Is Reddit’s Controversy About the Content or the Digital Revenue Model?

Reddit’s forums are famous for hosting some of the most vibrant and some of the most disturbing (my personal opinion) discussions on the Web. The New York Times article by Jason Henry stated, “Mr. Huffman reappeared last Friday as chief executive to pull off a turnaround of the online message board, which has grappled with a series of missteps and is embroiled in a battle to win back the confidence of its users.” The San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Greta Kaul wrote, The new CEO of Reddit hosted an “Ask Me Anything” forum to clarify its content policies, which have been debated by free speech advocates and an antiharassment contingent for weeks. The site, known for everything from elevated conversations about political philosophy to photo collections of dead children, rolled out rules designed to curb harassment.

There were more than 40,000 Reddit users tuned in to Thursday’s forum at various times and generated 9,000 comments ~an hour. CEO Steve Huffman wrote, “We’ll consider banning subreddits (forums) that clearly violate the guidelines in my post — the ones that are illegal or cause harm to others. “There are many subreddits whose contents I and many others find offensive, but that alone is not justification for banning.

While most of the controversy is about Reddit administrator’s who have drawn both praise and criticism for their hands-off approach to regulating what could be said on the site and, which leaves many decisions up to volunteer moderators, there is an all together additional issue that not only Reddit has to face, but so do many other brands in this Age of Digital Disruption. In Ray Wang’s book: Disrupting Digital Business: Create An Authentic Experience in A Peer-to-Peer Economy says Digital Darwinism is not kind to those who wait to understand the transformation and choices business have to make, and make now.

My POV: Reddit has to decide what is going to drive their company. Are they defined by the type of brand they want to be or are they defined, as a company, by their digital business model? Over five thousand years ago our marketplaces were the hub of civilization. They were where traders returned from remote lands with exotic spices, jewels, silks, monkeys and parrots and told us fabulous stories. The Internet is still a place for storytelling. That’s not going to change. But what is changing is how businesses make money in this new storytelling-based marketplace call the Internet. Here’s what I mean by that.

Option 1: Choose Your Brand and It’s Values: If Reddit wants to be the “anything goes brand” then they mostly likely will have to change their business model (i.e., if the revenue model is ad-based then with the “anything goes” brand values, Reddit many be rightly worried that many or some of the ad sponsors would stop posting ads. If that would be the case, Reddit wouldn’t have the same revenue base.  And thus if Reddit chooses to the the “anything goes brand,” they would possibly have to look at other revenue sources.
Option 2: Choose Your Digital Revenue Model: Or Reddit can decide what their digital business model is and then that would dictate whether they are the “anything goes brand” or if they want to moderate some of the content. If their digital revenue model is ad revenue, then, depending on the ad sponsors, that might change how much ad revenue they receive.

There are brands out there, like Fiat that used Charlie Sheen in a Fiat TV commercial, that may like to be on the “edge.” I’m not suggesting that the Fiat TV commercial is in any way representative of some of the content that is at the center of the controversy at Reddit. But there are some brands would find some of the content on Reddit “off brand.” So as a brand, a CMO and CEO,  one has to answer the question, “What is the edge, and when have we gone off the edge to a place of no return as a brand?”
For Reddit, either decision means that there are stakeholders  – ad sponsors or the site’s administrator’s and / or volunteer moderators that may be upset. It’s a rock and a hard place and probably the tip of the iceberg for facing the idea that the Internet is the place to be COMPLETELY unedited, authentic, genuine and honest. However, Reddit is not the only brand that is facing this challenge. Many brand face this issue. While it’s not “in fashion” some brands do still take down posts that are not “on brand” to avoid a PR disaster. I’m not saying whether they are right or wrong in doing so. Just looking at what is happening and reporting what I see.
The author’s of the book The ClueTrain Manifesto wrote back in 1999 “Through the Internet, the people in your markets are discovering and inventing new ways to converse. They’re talking about your business. They’re telling one another the truth, in very human voices. You have two choices. You can continue to lock yourself behind the facile corporate words and happy talk brochures. Or you can join the conversation.
Perhaps an addendum to that today is – “You can join the conversation, but have to decide on your digital business revenue model, which will determine how completely unedited, authentic, genuine and honest your conversations are going to be.”
The Bottom-line: For those that are not clear, the digital disruption means that we are having to change our business models. We can no longer operate business the way we used to. And we have to consider how far is too far and how far is far enough to maintain what the author’s of the ClueTrain spoke about – which is the idea that one can step outside the typical, sterile, overstarched blandness of the old days of brands and just be human. But how far does one go, still be human, and not be offensive? How does one decide where the boundary lines are drawn? That is up to each and every individual and each and every brand.
And as I talk to CMOs, Customer Experience Professionals, Customer Care and Customer Service Professionals and IOT experts, these are the questions brands and those that spend money to sponsor those brands will have to decide. We are over the hype-cycle that the Internet is the place to be totally honest. We are now in a new era where we have to get serious about how brands are going to make money and what are the limits to what a brand can and can not do or will not do. Interesting times we live in.
What’s your take on what is on or over the edge in the area of Internet content and the editing or moderating of it?
@drnatalie   VP and Principle Analyst Covering The Digital Disruption and All It’s Consequences





