Guest Post: 1202 Social Media Alone is Not Enough. Your Small Business Needs a “Big” Website

Social Media has truly been a game changer in how businesses connect with their customers. What used to be a cumbersome and expensive activity has been made very easy, but at the same time it has also become a constant battle for customer attention.

Social media has also helped the customers. It is much easier for them to connect with businesses. No longer do they have to rely on the traditional 1-800 number, enduring long hold times. They can simply post a question and then the business can answer them (within the same day hopefully). On the flip side, angry customers can post their scathing reviews for the world to see. Over all social media has really become a necessity for business if they want to stay valid in this world. And many businesses have been milking social media for all its worth, some even going as far as using it as a substitute for having a professional website. While social media is necessary for achieving success, especially for small businesses it can in no way substitute a business website. In order to truly milk social media, you have to pair it with a website.

Why do you need a big website along an efficient social media presence?

Recently Facebook added the sell feature on to pages, in short turning business pages into small business online stores. This feature again raised a slew of questions that why do we need a website anymore? You can even have a proper e-store running on a Facebook page. This question is especially asked by small businesses or start-ups who have limited budgets. Why should they put a strain on what are often shoe-string budgets to make a website, when they get almost the same level of functionality from a social media presence alone?

The market is not what it was 15 years ago

15 years back you could do without a website till you got to a level of financial success. However the market dynamics have considerably changed since then. Internet penetration in first world countries is especially at levels we had never nearly considered. And the speed at which the online world is expanding puts it a level where we can say that the virtual online world is one that exists in parallel of real one. It is that vast.

So if your business does not have a concrete presence in the online world then you do not appear as a credible business. Before we go anywhere, we Google it. If I only get Facebook page results, that makes your business look like an amateur set-up and makes it lose its credibility. Just like it is expected for a store to have a billboard, consumers expect businesses to have their own websites, just for the sake of contact details and address if not anything else.

Many years ago it used to be a shop front that served as the first impression of the establishment. Now it is the website that makes for the first impression. You need a good website to ensure you grab people’s interest and convert that interest into a sale.

A website is effectively your businesses own branch on the virtual world

You can put up your products up for sale on Facebook, but that is just like putting your products on some other store’s shelves. You cannot influence the environment of the store to shape customer experience. Your products are the mercy of someone else. You cannot control customer shopping experience on Facebook. Facebook even changes the themes when and as they wish. But a website is somewhere you are in full control and give the customer a shopping experience you feel would be the best way to market yourself. For example some e-stores do not opt for a traditional slider and go the “Tinder” way that is the customers view one product at a time.

Also a basic feature that having your own website gives you is recommending customers their next possible purchase, based on their present viewing history. This is something that you lose your products on social media.

Social media has also restrictions on photo sizes that you can upload. This may be a drawback as intricate details may be lost when you compress file size.

Also many people might not want to buy from Facebook, so not having a website means lost sales. And a website along with a brick and mortar store is the perfect combo. Your brick and mortar store gives the customers who want to “feel and buy” what they want and online customers get the feasibility of buying from wherever at whatever time they want.

A website is a business you control and shape

Unlike Facebook you are in complete control. How your business works in completely on you. Just like Facebook gives you a free “shelf” to display your products, businesses with successful e-commerce website have gone on to sell “shelves” on their websites. A website has a huge potential for revenue making and is only limited by your imagination. A small business gains by investing in a website as they gain the option of multiple income streams from one smart investment!

One last thing to mention is that it is very important you choose a professional company to do the development for you. This is because you might require after-sales services, and freelancers are not that reliable.


About the Author

Rachael Everly is an undergraduate student who loves to write on the topics related business, finance, technology and education. Follow @RachaelEverly for further updates



Dr. Natalie’s Research Agenda and Published Research

If you are wondering what I have been up to lately, I thought I would put all the research I have published  into one place. Here’s a list of Dr. Natalie’s completed and published research and soon to be published content! It ranges from IOT, Analytics, Big Data, Customer Experience, Leadership, Organizational Change Management, Storytelling, Collaboration, Digital Transformation, Social Selling, Social Media, the Cloud, Marketing, Sales, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, AI, Machine Learning, Innovation, Social Networks, Social Media Monitoring, Mobile, Customer Service and Customer Success Management….and a few things in-between…

IOT (The Internet of Things), Innovation, AI, Machine Learning, Analytics and the Cloud

• The Algorithm of You: How IoT Transforms and Differentiates Customer Experience: Using the Internet of Things to Boost Revenue and Deliver a Brand’s Personalized Promise

• Digital Disruption: The Blind Spot That Could Sink Your IoT and CX Initiatives

• The Internet of Things Improves Customer Experience in Retail Supply Chain

• The As-a-Service Economy: CX and IOT Mean You Have to Deliver Great Experiences- Upcoming

• Customer Experience IOT in the Automotive Industry-Upcoming


Digital Transformation: Customer Engagement, CRM, Innovation, Customer Experience, Customer Service, The Cloud and Analytics

• ROI Of Customer Service & Customer Experience

• How to Measure Customer Experience: Performance Management Maturity-Upcoming

• Case Study: Elaine Turner® Brand and Oracle Commerce, Marketing and Customer Service-Upcoming

• The Need for Inspiring Leaders to Orchestrate Customer Experience Initiatives-Upcoming

• Experience Management: How to Deliver Integrated Customer Experiences

• How Rackspace Creates the Next-Generation Customer Experience

• The ROI Of Agile Customer Care: Reduce Training and Easy To Add Channels

• Digital Imperatives for Omni-Channel Retail Customer Experiences

• Nine Pillar Of Successful Self-Service for Digital Customer Engagement

• 6 Pillars of e-commerce Customer Engagement

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – Delivery and Communication Styles: Channels, Content and Cadence

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – People Centric Values: External & Internal Culture, Community, Credibility

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – Right Time Drivers: Context, Catalysts, Currency

• How Delta Uses Microsoft Dynamics and Avanade to Create Next-Generation Customer Experiences

• How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Improves Productivity at Trek Bicycle

• Delta Uses Microsoft to Transform Flight Operations and the Customer Experience

• New Belgium Brewing Creates Great Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Dynamics

• Beyond Journey Maps, Delivering Mass Personalization at Scale

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 


Social Media, Customer Service, CRM, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• How General Motors Using Social Media To Listen To Customers and Sell Cars and Deliver Service

• The ROI of Online Communities: Online Communities Provide Value Beyond Call Deflection

• Why Top Marketers Create Branded Social Networks for Customer Engagement

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 

• ROI of Social Customer Service- Upcoming

• The Customer Service Playbook for Integration of Traditional, Digital, Social and Mobile Customer Service Strategies and Technologies-Upcoming

• Mobile Customer Service-Upcoming


Digital Marketing, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee the Whole Customer Experience?

• Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization

• VentureBeat: Should the CMO Run the Whole Customer Experience?

• Executive Brief: Can Brands Keep Their Promise?

• Oracle Moves Its Focus from the CIO to the CMO

• How to Staff the Team for Effective Content Marketing

• The State of Marketing 

• Marketing Funnels Are Dead, What’s Next?


Digital and Social Sales; Commerce, Innovation, Analytics and the Cloud

• How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization: Convert Average Sales Teams into Top Performers Using Social Networks

• Five Approaches to Drive Customer Loyalty in a Digital World

• The Modern Sales Experience

• Continuity of Customer Experiences Drives the Future of Commerce


Customer Success Management, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• The State of Customer Success Management

• Gainsight: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• ServiceSource: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• Totango: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy


If you are interested in learning about any of these reports or research, a speech or webinar on any of these or related topics, please reach out to me here!

