Whether companies are ready for it or not, social networking is forcing them to reevaluate their approach to servicing. Customers want to interact with companies via social media; however, only a small (but growing) number of organizations are doing a good job with social customer care today, and most concentrate on handling Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media is More than a Communication Channel
At its most basic level, social media is just another channel; but if that is all it is perceived to be in your organization - a channel to be captured, controlled and managed - its value, power and benefits will be underutilized. Enterprises that are actively managing their social media presence are reaping significant benefits from their investments. They are using social networks effectively to engage their customers and prospects in public forums, and are attracting the attention of prospects on a worldwide basis. This contributes to their social presence and clout, which increases their ratings in search engines and attracts more visitors and business. In short, it's simply good business.
Other organizations approach social media in a more passive manner. They are using tools to monitor social networks for mentions of their organization, so they can identify issues and address them before they go viral. While these programs are less formal and beneficial, they can still be effective in identifying and containing customer concerns. But there is a substantial difference between companies that use social networking to enhance their image and those that engage in it to protect themselves.
Today's consumer is a visual consumer who expects interactive communication and has about an 8-second attention span -- and the customer experience is no longer as much about price and product as it is about three other specific terms: place,...
In my recent articles, I’ve addressed the challenges marketers face as they begin to personalize experiences for their customers and the trends that affect the advancement of an organization’s digital marketing. Now to the most exciting part: A framework to help you start down the path to personalization in the digital world! The purpose of the framework is to provide companies with a model to set their own paths based upon their specific priorities. Each company is starting from a different place and will advance along their own unique path. There are a lot of digital marketing maturity models out there, but they tend to be very rigid and linear. The reality is digital marketing advancement is not linear and therefore, there is no single, prescribed path to personalization. As you’ll see, the framework shows the importance of beginning the journey with a solid data and measurement strategy. It then breaks down each of the following five areas of digital marketing in terms of what it means to advance in each:
Each area of the framework has a spectrum from less advanced to more advanced, differentiated generally as follows:
As the autumn air turns crisp and the leaves fall, retailers around the country are gearing up for what they hope is a highly profitable holiday season. But besides making sure they’re fully stocked with the holiday gifts customers want, they are also taking stock of everything they learned in 2015 – so they can up their game after the New Year rolls around.
IT Resume Makeover: How to add flavor to a bland resume Don't count on your 'plain vanilla' resume to get you noticed - your resume needs a personal flavor to READ NOW This is particularly true in the realm of sophisticated technology tools, which can now be found in every nook and cranny of today’s leading retail organizations – from up and down the supply chain and every corner of the store, across marketing departments, and, of course, at the very core of ecommerce and mobile. Savvy retailers know that in order to compete in a fast-paced landscape of demanding customers looking for shopping Nirvana through smartphones and social media, they need to keep up with constantly evolving technology at every turn.
These are seven big lessons retailers learned in 2015, with an eye towards 2016 success:
1. Sales associates need to be tech-empowered
In 2015, retailers learned that sales associates can no longer be focused on the details of just one location, but have insight into available inventory across the brand’s full network, as well as an understanding of customer preferences and transaction histories,” says Vikas Aron, director at Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software provider. “Essentially, they are selling the enterprise, not just the stock of one location, and as such they must act as enterprise sales associates.” That means retailers must focus on training their associates to use and understand technology tools not only to serve in-store customers, but pick, pack and ship inventory and handle omnichannel orders and questions.
Unfortunately, the mechanisms of motivated reasoning kick in unconsciously from the moment we look at data. As a result, there is a tendency to see what we expect to see. That is, there is a danger that data will not lead us to think differently, but instead to solidify existing beliefs that really should have been challenged.
MIT’s “Data Science Machine” software represents a fully automated process capable of building such predictive computer models by identifying relevant features in raw data. Such a tool could make human data scientists even more effective by allowing them to build and test such predictive models in far less time. But it might also help more individuals and companies harness the power of Big Data without the aid of trained data scientists.
There’s no doubt that gathering competitive information is challenging for any product manager, particularly if your competitors are small private companies or you have no budget. You may have already done the obvious – scoured the competitor’s website, signed up for Google Alerts or a newswire, attended a webinar and possibly purchased the competitor’s product. You have exhausted these ideas – now what?
We’ve all seen comprehensive diagrams featuring hundreds of vendor logos across multiple marketing technology categories. So, when tasked with mapping the technologies required to deliver contextual marketing, I decided to simplify things. For more details, see my new report “Combine Systems Of Insight And Engagement For Contextual Marketing.”
Forrester has defined broad “systems of X” categories that include systems of record, design, operation/automation, insight, and engagement. The latter two lend themselves to the enterprise marketing technology landscape.
Real-time analytics and insights drive the contextual marketing engine (below), and these tools fit squarely into the systems of insight category. Customer data bases and big data repositories fuel the engine, and as customer behavior refreshes them frequently, they, too, are systems of insight (as opposed to more static systems of record).
It might sound counterintuitive, but using four-syllable textbook words to demonstrate your smarts will actually make you appear less capable.
"So often, our intuitions about what will impress others are wrong," says Daniel M. Oppenheimer, professor of psychology at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He led a series of studies on how the use of language can make one appear more or less intelligent.
In one study, the researchers took essays from online college admissions essays and replaced words using an algorithm to replace shorter words with longer words and asked participants to evaluate the quality of the author. Surprisingly, participants rated the authors as less capable and less confident. Concerned that the replacement strategy used made the essays worse, the researchers took sociology dissertation abstracts, which tend to be dense in long words, and replaced the longer words with shorter words. Participants judged the authors as more capable and intelligent if they were reading shorter words.
What will be the next groundbreaking technology to emerge from DARPA research? For over 50 years, DARPA has developed game-changing technologies that have changed both the military landscape and civil society. Developments as foundational as voice-recognition software, mobile GPS receivers, and the modern Internet can trace their origins back to DARPA labs. Arati Prabhakar, director of DARPA, discusses the myriad of ways in which DARPA has shaped modern life and how it hopes to do so in the future.
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