Nov 09

Social Tech Focus: Save Publishing

Save Publishing

Last week Peter Shankman gave a tip I thought was worth sharing.  Save Publishing is a bookmark you install in your browser.  While on any webpage, click the “SavePublishing” bookmarketlet and it will highlight all the tweetable text on the page allowing you to easily tweet them.

Save Publishing


Try it for yourself:

Nov 06

#ForrForum Day 2 – Embracing Digital Change



Day 2 of Forrester’s eBusiness and Strategy Conference continued to focus on the impact of Digital.

Bill Doyle opened the day by providing prospective.

We Are In The Age of the Customer

1900 – Age of Manufacturing
1960 – Age of Distribution
1990 – Age of Information
2010 – Age of the Customer

Differentiate on how you treat the customer – be Customer Obsessed

Martin Gill Provided IT Advice

  • Nearly 25% of adults are online with 3 or more devices
  • 2.6 – avg # of operating systems developers deploy to
  • 4.1 – avg # of form factors developers support
  • 4.6 – avg # of browsers web developers test

What’s keeping IT from morning faster? Cost center, SLAs, Compliance, Consistency, Standards, Fear of failure, governance, waterfall processes

Optaros Provided Advice on Digital Strategy Development

Creating relevant digital commerce capabilities

  1. Strategy – Do you understand the priorities that will drive business success throughout this revolution?
  2. Customer Experience – How can you understand the new rules of engagement from the consumer’s point of view?
  3. Technology - Growing choice and complexity in technology creates huge opportunity – but is technology enough?
  4. Partners – Do your partners understand what it takes you help YOU win?

Impact of Digital on Business

Digital Commerce has profound business impact and the C-Suite has noticed
The 10 : 50 : 100 rule – Kantar Group
10% of retail is online today
50% of all retail is influenced by digital
100% of all retail is impacted by digital

Disruption: Customers have taken control

  • Erosion in Trust & Loyalty – more trust in what others are saying about the brand
  • Social Influence
  • Transparency – be prepared to react to the fact that everything is done publicly
  • Ubiquitous Access
  • Increasing Speed
  • Relevant & Consistent
  • New Basis of Competition – for example, how to compete with Amazon

Leading Digital Change – What you should be thinking about?

  • Organizational “Revolution”  align your corporate and digital strategies
  • Know your customers and what motivates them
  • Understand all your competitors
  • Think beyond .com and the single URL
  • Plan for the unexpected – be agile
  • Focus on both revenue generation and cost control
  • Priorities beyond the next budget cycle

By 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs & CTOs – McKinsey

How Mobile Can Transform Your Customer Experience

Forrester Ron Rogowski provided great info on mobile

Why haven’t firms made the mobile shift?

  • Don’t understand how their customers operate
  • Focused on legacy interaction models
  • Lack skills to design and develop breakthrough mobile experiences
  • More devices = greater overall activity (it’s net new activity)

Mobile shifts all three core attributes of a customer experience

  • Enjoyable – how enjoyable are you to do business with?
  • Easy – how easy are you to do business with?
  • Meet needs – how effective are you at meeting your customers needs?


Mobile Journey: Repair —> Elevate —> Optimize —> Differentiate


  1. Inventory your mobile presence
  2. Assess value from your customers’ POV
  3. Keep, throw out or fix


Incorporate mobile expertise into your existing CX design processes


  1. Get active and proactive about context to build enjoyable experiences
  2. Design experiences for those moments
  3. Determine the context around those moments… and use analytics to anticipate needs


  1. Innovate to differentiate: CX improvements & CX innovation
  2. Reframe the opportunity
  3. Rely on systematic and innovative tactics
  4. Build systems of engagement

Final thoughts

  1. Use customer experience — not mobile — KPIs to measure success
  2. Beg, borrow, steal, and buy native mobile talent
  3. Adopt and use analytical tools


Nov 05

#ForrForum Day 1 – Embracing Digital Change



Day 1 of Forresters eBusiness & Strategy conference (#forrforum) is focused on helping digital leaders discover strategies and tactics they can bring back to the office to drive progress in their companies objectives.

Digital Marketers can embrace change by:

  1. Becoming Customer Obsessed – like Dominos
  2. Anointing a digital change agent – like Hallmark – Chief Digital Officer
  3. Reallocating budget – like Krispy Kreme

The Digital Business Imperative

As Moneyball’s John Henry character says, the first one through the door gets a bloody nose. As will digital change agents.  Yet, when the internal zeitgeist turns in your favor, your firm will follow your lead.

Experience is the only differentiator

Barriers to Digital Change:

56% of ebusiness professionals have an multichannel digital strategy, yet only 23% feel they can deliver on it.

  • IT can’t deliver
  • Your touchpoint choices are spiraling out of control
  • To the rest of your organization, “Digital is something HE does”
  • Todays structures are no longer fit for purpose

Setting a Path to Digital Change

You need to do two things:
1. Create the conditions for digital transformation

  1. Consolidate a digital strategy under a single customer-focused leader (Nespresso)
  2. Organize around the customer, not the function (CVS)
  3. Embed digital skills and competencies into the business (Nestle)
  4. Embrace cross-functional agile ways for working (i.e. work faster)

2. Master three essential digital skills

  1. Set and communicate digital strategy
  2. Manage Digital change
  3. Operate and optimize digital touchpoints

Each firms mix will be different

Who should lead the Digital Change?

It depends on your organizations capability:

IT Maturity eBusiness Maturity Strategy
Low Low Focus on operational excellence
High Low IT lead transformation
Low High eBusiness lead transformation
High High Focus on strategic investments on next generation experiences

How to serve social customers?

