Guest Post: Operational Information to Include in Your Business Plan


Benjamin Franklin said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This is especially true when business planning. A business plan will be the road map that you follow as you create and grow your business. Central to the plan is the operational information that will link all of the parts together and transform your idea into a viable business.

Components of a Business Plan

Before focusing on one part of the business plan, it is important to understand all of the pieces that make up a good plan because they are all interrelated. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a typical business plan will have an executive summary, company description, market analysis and marketing methodology, management, services or product, and a financial projection. Each of these parts is dependent on information from other parts. For example, financial projections will influence the speed of manufacturing and vice versa. If you can only make 10 items a day, you either need to have a high price point or a low financial projection.

Start With the Market

There are several theories for developing a price structure, but the easiest is to set your price comparable to that of the industry average. Once you have your unit prices for products or services, you will multiply this by the number that you can make in a month to get your monthly revenue. Conversely, if you know how much you want to make per month, you can divide this by your unit cost to get the number for production in the month. Since all of your financial analysis comes from revenue and revenue comes from service or product delivery, this is the first important piece of operational information that you will need.

Know the Competition

Your competition will be one of your primary operational drivers. Do not look at them as an enemy. Instead, see competitors as businesses that have already achieved a market share and use them as a model of success. Most successful manufacturing companies have their pertinent information online. For example, Apple Rubber has material guides for its o-rings posted on its site. Assimilate this data into your operational plans instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

Develop Flowcharts

There are a lot of moving parts to any business. It is one of the reasons that you want to plan it out. To truly understand the minutia of your operations, use a flowchart and plan out every element of the process from concept to delivery of products. Since one of the reasons for a business plan is to prove competency to an investor, the operations flowchart should be done with extreme detail. The ordering of supplies, quality assurance and distribution all need to make an appearance. If this is for a sole employee business, then the flowchart needs to show all of your activities, including marketing, accounting and service delivery.

The Cost of Space

The space needed to run your operation is directly influenced by the business structure, type of business and number of employees. This information also flows into your financial analysis as the purchase of a building will change the structure of your assets. Decide whether to purchase or lease and do not forget to include various fees associated with real estate. Weave all of this information throughout your plan so that it gives the most guidance possible for you and your business.


About the Author:

Paul Reyes-Fournier has served as the chief financial officer for social service organizations, churches and schools. He created his ownmarketing firm, RF Media. Paul holds a BS in physics and an MBA.


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

Honorees Announced for the 2016 Marketing Hall of Femme!

Direct Marketing News is honored to announce the 2016 Honorees to the Marketing Hall of Femme! These incredible women have storied careers, take risks, and push the industry and their companies forward with their edgy marketing strategies. On April 8, 2016, we’re celebrating all of their outstanding achievements and more.

New this year, the event features a Leadership Summit in addition to the Awards Luncheon. Attendees will meet the 2016 Leading Ladies, hear the first-person narratives behind their success stories, and attend educational sessions that explore the challenging yet rewarding roles of female leaders in the marketing industry today.

Introducing 2016’s most influential women in marketing:

marketing2 marketing marketing3

Learn more about the inspirational event that is the Marketing Hall of Femme:
Click here to read about previous years’ honorees and keynote speakers, view video interviews, and more.

My POV: Of course it would be to say that we need more women in technology. That’s it. I will keep it simple. And to congratulation all the amazing women named here and that work in the world of technology every day! You are my heros.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences

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


Adobe’s Marketing Cloud Shows How Super Bowl Can Be a Gamble in New Campaign

Yes, the Superbowl has passed, but I couldn’t pass up this story. In a new campaign called “The Gambler,” Adobe’s Marketing Cloud showed how advertising in the Super Bowl can be a big bet for CMOs. You can watch the clip here:

What’s the Video About? The TV and video campaign, created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and directed by feature film director J.C. Chandor, opens with two men sitting at a dive bar watching the Super Bowl on TV. One of the men is a nervous-looking businessman in a suit, and the other is a street-wise gambler.

“How much you in for?” asks the gambler, assuming the businessman is betting on the game. When the CMO answers “$4 million,” the gambler is stunned.

“And the scariest part is, it’s not even my money. There are going to be a lot of unhappy people if this doesn’t pay off,” the CMO says.

He’s talking about his 30-second TV ad, of course, for his cream cheese brand. And when it does not go over well, the gambler buys the CMO a drink.

The ad ends with the question, “Do you know what your marketing is doing?”

So What’s the Point of the Ad? “The ad tells the story of a CMO who didn’t look at the data, and is hoping that one big ad for his cream cheese company will do something amazing — but the odds are it won’t work out that way for him,” said Alex Amado, VP-experience marketing at Adobe. “Brands that don’t take that data into account are gambling with their company’s money.”

