Friday, May 31, 2013

Digital Tattoos and Pills Could Replace Passwords in the Future

Sick of remembering all of your passwords? Your frustration may be solved. Motorola‘s vision for mobile isn’t just its new smartphone - the Google company also has wearable, tattoo-embedded, and swallowable gadgets in the works.

Recently, Advanced Technology and Projects Group Chief Regina Dugan attended D11 with an electronic tattoo that could be worn on human skin for one week at a time, and used to cut through the numerous authentication processes we go through every day.  Slashgearreported that the tattoos use a stretchable electronics system that can work even as it flexes on a moving arm. (Crazy, right?) There has been some criticism of wearable tech like that young people won’t wear them, but she believes it is far more likely they would wear a digital tattoo.


Imagevia thetelegraph.co.uk

The digital tattoo is not the only high-tech security system Motorola has up its sleeve.

“I take a vitamin every morning: what if I could take an authentication vitamin?” Dugan said. The proteus smart-pill contains a switch and an inside-out potato battery that creates electricity from the chemical processes that take place when swallowed, resulting in the switch creating an 18-bit ECG-like signal.
“Essentially your entire body becomes an authentication token,” she explained.


None of the projects Dugan and her team are working on will arrive any time soon. First up, is the Moto X smartphone, which the company Chief Dennis Woodside said is due to out late this year. 
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Calculate CX: Hypothesize, Test, Measure and Adjust

Investing to improve your business’s customer experience (CX) can determine its success or failure. When companies take time to plan their CX, it pays. In fact, according to Forrester Research, there was $1.3 billion in additional revenue for companies that improved CX. The ROI that comes from improved CX is related to increased customer loyalty – each customer buys more, fewer customers are lost, and customers are willing to spread good news about your business.

The benefits that come from improved CX depends on your ability to measure your investments in CX, otherwise you won’t know which are working. Measuring CX will cause your investments produce a return because they generate new business, larger sales and even save money. When you start to measure CX, you need to take a step back from traditional product-centric measures of performance and focus on the basic functions of your business.


Image via blog.vitria.com

Everage Insights shares four steps you need to take if you want to be able to measure your CX.

Step 1 - Get into Your Customer’s Brain
First, get to know  your customer. This helps you set aside your beliefs about your product and move towards understanding their perspective. I’m sure you already know your customers - you have demographic information on what they like to read. But many businesses still fail to understand them.
Ask questions including:
  • Since I know what they read, why do they choose to read those blog posts or ebooks?
  • What problems are my customers trying to solve?
  • What questions do they need answered?
  • What kind of information did they need, but were unable to find?
  • Are my customers and their behaviors changing?

Step 2 - Identify Points of Contact
Measuring CX depends on identifying each point of contact your customer has with your business. A touchpoint can occur virtually or in the real world. Each contact your customers make with your product will determine how long someone sticks around.

Touchpoint metrics are specific to CX - they are developed to measure the attributes of each point of contact someone makes with your brand and how they relate to your businesses goals. By monitoring how well you meet customers’ expectations and how effectively you are achieving business goals at each touchpoint, you will know if and how you are impressing customers.

Step 3 - Develop Solutions
Now it’s time to develop solutions that can address these problem areas. If you measure touchpoint metrics for customer or technical support, you can theorize potential solutions to those problems. Until you measure these ideas, they are only theories -possible solutions to the problems plaguing your CX.              
                                                    
Step 4 - Measure Metrics
Solution metrics, qualitative and quantitative metrics that measure the effectiveness of your solutions complement touchpoint metrics. Solution metrics can narrow your focus to the problem areas identified with touchpoint metrics. I ask myself one question: Are the problem areas improving or worsening after I implemented my solution?


Using solution metrics, you can test your ideas to see which effectively address the problems you identified and which fail to do so. Once you know which solutions are effective, you’ll know where to focus your business’s resources so you can see the biggest improvement in customer experience.  
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Recover from a Bad Customer Experience

Every business would like for every one of its customers to have consistently great experiences, but that’s not always the case. Even the best businesses have customers who have a less-than-positive experience. Luckily, ReadLocalhas seven tips for how to recover when a customer has a bad experience.

