Archive for Customer Experience Management – CXM

Are you focused on customer experience and digital marketing?

If Customer Experience and Digital Marketing is Your Game…

Have we got a track for you at this year’s Gilbane Conference. Track C: Content, Marketing, and Customer Experience is designed for marketers, marketing technologists, social marketers, content strategists, web content managers, content marketers, content creators and designers, and business and technology strategists focused on customer experience and digital marketing.

You’ll Learn How:

  • Adobe and Brightspot advise customers on managing a digital experience business
  • Campbell Soup and National Instruments are crafting modern customer experiences using iterative testing, measurement, and analysis to engage more deeply with customers
  • To create a plan to develop and deliver supporting and engaging content across multiple channels
  • Innovations in artificial intelligence will shape the future Of content and commerce
  • Translation and localization technology will impact the future
  • To successfully map business and technology requirements

Register now to join us for the Gilbane Digital Content Conference’s Track C: Content, Marketing, and Customer Experience on November 29-30. Get a full description for all 14 sessions in this track, here.Gilbane conference attendees

Register with code F16G to save an extra $100 off the Early Bird rate of your conference pass.

Register Today 

The Venue

The Fairmont Copley Plaza is the official conference hotel for the Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2016. Discounted guest room rates (plus applicable taxes) have been arranged for attendees who book by November 11, 2016. Find out more…

Gilbane conference hotel 2016

How to develop a personalization strategy

Join us at the Gilbane Conference in Boston December 1-3 and learn how your peers are building superior digital experiences for customers and employees. Personalization is a big, and complex, component of customer experiences. A successful strategy for your organization needs to consider all the stakeholders and lots of variables. This workshop will help you begin, or review, your personalization strategy.

Workshop A. Developing a Personalization Strategy: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

In this workshop, we will discuss the thinking necessary to build a strong personalization strategy for any organization. Illuminating a range of different types of strategy and effective scenarios for different organization types, we will pull back the details to understand the commonalities, decision paths, and frameworks for organizing these strategies.

The session will also ground the discussion in some operational complexity associated with personalization strategy, including:

  • Assessing existing user behavior as a prerequisite of personalization strategy
  • Audience segmentation and CRM
  • The interaction between personalization strategy and UX planning

For attendees, the workshop will provide both an overview of this complex subject, and the chance to discuss their own challenges and align them with strategies that can work.

Instructor: John Berndt, CEO, TBG (The Berndt Group)
Tuesday, December, 1: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. • Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston

This workshop is included in the ConferencePlus package. Save $200 on the ConferencePlus and Conference Only options. To get your Bluebill discount use priority code 200BB when registering online.

I would like my $200 registration discount – code 200BB

Insiders’ Guide to Selecting the Right WCM

Join us at the Gilbane Conference in Boston December 1-3 and learn how your peers are building superior digital experiences for customers and employees. If you have a website refresh project coming up, make sure you are prepared with the latest info on the web content management technology landscape by attending this in-depth workshop.

Workshop C. Insiders’ Guide to Selecting the Right WCM

If you are a website or intranet manager or architect, this year may well find you looking to implement new tools or refresh dated platforms. However, you face a wide and growing array of vendors willing to address your problems. Which ones offer the best fit for your particular circumstances?

This fast-paced workshop led by Real Story Group founder Tony Byrne will help you understand the broad but converging marketplaces for Web CMS technologies. Tony will sort out the key players and business models, and offer you a roadmap for deciding which types of technologies and vendors provide the best long-term fit for your needs. The workshop will answer several key questions:

  • How can you quickly distinguish among the 120 major toolsets across these marketplaces?
  • How are changes in the open source landscape impacting your options today and going forward?
  • Where does Web Publishing intersect with emergent technologies?
  • What should you expect to pay for these tools?
  • What are the critical, can’t-ignore architectural distinctions you need to make?
  • How mature are the vendors? – What are the strengths and weaknesses of some key players, including Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle
  • How can you insure that your selection process meets your original business objectives?
  • Which should you pick first: Agency, Integrator, Vendor, or…?
  • What are some major pitfalls others have made that you can readily avoid?
  • How are these marketplaces likely to evolve in the coming years, and how can you best align your firm to take advantage of future innovation?

Instructor: Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group
Tuesday, December, 1: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. • Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston

This workshop is included in the ConferencePlus package. Save $200 on the ConferencePlus and Conference Only options.

To get your Bluebill discount use priority code 200BB when registering online.

I would like my $200 registration discount – code 200BB

How to Select a WCM Service Provider

Join us at the Gilbane Conference in Boston December 1-3 and learn how your peers are building superior digital experiences for customers and employees. If you have a project coming up make sure you have the right service provider partners by attending this in-depth workshop.