Microsoft Acquires FieldOne Systems LLC To Create Better Customer Service Experiences Via IOT and Analytics

How many of you have waited for the “cable guy” or “phone person” or experienced customer service that just wasn’t close to being the experience you wish the brands you do business with would provide? Most people have had at least one, and in many instances, many experiences that were not up to par and in some cases that poor experience created a distrust of the brand. People don’t expect companies to be perfect. But they do expect companies to care. One way to show they care is by providing better customer care. The value great customer service and customer experience has long been an underestimated value proposition in companies- even though people like me have created dozens of customer service and customer experience / social and digital media ROI models. That there is a huge ROI and enhanced customer engagement, trust and customer lifetime value are possible, especially when analytics and IOT are combined, these are some of the reasons why the announcement by Microsoft  and FieldOne Systems LLC is so important.

What this Means to Customers: It’s true in today’s connected world, customers expect to engage and be engaged by brand in ways that are most convenient for them. One of the ways companies can be more responsive is to look at how they are providing customer service and depending on the product or service, how they are approaching field service capabilities. Field service management is often what distinguishes say, one cable company from another. When the service is not working and a service truck needs to be rolled, it is often an necessary, but expensive endeavor. I’ve heard countless stories about “that technician” that shows up without the right parts, didn’t realize what the real issue was, was over scheduled and running late and didn’t communicate that to the customer…  What this type of new customer service and field service offering means is that the customer experience can be greatly improved.

What this Means to Companies: This combination of Microsoft and FieldOne LLC offers enhanced and improved critically important customer service capabilities by providing companies with the ability to deliver end-to-end field service. It is a very important point in time for technology companies to provide brands with ways to truly improve their responsiveness to customers, especially with service in the field.

FieldOne has the baseline functionality that organizations need to drive a more effective field service operation. As a leading provider of end-to-end solutions that enables businesses to drive revenue, reduce costs and deliver great customer service, FieldOne specializes in delivering a full set of capabilities that include work order management, automated scheduling, asset contract, inventory and procurement management, workflow capabilities and mobile collaboration – providing enterprises with a comprehensive modern field service solution.

With these capabilities a brand would be able to do things like adjusting routing on the fly and delivering service arrival estimate times within a smaller window, which is essential for more personal customer engagement. Net-net – the cable guy will show up with the right parts, be on time or communicate to the customer that they need to adjust their arrival time. That really helps – especially if you are a customer that stayed home from work or needs to leave work to get home to be there when the cable guy comes. (Note: I’m not picking on the cable companies – it is just an easy scenario to visualize how this announcement can improve customer experiences that most people have experienced at least once in their life.)

What it Means for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, FieldOne and the Parature Solution Offering for Companies: Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides customers with extensive customer service capabilities, including chat, knowledge management and self-service functionality which came from the acquisition of Parature in January of 2014. FieldOne, offered to customers as a cloud service, is built on Microsoft technology for fast integration. This means it already works great with other Microsoft productivity offerings like Office 365 and SharePoint, and has cross-platform capabilities meaning it can work on different devices enhancing the mobile experience — all of which are so critically important in field service management. FieldOne was built from the ground up to leverage Dynamics CRM. This means that brands can take advantage of its capabilities right away. Field Service can be difficult because there are so many things that have to be balanced:

Getting field service right can be difficult fieldOne



Customer Service, Customer Experience, Analytics and IOT: To change the game in customer service, not only do brands need to upgrade or change the technology they are using to provide customer experiences, but also they need to do something with all the data and analytics they are gathering, especially with what is possible through sensor and other technologies that make up the Internet of Things (IOT.) It’s critically important for companies to deliver systems of intelligence so that the company has better insights and as a result, they can provide better customer experiences.