1) Quickly Take Action
A customer may complain at the time of service or wait to contact the business. However a customer contacts you about a negative customer experience, it’s important to resolve their issue as quickly as possible. You want the customer to know you care about their business , so quickly resolving their problems helps them feel more positive about your company.  

2) Identify the Cause
When a customer complains about a bad experience, they may mention many issues when they speak with you. It’s important to listen to what they have to say, paying attention to the specifics they mention pertaining to your business. There are potential issues that can arise, but it’s important to identify the root of the problem so you can respond to their specific issue.

3) Offer an Immediate Resolution
If a customer is unhappy with your products, solve their problem as soon as you hear about it. The longer it takes for their issue to be resolved, the more upset they are likely to become. To make sure you can consistently offer immediate resolutions to customer complaints, create a system, procedure, or policy for each of the bad customer experiences your business has faced so that you’ll have a way to handle issues as they arise.

4) Take Responsibility
Is every customer complaint your fault? Not necessarily, but it is important to take responsibility for the contribution you have had in the issue. Don’t blame the customer, because that is only going to make them more upset. Identify the parts of the issue that your business played a part in, and let the customer know you are aware of your responsibility. 

5) Apologize
Make sure to apologize for the customer’s bad experience. Be sincere in your response. Let the customer know you appreciate their business and are sorry for any inconvenience. Don’t be frustrated in your conversation with the customer. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and let them know you care.

6) Provide a Tangible Solution
In most cases, an apology alone is not enough to recover from a bad customer experience. In order to resolve the issue with the customer, offer a resolution. For example, many businesses offer a discount, refund, or complimentary service package, depending on the severity of the issue.

7) Empower Your Team

“May I speak with a manager?” This is one of the questions that a customer has a complaint about your business. But, authority and approvals to get customer complaints resolved can make the process take more time and make the customer feel frustrated. So, empower your team to be a part of the resolution process so that issues are handled at the front line. 
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The TMRE Experience: Engaging, Insightful and Relevant

Today, market research is crucial in order for a business to know what type of products would be profitable to introduce in the market. In addition, market research enables the business to know if it has been able to satisfy customer needs and whether any changes need to be made – enabling the creation of a successful marketing plan.

Take a trip to Nashville, TN in October and your company will be significantly impacted if you attend The Market Research Event (TMRE). TMRE is the only event of its kind with more than 60 percent client side attendees and 98 percent of past participants recommending TMRE to a colleague. Featuring over 140 sessions and 175 speakers, every year TMRE delivers the most comprehensive research learning and networking experience of the year.

From the worlds' most popular best-selling authors, to the year's best case studies demonstrating the business impact of insights, TMRE is like attending seven events in just one trip. For the attendees, sponsors and speakers who come back each and every year, TMRE has remained a trusted partner to acquire new skills such as storytelling, strategic decision making and insight integration.

Here are some reasons why people in the industry attended TMRE 2012:

“It was an opportunity for us to network.”

“Everybody you know who is important in market research is going to be there.”

“There is a great balance of suppliers and manufacturers.”

“Because of the success we had last year.”

“We are a young company, so for us it is very important that we are at the right places at the right time.”

“It is a chance for younger people in the industry to learn about what is going on and for those who are experienced to expand their minds as it relates to research.”

“There are so many different options, but also a consistency of themes among topics.”

“It brings excellence and insights to my organization.”


“I can keep up with what the industry is all about.”


Join us on October 21, 2013: http://bit.ly/11d4eky
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Call for Presenters: Future Trends

The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking presenters specializing in Futuring and vision.

The 18th Annual World Future Trend event is in the midst of a major transformation. From the name to the people who will come.


The 18th Annual Re-imagined World Future Trends Summit
November 13-15, 2013
Los Angeles, CA 


We’re scouring the earth for disruptive thinkers – our goal is to unite innovators to collaborate across functionalities - from insights to brand design to trend watchers to futurists to marketers to strategic planners to C suite leadership… We are not looking for good or great. We are looking for the most future forward, smart people in the world to come together and share their inspiring stories that will result in commercial impact. We are searching for practical wisdom. The entire event will focus on the HOW not the WHAT. We are on the hunt for groundbreaking.

 If you are an authentic visionary and want to share your story to help people across different cultures and business ensure relevance for the future – then we invite you to submit an idea. Our goal is to revolutionize this event from a conference to a blended learning experience to accelerate future growth.