  1. Listen and respond on their chosen network
  2. Honor their issues with great customer care
  3. Solicit their ideas to solve new problems
  4. Unlock thie passion by stoking there conversations
  5. Enlist others through sharing and advocacy

That’s it for day 1, stay tuned for a day 2 wrap up.

Nov 04

#ForrForum Customer Obsession



Day zero at Forrester’s eBusiness & Business Strategy is focused on customer obsession.  What follows is my recap of the Marketing Leadership Board discussions.

Customer Obsession

We’re entering a customer obsessed Marketing age. But with so many competing efforts, it’s easy to FAIL at focusing on the customer. The focus of this day at #ForrForum is building a Customer Obsessed Marketing Organization.

Peter Shankman: Nice Companies Finish First

Peter’s main take away – as a society we expect to be treated like crap on a regular basis. Back in the 50s we expected great service and we got it. However focus has shifted to the most valuable customers to the detriment of >90% of customers.  In this environment, not sucking can be the differentiator.

4 Key ways to be one level above crap

  1. Transparency – people can’t connect to a faceless, nameless, corporate robot
  2. Relevance – man your social accounts. You need to be responsive
  3. Brevity – the average attention span 2.7 seconds. You need to write well. Good writing is brevity
  4. Top of Mind – if your are good to your audience they will be good to you.  This drives word-of-mouth marketing and builds customer loyalty

So…About Self-Promotion

Self-promotion, by itself, is a very bad thing.  Don’t use Instagram to share pictures of yourself. No one cares. Instead create content that other people want to share.

(Side note: Yelp will be gone, or fundamentally changed, within 3 years because there is no trust in these reviews).

But when self-promotion helps people

…Then it’s not self-promotion. it’s a puppy wrapped in bacon. And everyone likes a puppy wrapped in bacon.
“Helping” can be anything. A discount. A laugh. A shoulder. A low-cut. Anything not about selling that benefits someone

But the conventional wisdom is “nice” doesn’t make money…except for the fact that it like, does. It creates 10-40% in revenue.

Peter’s random add-ins

  • By the way, Marketing needs to talk to social which has to talk to customer service – or you will fail.
  • Remember that EXPERIENCE is the strongest currency. What can you do to create an experience that your customers will share?
  • The human social economy runs on two things: Bragging & Drama

Roadblocks to Customer Obsession

Everyone intuitively realizes the importance of focus on customers, bit in reality, few companies are organized and incented with the purpose of executing on holistic customer experiences.  In one breakout session we shared and discussed the key roadblocks to becoming a customer obsessed organization.

Top Roadblocks

  1. Lack of demonstrable ROI
  2. Lack of common view of the customer
  3. B2B sales model
  4. Regulations & regulatory requirements
  5. Competing priorities and/or product pushes
  6. Internal alignment | silos
  7. Infrastructure | tech for real time
  8.  Data – customer activity/data
  9. Lack of resources

Getting Support for A Marketing Obsessed Agenda

After agreeing that customer obsession is important and identified roadblocks, how do you get started?  Certainly, getting buy-in at an executive level for a customer experience agenda, so what moves them?  While feeding executives information on what customer experience can do for the organization what really seems to compel leaders is competitive benchmarking.  If executives feel they are losing market positioning to competitors, they are much more likely to invest resources in becoming an customer obsessed organization.


Nov 02

Social Media Bully Pulpit

cyberbullyingSocial Media Bully Pulpit


Activist Investor Carl Icahn recently boosted his investment in Apple stock and urged the company to use some of its $147 billion in cash for a stock buy back. A move that could potentially double the company’s $525 stock price. Bill Gross, founder and managing director of the Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO) suggested, via PIMCO’s Twitter feed, that Icahn should focus his attention on charity rather than boosting his already considerable wealth.  Icahn responded by suggesting Gross join him in taking the Giving Pledge has he had done.  Gross later responded that he and his wife were taking the “Andrew Carnegie” pledge of giving away all their wealth before they die.

Here’s how it played out on Twitter:

The Point 

I am unable to find evidence that Bill Gross publicly took the Andrew Carnegie pledge before this tit for tat on Twitter.  Perhaps he had made the pledge privately but never made it publicly.  Of course there is the possibility that Gross was forced, or at least hurried, into acknowledging his plans for his considerable fortune.

The point is, it seems PIMCO got into a “Twitter Charity Brawl” for no good reason.  Neither party won in this back and forth.  Icahn comes across as a “charity bully” for calling Gross out and Gross looks like a bully for originally attacking Icahn. Even though Gross made a very large donation to charity, he get’s no points because for the pledge because he made it defensively. Why did PIMCO’s PR team allow this to happen?

Social Media Take-Aways

What can social media managers take away from this affair? Here’s some ideas.  Add your ideas in the comments:

  1. Have a plan for your social media spokespersons
    1. What are the topics they talk about?
    2. What are the topics they won’t touch?
    3. What are the escalation procedures when things go awry?
    4. What is the tone/tenor of your social spokesperson?
  2. Consider creating separate social media channels for spokespersons. This allows them to have personal views and behaviors that are *somewhat* distinct from the brand.
  3. Never forget social media is a public forum – if your  spokesperson would start an argument in a conference room full of reporters, then fine, it makes sense to do it on Twitter too.  Otherwise don’t forget that social media is a public forum full of individuals with their own agendas.
  4. Social Media works best when it’s SOCIAL – not Anti-social.  Being a bully on social media tends to back fire. People don’t like jerks.


Photo Credit - Pimkie Fotos

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