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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.

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Closed Loop Marketing… Old wine in new barrels?

Posted on December 19th, 2011 by TimClaes

Closed Loop Marketing… Old wine in new barrels?

Closed Loop Marketing is a definition that is around for decades. That’s not so new to blog about, so what is? Will this post be about old wine that is ”packaged” in new barrels? Not really. Basically I will be using the same old definition – Closed Loop Marketing – but illustrate that the content is potentially changed. So a better question would be… New wine in old barrels?

According to Gartner, CIOs will have lost effective control of 25 percent of their organization’s IT spending by 2014, and by 2017, chief marketing officers may have a bigger IT budget than CIOs do. And that is exactly what I want to talk about!

The CMO strategic agenda is about automating Closed Loop Marketing. 88% of best-in-class companies use Closed Loop Marketing where as only 43% of industry average performing organizations use it. (study of Aberdeen group) The 2 primary strategies are developing and maintaining a marketing database and automating Closed Loop Marketing with technology.

And the best-in-class technologies for Closed Loop Marketing are evolving fast, too fast to be able to follow adequately.

On the other hand Closed Loop Marketing can no longer survive without information technology. So as marketeer you should be able to deal with this new content for Closed Loop Marketing. Two take-aways are important for you in this new digital age:

1. Always go for an integrated sales and marketing database. You first need to have the basics in place before moving on. ROMI is an important parameter to convince non-believers in your organization.

2. Choose for the right mix of technologies. Don’t always go for the niche players, only when they fit into your overall Marketing technology landscape and your overall Customer Engagement Management strategy. Because before you know it, you’ll no longer have an integrated overview of what’s going on. On the other hand invest in technologies that make a difference, don’t always take the cheapest solution. The devil is in the details.

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Will social media stimulate open innovation?

Posted on May 30th, 2011 by TimClaes

When will social media finally boost open innovation initiatives?

 

1. Importance of innovation

 

I strongly believe in the statement “It is not the strongest that survive, but the ones most responsive to change“, also in a business context. Having said that, innovation is one way of bringing change in the organization. As such innovation becomes an important part of any business strategy, especially open innovation.

2. How to integrate innovation into your organization?

 

In order for innovation to become truely an integrated part of your organization it needs to be part of your culture, only then you will be able to deliver continuous business innovation. This is easier said then done. A lot of change management needs to be done, but at the same time you – as an organization – need to make clear what you stand for, not only by your mission statement, but also by your mission mindset. What do you believe – as an organization – are your core values and why should your employees be willing to work for your organization/department?

3. Moving to open innovation

 

And if you take it one step further and start to innovate, not only across departments, but also across multiple organizations, you can start talking about open innovation. It truely opens a whole new world of possibilities. Sharing ideas and talking to people in other industries. Never expected this could be so exciting until I’ve met Jef Staes and the Engine of Innovation Academy. (thanks, Jef!)

4. Social media as accelerator?

 

But how can you share ideas with people from other organizations? How do you get connected to these people of other industries? This is where the current social media tools come in the play. All the technologies are in place to make this happen: twitter, linkedin groups, facebook, … you name it. But until now I see these social media tools as “one-off” information sharing environments and less as “interactive” information building environments. And this is what you really need when you want to start open innovation initiatives. So we still have a way to go… but that’s ok, we will get there!

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