 While our event title is in limbo – thanks to all your feedback - we know the event will be focused on “Prediction to Implementation: exploratory learning experience for synthesizing world trends, brand strategy, innovation and human science into a future action plan”. 

 How will we achieve this?

 1. TOP TRENDS revealed from trend experts around the world. Is this you? If so, email us.

 2. STRATEGIC CONTEXTUALIZING – how is this visionary information relevant to what others do and how to adapt and implement it? Real world Business Cases work well to achieve this. Do you have a story to share? If so, email us

 3. Exploratory Learning: Putting trends and ideas into practice in real time. Workshops and field trips are some potential ideas – but we are open to more. Can you facilitate a workshop? Do you have an idea for a nontraditional experience? If so, email us.

**We are particularly interested in storytelling workshops by filmmakers or Hollywood producers as well as a 3D printing workshops. If you can help bring mind-blowing content delivered through extraordinary experiences email us.

 Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than 7 June, 2013 to Romina Kunstadter, Conference Director. To submit your proposal, please email RKunstader@iirusa.com.

Presenters receive FREE admission to the entire 3-day conference. We are currently looking for client-side case studies ONLY (for consultants, vendors, and solutions providers, please additional information below*).

Following are a few topic ideas:
• Trend Tracking 
• Trend Implementation Strategy 
• Creativity & Innovation 
• Global Social Trends 
• Global Technological Innovations 
• Economic Trends 
• Behavioral Trends 
• Rapid Prototyping 
• Big Data & Analytics 
• Connectivity & Collaboration 
• Thriving in Emerging Markets 
• Consumer Trends 
• Environmental Trends 
• Design Trends 
• Creating a Futurist division within your company 
• Global Social Media Trends 
• Future of Millennial 

*INVESTING IN FUTURE TRENDS 2013: If you are interested in investing in this event as a sponsor please contact Jon Saxe at JSaxe@iirusa.com.

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: For consideration, please e-mail Rkunstadter@iirusa.com with the following information by 7th June.
• Proposed presenter name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and e-mail
• Title and objective of presentation
• Please indicate which topic you plan to address and please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
• Summary of the talk
• What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)

Monday, May 27, 2013

The ‘Insight’ Scoop into the Job of a Market Researcher


A market researcher’s job is crucial to the success of marketing. Market research can identify market trends, demographics, economic shifts, customer's buying habits, and important information about competition. Knowing this information is essential to the success of your business as it will guide you in making strategic business decisions, uncovering unmet customer needs, and in many cases, help you discover new ideas.

At TMRE 2012 last year, IIR’s Marc Dresner sat down with Frederic John, Senior Business Leader, Global Intelligence Team, MasterCard, Principal at C Frederic John & Associates, Vice President, Esomar, in an exclusive interview to discuss the changing role of the market researcher and the increasing need to the specific market research candidates.

According to John, the industry can no longer rely on people stumbling into the profession as it has done historically. Market research has been lucky historically that it has attracted people out of three groups including, people with quantitative statistical skills; people with psychology or sociology backgrounds; and a people including who simply fell into the field, realized they loved it and never left.

“The reality is we have benefited from these generalists who didn’t go in with a math or psych background, but were able to learn the basics and then apply a lot of other characteristics and skills to their projects. So, it is very important for us to make an active effort to get these people to consider us,” he explained.”



So, what makes a great market researcher?

“I think disposition is more important than discipline,” said John. He believes that what truly makes a successful market researcher is someone with curiosity, who likes to solve puzzles, and who is interested in understanding how things work. This requires people who really are trying to get at the nuts and bolts of what’s driving human behavior.

“Our greatest contribution to business is essentially understanding consumer motivation - getting at what people do, why people do things, and ultimately why they change or what may get them to change behavior,” commented John.

John shared some advice to fellow market researchers: “You’ve got to have fun on the job!” he said. “We’ve all been on projects that send us home depressed. But, most of the time, you’ve got to enjoy what you are doing.”

To watch the full interview, click here: http://bit.ly/12v2p54

Stay tuned for more on this topic at the upcoming TMRE 2013 in Nashville!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Call for Presenters: Future Trends

The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking presenters specializing in Futuring and vision.

The 18th Annual World Future Trend event is in the midst of a major transformation. From the name to the people who will come.