The ad is the latest in a series of humorous spots for Adobe Marketing Cloud — including its 2013 “Click Baby, Click” and last year’s “Mean Streets” — which show what can happen when CMOs don’t know what their marketing dollars are doing.

So What Is Adobe Marketing Cloud Video Really About? The Data! Adobe, which has never bought an ad in the Super Bowl, decided to capitalize on this “moment in time” in which marketers are thinking about advertising, Mr. Amado said. “We are absolutely not anti-TV advertising — we are pro-data,” he said.

In fact, Adobe is running the spot on late-night TV shows including “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Saturday Night Live” the night before the Super Bowl.

But it’s focusing a large portion of its media buy on a targeted video campaign, which launches today, on sites geared toward marketers with an interest in the Super Bowl, including USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter and CBS News’ 50 Greatest Super Bowl commercials.

“The biggest place we’re advertising is in the spaces that host conversations around the Super Bowl,” Mr. Amado said. “It’s a great place to reinforce our message about Adobe Marketing Cloud and being data-driven.”

The campaign also includes a large social media effort, including paid advertising on Twitter and LinkedIn. “LinkedIn works really well for us from a b-to-b perspective, because we can target our key audience — marketers — by their titles,” Mr. Amado said.

My POV: This was an interesting way to make the point that this ain’t your grandpa’s marketing anymore. It takes a lot more sophistication and data is definitely part of the game. So my point is you have to be on the field to even begin playing the game. So get on the field, come to love data and win with it. You’ll be glad you did when you start to see your campaign bring in a winning steak.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing Cloud Applications and Analytics That Drive Better Business Results

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

The 2016 Marketing&Tech Innovation Awards

DMN and The Hub have combined forces this year to present the Marketing&Tech Innovation Awards, which honor the most innovative strategies, platforms, and people in marketing today. I was thrilled to be a judge in this year’s selection. The winners will be announced on March 10th, but take a peek at the finalists below and let me know who you think should win!


Case Study Categories

Analytics Innovation

Sales Predictions Using Social Conversations

Experian Marketing Services and Golfsmith
Analytics for the Holidays

Grapeshot and Sawyer Studios
Lila & Eve

Connected Attribution Solution

Visual IQ and BuildDirect
Marketing Attribution Solution Implementation

Content Marketing Innovation

One Day Pay
How Scalable UGC Video Content Catapulted Crest Pro-Health HD to #1

New York International Auto Show
Virtual Tour

Stein IAS
The Digital Marketing Maturity Campaign

Verifone Media and Aria Resort & Casino
Verifone Media helps Aria Resort & Casino Enhance Tourist Engagement on the Vegas Strip

Email Marketing Innovation

Experian Marketing Services and Finish Line
Finish Line: College Fleece Program

Experian Marketing Services and Delta Air Lines
Delta’s Flight Cycle Program

Merkle and Samsung
SUHD Product Launch

Merkle and Marriott
Marriott Drives App Engagement Through Email

netCORE Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Reliance Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Connecting the Dots and Humanizing Email Experience See Faster Email-to-Sale Conversions

Mobile innovation

Event Marketing Strategies and Nationwide
Nationwide: Make Safe Happen Safety Experience

Mobile Ad Fraud Study – Mobile Device Hijacking

Harte Hanks and Samsung Mobile
Samsung Note 4 Product Launch with Harte Hanks  

Stein IAS and Key Technology
Mobile Virtual Reality Experience

Omnichannel marketing innovation

Experian Marketing Services and American Eagle Outfitters
Reserve, Try and Buy: An Omnichannel Shopping Experience


RedPoint Global and Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Xanterra Parks & Resorts – A Journey to One-to-One Marketing Excellence

Belk Inc., iCrossing, and Kenshoo
Driving Triple-Digit Increase in Conversion Rates

WIT Strategy and Selligent and Extra Space Storage
Selligent/Extra Space Storage

Social innovation

Grey Global Group and Volvo Cars North America
Volvo Interception

#Trending: Raising the Bar on Cross-Channel Social Media Coverage for Events

Plat4orm PR and Metia
Microsoft in Health

Principal Financial Group
See Your Retirement

W2O Group
Nothing can be perfect

Platform Categories

Most Innovative Analytics Platform

Brandwatch Analytics

Experian Marketing Services
The Intelligence Manager of the Experian Marketing Suite

Fluid PR, Inc.

