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Thanks, Analysts, for Doing a High Risk, Low Reward Job
November 25, 2019
I'd like to dedicate this column to the analysts out there who are fighting the good fight -- who are risking their careers, reputations, and sometimes even their lives to do the right thing, often without credit, and knowing that doing the right thing can exact incredible personal costs. Being an analyst, I'm often reminded that other jobs depend on my doing my job right.
Why a Single Source of Truth Often Isn't
November 21, 2019
This week, Salesforce used its annual Dreamforce mega-show to make a host of announcements, ranging from contact center partnership with Amazon to a smart speaker tool for sales. For the most part, the keynote featured practical applications of Salesforce technology. Some Dreamforces focus on the highly aspirational; others focus on the ways to attain those aspirations. This year is the latter.
Keeping the 'Service' in SaaS
November 20, 2019
In today's highly competitive B2B software industry, it's not enough to staff a call center and sit back and wait for customers to reach out when they need you -- it's imperative that you take the initiative. When customers have so many solution vendors to choose from, service becomes a strategic differentiator to set your company apart from the crowd.
The Rise of D2C
November 18, 2019
Direct-to-consumer commerce, or D2C, is on the rise. Increasingly, consumers are expecting to interact directly with the companies that market and manufacture products. "Direct-to-consumer commerce has been enhanced by the explosion of the Internet. E-commerce provides a more convenient and frictionless buying experience," said Peter Edlund, chief solutions evangelist at DiCentral.
'Nightingale Project' to Turn Over Millions of Medical Records to Google
November 13, 2019
A venture between Google and Ascension, one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States, will give the tech giant access to the sensitive medical information of as many as 50 million patients in 21 states. Its venture with Google, called "The Nightingale Project," would enable it to improve the experience of patients, consumers, providers and associates, Ascension said.
The Rise of Technology in Scaled Event Marketing Programs
November 11, 2019
The amount of data we create each day is astronomical. The digital universe likely will reach 44 zettabytes in 2020 -- 40 times more bytes than there are stars existing in the observable universe. To say that's a lot of data is a colossal understatement -- but is this truly surprising? After all, we can take phone calls from watches and stream music from refrigerators.
Calling All Retailers - Ready or Not, CCPA Is on Its Way
November 9, 2019
We're just a few short months away from the California Consumer Privacy Act going into effect. The regulation brings privacy rights to residents in California and gives them control of their personal information and how companies can use it. Any business that sells to a California resident needs to be CCPA-compliant. Nearly every brick-and-mortar store nowadays has an e-commerce site.
Data Brokers' Secret Scores Can Cripple Consumers
November 6, 2019
Many businesses have been using secret scores created by data brokers to determine how much to charge consumers, whether to allow purchase returns, and what level of service to offer, among other things. "Most consumers will never know when they are the victim of a secret surveillance score," noted Laura Antonini, policy director at the Consumer Education Foundation.
Creating Brand Loyalty in the Era of Now
October 21, 2019
Not so long ago, marketing usually meant gathering some demographic data, placing ads in selected print and broadcast media, stuffing mailboxes with direct mail, plastering the countryside with billboards, and more recently, bombarding the universe with spam. Marketers no longer can focus on delivering static messages, regardless of how "targeted" or "multichannel" they may be.
Now Is the Time for Sales Organizations to Embrace AI
October 11, 2019
Artificial intelligence is arguably the most disruptive technology to emerge over the last few decades. Consumers are producing data at record levels. It's estimated we'll produce 463 exabytes per day by 2025. Yet humans aren't equipped to process that complex information. We're starting to rely more on AI to interpret massive amounts of consumer and third-party data in real time.
DevOps, Platform Strategy and Transformation
October 1, 2019
The software development lifecycle reminds me of the proverb of the three blind people confronting an elephant. One grabs the trunk and says it's a snake, another touches a tusk and says it's a spear, while the third feels its side and calls it a wall. The moral of the proverb is that perception has a lot to do with perspective. For a long time, the perspective on software was that it was a cost.
Want to Maximize Holiday Sales? Define 3 Key Audiences Now
September 13, 2019
Holiday shoppers spent more money on online purchases last year than ever before -- a whopping $126 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. That was a 16.5 percent increase from the previous year. If the steady upward trajectory of online holiday spending is any indication, 2019 promises to be another record year. Is your business ready to claim its piece of the massive holiday pie?
Spotify for Podcasters Hits the Open Road
August 14, 2019
Spotify has launched Spotify for Podcasters following a year-long beta involving more than 100,000 podcasts from 167 countries. Spotify for Podcasters is a discovery and analytics dashboard designed to let podcasters track performance through data such as episode retention charts, aggregate demographics about listeners, and details on follower growth. Podcast data is updated daily.
Technology Could End Mass Shootings
August 12, 2019
I'm tired of being upset about mass shootings and the government's lack of progress to end them. I'm particularly tired of the partisan bickering around talking points that have no basis in fact. The left wants this to be about guns. The right wants to blame mental illness and video games. What is needed is deep analysis to look at the causes, craft a fact-based solution, and then implement it.
3 Critical Steps to Startup Success
August 9, 2019
Startups in the U.S. fail at a rate of 90 percent largely due to cash flow problems and the lack of a market need for a product or service. In fact, not even half of startups make it to their fourth year. It's also noteworthy that 65 percent of startup owners admitted to not being fully confident about having enough money to even start their business.