The 18th Annual Re-imagined World Future Trends Summit
November 13-15, 2013
Los Angeles, CA 


We’re scouring the earth for disruptive thinkers – our goal is to unite innovators to collaborate across functionalities - from insights to brand design to trend watchers to futurists to marketers to strategic planners to C suite leadership… We are not looking for good or great. We are looking for the most future forward, smart people in the world to come together and share their inspiring stories that will result in commercial impact. We are searching for practical wisdom. The entire event will focus on the HOW not the WHAT. We are on the hunt for groundbreaking.

 If you are an authentic visionary and want to share your story to help people across different cultures and business ensure relevance for the future – then we invite you to submit an idea. Our goal is to revolutionize this event from a conference to a blended learning experience to accelerate future growth.

 While our event title is in limbo – thanks to all your feedback - we know the event will be focused on “Prediction to Implementation: exploratory learning experience for synthesizing world trends, brand strategy, innovation and human science into a future action plan”. 

 How will we achieve this?

 1. TOP TRENDS revealed from trend experts around the world. Is this you? If so, email us.

 2. STRATEGIC CONTEXTUALIZING – how is this visionary information relevant to what others do and how to adapt and implement it? Real world Business Cases work well to achieve this. Do you have a story to share? If so, email us

 3. Exploratory Learning: Putting trends and ideas into practice in real time. Workshops and field trips are some potential ideas – but we are open to more. Can you facilitate a workshop? Do you have an idea for a nontraditional experience? If so, email us.

**We are particularly interested in storytelling workshops by filmmakers or Hollywood producers as well as a 3D printing workshops. If you can help bring mind-blowing content delivered through extraordinary experiences email us.

 Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than 7 June, 2013 to Romina Kunstadter, Conference Director. To submit your proposal, please email RKunstader@iirusa.com.

Presenters receive FREE admission to the entire 3-day conference. We are currently looking for client-side case studies ONLY (for consultants, vendors, and solutions providers, please additional information below*).

Following are a few topic ideas:
• Trend Tracking 
• Trend Implementation Strategy 
• Creativity & Innovation 
• Global Social Trends 
• Global Technological Innovations 
• Economic Trends 
• Behavioral Trends 
• Rapid Prototyping 
• Big Data & Analytics 
• Connectivity & Collaboration 
• Thriving in Emerging Markets 
• Consumer Trends 
• Environmental Trends 
• Design Trends 
• Creating a Futurist division within your company 
• Global Social Media Trends 
• Future of Millennial 

*INVESTING IN FUTURE TRENDS 2013: If you are interested in investing in this event as a sponsor please contact Jon Saxe at JSaxe@iirusa.com.

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: For consideration, please e-mail Rkunstadter@iirusa.com with the following information by 7th June.
• Proposed presenter name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and e-mail
• Title and objective of presentation
• Please indicate which topic you plan to address and please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
• Summary of the talk
• What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jorge Ruiz, Ogilvy on Cross Media Data

The inundation of consumer data thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and social media has inspired the term ‘Big Data.’ The majority of data out there is unstructured and non-actionable causing many companies across industries to be overwhelmed by the volume.

Luckily, cross-media marketing or communications is a solution as it establishes an interaction between the different media elements. Cross media opens a line of communication with an existing or potential customer produces results that are measurable. Cross-media communications are structured to move the audience or prospect across the different media using strong "calls-to-action." Each touch point builds on the experience and the "narrative bridge" teases you to investigate. 

Since the inception of mass communication, marketers have been issuing the same message on multiple channels. Coordinated TV, radio, and print ads are nothing new. What makes a campaign become cross media is how the responses are funneled into a single data collection point to generate a dialogue. Marketers need to gather information from their clients and use that information to generate the follow on communications – regardless of channel.

These days, marketers have to deal with the overflowing amount of data that businesses are having trouble keeping track of. They are being bombarded with information about their customers via television, print, digital, social, and mobile. As a result, there is an issue of understanding the level of awareness, favorability and purchase intent amidst all of this data.

Jorge Ruiz, partner and director of Media Analytics at Ogilvy, knows effective methods that help businesses utilize this valuable information. He sat down with IIR’s Marc Dresner at last year’s TMRE to discuss key approaches to media data in order to go beyond purchase intent. “There are effective methods for executing brand studies with research partners. But, I have to go beyond that because I have another component to look at, which is ‘how is it selling or how is it moving acquisition numbers?’” Ruiz told Dresner.