Citizens Big Data Platform

Origami Logic
Marketing Signal Measurement Platform

Most Innovative Customer Experience Management Platform

MaritzCX Platform

Epsilon’s Agility Loyalty


The Kitewheel Customer Journey Hub

Qubit Visitor Cloud

Most Innovative Integrated Marketing Suite

Act-On Software

Blanc & Otus
Oracle Marketing Cloud

Blueshift Segment-of-One Marketing Automation

Experian Marketing Services
The Experian Marketing Suite

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Personalize and Optimize 1:1 Customer Journeys

Most Innovative Mobile Marketing Platform


Comunicano, Inc.
FollowAnaytics’ Enterprise Mobile Analytics Platform

The HookLogic Platform: Powering Mobile Ads with Attribution Data, Anti-Ad Blocking, and Awesome Results


Swirl Networks, Inc.
Swirl Network’s Beacon Marketing Solution

Most Innovative Social Media Platform

500px, photo sharing’s underdog, swings big in 2015

Sprout Social

Tracx Social Business Cloud

Stars of Martech Categories

Content Marketing Scribe
Cassandra Jowett, Senior Content Marketing Manager, Influitive

Craig Vore, Insights Manager, Strategy & Optimization, Outsell

Denice Surjan, Senior Marketing Manager, Experian Marketing Services

Dr. Maruthi Viswanathan, Managing Director, RxPrism Health Systems

Steve Sachs, CEO, OneSpot

Data Scientist

Christopher S. Penn, Vice President of Marketing Technology, SHIFT Communications

Jonathan Smalletz, Lead Analyst, Merkle

Stacey Hawes, Senior Vice President, Data Solutions, Epsilon

Digital Ace

Chad Blodgett, Senior Vice President of omnichannel, Rakuten Marketing

Tuomas Peltoniemi, President, Asia, Digital Arts Network


Marketing Technologist

Emad Georgy, SVP & Global Head of Software Development & Product, Experian Marketing Services

Francis Wallinger, Chairman, Alchemetrics Ltd

Gwendolyn Lefevre, Vice President, Marketing Operations & Digital Marketing, Bottomline Technologies

Programmatic Prognosticator

Amy Good, Adaptive Media Investment & Technology Lead, Nestle Purina Pet Care

Lewis Gersh, CEO, Founder and Chairman, PebblePost

Victor Wong, CEO and cofounder, PaperG

Social Strategist

Michael Rusten Gabriel, Marketing Manager, Envision Creative Group

Stephanie Capouch, Social Media Manager, WP Engine


For more information about the finalists and the event, click here.


@Drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-facing Customer Experience Capabilities – People, Process and Technology


Tech Startup RevJet Reveals World’s First Creative Side Platform (CSP)

One way to enter the marketplace is to do all your development stealth-style and then announce to the world what you have created. And that, in fact is what RevJet, a tech start-up has done. Atter a year of confidential development, the marketing technology corporation revealed the first-of-its-kind Creative Side Platform (CSP), which extends it’s marketing technology to incorporate the ad creatives that undergird the world’s annual $500 billion media spend directly under the real-time control of marketing departments and their creative agencies.

So What Does This Mean to You? With the CSP, marketers and their creative agencies can now effortlessly construct, view, serve, measure, and automatically optimize all their ad creatives for all their media buys across all formats — including mobile, social, video and programmatic ad campaigns — all from a single platform.

What Type of Results Are Companies that use RevJet Experiencing?

In its first few weeks operating on the RevJet CSP, Microsoft rapidly achieved 100+% performance improvements across diverse digital ad campaigns via dozens of rounds of effortless, automatically optimizing ad creative experiments.

For years, I’ve preached to my team that we must always be experimenting with ad creatives, but we’ve never had anything like the RevJet CSP to make it happen,” said Grad Conn, CMO lead for Microsoft’s Centralized Marketing Organization. “Their CSP is the first truly comprehensive ad creative platform built to facilitate effortless creative experimentation at its very core. We’re quickly adapting to life on the CSP and are thrilled to onboard four of our creative agencies and two DSPs.

What’s Different about RevJet? The RevJet CSP is the first and only comprehensive platform designed to enable continuous, automated, high-velocity ad creative experimentation and drive perpetual performance improvement for ad creatives of any format. The underlying CSP technology is already battle-tested in the marketplace, having propelled LifeStreet Media to a $100+ million exit and a market leadership position amongst Facebook app developers.

RevJet empowers marketers to automatically optimize the creative send to specific audiences in real time across channels and media. As ad tech and marketing tech converge, a platform like RevJet could be used with the whole content marketing process. For Marketers who choose this, it could give them differentiating capability  compared to the competition. In addition, brands that building marketing cloud solutions should consider RevJet a potential differentiator.

Who is Backing RevJet? Nautic Partners, the Providence-based private equity firm, announced its $66  million LifeStreet investment in 2012, and in October 2014 announced a technology spinoff along with plans to launch RevJet as a standalone marketing technology startup. RevJet is backed by $2.5 billion private equity firm Nautic Partners.