Workshop D. How to Strategically Select a Service Provider Partner

Evaluating and selecting technology and service partners is intimidating. And without proper guidance, it’s easy to take the wrong path. This workshop focuses on selection readiness. It is designed to point your organization in the right direction before you even start the journey to either a roadmap and/or new solutions for web content and experience management. You will learn how to create a plan of action for getting your organization ready for a successful selection program – one that results in real business benefits as the direct result of partnering with the right service provider to help you set your customer experience path, and implement the right solutions. We explore the fundamentals of selection preparation, covering four key areas of readiness:

  • Articulating the business case
  • Identifying the stakeholder landscape
  • Managing requirements gatherings
  • Developing realistic budgets

We provide a step-by-step overview of an efficient, results-driven selection program, and we show you how to build a messaging and communications plan that will help you shape internal conversations about it. With this approach, you can set expectations, educate reluctant stakeholders, and get your company thinking about change management, which is often an afterthought but shouldn’t be. The selection process is all about aligning business goals with the “best-fit” partner for your organization’s needs. And finding that fit is about way more than just ticking the boxes of a procurement process checklist. Armed with the outcomes of this workshop, you will be ready to move forward with confidence and find the right service provide to partner with on your customer experience journey.

Instructor: Cathy McKnight, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group
Tuesday, December, 1: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. • Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston

This workshop is included in the ConferencePlus package. Save $200 on the ConferencePlus and Conference Only options.

To get your Bluebill discount use priority code 200BB when registering online.

I would like my $200 registration discount – code 200BB

 

Final reminder! Gilbane Speaker proposals due

Gilbane15 Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston
Workshops: December 1 • Main conference: December 2-3

The deadline for proposals has been extended to: May 8, 2015

Speaker proposal instructions and form

The Gilbane Conference helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all internal and external stakeholders.

Conference Tracks

Content, Marketing, and Customer Experience
Designed for marketers, marketing technologists, social marketers, content marketers, growth hackers, web and mobile content managers, strategists and technologists focused on customer experience and digital marketing.

Content, Collaboration and Employee Experience
Designed for content, information, technical, and business managers focused on enterprise social, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and back-end content applications.

Re-imagining the Future: Ubiquitous Computing and Digital Transformation
Designed for technology strategists, IT, and marketing / business executives focused on near-term and future software, content, and computing devices to support customer or employee experiences.

Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media
Designed for publishing and information product managers, marketers, technologists, and business or channel managers focused on the transition to digital products and managing digital assets.

Deadline for proposals: May 8, 2015

Submit your proposal to speak at Gilbane today

Avoiding the Dangers of the Unmanaged Customer Experience

Put your consumer hat on for a moment. Think about the last time you booked travel, bought a holiday gift, ordered flowers, or applied for a new credit card. Online or offline – doesn’t matter. What’s notable about that experience? What do you remember about it? Something? Nothing?

In the midst of the market cacophony about customer experience, three facts define the fundamentals, once stripped of  hype:

  1. Every brand delivers an experience to customers and prospects, consciously or unconsciously. At Digital Clarity Group (DCG), we define experience as “the totality of interactions through all channels and touch points over the entire life of the relationship.” Experience happens by default. As consumers, we always remember the bad. We might remember the good. We mostly forget the vast majority of experience that’s just mediocre. Which is not great if you’re a brand spending lots of money to leave a good impression.
  2. Consciously managing the experience is the only way that a brand can bias the experience for the right business outcome. Consistently good experiences are not accidental. Only when experience is deliberately managed does it become repeatable, predictable, measurable, and capable of being improved and optimized.
  3. The business practice of holistically managing the customer experience across channels is new, and therefore hard and mysterious. One of the many reasons it’s hard is that you cannot just throw technology at it and get results. Today there is no such thing as an out-of-the-box solution for experience management. It’s mysterious because successful paths (by way of repeatable best practices) are still being cut by the pioneers.

If customer experience management (CEM) is hard, it is also not an option. As my DCG colleague Tim Walters notes, “…the mobile and social empowerment of consumers makes CEM an inescapable, compulsory, and essential initiative for virtually every company’s survival.”

Who’s caught between the proverbial rock and hard place? Chief marketing officers, digital marketers, customer experience champions, LOB owners, newly-minted data scientists, marketing technologies, IT – yep, everyone who feels the pressure that customers are putting on them for higher-quality, more meaningful engagement. They want to move forward, know they need to move forward. But they are frequently overwhelmed by identifying the right starting point for CEM.

In DCG’s work with our enterprise clients, we see another obstacle that presents an even bigger risk. It’s not just that getting started can be overwhelming – it’s also that too many companies are responding to contemporary CEM challenges with legacy practices, processes, and technologies that are misaligned with the new world order imposed by empowered consumers. Doing more of the same, just bigger, faster, better, is a sure path to obsolescence. It’s time for fundamental change.

