Trends that could trip you

The dark side of creativity

Some people use their creativity to rationalize dishonesty. Some people feel their creativity justifies immoral behavior. And some people discover that being creative requires them to break the rules. Tq130516bd

The Conversation: The dark side of creativity, 2014-Dec-11 by Lynne Vincent

while individuals who self-identify as creative may feel more entitled, it’s possible that this entitlement will cause them to take creative risks

Biggest mistake we make with social media: going for the Like

When we treat social media as if they are publicity tools, we undermine ourselves. Our posts ought to direct people how to participate in a dialogue that leads to co-operative action. 

Tq141119bdOver at The Bloggess, Jenny is founding a new religion, Blogessianism, as part of her ongoing effort to get everyone to take the world lightly. Extra gravy for all. Remember, "You may decline on the gravy, or give your gravy as a charitable contribution to those less gravied." Now make your own title and spread the word.

Medium: Innovation Lessons from Taylor Swift, 2014-Nov-9 by Saul Kaplan isn’t about pushing a message out to potential customers, its about pulling people into a movement.

Rising customer expectations of memory and context

The more we interact with a company, the more we expect them to remember us and to recognize our context. As 'always on' technology increases, we can experience surprising benefits. Tq-120709-hbIn thinking about our own customers, we have to plan ways to track them for their benefit.

Acquia: Champions of Context, 2014-Nov-4 by David Mennie

These trends add up to a new capability -- a requirement really -- to engage with a customer in context -- delivering relevant context when and where he or she wants it.

You can start this process from the very first, anonymous, interactions. You can build on these experiences. And you can apply them to other channels: from the Web to mobile, from social to in-store retail.

Acquia Lift ContextDB creates a rich, progressive profile of your customers by collecting data from any channel including web, email marketing platforms, marketing automation tools, social platforms, call center transactions, offline, and third-party data sources. Marketers can leverage this data to uncover deep insights, and turn insights into action by triggering relevant communications for any channel.

How to waste your effort in a CRM database

Having a lot of data in your CRM system can give you a false sense of security. Unfortunately, on every day that goes by, some contact records are going out of date. The only way to maintain the data is to use it. Any record that hasn't been touched in a month ought to be verified before it's used. 

Wayne O'Neill & Associates: Why CRM Doesn't Work, 2014-Oct-13 by Wayne O'Neill

So you have a huge CRM database. Pat yourself on the back because you have a lot of data about your clients – but are you really connecting with those clients?

The connection process is more complex and nuanced than any big, fancy CRM can handle. It takes time and effort to get to know who is the decision-maker in the organization – who is actually spending the money.

Our customers take steps in a journey, not a slippery slide down a funnel

We've been using a very unfortunate metaphor for years: the sales funnel. Supposedly, leads are dropped into the top and slide out the bottom as customers. Yuck.

Actually, we are guiding contacts on a journey, and we need to think about the next step they have to take because we can't take it for them.

CMS Wire: Customer Journeys Trump the Traditional Sales Cycle, 2014-Sep-15 by Julie Hunt

To connect authentically to what customers need and want, customer journeys trump the traditional sales cycle. The sales cycle has been an inside-out process, tied primarily to sales goals and operations.

Learn more about tracking the customer journey at our companies:


How It's Done:

Nuances of Using:

Research on Its Effectiveness:

Second step in loyalty: connect to a shared interest

Tq-120815-tbMost businesses plung into a loyalty program with their most frequent or biggest customers. Although it's not a mistake, there are pitfalls in this approach. We may discover that our biggest customer is only accidentally our customer--a big cause for concern on many levels. 

Before we invest in in a loyalty program, we check our most important customers to find out WHY they are using our services. In the first place, we'll discover whether or not it's sustainable. Then we enter a loyalty program with our eyes open as to the real long-term opportunities. 

Hub Magazine: Sweet Spot (Excerpt from Aaker on Branding), 2014-Sep/Oct, by David Aaker

To connect with a shared-interest area provides avenues to a relationship much richer than those of an offering-based relationship that, for most brands, is driven by a functional benefit and is relatively shallow and vulnerable. Further, people attribute all sorts of good characteristics to brands that they like and with whom they share values and interests. If Pampers is so intimately informed and involved in baby care, its products will be perceived to be both innovative and high quality.

A shared interest also provides a source of energy for the brand. All brands need energy. It is a discouraging truth that brands throughout the world that lack energy have been losing equity for more than a decade at a disturbing rate. It is not easy to inject energy into a brand that is not one of the rare brands blessed with visible innovation or high customer involvement. One answer is to create a shared-interest program that will serve to energize the brand through its innovation, involvement, or purpose-driven content.

Get ahead of the curve in serving your customers

One of the most important reasons to gather information about our customers is to plan the future of our company. Our competitive edge is the ability to use that information to better satisfy and anticipate customer needs. 

Searchblog: Living Systems and the Information First Company, 2014-Oct-11 by John Battelle

Put another way, NewCos are "information first" companies. They map the flows of information in a market, and organize themselves so as to exploit or leverage those information flows, even if the flows are "potential information" - information used in a new way, a manner which may be more efficient, productive, or valuable. Put information first, and let that determine how best to organize energy and matter. Industrial era-companies, on the other hand, value their hard assets first (energy, matter), and only view information as a way to organize or protect those assets.