And a Word From the Founder and CEO “Our CSP is purpose-built to extend marketing technology’s reach, finally unlocking the $500 billion dollars’ worth of pent-up value trapped within the world’s ad creatives,” said Mitchell Weisman, RevJet founder and CEO. “Tapping into this massive value is only possible by scalably increasing the performance of ad creatives across all devices and formats.  Having already used the core CSP technology to build and sell a leading media company for over $100 million, we’re confident the CSP can drive the world’s media spend to go 2x to 3x further.

Want to Learn More? RevJet CEO Mitchell Weisman and Microsoft’s Diana Choksey will be speaking about the future of creative and tech at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Austin this coming Tuesday, October 27th. Learn more here.

My POV: What’s really interesting is the convergence of technology, as well as silo functional departments in brands. Perhaps software will be the driving force to get departments that don’t always collaborate to do so. Another example of how corporate politics should be a white collar crime – i.e., not collaborating. But the digital disruption is driving more than changes to technology; it’s affecting people, process and technology.

@DrNatatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research


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.

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

Buyer’s Guide for Customer Success Management: Gainsight I’m in the process of writing profiles of vendors in the customer success management industry. These vendor profiles are a tool for buyers to evaluate their customer success management options before selecting a vendor. In addition to an overview of the vendor, these documents identify key differentiators, product offerings, and provide a number of features that should help a client create short list when determining which vendor to put on out an RFI or RFP.  So far, I have also covered ServiceSource® and Totango

This post is about Gainsight. If you’d like a peek at the table of contents for this report and an excerpt, along with the full report, you can find it here.

What Does Gainsight Do? Gainsight is one of the leading vendors of Customer Success Management (CSM) software. Founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 2009, Gainsight’s headquarters are now in Redwood City, California. Nick Mehta is the chief executive officer (CEO). As a customer success technology company, Gainsight helps companies manage their customer relationships while driving retention, upsell opportunities and organizational efficiency. The company has nearly $6 million in annual revenue and has raised $54 million in venture funding.

How Does Gainsight Help Companies? Gainsight helps businesses grow faster by reducing customer churn, increasing upsell opportunities, and driving customer advocacy. Gainsight’s cloud-based product helps its clients track customers effectively throughout the customer lifecycle, monitors customer health consistently and makes companies truly customer-centric. Gainsight does this by providing a 360-degree view of customers to people in customer success, sales, marketing, product management and executive offices.

Today, cloud businesses have unprecedented visibility and data on customers that can be harnessed with a customer success management platform. This opens up new opportunities and smarter ways to connect and engage with customers to maximize revenue and to determine what customers need and want so they remain loyal and provide high customer lifetime values.

Why has Customer Success Management Become So Important?

Before the opt-in economy, many businesses were focused on the initial sale. A great deal of money was spent advertising and marketing to potential prospects, enticing them to convert from a lead to a sale. However, little attention was paid to the after-sale experience and financial longevity of the client, even though poor customer experiences and churn still exist today after decades of research showing that after-sales service directly affects the financial stability of a company. In fact, it never made sense for companies to spend millions, or in some cases, billions of dollars in advertising, marketing and sales to then drive the customer to a competitor when the after-sales service experience is horrible. Yet poor after-sales service occurs every single day in many, many companies.

How Does Customer Success Management Affect the Customer Experience? Customer Success Management (CSM) is based on the ability to deliver a consistent customer experience process – before, during, and in particular, after the sale – which results in maximized customer lifetime value and enhanced revenue that leads to increased margins and profits.

A shift to CSM happened because we live in a continuous, opt-in economy, where the value of customers is determined by how long they stay customers and if they continue to increase their purchase amounts over time. Because of our opt-in economy, companies must prepare themselves to deliver great, continuous and consistent customer experiences. Here’s five things to consider when looking at master Customer Success Management:

5 Areas for Customer Success Management

This seismic shift to a post-sale, on demand, attention economy transforms the value exchange among customers, partners, suppliers, and brands. And as organizations move to digital business models, CSM plays a critical role in enabling brands and organizations to keep and deliver their brand promise as well as enhance their bottom line.

My POV: How To Know When Vendor To Choose for Customer Success Management? When choosing the best option for CSM software for your organization, the choice will depend on the business goals of CSM initiatives, the degree to which CSM has been integrated into your culture and how well employees have adopted this mindset. It may be that some organizations will be further along the adoption cycle, while others will need internal champions to encourage and enforce the use of customer success software, processes and best practices.

Are you considering customer success management? It’s time to make sure the customer is happy with the product they buy, after the sales process.

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research