According to Ruiz, here are 3 approaches to cross media data:

Survey-Only Data
This works great for time-sensitive purchases. If you do cross media studies and are able to send out the surveys and tag all your media to recognize it the day after the event, you can ask purchase questions to sample people who purchased it in the last 24 hours. It is important because you want to be able to translate that number into an estimate ROI within the survey data.

Cross Media Study Data
According to Ruiz, this works when you have the ability to match to a sales panel. This is very scalable in the consumer packaged goods world. It’s a matter of combining digital exposure data with sales panel data and finding ways to create a probability model for your offline exposure data.

Google Search Data
Using data and long-term trends discovered from it, you can use search as an indirect variable. As you are building consideration you are actually seeing changes in search and it makes sense for certain categories. As long as you know people are going to search for product line, it makes perfect sense.

“There are a lot of different approaches and methodologies, but I love every single one of them,” said Ruiz. “I worry less about which approach has the best methodology, and worry about there is not enough scale.”

To watch the full interview, click here: http://bit.ly/12QG68P

Stay tuned for more on this topic at the upcoming TMRE 2013 in Nashville!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Top 6 Ways to Guarantee a Successful Enterprise Software Pilot



Software pilots are tricky endeavors.  They are a crucial first step in the process of deploying an enterprise software technology solution.  You don’t want to commit full tilt until you’ve tested a technology.  Successful deployments have significant impacts upon companies, people and careers.  You want to get it right.

Whether you call it a pilot or a Proof of Concept (POC for short), Pilots may be “tricky” but there are 6 crucial steps to take to optimize your chances for success  
  • Your software vendor partner can be your best friend.  Software vendors love pilots.  This is because they believe that once the software is in, it isn’t coming back out again.  Plus the vendor will have their people on site for the term of the pilot, ideally lobbying on behalf of flipping the pilot into an ongoing license.  The upside of this is that most software companies are not in the pilot business….they’re in the annual license business.  This means they’ll be working hard to help you make the pilot a success. 
This might be your first pilot of software of this type, but your software partner has gone through many pilots.  They have accumulated a number of best practices they can share.  They have the benefit of hindsight where they have seen the pitfalls where other clients have mis-stepped.  They can monitor the progress of your pilot and provide ongoing practical guidance to keep your pilot on track.  Of course everyone needs to agree on what that course is, hence the fact you should have a measurable goal for the pilot.
  • The most important attribute of a successful pilot is to have a measurable goal.  That might seem obvious but so many neglect to attach one to the event.  I have heard of lots of pilots of enterprise social networks where there is no defined goal.  
You can’t just throw it out there, see who uses it and hope for the best.  Because if you do, you’ll get some early adopter types (those who enjoy using new technologies) to embrace it and no one else.  And even those early users will stop using it after a while if they don’t see others jumping in or if they don’t see results.  And senior team members won’t touch the software at all.  They’re afraid of it to begin with; are not anxious to learn something new, or for that matter to share anything, anyway.

When you do define the goals of the project, consider asking everyone on the team for input.  Establish the success criteria for the pilot, with input from all stakeholders.   Your chances for success are increased if not only do you achieve your goals with the pilot, but that everyone who participated in the process agrees those goals were meaningful and important.

A measurable goal lets you monitor the progress of the pilot and if you’re not hitting the mark, adjust your strategies to get on track.  It might be something as simple as measuring Adoption Rates(how many people are using it) or Engagement (the number of Contributions).  You can measure both activity and results.  Here are some examples of measurable results:

  • How many customer interactions,
  • How many client problems were solved
  • How many new products were put into the pipeline
  • How many tweaks to the customer engagement process were implemented as a result of customer feedback
  • How much web page alteration occurs
  • How many sales result from each communication  

But measure something. Because when the pilot is over you want to be able to answer the question: “Was the pilot successful?” with statistical results.  
  • You should get the right crowd involved in your pilot.  I think we all can identify those “usual suspects” when we think about who would embrace new technologies.  There are always “early adopters” you can rely on to try out the software.  If you’re clever you can make certain these early adopters are spread throughout the organization into various geographies, departments and disciplines.  They can act as ambassadors to other users.  If the early adopters are advocates, you can exponentially grow your user community.     

Advocates or ambassadors can serve as support, trainers and cheerleaders. Equally they can provide feedback from the troops back to those responsible for managing the process.
Plus the users during the pilot can be your biggest supporters during roll out.
You should probably not limit your pilot to just a small number of users in one department (the usual inclination).  You want to optimize your chance for success.  This is a situation where rewards outweigh risks. Frequently champions for software want to limit the exposure of the pilot to their own department so if the pilot fails, the exposure will be minimal. But this can be a case of when a preconceived notion of failure might better be supplanted by a manifest destiny approach for success.  You want a positive outcome; why not take every measure you can to ensure success.
  • You should constantly market to end users and management.  This means training, newsletters, email updates (with call to action links taking users into the system).  Management and users should hear good news and about successes. 
You should not only collect usage data, as well as the output of the software, but also the feedback from the user community about how to improve the software for eventual roll out.  Simple items like “I wish this link or item was on this screen” or “It would be easier to use if…” can inform the success of the actual and eventual roll out.  
  • The time frame is critical.  You should keep it short, perhaps thirty to sixty days.  People will operate more effectively with a deadline.  Six months is way too long, long enough to have user interest ebb without the payoff of additional data accumulated.  Plus this helps subscribe to the notion of “fail fast”.  If the pilot is a mis step, then get it over quickly so you spend the minimum amount of money on it.  Similarly don’t allow “scope creep”.  You’ll get lots of suggestions from the user community which you absolutely should collect for consideration before roll out, but don’t let it slow down the pilot effort nor more importantly steer you away from achieving those measurable goals. 
Along with timeline and goals you should also add other rules. Think about what you want to achieve with the pilot and keep everyone within those parameters.  
  • The next most important attribute of a successful pilot is senior management support. Of course you need a champion.  This is someone on your team who is a “believer”, who understand that using this software will improve your organization. This might be you! But if that champion is not senior enough, then you need a “higher-up” to buy in.
How important is this step?  Let’s put it this way, the very best pilot kick off speech I ever heard was when a Vice President at a Fortune 100 company got all the potential users in a room (some of the virtually) and merely said, “OK, thanks for coming.  I want you all to use this new software.  Dependent on the success of this project, my job is on the line, and that means yours is too.  Login, ask for help, start using the software and make this a success.”  Everyone got the message, there was a flurry of activity immediately and the project was a huge success.

Conclusion: 
  1. Make sure you have your user community, your management and your software vendor involved in the project so they feel and act like partners.  
  2. Solicit and gain consensus so you have a well publicized, measurable goal.   
  3. Carry out the pilot within a short, defined time frame.   
  4. Keep the lines of communication open to receive user feedback, to encourage adoption, and to publicize successes.

Ron Shulkin blogs researches and writes about enterprise technology focused on social media, innovation, customer experience management, voice of the customer, marketing automation and enterprise feedback management.  Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation ecosystem.  CogniStreamer serves as a Knowledge Management System, Idea Management System and Social Network for Innovation.  You can learn more about CogniStreamer here http://bit.ly/ac3x60 .  Ron manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (Join Here). You can follow him Twitter. You can follow his blogs at this Facebook group.  You can connect with Ron on LinkedIn.
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Beyond Age & Life Stage: Using Psychological Profiling to Better Understand Women


Demographics don’t drive her behavior. They are just one brushstroke in the portrait of today’s women.

In this interactive webinar entitled, “Beyond Age &Life Stage: Using Psychological Profiling to Better Understand Women,” Insights in Marketing, LLC’s i-on-Women team of experts will discuss how the overreliance on demographics can lead you astray and how a deeper, more holistic understanding of your female target can lead to more impactful marketing. On Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 1 PM EDT get a sneak peek into i-on-Women’s psychological profiles of US women and learn how to use these profiles to create breakthrough marketing.

Join Insights in Marketing as we use industry-leading research to:

•             Talk about the pitfalls of stereotyping based on demographics
•             Identify psychological attributes that drive behaviors
•             Explore 2 of our 5 identified psychological profiles of US women
•             Demonstrate the value of psychological profiling through a real-life case study
•             Provide tips to elevate your marketing using these profiles

As founder of Insights in Marketing, LLC’s i-on-Women team, Tinesha has a passion for uncovering insights about her that matter. Tinesha brings clarity and understanding to the many issues that marketers struggle to understand when targeting the female consumer.