When we engage in a selection or roadmap development project with an enterprise client, we are typically supporting the manager or team who needs to enable that change in collective thinking about experience management. We often start by helping them write the script for the conversations with stakeholders. A number of the issues addressed in those scripts are distilled in our paper entitled The CEM Imperative: Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer. What’s at risk if you don’t take action now? What’s the business case for investing in capabilities and competencies for experience management? If no single CEM solution exists today, how will you build and deploy a platform and toolset for experience management? The CEM Imperative provides insights that can help you start to formulate answers to these and related questions. You can also use it as a call-to-action for senior managers and executives who are hesitating. As DCG author Tim Walters writes:

“CEM is not vendor hype, because it is a response to the desires and expectations of today’s extremely demanding and fickle consumers. CEM is not a back-burner consideration because, as … innumerable studies prove, engaging consumers with superior experiences is a matter of life or death for any firm that cares about having customers.”

Presumably your organization cares about having customers. If that’s the case, then addressing the risk of unmanaged – or mismanaged – experience must be a top strategic goal moving forward.

Download your copy
The CEM Imperative: Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer

 

Marketing strategy versus technology – should be a virtuous circle

Scott Brinker has another must-read post. I excerpt parts of his post below so I can expand on it a bit but you should read his full post along with the comments.

In his post Scott explains he is responding to statements made in a podcast by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose. After linking to the podcast and agreeing with much of what they say Scott makes three points:

  1. “Marketing technology is not just about efficiency — it’s about experiences.
  2. The relationship between strategy and technology is circular, not linear.
  3. Marketers cannot abdicate their responsibility to understand technology.”

and mentions the one quote he really disagrees with (emphasis is Scott’s):

“Figure out your process first. And then get aligned with your internal IT guys to figure out what it is you exactly need to facilitate. Because that’s the only thing that technology will ever, ever do. The only thing technology will ever do is facilitate a process that you have more efficiently. That’s all it’s ever going to do.”

That is a pretty strong recommendation for option A in Scott’s illustration below.

strategy technology circular

Scott Brinker – strategy and technology are circular

I want to make three points:

  • The fact that the relationship between technology and strategy is circular – that they have to inform, influence, and advance with each other – is true of all enterprise applications and for all functions and has always been true.
  • If you replace “technology” with “data” or “big data” or “analytics” the points that Scott makes are equally valid. (For a different take on this see Big data and decision making: data vs intuition.)
  • Technology is not just a set of product features. The features are possible because of creative combinations of underlying software concepts, programming languages, data structures, and architectures. Without some understanding of the underlying fundamentals it is natural to think product features define software capabilities and thus to limit insight into strategy possibilities. Marketers (or other professionals) with little to no technical background can compare feature sets and build strategies that match, or build strategies and look for the set of already existing product features to match. Each of these illustrate what we might call the bad kind of circularity (as we mean when we call an argument circular) and they handicap innovation. The good kind of circularity is a strategy/technology dialog of what ifs, informed by what might be possible, not by what is already known.

It is both natural and common for consultants to overemphasize option A, because way too often option B is overemphasized at the expense of option A by both their customers and technology vendors. Good consultants spend a lot of time and effort helping customers overcome an under-appreciation or political deprecation of the importance of strategy. But all of us need to be careful not to suggest either linear false choice.

Beyond Customer Experience Management: What Your CMS Really Needs to Deliver

Selecting a new or replacement CMS is one of the most strategic technology decisions you can make. Why? Because customers and prospects expect personalized, engaging, dynamic, and high quality experiences and will leave if they don’t find them.

Selecting the right CMS is important because it is a primary tool in providing those experiences and the hub that connects and drives many of the components that make up customer experience management. This post is based on a white paper entitled “Beyond Customer Experience: What Your CMS Really Needs to Deliver, “ which was also the subject of a recent presentation I did at the Gilbane Conference. You can download the white paper (registration required): at http://bluebillinc.com/white-paper-beyond-customer-experience-management/ .

Providing a personalized and seamless experience to customers across myriad devices, touch points, and stages in the relationship is a big challenge; one with which many organizations struggle. A recent Bain & Company survey found that while 80% of surveyed executives believe their companies are delivering a great customer experience, only 8% of their customers agree.

One reason they struggle is that customer experience is only part of the equation, specifically, the goal. The other parts of the equation that achieve that goal are content creator experience, developer experience, and integrator experience-in total, the  “global user experience.” While those are “behind the scenes players, they create and shape the customer experience.

Great customer experiences are predicated on the effectiveness with which a CMS provides those other experiences—in effect, a well-designed CMS inspires better performance on the part of content creators and developers, yielding customer experiences that deliver more business impact. It also allows integration of familiar and new tools to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of content creators and developers. Shown as an equation, the global user experience would look like the diagram below:

equation

Key to achieving a superior customer experience is the ability for content creators, marketers, and developers to focus on the experience itself, not the mechanics of producing it. That requires a mature CMS solution that provides a balanced set of tools and capabilities for content creators, developers, and integrators. That, in turn, requires a coordinated CMS selection process amongst all of those stakeholders that emphasizes not only the individual experiences, but the collective experience as well.

As we noted at the top of this post, selecting a CMS is a strategic decision-the CMS solution that provides the right global user experience is a growth engine that helps power the success of any business or firm-the right strategic decision.