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Business & ICT Trends, Applied to Your Organisation

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.


The evolution from WCM to WEM

Posted on May 6th, 2011 by TimClaes

Topic of the week – The Power of Customer Engagement Management (2nd article)

We already briefly discussed the idea behind Customer Engagement Management in my last blogpost with a clear focus on customer behavior and actively following the customer journey. This is indeed a very hot trend that needs closer attention, on the other hand the scope and the impact of CEM on your organisation is enormeous. So it is a good idea you first narrow it down to WEM – Web Engagement Management. Let’s first try to walk before you start running.

The principles behind WEM are the same as CEM, you need to focus on the customer behavior and you need to follow the customer journey. However the scope is limited to your website(s) and/or webplatform. This allows you to experiment in a more controlled environment, only with your on-line channel.

Let’s start with the ABC of Web Content Management. In the early days this was enough – Authoring, Branding & Control. By doing so you established an online presence – either static or dynamic. However today these are simply the basics to start building upon. And if you stop here, you will create the opposite effect towards your (potential) customers. We call this the “INFORMATION” building block.

So today you also need to focus on content optimization - pushing the right information at the right time to the right customer (sounds familiar, right?) and really embrace the web strategy as an integrated part of your business strategy. You really need to show what you càn, specific to the needs of the customer, by publishing white papers, blogs, customer cases, … You need to build that trust relationship and get the customer engaged. We call this the “EXPERTISE” building block. In WEM you can accomplish the content optimization by using techniques like progressive profiling, personalization, dynamic segmentation & targeting.

These regular expertise updates will result into extra traffic generation and in the end the on-line conversion ratio will increase. Whatever this last may mean for your organisation, it simply depends on your objectives in the first place (e.g. increase loyalty, convert prospect into customers, increase number of named users, …)

If you then also start to include the third building block, the “DIALOGUE” building block, by using the different social media possibilities, by allowing people to comment on articles or by facilitating forums, the interaction with the customer is complete and you are truely mastering the in’s and out’s of Web Engagement Management.


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