A true social scientist with a background in psychology, Chad is a critical member of Insights in Marketing LLC’s i-on-Women team. Chad specializes in employing creative, female-centric research techniques to achieve a bigger picture female consumer understanding.

Want to learn more about how a deeper understanding of your female target can greatly improve your marketing? Register today! http://bit.ly/18LshP8 


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8 Ways to Create a Competitive Customer Experience


In today’s connected world, customers have more choices than ever before. So, they have fewer reasons than to do business with brands that don’t provide exceptional experiences. After all, customer experience is the total of all interactions that customers have with a brand, and their perception is the end result.
Interactions offer opportunities for companies to learn more about the customer’s needs and to strengthen the relationship. In fact, customer experience is one of the few remaining sources of competitive advantage. If you want a competitive advantage, follow these eight steps to great customer experience from a new book, “Attack of the Customers,” by Greg Gianforte, founder of RightNow Technologies, Inc. and Paul Gillin.

1. Establish a Knowledge Foundation
The first step in delivering an exceptional customer experience is establishing a knowledge foundation that should contain knowledge about your products and company and your customers. Employees can rely on the knowledge foundation to enhance customer interactions, while customers can use it for self-service. Gianforte suggest that once it’s running, determine where the knowledge gaps are by capturing customer questions and business responses. Then, organize the information in the knowledge base for easy access and provide a way for customers to use it to answer their questions.

2. Empower Customers with Self-Service
Provide customers access to the knowledge foundation created in step one so they can find the information they need whenever they want it. According to Gianforte, self-service options benefit both customers and your company - providing speed, round-the-clock service, and effectiveness, load-balancing and first-contact resolution.

3. Empower Frontline Staff
When creating a great customer experience, you also have to empower front line staff who interact with customers to exceed expectations. By giving frontline employees the means to go beyond the basics of customer support, you can create raving fans. You can start by making sure that frontline employees have all the information they need about customer’s previous interactions so that employees can personalize the conversation.

4. Offer Multichannel Support
Multi-channel options aren’t a choice for organizations, they’re a requirement for business, according to Gianforte. To deliver consistently excellent customer experiences while offering customers a choice of channels, all customer interactions must be unified. Everyone interacting with customers should be able to see all relevant previous exchanges, regardless of the channels. A knowledge foundation  not only helps enable this, it also makes reporting a lot easier. If customers have trouble finding what they need via one channel, they should be able to quickly switch to another, otherwise they may become disinclined to use self-service again.



5. Listen to Your Customers
Delivering an excellent customer experience is impossible if you don’t have a systematic way to listen. Effective listening sharpens focus and enables you to correct problems before they escalate. Start by have a person who understands social networks listen for your products trademarks, as well as those of your competitors, market categories, and related issues of interest. In addition, instead of waiting months for the results of a formal customer survey, ask customers for feedback at the time of interaction.

6. Design Seamless Experiences
In many organizations, multiple teams interact with customers, yet they don’t work with one another. To break down walls, consider your organization from the customer’s perspective. Evaluate cross-departmental processes and how they might be automated with software to provide a seamless customer experience. According to Gianforte , Build rich customer profiles that show front line employees all the customer attributes they need; use customer information to drive specialized attention; make workflow rules flexible and give managers the ability to implement workflow rules without technical staff; move support online; give nontechnical staff tools that allow them to post Web content; and automate certain customer communications.

7. Engage Proactively with Customers
“Many companies take the ‘emergency room’ approach to dealing with customers. They wait until the ‘patient’ is brought in on a stretcher and then practice triage,” explained Gianforte. Little consideration is given to what caused the problem. Instead, organizations should be focused on addressing the factors that erode customer satisfaction. By understanding your customers and their history, you can move your customer experience from the emergency room to the fitness center.

8. Measure and Improve Continually
Keep in mind that success is a process, not an event, said Gianforte. Even if you do the first seven steps perfectly, you need to continually measure your performance and foster a culture that drives improvement. One way to do this is by paying attention to competitors that are recognized for service. It’s also helpful to network with peers, via conferences, or sponsored events. Keep measuring performance, via metrics like customer satisfaction, and conversion rates.