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Innovative, Customer-Facing Applications that Create Great Customer Experiences








Guest Post: How Digital Technology Is Transforming Customer Data Collection

Digital business is increasing the potential monetary value of data, but most companies aren’t leveraging this valuable resource. Smart devices, mobile technology and social media are increasing the volume and variety of customer data available at an accelerated rate, turning data brokering into a multibillion dollar business while simultaneously making data more affordable than ever. General information about consumers is now available for about $0.50 per 1,000 people, estimates the Financial Times. Read on for the trends that are transforming data collection and the tools that smart companies are using to turn data into profit.

Internet of Things

One of the biggest technology trends is the increasing presence of smart electronic devices, a trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier stages of the Internet were centered around personal computers and then mobile phones, and now the Internet of Things includes all sorts of smart devices, from smart houses to smart TVs to smart cars, watches and clothes.

All these devices collect data that is centered around the consumers who use these devices. This enables businesses to organize their market research and advertising efforts around the totality of data as well as individual uses, a trend known as marketing personalization. The Internet of Things means that the data collected can conceivably be used to personalize ads they see in their car, at work and while shopping.

Location-Based Data

The Internet of Things forms a digital mesh that enables consumers and their data to be pinpointed by location. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 are GPS-enabled, allowing marketers to collect data on their location and deliver personalized messages that appeal to customers at specific locations.

One of the emerging applications of this is beacon marketing, which identifies when customers are entering stores to deliver customized coupons, discounts and other special offers. For instance, Hillshire Brands saw a 36 percent increase in brand awareness and a 20 percent increase in purchase intent by using beacon technology.

Context-Sensitive Data

Data collection is becoming more context-sensitive. For instance, a webpage that displays well on a desktop screen needs to adjust to be viewable on a smaller mobile device screen. This means that the site needs to collect context-sensitive data about the viewer’s device and screen size.

Another context-sensitive use of data is retargeted advertising, when information gathered on one device follows users as they use other devices. For instance, Yahoo recently added a feature to its Gemini ad marketplace that enables advertisers to send retargeted ads to customers on websites, apps and Yahoo interest categories based on their browsing behavior.

Social Media Data

One of the most important data collection sources is social media. CMS Wire reports that 90 percent of the data available today was collected over the past two years and 80 percent of it came from social media use.

Social sites are seeking to capitalize on this, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube all introducing buy button features last year. In 2016, social media brand engagement and buying will drive data collection, predicts Brandwatch.


About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.


I’m Judging the SuperNova Awards: Make Sure to Submit Your Case Study

I’m judging the 2016 Constellation SuperNova Awards! Every year the Constellation SuperNova Awards recognize individuals for their leadership in digital business. Nominate yourself or someone you know before August 8, 2016.

About the SuperNova Awards
The SuperNova Awards honor leaders that demonstrate excellence in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. In its sixth year, the Constellation SuperNova Awards will recognize individuals who demonstrate leadership in nine categories:
•  Internet of Things – A network of smart objects enables smart services. (sensors, smart ‘things’, device to purchase, artificial intelligence)
•  Data to Decisions – Using data to make informed business decisions. (big data, predictive analytics)
•  Digital Marketing Transformation – Personalized, data-driven digital marketing.
•  Future of Work: Social Business – The technologies enabling teams to work together efficiently. (enterprise social networks, collaboration, digital assistants)
•  Future of Work: Human Capital Management – Enabling your organization to utilize your workforce as an asset.  (talent management, benefits, HR core)
•  Matrix Commerce – Commerce responds to changing realities from the supply chain to the storefront. (digital retail, supply chain, payments, ‘ubiquitous-channel’ retail)
•  Next Generation Customer Experience – Customers in the digital age demand seamless service throughout all lifecycle stages and across all channels.  (crm, customer experience)
•  Safety and Privacy – Strategies to secure sensitive data (blockchain, digital identity, authentication)
•  Technology Optimization & Innovation – Innovative methods to balance innovation and IT budgets. (innovation in the cloud, ENSW cost savings, cloud ERP, efficient app production)
The SuperNova Awards are seeking 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. If you have what it takes to compete in the SuperNova Awards submit your application today:
If you are doing something really interesting, make sure to send in your case study! It’s your time to be recognized for your hard work!
@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Customer Facing Applications that Drive Awesome Customer Experience

Social Cloud Customer Service Has Dismantled the Old Marketing Funnel

Old Marketing Funnel Days: In the days before social media, marketers would target key customers and go through an awareness, desire, interest and then action (buying) process; essentially the old marketing function. The marketer would start with a large number of customers at the top of this so called “funnel” and as the customers in the “funnel” were approached, there would become fewer customers, narrowing down to those with the desire, interest and ending up with enough customers that would eventually take action and buy whatever was being offered.

