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11 posts from November 2014

Abbie The Cat Has A Posse: October 2003

Thanks for the gifts of poetry and humor.


hey hey hey hey
hey hey
not much to say today except hey hey hey

Today i builte a New fort
it is called FOrt Abbie Number 2
I Have come tot he conclusion that maybe fort number 1 fell down because thats' the way things are sometimes
as much as the ohter cat has sworn she had nothing to do withit and was only making a room for her buried treasures
so when it happens I gues you just build a new fort and make it better and less likely to fall down
especialy when another catis in there with her hoard of hair ties and is trying to bury them and make a map

let me see that map

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.

The first two lessons from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean has always been a leader in using customer data. When following, the challenge is to figure out what you can afford to imitate. They've been doing it since 1912, when the business was launched using a list of people with hunting licenses. Not just a group of hunters, but a list of men holding nonresident Maine hunting licenses. That's a very targeted list of people with cold, wet feet, and little preparation on how to avoid the discomfort.  Tq121119jb

The first lesson, I think, is that having a lot of data is less important than having strategic data you can use. The founder of L.L. Bean didn't even have a solution before he began. He just threw out a 'minimal viable product' which turned out NOT to be viable, but he offered a full guarantee and kept coming back to his customers with better solutions. 

The next lesson is to make sure that data is connected to people, and that you keep people in mind when you're using the data. Assume the diversity is an opportunity for personalization. Assume that people grow and change. Remember that people share that data because they trust you. Use the data for mutual benefit. 

Backchannel: Big Moose is Watching You, 2014-Nov-3 by Virginia Heffernan 

Superb data, superb marketing, boots in beta: That was enough to found a company on.

So it should have been no surprise — and still it was — to see mild-mannered Chris Wilson, Senior Vice President of something called Direct Channel at L.L. Bean, at the Javits Center in Manhattan this month, discussing data. Many in the audience — programmers from around the world — had never heard of the Bean boots. But they knew about the company’s ravenous appetite for data. Specifically, they packed the standing-room-only Bean session at the Strata + Hadoop World “Make Data Work” conference to hear about L.L. Bean’s 10+ TB on-premise enterprise data warehouse and its newer deployment of (still more extensive) cloud data, fully 100 TB, which can be collected and used in realtime by customer-service reps on the phone, online and in stores.

Also on stage was Doug Bryan, a data scientist from RichRelevance, which has partnered with Bean to a create a data-centric, single view of each online Bean consumer, as lavish and lifelike as a portrait by John Singer Sargent.

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.

Why we need to understand what's driving growth of CRM software

The pressure for all organizations to adopt CRM software is not going away because our customers derive substantial benefits. Once they've worked with a firm that uses CRM data appropriately, they enjoy receiving more relevant updates, knowing that everyone at their supplier can understand their status, and being able to specify how they will be contacted. CRM software is an vital lever for improving customer experience and competing effectively for today's savvy consumers. And it can be used to drive down operating costs. It's never going away. 

Econsultancy: Seven reasons for the unstoppable rise of CRM, 2014-Nov-4 by Ben Davis

  1. A new set of customer expectations
  2. Mobile has dramatically changed data
  3. Business leaders work closer with IT leaders
  4. International markets
  5. Security and the cloud
  6. Working habits
  7. Automation and machine learning is here

CRM is a mature management practice, like financial accounting

Most professionals are confused about CRM. They see it as a piece of software that helps them collect information about customers and remind them what to do next. Actually, customer relationship management is a mature business practice, similar to financial accounting. In fact, you could think of your company's CRM as the way you track your marketing and sales results.  Tq-121029-dd

Recently I was shocked when talking to a CRM consultant about working with this team. I asked him who his top customers were, and he fumbled around, pulling up his accounting software to see the customers table. If we believe in CRM as a practice, then our most important customers should be pushed at us by our applications so often, that the names are seared into our mind, in current rank order. 

In the article below, Brian Solis is talking about companies needing to make all our process more supported by integrated, always available software. NOT because it will make our business more efficient, but because our customers expect it. 

Brian Solis: Digital Transformation is About Empathy First and Technology Second, 2014-Nov-10

But at the heart, digital transformation is the story of how people are changing.

Whether we realize it or not, the way customers and employees make decisions, the technology they use, and how preferences and expectations evolve or detour, are stories for us to discover. These are the insights that guide the transformation. Technology adoption is not the solution: it is merely an enabler for transformation.

The essence of a fine relationship

Quinn Norton has written an amazing article about navigating social relationships for people who lack social awareness or empathy. For those of us who have been more successful in our relationships, it opens an amazing view into what we could be missing... how the world might look if we were blind to expressions and social norms. 

Even more importantly, she makes explicit what many of us take for granted. If you believe, as I do, that good relationships are the rock-solid foundation of a sustainable business, then we will find it's good to review the basics every now and then. Maybe even spot the areas where we've been sloppy and could fine-tune our behavior. Please read the whole thing.  Tq-120806-mg

Medium's The Message: How to be Polite... for Geeks, 2014-Aug-25 by Quinn Norton

Whether a relationship lasts as long as an elevator conversation or a 46-year-long marriage, it has no winners or losers, only participants. Trying to get an upper hand destroys the essence of any relationship, which is communication. It dehumanizes the other person, and becomes a grab for resources. Many people enter into conversations to get what they want, which is fine, but in contemporary life that’s usually achieved by cooperation rather than competition. Being polite, being flexible and willing to change your tone or even your mind creates the possibility of change and cooperation over time. We’ve all been somebody we’d rather not have been, and we’re all hoping to look back from the future and think we’ve learned a lot since what we think right now. We should give that to each other, over time, space, and even Twitter.