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Digital River - Talk to the Experts
Newslettering vs. Blogging
April 16, 2021
Newsletters have become popular over the last few years; and especially over the past year during you-know-what when in-person meetings were taboo. Many companies are trying to figure out how to best leverage them, and new software platforms make it increasingly easy to produce one or more. What interests me about the newsletter format is how blog-like it is.
Transitioning to Hybrid Commerce
April 9, 2021
Certainly, the pandemic has caused some upheavals in American business -- and it's true that the record of progress in economics is littered with creative destruction. But the absolutist prognostications about the future of digital commerce taking over the world made me think "here we go again." Trees don't grow to the moon, retrenchment is common.
How to Ride the 'Consumer Wave' to Better Customer Experiences
April 5, 2021
Even the most customer-centric businesses can overestimate their performance or miss the broad trends in customer behavior. That is why NICE inContact conducts annual surveys that track the customer experience from the perspective of businesses and consumers. CRM Buyer discussed the recent findings and related issues in more detail with the company's CEO Paul Jarman.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning? Ask These Questions
April 2, 2021
Engaging in disaster recovery requires a company to think about many things, but despite the long checklists that are created to accomplish DR, there are some areas that frequently get overlooked in business continuity and disaster recovery planning. With this in mind, it is imperative to address all areas of concern before a disaster strikes, not during or after the event.
CRM's New Normal: It's Complicated
March 29, 2021
As we slowly climb out of the Covid anis horribilis, advocates of the new normal (whatever that is) may wish to temper their prognostications about working from home or working from anywhere. While those are good ideas, and the new crop of CRM apps that support such hybrid work lives are genuinely cool, they might only demonstrate the deep functionality of CRM companies' platforms and not a social movement.
AI, ML Not Yet a Plug-and-Play Proposition for Marketers: Study
March 24, 2021
Personalization and automation, two of the hottest buzzwords in the lexicon of CRM practitioners, are all the rage for marketers these days. But only 14 percent of organizations are using artificial intelligence or machine language to automate their marketing campaigns. A survey by Rackspace Technology reveals that the majority of organizations worldwide lack the internal resources to support these high-powered CRM initiatives.
The Role of Marketing Attribution in the New Age of E-Commerce
March 24, 2021
When it comes to marketing strategies, nothing is more important than analyzing and measuring the actual effectiveness, influence, and ROI of every campaign. Understanding the contribution of every channel and the customer conversion process enables marketers to adapt and adjust accordingly. Let's discuss what marketing attribution is; and how it can help e-commerce companies grow their businesses.
Implementing Iterative ROI
March 22, 2021
In the old days you could identify weak spots in your business and purchase software systems designed to eliminate or at least to significantly reduce those liabilities. Performing an ROI analysis usually consisted of two parts: a before study to determine the business' steady state; and a post implementation analysis to determine improvement. Good as that sounds, such studies left out a lot.
The CRM Systems Training Issue
March 15, 2021
As the CRM solution set continues to grow, it's likely that training systems will be increasingly important. That growth has the effect of converging vendor functionality at roughly the same place, making tertiary product attributes like training systems important differentiators. Taking this into account, the next big thing in CRM might not be a new customer-facing app -- but one that faces employees.
The Three C's of Optimizing CRM Data
March 12, 2021
Monitoring and maintaining your data is an ongoing, strategic process. By educating your CRM users -- and making their data entry process as easy as possible -- you can ensure that better-quality data will be entering the system. Here's how you can give your company a true advantage -- and empower everyone who relies on your CRM's data.
How to Rebuild Trust After E-Commerce Blunders
March 10, 2021
One of the big marketing decisions confronting e-commerce vendors today is whether current performance is good enough. Online vendors need to consider their customers' shopping experience in order to assess existing barriers to stronger shopper responsiveness to digital storefronts. For retailers who drop the ball with errors such as inaccurate product feeds and promised products that never arrive, it's redo time.
Shifting Shopping Trends Push Retailers to Rethink Marketing
February 25, 2021
Shopping trends are expanding as the pandemic's effect on e-commerce continues, forcing retailers to adapt their marketing strategies to meet new consumer expectations and demands, according to a new report. Consumer adoption of digital shopping is driving increased use of user-generated content, new private labels, and access to product sampling.
New Customer Experience Needs and Commerce Trends for 2021
February 24, 2021
Commerce analysts do not see consumers shedding their newfound buying options in the wake of a post-pandemic marketplace. Concerns for health safety, social distancing, and remote working will remain priorities for many shoppers. Merchants who demonstrate that they are able to quickly get products to consumers, resolve issues with customer service, and provide fast delivery and returns will be the ones that thrive.
Oracle's Reinvention
February 16, 2021
Oracle's continued strides in the tech space say a lot about perseverance and deep pockets. It was a darling of the 20th century tech era, rising from a startup in the database wars and becoming the sole surviving independent database company. But at some point, success leveled out its rise and it became just another big company. Then came the challenge of cloud computing.
CRM's Pandemic Performance
February 1, 2021
If you step back and look at what the tech sector has demonstrated to us through COVID, you can feel impressed. Early in the crisis vendors like Salesforce and Zoho began offering their products for free, or at low cost, to companies and end users suddenly faced with working at home. Oracle, Salesforce and others also developed tracking apps that could be easily deployed on the Web to help health authorities track exposure and quarantines.
Oracle Launches Version 21c
January 14, 2021
Oracle learned a lot from its customers and plowed its findings back into its core product just as others were getting restless and seeking alternatives. Oracle is now calling its product a "converged database" to help with differentiation by highlighting that many businesses don't often only focus on OLTP or AI, but that their businesses require a bit of everything.
Revving Up for CRM in 2021
January 11, 2021
This might be a big year for CRM. I say might because I am not clairvoyant, and humility is on the resolutions list. CRM has gone through five 5-year cycles during the past few decades. That trend feels as old as SaaS at this point, and I think we're going to embark on a new cycle that will take roughly five years to reach fulfillment. The big question now is: "What will it be?"
Acquiring and Retaining Customers in an Era Without Brand Loyalty
January 7, 2021
E-commerce is now at an all-time high, with global sales figures projected to reach $4.1 trillion in 2020, almost doubling since 2015. While the spectrum of global customers has broadened, so has the scope of competition. As the need for customer support grows, there is a golden opportunity for brands to capitalize on the changes fueled by the pandemic and emerge from the crisis with a newfound customer base.
Who Values Value Pricing?
January 4, 2021
The idea that CRM products should be priced according to the utility they deliver sounds good, but it raises a lot of questions too. With value pricing, you might expect the cost of CRM to rise and fall as a business gets more or less use and value from its investment, but who gets to determine the value received and, while we're at it, what is the right measure of value?
Where to in 2021?
December 10, 2020
The front office is moving out the front door and into the world. Actually, it's exiting via the Internet, the windows and side doors, to form the basis of what will be the 'next normal' or whatever future historians want to call it. For a while, when we were just dabbling with mobility and social media, we could ignore all that -- but no more.
Salesforce Riffs on New Work Styles
November 30, 2020
Back in Q1 Salesforce threw out its annual plan and did a pretty good imitation of a startup or a jazz band. They developed products like Work.com and Salesforce Anywhere as solutions to the evolving need for systems that would help their customers cope with the pandemic. The products supported both working remotely and safeguarding the premises when people returned.
The Great CRM Shift of 2020
November 19, 2020
It is often said that only a poor workman blames his tools and only an inferior vendor blames the customer for their troubles with a product. But too many user organizations just don't seem to be adopting CRM to the degree that it takes to be successful -- even after more than two decades of trying.
Consumers of All Ages Still Struggle on E-Commerce Sites
November 12, 2020
Online shoppers face myriad basic obstacles, including not being able to complete a purchase transaction. Research by customer engagement firm goMoxie shows that consumers across all ages, genders, and regions in the U.S. struggle to complete basic tasks on retail websites. Most are more likely to abandon the experience or switch to a competitor rather than seek assistance.
Why Digital Transformation Is Essential to Improve Business Outcomes
November 11, 2020
High-performing businesses reach peak commercial performance by reducing friction in customer interactions in the face of a market with increasing complexity. If you look at who's winning, it's the companies that not only embraced digital transformation early, but also made it a core building block of their foundation moving forward. So, what does it take to win today?
How to Continue Winning Business During a Pandemic
November 9, 2020
Today, change feels more common than stability. On top of all the uncertainty, sales professionals face increased demands while rebuilding the pipeline. Yet it's clear that there is still business to be won. But first we must assess the new realities this pandemic has brought on. Here are five ways the sales world has changed and what teams can do to adapt and prosper.
AvidXchange SVP Heather Caudill on the Quest to Ensure Customer Loyalty
October 26, 2020
To survive in this new business reality, it is imperative that remote employees have the skills to succeed while away from their physical offices. How to do that effectively is a multifaceted process. CRM Buyer discussed that journey with Heather Caudill, senior vice president of relationship management at AvidXchange.
I Might Differ
October 15, 2020
Last week my good friends Brent Leary and Paul Greenberg opened up their online show, CRM Playaz, to an executive roundtable discussion with some of the movers and shakers in our CRM world. Unfailingly, each speaker espoused the centrality of the customer and visibility through 360 degrees of customer interaction. It's hard to disagree with that -- though I will.
Why Hasn't CRM Taken Over the World?
October 8, 2020
Many businesses have bought into CRM, of course. It isn't an 80-billion-dollar industry for nothing. Still, there's a disconnect between the wonderful features and functions of new technologies and the realities of how companies use them -- or not. Only about a quarter of organizations use CRM appropriately. Others use it for simple record keeping, or barely use it at all.
CRM's COVID Opportunity
September 30, 2020
Many of the workarounds that have kept old systems running have reached the end of the line. If people are already working in their cars, the gym or the bathroom, it's hard to see how things get any better without replacing systems. That requires a different approach for the customer. The old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't really apply any more.
What's Old Is New Again
September 24, 2020
A raft of new technologies that impact CRM are about to be announced, but even without the latest announcements due now through October, there's a realization that we're coming full circle. Oracle is making hardware sexy again, using it to drive new business models and to push its CX version of CRM; and Salesforce is tackling a kind of mass customization of its CRM product line.
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If my employer requires me to return to the company's office full-time to perform my job, I will...
Agree, because I like my job regardless of where I perform my duties.
Comply, because I can't afford to lose my current job.
Go with the flow, but start looking for different employment.
Resign immediately, so I can dedicate all of my time to find a job that better suits my needs.
Try to negotiate a hybrid work from home / work in office arrangement with my employer.
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