The Way a Company Manages Their Social Media Can Destroy the “Old” Marketing Funnel. Today, we know that social media plays a significant role in the purchase decisions of potential buyers. That’s why the way a company manages their social media can turn consumers from brand advocates to troublesome trolls. And there’s an invisibility of social media that has completely destroyed the marketing funnel.

How Does Social Media #Fail Affect the “Old” Marketing Funnel? What do I mean by this? Let’s say I am a customer who is having issues and I post #fail and the brand’s name. And then let’s say there are 1, or 10 or 100 or 1,000 people who might have been interested in becoming aware of that company’s products and services. But because they saw my #fail, they make a mental note and a decision, unbeknownst to the brand, to never buy from that company. They saw the company didn’t have that customer back when they had a question or need help. And this is essentially why Social Cloud Customer Service is the New Marketing. How customers get treated in Customer Service and when they share that affects the future purchasing power of that pool of customers who might have been interested.

Customers Opt Out Without The Brand Even Knowing They’ve Lost a Customer Because those customers opted out, they will never be in the companies “old” marketing funnel. They may have had the potential to become part of a targeted segment that could have gone through the various stages of awareness, desire, interest and then action. However, because those customers saw the #fail post, they will never be a potential customers. Essentially the pool of customers that company might have drawn upon is now much smaller.

Loosing Customers You Didn’t Know You Lost. The company many not realize they lost those customers. They make still send out marketing messages. But it’s every likely that those customers who made mental note of how another customer was treated, will never respond to any marketing messages and never buy from that brand. And that’s what I mean about the customers disappearing or becoming invisible to a brand. They are no longer available to be marketed to. They will just ignore the marketing messages because they saw when I tried to get help, the company didn’t reach out in social media and try to help. And this is the invisibility that is affecting many companies and they don’t even realize that by poorly managing their social media, they have shrunk their customer base.

Managing Your Social Media Well Can Be a Customer Attractor. On the other hand, let’s say there is a customer who complains in social media and the company is paying attention. They are monitoring, listening and respond quickly and resolve the issue. 1 or 10 or 100 or 1,000 customers will have seen this and as a result, they make mental note of it. They might not be in the market for what the company is offering at that exact moment, but when they are and they have to choose a brand, they are going to choose a brand that has their back or a company that they have seen take care of another customer’s issue quickly and meet the customer expectations.

Not Responding To #Fail Is No Way To  Manage Your Current and Future Customers. The failure to meet or exceed those expectations can drive away new and existing customers. This is why I think the old “marketing funnel” has really been dismantled. With more and more companies turning to social media to communicate with consumers, it’s important to manage the channels in a way that builds brand loyalty and converts users into advocates. Today’s consumers turn to social media when they have a question about their purchase. The way your company manages customer service via social media can build brand loyalty & turn users into advocates.

info2 info1

You can get the full infographic from IntelliResponse here.

Where do you stand? Are you monitoring, listening and responding? Or are you not even paying attention to social media?

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Constellation Research, Covering Customer-Facing Applications that Create Awesome Customer Experiences


Doing Something Really Interesting in IOT Customer Experience or Cloud Customer Service? Apply for a SuperNova Award!