The above steps provide a starting place for organizations to transform customer experience. While it makes most sense to implement them in the order described, you can apply them differently depending on your situation. Gianforte  notes that what is most important is that they help you make customer experience the top priority.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

"People Talk to People, not Brands"

"If you remember one thing I say today, let it be this" people talk to people, not brands." Alex Hunter,  points out a key principle of how companies (the people who work for them, actually) should think about their customers.

The brain is hard-wired to focus it's primary resources on relationships with other people. Assuming basic survival needs are met--food, shelter, personal safety--the brain spends the majority of its cognitive resources on interactions with other people. It is a simple neurological fact that an interaction with another person is the most engaging experience that a human being can have (with the possible exception of a cobra wrapping itself around your leg). As such, engaging with another person will activate far more cognitive and emotional processing areas of your brain than engaging with an object, even if the object embodies a human interaction, such as an email.

Alex told a story of how a friend of his tweeted about his upcoming visit to the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, California (let's call this friend "Fiona"). Fiona got a tweet reply, and then a hand-written note, and several tweets back and forth ensued creating a real dialogue with the brand, as represented by an actual human. What made the experience truly memorable in Fiona's mind was that the woman behind the tweets, an employee of Four Seasons (let's call her "Amy"), introduced herself to Fiona and thanked her for staying at the hotel.

There are two ways to express this in the Four Season's next marketing team meeting:

"Fiona is now a loyal customer of the Four Seasons because she had a positive experience with the brand and outstanding customer service was delivered in real time by the social media team and coordinated with the onsite staff."

Or..."Fiona is now a loyal customer of the Four Seasons because Amy responded to her tweets in real time and took the effort to personally introduce herself and thank her for her stay."

Humans engage the brain more than any other object. Make human interactions the center of your brand strategy.


How to Take Choice Modeling to the Next Level

At The 2013 Future of Consumer Intelligence conference, SKIM thought leaders, Eline van der Gaast and Joris Huisman, shared new methods and techniques for expanding the ability to create forward looking models accounting for rational and emotional choice behavior. These models enable marketers and product developers to make strategic and tactical decisions. 

For more information about this presentation, visit Skimgroup.

LIve from FOCI 2013 - Relationship Matters: Is Being Too Connected a Disadvantage


Eric Lucan, of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, led a discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of social connectivity for the hospitality industry. Kimpton employees have been empowered in the same way that employees at the Ritz Carlton chain have: Delight the customer – it is your budget and in your power.

To help attendees think about the differences across rewards or loyalty programs, Eric lined up the attributes of membership programs versus guest initiatives. Under a membership program, guests are considered to be part of a program in which they accumulate points in a tier-based manner that is based on their transactions.  The result of a well-managed membership program is loyalists. 

Kimpton takes a guest initiative tack toward rewarding their loyal customers.  Kimpton is focused on ensuring that guests feel like part of a family, and makes a point of noting and responding to their preferences in order to capitalize on opportunities to delight customers.  Kimpton emphasizes the relational aspects of their guests’ business, and desires to engender trust in customers.  The result of Kimpton’s orientation to guests is evangelists.

On their website, Kimpton encourages guests to respond to several open-ended questions that reveal more about them – most notably, the prompt: “If I wasn’t working, I’d be…”

Kimpton hotels are in the boutique category, with each hotel having a distinct personality.  The hotels average about 250 rooms, and each hotel determines how it will build trust and delight customers, as there isn’t a set budget across the chain for these customer relationship efforts.  Kimpton has grown to about 60 hotels, nearly doubling over the past years, and they are determined to grow.  Kimpton is even more determined to sustain their customer relationship building through the personalized service and compelling outreach to guests that is their trademark.

As Kimpton taps in more to social media, it is conscious of the need to ensure that social listening does not become creepy.  Kimpton believes that maintaining the human component in their transactions, listening to the reward program, and will keep them close to customers. Being careful to hang onto the culture that Kimpton has developed means that Kimpton can continue to grow but still keep doing what makes them special. 

Connectivity can mean that the humans are taken out of the transaction. Automation and Smartphones could eliminate what makes the hotel stay special. As a result hospitality may be becoming less hospitable.  But at Kimpton, guests will continue to say, "You had me at 'Welcome'".

Gigi DeVault writes a market research column for About.com
Market Research Guide
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