Recipe for CX Success: Combine Context From Conversations With Speech Analytics
July 29, 2019
The contact center uses familiar benchmarks to determine if a call, chat or email is successful or not. Call metrics such as net promoter score, handle time, and amount of silence are correlated with positive or negative outcomes. However, insights from speech analytics technology prove that these metrics only tell part of the story. What's missing? Context -- and it's the essential CX ingredient.
Boost Your CRM With IaaS
July 24, 2019
CRM systems are the lifeblood of many businesses, and the volume of customer data within them keeps growing as companies digitize more processes. That data often is not being used to its full potential, beyond basic reporting on sales metrics and marketing campaigns. With the advent of mainstream machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, this is all changing, and quickly.
AI in Healthcare: Independent Living for Consumers
July 22, 2019
AI applied to healthcare includes a collection of technologies that enable machines to sense, interpret, act and learn. AI implementations for digital health can be relatively simple when they are focused largely on personal patient engagement, or vastly complex when working with big data sets, highly specialized diagnostics, and the workflows of multiple highly complicated organizations.
Oracle Advances Its Two-Pronged Cloud Strategy
June 26, 2019
Oracle has announced plans to combine its more than 18 related analytics products under a single banner, Oracle Analytics, making it easier for customers to figure out what they need. It's not unusual for a company to innovate a string of offerings before consolidating them into a single product line, and it's reasonable to assume that vendors that have not done so already will follow suit.
Technology Tools and Customer Engagement: It's Complicated
June 25, 2019
The most successful brands today are those that have created engaged audiences and an exceptional customer experience. They have managed to humanize the most unsentimental of buying processes, and somehow made it look easy. Providing a world class customer experience is so profitable that Gartner has estimated the CX and CRM software market alone to be worth $48.2 billion and rising steadily.
What Shifting Data Use Means for Pay-TV and Video Services
June 21, 2019
For many, Netflix was the first wake-up call that a new-generation of online or technology companies could have a significant impact on pay-TV businesses. Over a 10-year period, Netflix grew from a U.S.-only DVD-by-mail service to a force in the international video entertainment industry. Netflix operates in 190-plus countries, and it has approximately 149 million subscribers.
Thinking Different at Salesforce Connections
June 18, 2019
Salesforce has a genius way of putting people at ease and opening their minds before any of the company's representatives say a word about product. People who study neuropsychology point to the importance of ensuring that the audience's prefrontal cortexes are wide open and ready to transact ideas. Over the years Salesforce has opened minds by discussing philanthropy and it has worked brilliantly.
Salesforce and Tableau in Merger
June 10, 2019
Salesforce has announced an all-stock deal to acquire analytics powerhouse Tableau Software. Salesforce will pay 1.103 of its shares for one Tableau share. The deal is expected to finalize by the end of October, about a month before Dreamforce. A number of questions arise from this deal. For instance, why do it at all? Why keep the companies separate, and what will their relationship be like?
Leveraging Live Video Streaming, the Great Democratizer
June 1, 2019
When live streaming first started to roll out across multiple social media platforms, it remained pretty unclear how this new technology would interface with Internet users. More often a source for friends to include one another on events they're missing out on, frequent uses of live video streaming felt experimental in nature. What was it all about?
Better Customer Satisfaction Through AI-Enabled CRM
May 22, 2019
You don't have to be entrenched in the tech world to have heard the term, "artificial intelligence," but what is artificial intelligence, or AI, as it's commonly known? Simply put, AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes performed by machines or computer systems. Nowadays, AI is being used to carry out many jobs previously held by humans, but there's no need to panic.
EU's Counterattack on Junk News May Help Protect Elections
May 22, 2019
Government efforts to minimize the effects of junk and fake news circulating on social media ahead of this week's EU parliamentary elections may have succeeded, suggest results of a study conducted by Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project. The European Commission undertook targeted actions to counter junk news last year.
Omnichannel Retail: Big Data Is Nice, Fast Data Is Necessary
May 18, 2019
Any retailer that wants to be competitive knows it must offer a seamless omnichannel experience to its customers. However, many retailers aren't aware that the key to powering that customer experience is IT system performance. Why? Omnichannel retailers must process, analyze and use huge amounts of data for a multitude of equally important functions.
Einstein Analytics for Financial Services
May 7, 2019
It's not that Salesforce has introduced more artificial intelligence apps for its Einstein analytics tool set -- this time for financial services -- that's important. It's that the clear trend now emerging is that you can't really have an industry market solution-set without analytics tuned to the vertical. There are at least two ways to do analytics.
4 Advanced Ways Brands Use Data to Increase Online Sales
May 6, 2019
Data is one of the biggest advantages e-commerce brands have over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Brands that sell products online can glean insights not only from sales figures, but also from impressions, click-through rates, bounce rates, and numerous other data points. They have a constant stream of visitors to help them optimize every image, ad and product description.
What Social Can Learn From CRM
April 25, 2019
There's been a chorus of calls from all corners for social media regulation -- from pundits like me to the halls of Congress and even from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself. The social media community seems tied up in knots over what to do about the abuse happening within their communities, but if you look elsewhere you might see signs of solutions that could solve some fundamental problems.
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digital to-do list for turning customers into fans
How important is the availability of curbside service when you consider a physical store to do your shopping?
Critically Important - I will not shop at an establishment that does not provide curbside service.
Quite Important - During the pandemic I prefer not to go inside a physical location. Still, I will consider a business that does not offer curbside service.
Somewhat Important - I like a curbside option, but itís not part of my decision-making process when I choose where to shop.
Not Important - I do not use curbside pickup. When I go out to shop I want to select everything myself.
digital to-do list for turning customers into fans
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