The SuperNova Awards honor leaders that demonstrate excellence in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. This is the sixth year of the Constellation SuperNova Awards. Are you using IoT to create great, new customer experiences. Has the move to the cloud made your customer service more agile and the customer’s experience much better? If so, let us know. We want to hear your stories of using and developing:

  • IoT
    • IoT and creating awesome Customer Experiences
    • IoT and creating awesome Customer Service (Field Service)
    • IoT, the Customer Experience and its affects on Customer’s and Businesses Security/ Privacy
    • Using IoT to deliver smarter Marketing
  • Cloud
    • Using the Marketing Cloud to Increase Conversion, Targeting, Relevancy…
    • Using Customer Service Cloud to Service Customers Reactively, Proactively and Drive Marketing
    • Using the Customer Experience Cloud To Drive Awesome Customer Experiences
    • Using the Sales Cloud to Grow Win Ratios…

We will be recognizing nine individuals who demonstrate true leadership in digital business through their application of new and emerging technologies. We’re searching for leaders and teams who used disruptive technolgies to transform their organizations. Special recognition will be given to projects that seek to redefine how the enterprise uses technology on a large scale.

Are you really on the leading, bleeding edge? Then we are looking for you! If you are not on the edge, you are taking up too much room! We’re searching for the boldest, most transformative technology projects out there. If you or someone you know has what it takes to compete in the SuperNova Awards, fill out the application here

What’s the Timeline look like? I kinda hate to publish this, because everyone looks at it and thinks- Oh August – I have plenty of time! Don’t kid yourself. It takes time to not only do a great project but also document it! So don’t wait to the last minute… If you are up to something special, start jotting down your project info so you won’t be late with application submission!!! And make sure you have data to show your results!

  • February 8, 2016 application process begins.
  • August 8, 2016 last day for submissions.
  • September 7, 2016 finalists announced and invited to Connected Enterprise.
  • September 12, 2016 voting opens to the public
  • September 21, 2016 polls close
  • October 27, 2016 Winners announced, SuperNova Awards Gala Dinner at Connected Enterprise 

Why bother? There’s lots of Rewards! Besides getting to hang out with me :-) and a ton of other really outstanding and amazing leaders, and get to hear what the top companies in the world are doing, you’ll also get…

Wondering Who Are the Judges?

The judges are technology thought leaders, analysts, and journalists selected for their futurist mindset and ability to separate substance from hype. The SuperNova Award Judges carefully evaluate each SuperNova Award application against a rigorous set of criteria. Judges will identify individuals who demonstrate true leadership in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies.  Want to catch a judge’s eye? Judges look for projects whose elements can be replicated in other enterprises. Want to know more about the awards and judges? You can learn more about the SuperNova Award Judges.

What Types of Projects or Inititatives Can Be Submitted? Here’s a list of the categories:

  •  Internet of Things – A network of smart objects enables smart services. (examples: sensors, smart ‘things’, device to purchase)
  •  Data to Decisions – Using data to make informed business decisions. (examples: big data, predictive analytics) 
  •  Digital Marketing Transformation – Personalized, data-driven digital marketing. 
  •  Future of Work: Social Business – The technologies enabling teams to work together efficiently. (examples: enterprise social networks, collaboration)
  •  Future of Work: Human Capital Management – Enabling your organization to utilize your workforce as an asset. (examples: talent management)
  •  Matrix Commerce – Commerce responds to changing realities from the supply chain to the storefront. (examples: digital retail, supply chain, payments, omni-channel retail)
  •  Next Generation Customer Experience – Customers in the digital age demand seamless service throughout all lifecycle stages and across all channels. (examples: crm, customer experience)
  •  Safety and Privacy – Strategies to secure sensitive data (examples: digital identity, information security, authentication)
  •  Technology Optimization & Innovation – Innovative methods to balance innovation and IT budgets. (examples: innovation in the cloud, ENSW cost savings, cloud ERP, efficient app production)

Who Won Last Year? I knew you would ask that, so here’s that info below. And they were all outstanding. Let’s see if you can beat what they did last year! We are really looking for the super stars. And you know who you are!

CoIT & The New C-Suite

Martin Brodbeck: CTO, Sterling Backcheck


Data to Decisions

Alda Mizaku: Lead Bus Solutions Analyst, Mercy


Digital Marketing Transformation

Naveen Gunti: Senior Director of e-Commerce Technology and Operations, Tumi Holdings, Inc.


