Superbowl Moments – Every Business Has One

This post was originally published in Chief Executive’s CEO Briefings

Every company faces a “superbowl moment,” a make or break time when customer service really counts and every employee’s head should be in the game. The coordination leading up to the Big Game provides a good metaphor for the planning discipline that’s required for businesses to excel in their big moments — or suffer the consequences if they do not. The question is, will your company be ready?

The Superbowl is quickly approaching, and with it, the usual press coverage and media scrutiny of thousands of journalists who cover the event. Game strategies are reviewed. Playbooks are reported on. Every angle of preparation is covered.

By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on Superbowl Moments – Every Business Has One

Generating Customer Feedback With Real Conversations

This post was originally published as an article in Chief Marketer.

In the digital world, driven by interaction and big data, there are many sophisticated ways to get customer feedback and understand what’s on the mind of your audience.  But whatever happened to good old-fashioned conversation?

Before I go old school and suggest engaging in real dialogue (the kind where human lips move and emit sounds), let’s take look at some more technologically advanced ways to generate customer feedback

  • E-listening Tools:  These can mine and semantically analyze online chatter.  These tools are getting more and more specialized for specific industries, e.g. there are different platforms built specifically for restaurants and car dealers.   These days you can’t go anywhere in New York City without running into a hot dog vendor, an investment banker or someone who has developed a new social media monitoring tool.
  • Online Survey Tools:  These tools, like Qualtrics, connect respondents’ answers to demographic and other information in a customer database.
  • Feedback Platforms: Sophisticated platforms like Jive Software and Get Satisfaction can facilitate online customer communities and integrate with social media, CRM systems and marketing automation tools.   This takes “feedback” to the next level by making it actionable – by putting it right in the tools used by marketing and sales teams.  You know things are far along when Gartner even has a Magic Quadrant for this space, called Social CRM tools.
By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on Generating Customer Feedback With Real Conversations

Marketing Subscription Data Services

This post was originally published as a conference roundup on the website of Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).

This year’s Data Content conference kicked off with a boot camp on marketing for subscription data services.  Let’s face it, while there’s been a lot of innovation in data-driven products, the industry information is not known for its marketing prowess.   Yet, as presenters Minal Bopaiah and Russell Perkins pointed out, there are best practices in marketing that quantitatively can make a big difference, particularly in e-commerce and lead generation.   (E-commerce has more potential at lower price points below $1500 but for straightforward offerings with a clear value proposition it’s even worked at prices up to $6000).

The Bootcamp focused on what works during different phases of digital marketing — discovery, engagement and retention.   In the discussion on discovery, I was surprised to hear that only 23% of subscription sites are optimized for SEO – particularly since there are so many resources available on that topic.  One good point mentioned is the long tail benefit that comes from letting search engines index partial listings from a paid database.  You don’t have to give away the farm for free but you should make sure enough of your content is open to the search engines to make sure it’s sufficiently indexed.  Yet, only the minority of data publishers do so.

By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on Marketing Subscription Data Services

What Happens When You Get 100+ CEOs in One Room

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the CEO2CEO Leadership Summit at the New York Stock Exchange, organized by Chief Executive. Aside from networking with mid-market CEOs, the event was a terrific opportunity to gain insights from luminary CEOs on leadership, innovation and transformation. The line-up of speakers included among many others:

  • Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric
  • George Barrett, Chairman and Chief Executive, Cardinal Health
  • David Cote, Chairman and Chief Executive, Honeywell
  • Bob Nardelli, CEO, XLR8 (former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler)
  • Larry Freed, President and CEO, ForeSee
  • Ed Heffernan, President and CEO, Alliance Data
By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on What Happens When You Get 100+ CEOs in One Room