What, I wondered at the age of four, could be better than buying plastic reindeer and strings of fat multicolored bulbs for 50 percent off — 364 days before you'd ever want to use them?

Nothing, I concluded. It was fun, even exciting, a way to effectively extend the magic of the holiday just a little longer.

And now, through a flurry of ill-conceived marketing, the fun is over. Some Master Marketer who clearly lacked access to a calendar decided that After Christmas Sales would be even better before Christmas. And that triggered a rash of related, equally annoying decisions to accelerate sales of all kinds.

Black Friday on Thursday, anyone? How about Cyber Monday on Saturday? Why don't we just have sales all month long?

But that's not all. After the sales are accelerated, many of them are extended — so all those Cyber Monday specials are still out there on Thursday.

5 Components of a Social Media Policy in a Regulated Industry

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A sound social media policy serves two key purposes: 1. to educate employees on use within and outside a company work environment and 2. to mitigate corporate risk through guidance on process and procedure as it relates to industry compliance and messaging.

For some more heavily regulated industries, the latter becomes extremely important.

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