Future of Work – Human Capital Management

Asha Aravindakshan: Operations Director, Global Talent, Ashoka


Future of Work – Social Business

Steve Nava: Senior Director Field Service, Americas, Luminex

*************************************************************Matrix Commerce

Jordan Kivelstadt: CEO, Free Flow Wines


Next Generation Customer Experience

Dan Wallis: Director of KP OnCall, Kaiser Permanente


Technology Optimization & Innovation

Dr. David Bray: Chief Information Officer , Federal Communications Commissions

Erica Stevens: VP of Supply Chain and Information Technology, Dylan’s Candy Bar

So there’s your bar. It’s been set high, but I know you can top it! Go for it! Can’t wait to see you at  SuperNova Awards Gala Dinner at Connected Enterprise!!
@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Customer-facing Applications That Make Amazing Customer Experiences

Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy(Part 2)

Welcome back to part two of my vendor profile on Bluenose. Bluenose Analytics offers a customer success platform that allows SaaS businesses to manage customers with complete visibility, a robust early warning system, and built-in playbooks.

Product/Solution Footprint

Competitive Positioning

Bluenose specializes in providing SaaS businesses a customer success platform to manage their customers with all-encompassing visibility through a comprehensive early warning system, intelligent marketing campaigns built to instill loyalty, and integrated playbooks (see Figure 2). Bluenose helps companies spot opportunities to deepen engagement with customers and maximize revenue through renewals and upsells. The CSM software offers a customizable and comprehensive customer health analytics system that can:

  • Highlight users that need more product training
  • Identify the most engaged users
  • Get warnings when an account is a churn risk
  • Determine which customers are falling behind in onboarding
  • Know if executive champions are no longer engaging with others
  • Suggest accounts that are ready for an upgrade

Figure 2. Overview of Bluenose’s Customer Success Management System


Source: Bluenose

The core of Bluenose is the analytics engine. Data on customer engagement, purchases, system usage, customer demographics, and customer sentiment in the form of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and surveys all feed into the Bluenose engine. The result of the analysis is the ability to proactively manage accounts and end user campaigns. The key capabilities of Bluenose’s account management system include:

  • 360-degree view of the customer account
  • Early warning system
  • Playbooks
  • Account-based reports

The key capabilities of Bluenose’s end user campaigns system include:

  • Marketing campaigns
  • User-based reports
  • 360-degree user view
  • Actionable queries

The 360-degree view provides Bluenose’s customers with access to every touch point across their business. The early warning system allows Bluenose’s customers to go from being reactive to proactive in detecting issues and heading them off before they become problems. Bluenose’s playbooks allow customers to establish consistent and structured customer success processes to make sure all customers are receiving top-tier customer success management. Bluenose has a customer success community where clients (members) can share and connect with other customer success professionals.

  • Constellation’s Analysis of the Competitive Positioning: Early adopters of customer success management didn’t have a cloud platform that provided instant data like the CSM systems that are available today. CSM platforms now provide the capabilities and graphical representation of data in such a useful way that it is imperative that serious businesses adopt customer success management as a top priority. Bluenose’s analytics engine brings customer relationship management (CRM), service desk, marketing, usage data and financial systems into a single centralized view, providing a company with a data stream on its customers. With this data, Bluenose provides its clients with an accurate measurement of the stability of each customer and whether the customer is in jeopardy of churn or is ready to expand its capabilities. Customer scoring is accurate since it draws from structured data sources like CRM and billing systems and unstructured insights, like the intelligence of account managers. This technology system has many of the attributes a company would need to do great customer success management. However, Bluenose would benefit from developing relationships with integration partners and resellers.

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



Microsoft Dynamics and LinkedIn Sales Navigator Make Strong Connections

LinkedIn is building deeper integration between LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enabling companies to easily connect their social selling activities to their customer engagement efforts. LinkedIn’s  information embedded right into Dynamics CRM, sellers can better identify and build relationships with new and existing customers.

With the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration, sellers can send connection requests, view the latest lead and account updates, discover similar decision makers, and send InMail messages directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This is important because LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network, with more than 364 million members worldwide.

Sales Navigator is now on iPhone and Android. Access Sales Navigator’s key features where you need them most: everywhere. Learn more and download the Sales Navigator Mobile App.

Here’s links to the paper I wrote on Social Selling – how to build a personal brand, focus on the right prospects and build trusted relationships! Whether you are in sales or not, this is a very important integration. It connects a large social network to a CRM system and that’s only the beginning of what can happen….

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


Real-time, In-Journey Customer Experience Mapping Provides The Right-time, Real-time Engagement

In-Journey, Real-time Customer Journey Mapping

Lots of clients ask, “How can I improve my customer experience to gain and retain loyal customers?” Some brands are operating on old legacy systems and are having a difficult time being able to incorporate customer data with the real-time customer experience. If that is possible, it will help the employees (marketing, sales, customer service, customer success management…) to provide the best in-context answers depending on what a customer has already looked at, has already done with a brand and where they seem to be stuck or need more information to choose a product or service. If you want to understand this more, here is a link to a webinar with more detail: Real-time, in-journey customer experience mapping.

We see this “in-journey” customer data and customer analytics capability as key to being able to deliver on engaging customer experiences. Here’s a picture of what an in-journey customer experience brand dashboard can look like:

In journey customer experience supports customer service agents

Source of Diagram: Engage.Cx

What The In-Journey Customer Engagement Dashboard Looks Like

From the in-journey customer experience dashboard, someone trying to help support a customer can follow along the gray line in the middle (with the dots in it and a arrow at the top) and see each of the “events” or interactions the customer has already had with the company. For instance, on Wednesday, March 25th, they had several engagements with the brand. If you look at the bottom and to the left of the diagram, you’ll see on Thursday, March 26th at 1:23 PM – the customer had a chat session with the brand. On Wednesday, April 1, they had another chat session at 5:39 PM.

On April 15th, at 5:42 PM the customer had a 12 min, 2 second chat with the brand. The affinity was rated at a 10 and the readiness to buy was a 9, meaning NOW. As you follow the gray arrow you see on Wednesday April 15th, the customer was in the store. On May 6th, the customer had another chat session with the brand at 2:03 PM. So this what a customer’s Key Brand Engagement and Buying Interactions Timeline can look like. With this information in-front of a sales person, a customer service agent or marketing professional, they can not only see what this particular customer’s brand engagement pattern is (how they go from one channel to another, what time they engage with the brand, whether it is in the store, or online….)

And if online, what channel they use – chat, email, website, etc…) This is all very helpful when an employee is trying to help the customer make a decision. Things that the customer has already asked don’t have to be repeated. New questions can be answered and the brand can really appear and be helpful to a customer. And finally the employee (marketing, sales or customer service) can clearly see what the customer needs next. This helps the employee decide what content to send the customer or the buying objections they may have had and how they the employee can best help that customer to make a good decision.

Aggregation of Customer Engagement Patterns of Customer Journey

What a brand can also do is to look in aggregate, many customers over time, to see how customers generally engage with a brand. This can even start to take the place of “guessing” the customer journey mapping that brands do (often from the company’s point of view and not necessarily what customers actually do.) With that real customer journey mapping in hand, brands can change their processes to make the best possible customer journey, with the least friction, from the customer’s point of view.

Real-time Customer Journey Mapping

With this type of real customer journey mapping, a brand can look at what content they need to provide where in the marketing, buying, customer service cycle as well as how to take extra steps out of their processes to make it easier for customers to make a commitment to a brand. With this type of customer journey information, a brand can really begin to understand their customers to the point that they make it so easy to do business with that brand, that customers not only become loyal, but they also become customer advocates and refer their friends and family.

How does your company realize it’s customer journey’s? Do they do it on paper, in a large conference room? or do they map it real-time as the customer is on their journey? Which do you think is more effective in getting to building the least friction and the highest lead conversion rates?

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences