Archive for customer engagement

Gilbane Advisor 7-11-18 — No-hype blockchain, ML, mobile dev, publishing

Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value?

Excellent measured piece to share with senior management, from McKinsey. “Our research seeks to answer this question by evaluating not only the strategic importance of blockchain to major industries but also who can capture what type of value through what type of approach. To see the original interactive version of the graphic… Read More

Ways to think about machine learning

Benedict Evans looking at the fundamentals of ML, minus the often unhelpful ways it is often discussed.

So, this is a good grounding way to think about ML today – it’s a step change in what we can do with computers, and that will be part of many different products for many different companies. Eventually, pretty much everything will have ML somewhere inside and no-one will care. Read More

A deeply detailed but never definitive guide to mobile development architecture

“Native, Web, PWA, hybrid, Cross-Compiled… what is “the best” way to develop for Android and iOS platforms? What looks reasonable? And how are you supposed to choose among the options?” Long enough to be really useful… Read More

The promises and perils of blockchain technology in publishing

Bill Rosenblatt looks at the practicality and unknowns of the “Three general types of blockchain applications in publishing are being discussed nowadays: rights licensing and royalty processing, print supply chain management and piracy tracking, and e-book ownership transfers.” Read More

Goodbye, Denver Post. Hello, Blockchain & Colorado Sun

The new publication will have a conventional website whose data will be written permanently into the secure digital ledger known as the blockchain. Expenses for the fledgling outlet will be covered by a grant from Civil, whose sole investor, for now, is ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based blockchain software technology company founded by Joseph Lubin… a co-founder of Ethereum. Read More

Also…

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. See all issues

Gilbane Advisor 5-9-18 — Ad cost, engagement, consent, speech

Annoying online ads do cost business

Nielsen Norman Group reports on a new research study involving 35 million Pandora users over 21 months. The study showed increased advertising caused a 2.8% reduction in use. As they point out, this is not a huge amount, and your mileage may vary.

ads effect on listening time

What is significant is the convincing quantification. Nobody wants to have to defend a drop in customer activity. Read More

Predicting content attention and behavior

Content strategist Michael Andrews argues that “The biggest weakness in content strategy today is that it lacks predictive explanatory power. … To provide predictive explanatory power, content strategy guidelines should be based on empirical data that can be reproduced by others.”. Andrews summarizes, and points to, a new study presented at the 2018 World Wide Web Conference by Nir Grinberg of Northeastern University that provides some data and interesting analysis. The summary and Grinberg’s paper are both worthy of your time, and a must read if you’re a content strategist. Read More

How Axel Springer is getting consent for GDPR

They’ve been running some tests and are kindly sharing the results.

So far, the publisher’s readers are far more likely to give consent when they receive a fact-based static message, rather than a video message or one written in a tone that requests the readers’ support. Read More

Speech recognition systems vulnerable to adversarial attacks

Nicholas Carlini and David Wagner invented a novel attack against speech recognition AI. With the addition of an imperceptible amount of noise, the attack can trick speech-recognition systems into producing any output the attacker wants.

The Gradient’s Hugh Zhang points out that this kind of

targeted deception in nature

attack is also a problem for other deep learning algorithms, for example in image recognition. Read More

Also…

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. See all issues

Gilbane Advisor 2.2.15 – Groundhog Day Edition

Scroll down to check out our new community section

The Sharing Economy isn’t About Sharing at All

It just seemed that way to some because of the overreach of “social”. It’s about access and convenience, not community.

The access economy is changing the structure of a variety of industries, and a new understanding of the consumer is needed to drive successful business models. A successful business model in the access economy will not be based on community, however, as a sharing orientation does not accurately depict the benefits consumers hope to receive. It is important to highlight the benefits that access provides in contrast to the disadvantages of ownership and sharing. These consist of convenient and cost-effective access to valued resources, flexibility, and freedom from the financial, social, and emotional obligations embedded in ownership and sharing. Read more

The home screen is the new home page

This poses both dramatic challenges and opportunities for the content community. It’s still not clear whether this is a good or a bad thing… The rise of mobile devices and mobile media consumption is likely to only increase the public’s appetite for quality content… But the picture is far from rosy. The supply of content is infinite. Yet time and attention is a finite resource. And brand won’t be enough to win. The reality is that content discovery is a huge challenge for creators and consumers alike. Read more

Another reason the picture is far from rosy…

Don’t Look Now, But Deep Linking Just Got Hot

For apps that is – the web is all about linking. The main reason apps will not replace the web anytime soon is that there is no standard way to link to information inside of apps, and none on the horizon. The recent hotness is interesting though. Read more here and here

The Rise of the Marketer: Driving Engagement, Experience and Revenue

This free research report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Marketo, has a great demographic and is worth well more than the cost. Read more

What Is a Business Model?

Startups need them and more established companies should review theirs regularly. Here’s a useful resource on how the term is used and a handy set of analogies to help you think beyond the obvious. Read more

Speaking of business models…

Dear Zoë Keating: Tell YouTube to Take a Hike

Are there really only two types of business model for the Internet? Unlikely. The broad categories of advertising vs subscription are generally useful and not necessarily mutually exclusive. But as Ben Thompson points out Zoë Keating’s case illustrates there can be an almost comical conversation between a company focused on scale with one focused on a niche.

The difference in business models is far more stark on the web; at scale, advertising is the obvious solution. For niches, though, I strongly believe that direct payment is superior. It’s simply easier to get a lot of money from your best fans than it is to get a little bit of money from many. This, though, is the problem with all-you-can-eat subscription services: they only afford the chance to make a little bit of money from any one customer, even as they increase the friction over free. And, I agree with Keating that the subscription services, including YouTube, don’t understand this… I think it’s more that nearly everyone at tech … is deeply conditioned to think at scale… Niches, though, don’t scale; they go deep. Read more

​Why Enterprise Software Customers Are Not Happy (and What to Do About It)

Enterprise IT companies are not known for producing great customer experience. Their customer loyalty scores are low, down in a range with the health insurance industry… But in spite of some poor customer ratings, many… have been able to thrive partly because they built strong relationships with their primary buyers—CIOs and other senior IT executives. They locked in long-term contracts with these buyers…

When we surveyed more than 5,000 technology decision makers and end users in U.S. companies, we found a massive gap between their perceptions. In six of the eight hardware and software categories, end users gave a negative rating—that is, they were more likely not to recommend a given vendor than to recommend it. By contrast, scores for decision makers were negative for only one category.

Vendors know they need to expand selling efforts beyond CIOs, and not just to CMOs. This is much easier said than done for multiple reasons. Read more

The End of Trickle-Down Technology

Smartphones are not following Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” predictions.

  • Apple offers by far the most expensive phones on the market, but even though the early price-insensitive market has presumably been saturated, the iPhone is actually growing
  • Samsung phones are widely available at multiple price points, making them an easy choice for low information customers on the right side of the cycle, yet the company is struggling
  • Xiaomi has very aggressive prices, but their brand proposition is very much tuned to the left side of the cycle

All of this seems to fly in the face of Moore’s assumption that late-stage adoption would be driven by price and pragmatism (or, in the case of conservatives, necessity). Price and pragmatism might as well be Samsung’s motto, while Apple is super expensive and Xiaomi is avowedly geeky. Read more

The Strategic Value of APIs

Today, a firm without application program interfaces (APIs) that allow software programs to interact with each other is like the internet without the World Wide Web. Just as the World Wide Web opened up the internet’s potential for use by billions, APIs — specifications or protocols for how to exchange information or request online services from an organization — are allowing companies to grow businesses at unprecedented rates by sharing services with external firms.

Yes. And note that it is the more complex and changing information that provides the lion’s share of value, not simply the connection protocol. Read more

From the community

One more nail in Flash’s coffin… YouTube Now Streams HTML5 Video By Default via TechCrunch; The Super Bowl – Twitter versus TV… Is Social Over-Hyped? via MediaPost; Do you know what Bacon Content is?… Is Bacon to Consumer (B2C) the same as Bacon to Business (B2B)? via TahzooHow to avoid being a deer-in-the-headlight of Customer Experience Management via Digital Clarity Group; Are you mature enough for an optimized customer experience? via CMSWire; Don’t plan on using SharePoint online for public websites. via Real Story Group; Do you want a big data salary?… MapR is training 10,000 Hadoop pros for freevia CMSWire

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Harvard Business Review and WGBH transforming digital engagement

Engaging customers and online audiences requires the right mix of technology, content, and tools, orchestrated in a way that leverages deep customer knowledge to deliver the right content at the right time in the right fashion. That’s a tall order, yet it is a “do or die” imperative for organizations that use content to make a living. In this session, you’ll learn how to transform and optimize customer digital engagement from presentations by two leading-edge organizations that are paving the way to the future using a blend of customer-centric design, dynamic and targeted content, big data and analytics, agile technologies and processes, and a vision for the future. These presentations will inspire you to kick-start your own digital engagement transformation initiatives!

Update: The new HBR.org site launched a couple of weeks ago. Check it out and meet the HBR.org development team; Daigo Fujiwara, Kevin Davis, Matt Wagner, Fred Lalande, and Ismail Ozyigit will join Kevin Newman at this session.

Join us Tuesday, December, 2: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Gilbane Conference to learn more.

P1. Track Keynote: Hear how Harvard Business Review and WGBH have Transformed Digital Engagement

Moderator:
Marc Strohlein, Principal, Agile Business Logic and Principal, Agile Business Logic

Speakers:
Kevin Newman, Director of Technology, Harvard Business Publishing
Rebranding and Rebuilding Harvard Business Review

Cate Twohill, Director, Technical Product Development, WGBH Educational Foundation, and George Corugedo, CTO and Co-founder, RedPoint Global Inc.
Big Data & Customer Engagement Lessons from a U.S. Media Powerhouse

See the complete conference schedule.

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider – Multi-modal interface essential to mobile customer engagement

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Frank Schneider, VP of Customer Experience Solutions at Creative Virtual USA. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Frank Schneider | Gilbane Conference

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider

VP Customer Experience Solutions

Creative Virtual USA

 

Is there a “Marketing Technologist” role in your organization or in organizations you know of? Should there be? What should their responsibilities be?

As technology becomes the backbone of every organization, it forces the cross pollination of roles, especially now between marketing and IT. With a shift towards data-based marketing and new relationships forming between marketing, sales and customer service, the advent of the “Marketing Technologist” is real. This shift is fueling the need for marketing automation, sales enablement, content management, knowledge management and even translation. Marketing Technologists have emerged as the perfect conduit between platform adoption and management, and the traditionally non-technical roles of sales, marketing and customer service.

With customer service becoming the new marketing and marketing’s ability to directly influence the sales pipeline, Chief Marketing Technologists are sprouting up as the perfect solution to balance a variety of needs including marketing and CRM software, content marketing, social and mobile, data and analytics, web and app development, ad networks and customer engagement programs. From social media monitoring to SEO analysis to translation management and ecommerce, Marketing Technologists are fast becoming the “must have” in every organization that is competing in a global economy.

Do you think “web content management” should be the hub of digital experience management implementations? If so, should it have a new name to match an expanded role? If not, what should be at the center?

Content marketing is evolving to become the center of digital strategy. Consequently, every organization should endeavor to employ the new role of Chief Content Officer or some derivative thereof. Managing the ebb and flow of content and messaging via multiple channels has created the need for a more comprehensive content strategy across departments and media. Channel management between web, social, and mobile have not only created opportunities to deliver messaging, but an urgent need to provide fresh material for public consumption.

Organizations must take cues from traditional publications hiring copy editors, writers and reviews to constantly curate fresh content that furthers the company’s mission, corresponds to the marketing goals and satisfies the needs of their audience. However, you do need someone leading the charge – a person that understands the mission of the content team, rallies the resources and takes ownership of getting it done. Furthermore, they need the tools to get it done. Now more than ever, technology will play an ever increasing role in how content is aggregated, curated, manage and delivered.

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

A proper macro level strategy for content delivery across multiple channels should be comprised of several key elements.

  1. Consistency. Whether it be call center agents looking for an answer or policy or a customer checking a web page, the right answer, right messaging, and proper branding should be pervasive and consistent, no matter the medium or device. Nuanced variable can be in play in regards to format, UI, and design, but at the end of the journey, customers need to feel that your content delivery allowed for a seamless experience.
  2.  Correct and Compliant. Along the lines of the first element, “correct” can mean many things. First, the item must incorporate content that is not just correct in regards to the answer from a company perspective, but answer precisely the question the customer has (in regards to what began the content search or inquiry). Furthermore, this correct answer must incorporate personalization factors; in other words, the answer must be particularly right for that customer or that profile of customer. Lastly, content must be compliant… from HIPPA, to SEC guidelines, to CPNI… content delivery must adhere to compliance guidelines will protecting the interests of both consumer and business.
  3. Automated and seamless. Content delivery across all channels must be deployed with a strategy towards, and enabled by technology and tools for, automated cross pollination and management of content. The idea of multi-channel strategy, that is, the ability to deliver in multiple channels (web, mobile/tablet, call center, IVR, social/community, branch), must mature from brainstorming strategy to refined omnichannel capability. An ominichannel content delivery system allows for authentic smart delivery of content, no matter the channel or modality.

Catch Up with Frank at Gilbane

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

T1: Are You Leveraging All the Mobile Technologies Required for Competitive Mobile Engagement?
“Come As You Are: Multi-Modal Interface is Essential to Mobile Customer Engagement”
Tuesday, December, 3: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

[button link=”http://gilbaneconference.com/program” variation=”red”]Complete Program[/button] [button link=”http://gilbaneconference.com/schedule” variation=”red”]Conference Schedule[/button] [button link=”http://gilbaneconference.com/registration” variation=”red”]Register Today[/button]

Introducing the Web Engagement Capability Model

To support our research and analysis, Scott Liewehr and I have been working on a capability model to define how we look at Web Engagement that you’ll see coming through our work over the coming months and I thought I’d give a bit of a preview here.

As I have discussed previously (in this post) there is more to this Web Engagement thing than Web Content Management, although the lines are blurry as there are a myriad of vendors that can claim capabilities here. Some of this great stuff is coming from WCM vendors, analytics vendors and some very nice niche players that we think our clients should look at as they build out their engagement strategy.

Note – I am using the term ‘engagement’, not ‘experience’ – in my opinion the experience is a vital element of engagement, but it’s not the broader topic – maybe more on that in a later post.  

Clearly, if you are a digital marketer, this can look confusing and I know of at least one organization that has deployed three different web analytics packages as each fulfills a different engagement function. Our intention is that as we delve into this engagement tier, we can start to unravel who exactly does what.

We are also seeing campaign management and digital marketing requirements entering the WCM selection process, often disconnected from a wider strategy. I am not suggesting that having digital marketing requirement in a WCM RFP is necessarily bad – we just need to go into this with our eyes open and get some clarity over how we structure those requirements.

Our concern is that we learn the lessons of ECM and big IT and stay alert to the risk of implementing a system that ticks a lot of RFP boxes, does lots of things OK, but nothing really very well or that we take our eye off the ball of the innovation in this space. In either case the engagement capabilities of an organization could become constrained.

We will be coming out with some pretty graphics, but here I want to discuss the five main pillars that Scott and I are putting together by which an organization can judge their web engagement strategy and capabilities:

  1. Content Management – Yes, content management, not web content management. This is the capability of an organization to manage and publish different kinds of assets to multiple visitor touch points. Not necessarily one system, but a joined up integrated process combining the disciplines of managing localization, governance, multiple sites, digital assets, publish to email etc.
  2. Social Media – Not just about an organizations presence on Youtube, Twitter or Facebook, but how that is leveraged and measured to form an integrated part of the audience experience.
  3. Visitor Insight – Are you just counting visitors? Having lots of visitors may just mean they like pictures of funny kittens; having well understood engaged visitors is a business asset. Do you know who are your most valuable and engaged visitors?
  4. Integrated Campaign Management – In most organizations our websites are part of a greater digital communications machine and our audiences view us a single entity across multiple touch points. This capability is about how each of our digital marketing moving parts work together.
  5. Organizational Preparedness – The discipline of customer engagement spans various parts of an organization that have often been traditionally in separate silos. From customer services, to the database marketing guys to the cool guys in the black rimmed glasses in the agency – your capability to engage relies on how joined up are these folks in delivering this multi-channel brand experience.

Remember this is a capability assessment, not a vendor maturity model or a magic err.. anything. It’s a way for people to think about implementing Web Engagement and the areas that may need focus.

We’ll no doubt tinker with the names as we start to publish more on this, but hopefully this can give you a taste of our thinking here.

Alterian Acquires Intrepid

Alterian, the customer engagement solutions company, has acquired Intrepid, an international social media analytics and market research firm. The acquired company is a consulting business that helps its clients to derive actionable business intelligence from social media data. Intrepid has 40 employees, with offices in Seattle and London as well as a growing social media analytics team in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Intreprid acquisition should bolster Alterian’s array of Social Media marketing solutions. It also provides, through the Ho Chi Minh team, a rich pool of language skills to help enhance Alterian’s offerings in the Asia Pacific region.http://www.alterian.com/