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OCO – Setting up a social db

Posted on January 23rd, 2012 by TimClaes

OCO – “Online Channel Optimization”

Today, enterprises expect Web Content management to provide measurable business benefits, not just to improve productivity. Thus – according to Gartner – enterprises have to replace older WCM applications that can’t meet the new demands. WCM achieves its greatest value as part of a wider strategy of online channel optimization – OCO – for maximizing the value of customer interactions across all channels.

Well, I couldn’t agree more, although I don’t understand why Gartner tries to put both WCM and OCO players in the same magic quadrant, because for me these are 2 different things. OCO is about orchestrating the customer touch points across multiple online channels, it is about making the dialogue relevant to the consumer and engaging no matter which online channel is used and it is about addressing the individual needs at the right time even if he is switching between channels to communicate with your organization.

So in order to make Online channel optimization – OCO – possible you should centralize all the consumer interactions in a social database, picking up all the ‘micro-decisions’ an online visitor leaves behind when he is navigating through the web. (e.g. which search words did he use to reach you, what were his clicks on your site, on which topics did he interact through social media…)

BlueConic - Customer Journey

A tool in the market that is possible to do this is BlueConic from GX software. Basically it continuously listens to all the online channels you want it to listen to (such as facebook, twitter, websites, splinternet, mobile apps, e-mail…) and it collects all the relevant information both from anonymous as from named users. The online profile information is stored in a social database. And now it becomes interesting, it allows the marketeer and/or the eBusiness manager to set up real-time dialogues that are personalized and orchestrated across all online customer touch points, based on the information from the social database.

You could look at this social database as an extension of a typical CRM database. To explain this I’ll use a picture from Peter Hinssen from his book “Digital is the new normal”.

Customer Engagement Management

CRM is becoming more and more a ‘middleware’ solution allowing you to store all the ‘macro-decisions’ of a customer (e.g. orders, complaints, sales visit reports…). CRM could be considered as the hub between all the front-end channels and the rest of your organization to deliver end-to-end integration. At the same time CRM allows you to store all the relevant customer information. This customer information can be used by any front-end channel to allow cross channel consistency. It is there that a social database comes in – to allow cross channel consistency – on a ‘micro’ level instead of only on a ‘macro’ level, as visually explained in the next picture from BlueConic.

micro & macro decisions - CEM

So a CRM solution, extended with a social database, is capable to capture all relevant customer information, both on a micro-level as on a macro-level, giving you insights in both the CRM profile as the online profile. This will become key for organisations to establish efficient OCO programs in order to get true Customer Engagement Management in place.


CEM evolving to xEM?

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by TimClaes

Topic of the week – The Power of Customer Engagement Management (3rd article)

CEM evolving to xEM? What the hell is going on? Let me try to explain.

In the last 2 blog posts about Customer Engagement management we discussed already about customer experience, customer behavior and to follow the customer journey. But who is our customer actually? The best way to illustrate this, is by taking a closer look at xRM. But in order to do so, let’s first start with the basics: CRM, where xRM is an extension from.

1. CRM – CEM

CRM is much more than sales force automation, it also deals with service management and closed loop marketing. CRM is a way of doing business with your customer through any kind of front-end channel. In practice you see many links with Web Content management systems and information is typically stored in a customer datawarehouse in order to deliver progressive insights on the customer behavior. So the link between CRM and Customer Engagement Management, our topic of the week,  is obvious.

2. CRM -> xRM

So now let’s tackle the xRM question. Instead of only focusing on the classic customer, you can extend your scope to any kind of person you want to track/keep information on. E.g. Employee relationship management (ERM), Partner relationship management (PRM), citizen relationship management, student relationship management, prisoner relationship management, … But what is xRM then all about in practice? This means that a typical CRM solution can be used for any line of business. The CRM solution is used as a RAD (Rapid Application Development) environment to quickly fulfill all your specific business requirements. You will typically start from a standard CRM solution, with lots of standard functionalities that are similar to any kind of person (whether it is a classic customer or not – e.g. activity management, relationships between contact, address information, …) and then you start to tailor the rest of the functionalities to the specific needs of your organisation. This is called an xRM platform.

xRM Platform

3. CEM -> xEM

In parallel to the statement customer behavior becomes more and more important to engage ‘the customer’ (CEM – Customer Engagement management), you could extend the scope to ‘any kind of person’ and start talking about xEM, where the engagement of ‘the person’ becomes a central pivotpoint as it would be in your xRM strategy.


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