The combination of Dynamics CRM and FieldOne provides this critically needed offering along with predictive learning and analytics. It is able to deliver an intelligent, proactive customer engagement solution. Part of the reason this is significant is that field service departments need to quickly move away from a reactive, break-fix model to a predictive service-based model. The acquisition of FieldOne allows Microsoft to offer companies the ability to tap the potential of predictive service by bringing together the powerful combination of FieldOne, Azure IoT and Cortana Analytics. This combination means that organizations can use insights that effectively provide servicing proactively while streamlining the provisioning of service to significantly reduce costs.

The Bottom-Line: I’d like to see the day that Customer Service reports directly to the CEO and the CFO. (It may in some companies today, but I’d like to see it happen all over the world as a standard practice. CEOs need to be paying attention to customer service. It is a game changer and a bottomline and topline issue that CFOs should be all over.) I’d like to hear from customer service professionals that they no longer feel that they suffer from the “Rodney Dangerfield Affect” — i.e., that they don’t get enough respect. Perhaps with the evolving customer service, care and experience offerings now available, the tide will shift and customer service will become recognized as the game changer it’s always been — only now it will more visible to executives through IOT and analytics.

What’s your thoughts on what needs to change in customer service and customer experience?


VP and Principal Analyst, Covering IOT, Analytics and Customer-facing Applications that Deliver Enhanced, Trust-building Customer Experiences via Customer Service, Sales and Marketing


TeleTech Survey Results: The Mobile Customer Experience Imperative

The study found that while just 1.4 percent of retail bank customers currently use their mobile devices for video chat sales or service support, nearly one quarter of all respondents (24.4 percent) would use these capabilities if their primary bank offered it.

Each quarter, TeleTech publishes its latest thinking in its executive journal, Customer Strategist, where consultants and analysts bring their thought leadership to a wider audience. The firm’s global work with leading companies in telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, retail, and government sectors is the basis for the articles in this recent issue. These pieces reflect on how clients are differentiating their companies through customer experience innovation.

“We’ve dedicated this issue of the Customer Strategist to helping our readers understand how to put digital technologies to good use. It illustrates how MasterCard, Aetna, General Motors, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina are building deeper engagement with customers through digital channels,” said Keith Gallacher, EVP of Global Markets and Industries, TeleTech. “Other features include research on the state of mobile customer experience and a discussion on how to incorporate digital customer experience into a business strategy.”

Here’s some additional work that may be of interest:

How Mature is Your Digital Customer Experience Strategy?  Track the maturity of digital customer experience across six key areas.

Six Ways to Make Your Mobile Experience Stand Out  Advanced features aren’t enough—focus on meeting the customer’s needs.

The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist  Aetna’s head of marketing technology and innovation blends two disciplines into a hybrid future of enterprise success.

GM Goes All In on Connected Vehicles  The automaker is betting it can improve the driver and passenger experience through integrated mobile services.

Other articles include a look at when successful leaders resist convention and accountability takes a back seat, why MasterCard believes mobile payments are the next big opportunity to engage consumers, how BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina uses the voice of the customer to prepare for the future of customer experience, and ways to enable digital tools in the workplace to boost employee engagement.

Is your brand ready with a solid mobile, digital customer experience strategy? And are you ready to implement it? Why or why not? What’s missing? Executive buy-in? Employee buy-in? Resources… There’s no time like the present to make sure your brand is prepared and ready to compete.


VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research Covering Customer Experience and IOT to Provide Great Customer Outcomes


3scale and Pivotal® Announce Self-serve API Management Solution Via Pivotal Web Services (PWS) Platform

Managing your API’s has become a very complicated endeavor. If your role to is manage API’s it’s important to figure out how to automate that process. Today 3scale and Pivotal®  announced that the 3scale self-serve API management solution is available through the Pivotal Web Services (PWS) platform. API providers hosting their APIs on Pivotal Web Services will be able to easily take advantage of 3scale’s self-serve API management capabilities by provisioning 3scale accounts directly from the PWS marketplace. The joint offering is available now at

What this means to brands: There so much that brands and companies need to pay attention to in this digital landscape. Reducing the effort required to manage API’s can be keep to using resources in other ways that are not as easily automated. Pivotal Web Services, the public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, powered by Pivotal Cloud Foundry®, provides a cloud platform that is designed to reduce operational complexity such as update/deployment management, availability and scalability. 3scale provides API providers with ready infrastructure for rate limiting, security, analytics and load balancing for their APIs as well as a dedicated developer portal to simplify API consumption by developers, customers or partners. This integration is designed to allow joint customers to focus on rapidly delivering differentiated business value while delegating complex API management and operational concerns to 3scale and PWS respectively.

“Pivotal Web Services is quickly becoming the destination for smart developers looking to move fast and offload operational concerns to the underlying cloud platform,” said Steve Willmott, CEO at 3scale. “As API’s gain greater traction 3scale is pleased to join the PWS marketplace, allowing API providers to quickly and conveniently access the 3scale API management solution.”

“Our customers require innovative platform capabilities and services that enable greater agility so that they can move fast and capture fleeting market opportunities,” said James Watters, vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platform Group at Pivotal. “This integration with 3scale will allow them to easily use a feature rich, innovative API management solution to test, deploy and scale their APIs quickly.”

With digital business and digital disruption comes complexity. However, solutions to manage that complexity are evolving. Every company that wants to be around in the next 5 years has to figure out not only how they are going to manage their own digital transformation, but what parts of it can they automate. This solution is an interesting answer to part of that automation.


VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Customer Facing Application That Create Better Experiences Using Data and IOT


Apply for a SuperNova Award – Become a Recognized Leader in Digital Business

Often times the people who are really transforming the company via digital business are not recognized by the rest of their organization because not everyone gets the importance of what the digital disruption and digital business is about. But one way to get recognition is to tell your story of what you and your group has accomplished via Constellation Research’s Super Nova Awards.

Every year the Constellation SuperNova Awards recognize eight individuals for their leadership in digital business. Nominate yourself or someone you know by August 7, 2015.

connected enterprise super nova awards

The SuperNova Awards honor leaders that demonstrate excellence in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies.  In its fifth year, the Constellation SuperNova Awards will recognize eight individuals who demonstrate true leadership in digital business through their application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. We’re searching for leaders and teams who have innovatively applied disruptive technolgies to their business models as a means of adapting to the rapidly-changing digital business environment. Special emphasis will be given to projects that seek to redefine how the enterprise uses technology on a large scale. Is that you?

We’re searching for the boldest, most transformative technology projects out there. Apply for a SuperNova Award by filling out the application here:
SuperNova Award Categories
Here’s the various categories you can enter:

• Consumerization of IT & The New C-Suite – The Enterprise embraces consumer tech, and perfects it.
•  Data to Decisions – Using data to make informed business decisions.
•  Digital Marketing Transformation – Put away that megaphone. Marketing in the digital age requires a new approach.
•  Future of Work – The processes and technologies addressing the rapidly shifting work paradigm.
•  Matrix Commerce – Commerce responds to changing realities from the supply chain to the storefront.
•  Next Generation Customer Experience – Customers in the digital age demand seamless service throughout all lifecycle stages and across all channels.
•  Safety and Privacy – Not ‘security’. Safety and Privacy is the art and science of the art and science of protecting information assets, including your most important assets: your people.
•  Technology Optimization & Innovation – Innovative methods to balance innovation and budget requirements.

5 reasons to apply for a SuperNova Award:
Wondering why you would want to apply – one of the biggest reasons is to get third party validation on the amazing work you are doing. Sometimes it takes outside recognition to get the internal respect for what you are doing. Here’s some more thoughts on that:

• Exposure to the SuperNova Award judges, comprised of the top influencers in enterprise technology
• Case study highlighting the achievements of the winners written by Constellation analysts
• Complimentary admission to the SuperNova Award Gala Dinner and Constellation’s Connected Enterprise for all finalists
(November 4-6, 2015) lodging and travel not included
• One year unlimited access to Constellation’s research library
• Winners featured on Constellation’s blog and weekly newsletter

Learn more about the SuperNova Awards. 

What to expect when applying for a SuperNova Award. Tips and sample application. 

Looking forward to see you at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise this fall – Nov 4-6th in Half Moon Bay at the Ritz Carlton!
VP and Principal Analyst Covering Customer-facing Applications To Create Great Customer Experiences Informed by Data and IOT

Microsoft Dynamic’s Strategic Alliance with Lithium

It’s true – to deliver on a brand promise of excellent customer experience, it takes a village.  And it makes perfect sense that Microsoft Dynamics has created a strategic alliance with Lithium, a community platform vendor. What does this mean? Microsoft Dynamics will integrate Lithium’s social interactions and community data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This partnership will allow Microsoft Dynamic’s customers to nurture better relationships with their customers, especially because and peer-to-peer communities are critical to building customer loyalty. With this additional visibility into what’s happening through their CRM application, businesses have a more complete, 360 degree view of the customer.

Lithium and Microsoft Dynamics Form Strategic Partnership

What’s interesting is that in the old days, product development used to be done by a vendor themselves. Today, the market is moving so fast, smart vendors are realizing that product development is really more about partnering with partners who specialize in a particular aspect of technology vs build it themselves. These specialized capabilities can complement what a vendor is already offering without the headaches of building from scratch.

Looking forward to some case studies and the successes from this strategic alliance!

@drnatalie, Covering Marketing, Commerce, Customer Service, Communities, Digital and Social Media to Create Better Customer Experiences


Delivering Superb Customer Experience Management Across the Web, Mobile and Commerce

In this research, we look at trends to take ordinary experiences and deliver superb experiences that keep brand promises by delivering superb customer experience management across the web, mobile and commerce. Clients should use this document as a source for planning and work closely with both the business and technical teams to ensure success to deliver on the brand’s promise. This report offers insights into four of Constellation’s primary business research themes, Next-Generation Customer Experience, Digital Marketing Transformation, Matrix Commerce and Data to Decisions.

Digital Disruption Changes How Brands Engage Customers

The shift to digital marketing and commerce as well as mobile interactions brings a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers. Customer experience management is a major pillar in many organization’s efforts to engage and retain their customers and partners. Customers, depending on the vertical market, might be patients (healthcare industry), members (financial services industry) or students (higher education).

Organizations are realizing there is more to the job of engaging and retaining these customers because there are so many opportunities along the customer experience journey to have something “fall through the cracks” and not meet expectations. Market leaders realize the future requires proactive digital enablement of the business to support the future strategy of their organizations. Constellation has identified key attributes required for success at experience management and using them, leaders can expect to have a basic blueprint to embark on this key strategic initiative.

Six Approaches Brands Must Adopt to Drive Customer Experience Management

Six Approaches Brands Must Adopt to Drive Experience Management

For more information on this report, you can find a snapshot here.

Unfortunately, in almost every segment, Constellation estimates that the top three competitors control from 43 percent to 71 percent of market share and 53 percent to 77 percent of the profits. In the technology space, only 80 companies since 2000 have made the billionaire’s club in annual revenue. Meanwhile, intense competition, short-term shareholder and management thinking, and minimal investment hamper the pace of investment and innovation required by business leaders to survive today’s competitive landscape.

While many brands have not been complacent about addressing change, the past five years have shown the difference between those who invested in digital transformation and those who have not. The corporate digital chasm is massive among market leaders/fast followers and everyone else. Astute brands realize they must invest in transformational change or face a vicious Digital Darwinism.

Is your brand ready for digital disruption or are they a “wait and see” brand”?

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences


Salesforce Unveils Next Generation Marketing Cloud; Now Any Journey Is Possible

I’m speaking at Salesforce Exact Target’s Connections Conference. And Salesforce has announced their next generation marketing cloud. For more information follow @salesforce@marketingcloud and #CNX15 on Twitter. With the next generation Journey Builder brands are empowered to create journeys that blur the lines of CRM and span the Salesforce Customer Success Platform – connecting journeys across sales, service, marketing and custom apps. Keeping the connectivity between and from difference departments is very important and critical to the success of providing great customer experiences.

Digital Marketing Event Salesforce ExactTarget Connections #CNX15

With the ubiquity of smartphones, connected products, apps, wearable devices and digital communications there are trillions of customer interactions every day. The customer’s journey and every customer interaction, whether it’s engaging with a marketing campaign, speaking with a salesperson or getting a customer support case resolved or taking to another customers, is an opportunity to build a relationship and define the brand. Because of this, companies are now competing on customer experience.

In actuality, I think companies were always competing on customer experience. But we now have the evidence via social networking to show the affect of a bad experience or comment. Glad times have changed and the Internet because the voice of the people. Markets are conversations – or so say the guys that wrote the book The Cluetrain Manifesto. It’s a must read if you have not read it, no matter what business you are in. READ IT. Seriously. It predicts the future of where we are today and where we are going.

Delivering an exceptional customer experience across all channels is not easy. While marketers have ample access to customer data, activating that data and engaging customers with relevant content across every channel is a significant challenge. To address this challenge, marketers are moving from manually executed batch and blast campaigns to event-triggered automation and real-time personalization.

Saleforce’s Next Generation Active Audiences allows marketers to advertise based on a single view of the customer across the digital advertising ecosystem with partners Krux, Facebook, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar, Twitter and Viant. Leading global brands like FleetCor, Room & Board and the Michael J. Fox Foundation harness the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to connect with customers in a whole new way.

Here’s more details on what these new additions included:

  • Next Generation Journey Builder: The next generation of Journey Builder empowers companies to guide customers on 1-to-1 journeys across channels and devices to ensure they always deliver the right message, at the right time, via the right channel.  Now companies can make any journey possible and connect every interaction across every department, from post-service customer satisfaction to product adoption programs, and loyalty programs to employee onboarding. Marketers can empower all teams within the organization to unleash the power of the world’s #1 CRM and connect all interactions along the customer journey to deliver customer success.

    • New Native Journeys With Sales Cloud and Service Cloud: New pre-built Sales Cloud and Service Cloud events and activities in Journey Builder make it easier than ever to manage customer journeys that span marketing, sales, service and other kinds of interactions.

    • New Pre-Built Journey Triggers: Now, for the first time, Salesforce objects like contacts, leads, accounts and cases, as well as custom objects are available as pre-built triggers in Journey Builder. Marketers can automate inbound event-driven triggers, such as a customer joining a loyalty program or downloading an app, which then send the customer a message on any channel to begin their journey. Triggers can also automatically modify data in the customer contact record or set up wait times and decision splits to adjust the journey in real-time based on customer interactions across sales, marketing and service.

  • Next Generation Active Audiences: Today, Salesforce announces the next generation of its ad platform Active Audiences, which syncs ad targeting with CRM, empowering marketers to run more relevant ads across all of the places they execute campaigns. New partnerships will extend its scope to reach audiences across the broad display advertising ecosystem. Active Audiences can now help marketers:

    • Connect with customers and prospects across the display advertising ecosystem: New Marketing Cloud partners announced today — Krux, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar and Viant — will empower Salesforce users to activate CRM data and run ads across more than 100 digital advertising networks and technologies.

    • Coordinate targeted, relevant advertising to drive sales, service, and marketing journeys: Full integration with Journey Builder empowers marketers to bring targeted, relevant advertising in line with sales, service and marketing journeys. Active Audiences orchestrates digital advertising based on the customer’s entire experience with a brand – the emails and mobile messages they open, their purchase history, their engagement with the customer service team and where they are in a sales cycle.

    • Target people across social networks: Salesforce is a Facebook Marketing Partner for ad technology, content marketing, community management, and audience onboarding; a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner across sponsored updates and company pages; and a Twitter Official Partner. Through Active Audiences, marketers can reach their customers and lookalikes on Facebook and Twitter. With Salesforce, they can create and optimize media at scale across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    • Pricing and Availability

      • Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder are generally available today for customers. Journey Builder pricing starts at $3,750 per month.

      • New Journey Builder activities, triggers and events with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud will be available in Q4 2015.

      • Active Audiences is generally available today for customers. New Active Audiences display features are expected to be generally available in Q3 2015. Active Audiences pricing starts at $4,200 per month.

Are you building next generation customer experiences? Make sure to submit your application to the SuperNova Awards for this fall at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise Conference.

@Drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences


Webinar About Best Practices: Customer Experience Management, Technology, Roles and Strategy

Is your brand following any of these best practices for customer experience management? Find out more at this webinar on 6 steps to superb customer experience management and here’s the research paper on best practices in customer experience management, technology, roles and the strategy required for success! As brands realize customer experience management is key to their overall strategy and long-term growth, Constellation Research recommends considering the following to deliver an integrated web, mobile, social, email and commerce experience:

Six Approaches Brands Must Adopt to Drive Experience Management

1. Decide Who Will Lead The Experience Management Strategy: A Competitive Advantage

Leaders of experience management must be effective communicators and be able to bridge many disciplines and functional areas. They must keep their eye both on the internal needs and strategy of the business, while taking into consideration the prospect’s experience. This may mean organizations at the very least assign the CEO, CIO or CMO to this charge. Though most of these roles are in overwhelm with their current responsibilities; tough to add more and expect them to really perform well.

2. Multi-disciplinary Skill Sets Required of Chief Experience Management Officer

Regardless of who takes on the role, leaders of experience management must be effective in communicating what the goals of the experience management team are, how they fit into the rest of the business why they drive revenue. Experience management needs to be focused on what customers are interested in, have concerns about and providing the information they need to make purchases.

3. Experience Management Technology and Integration

With strategy and leadership decided, processed mapped from the customer’s viewpoint, technology can be chosen and deployed to deliver on the brand’s promise. Brands should focus on creating meaningful, multichannel interactions that optimize the customer experience, improve conversions, scale business, and increase revenue via an interconnected platform.

4. Consider an integrated, interconnected technology platform: The need to provide a continuously connected and integrated experience is often difficult if the technology wasn’t designed to provide that from the start. Contemplate a comprehensive experience platform that can provide an elegant, integrated solution that connects channels, engagement automation and analytics and commerce, with external tools and databases, to drive exceptional customer experiences for each and every unique customer.

5. Strive for unity among channel connectivity: Customers expect you to recognize them when they engage with your brand, no matter what channel or device they use. And they expect you to remember previous interactions with them and keep the context of the conversation as they move from channel to channel or device. You will want your website, as the hub of experience management, to be directly connected to the email experience you provide, as well as have it parallel simultaneously branded experiences in social, mobile, commerce and print.

6. Use predictive insights to deliver real-time, optimized responses: To provide an experience where customers can navigate across multiple devices (mobile or desk-bound), brands must deliver engagement and shopping experiences that recognize each device and automatically adjust interactions to deliver seamless experiences. You will want to be able to respond to each customer’s interactions in real time and extend relevant content and offers based on an individual’s real-time activity, when their engagement is at its highest.

Which steps are you following? All six or only a few? Use this as a guide to determine how close your organization is to best practices! Join R “Ray” Wang and I for the webinar to learn more details!

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences



Speaking at Connections: Making Social Customer Care, Great Marketing with Honeywell, Aetna, and ALEX AND ANI

Social Customer Care has become an expectation amongst consumers. Telling your community that you’re accessible on social channels delivers a strong message. Your community and supporters are online, and it is fundamentally changing how and where constituents look for support, and how they engage with you today.

For organizations of any size, listening to constituents online doesn’t only present the opportunity to uncover and address complaints and issues, but the opportunity to learn, improve, and engage your audience in new ways to strengthen – or build new – relationships over time.

In this session learn how HP, ALEX AND ANI and Honeywell not only provide exceptional service to their customers through social channels, but how they capitalize on these interactions as a marketing opportunity.

Salesforce connections

You’ll get to hear real-world stories of how brands are looking at marketing and customer service and how they are bringing those to functional departments together to create better customer experiences and drive enhanced marketing conversion rates. Remember – you can’t sell something to someone (or market to them) if they are mad.

Taking care of customer service issues means your customers will be more receptive to your marketing campaigns. Don’t waste the time, energy, money on creative, content and campaigns without taking into consideration if you are solving your customer care issues . There is nothing worse than launching a campaign and then having unhappy customers use the campaign to complain about the brand, its products and services. Be proactive and get your organization to be proactive in their strategy around social customer care and marketing.

Jessica Woodbury, Sr. Manager, Social Media & Customer Engagement for ALEX AND ANI
Dane Hartzell, Director of ePresence for Honeywell
Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, Vice President and Principal Analyst for Constellation Research
Waladeen Norwood, Global Social Media Manager for HP

Breakout Session: Wed June 17th, 8:30 AM EST  #CNX15

See you there! Come say hello!

@drnatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences