Remembering Raymond Tomlinson: Email Trailblazer

Raymond Tomlinson is noted for establishing person-to-person email as we know it. He was the one that allowed people to send emails to users on other computers by choosing the @ symbol. He considered an obscure keyboard character — the @ symbol —  to separate usernames from email hosts. Tomlinson came up with the idea while working for Bolt Beranek and Newman, the software company that developed the Internet precursor ARPANET, in 1971. He passed away died Saturday at age 74.

Tomlinson said in a 2012 profile in Wired, said “I looked at the keyboard, and I thought: ‘What can I choose here that won’t be confused with a username? They were all test messages, and whatever came to hand as I put my fingers on the keyboard is what I would send.”

The innovation earned him a place in the Internet Hall of Fame earlier in 2012.The Hall of Fame wrote when he was inducted, “Tomlinson’s email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate, including the way businesses, from huge corporations to tiny mom-and-pop shops, operate and the way millions of people shop, bank, and keep in touch with friends and family, whether they are across town or across oceans.”

There have been many articles on email is dead. But from my experience, most people in corporate America still use email. Today, tens of millions of email-enabled devices are in use every day. Email remains the most popular application, with over a billion and a half users spanning the globe and communicating across the traditional barriers of time and space.

What’s your thoughts on email? Is it hear to stay or not?

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences
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Is Email Dead Or Very Much Alive in Our Work and Play?

Some people say email is dead. Other’s know it’s not because they spend over half their day checking and responding to email. To find out how prevalent email is in our work and play life, Adobe did a study to explore how present email is in our “always on” world and to understand the opportunity their is to take this proven channel to the next level with digital marketing. To read more about the study, click hereScreen Shot 2015-09-01 at 3.29.40 PM.Who Did Adobe Survey? Adobe surveyed of 400 U.S. white-collar workers and asked about their use of personal and work email. They complemented this by surveying marketers and using Adobe Digital Index (ADI) resources to answer questions about email marketing and its impact in the cross-channel environment. Adobe surveyed marketers to answer the question about email marketing and its impact in the cross-channel environment, the following reveals some of those preliminary findings.

What Did the Study Reveal?

  • 9 out of 10 consumers constantly check their personal email from work and their work email at home; on average they spend nearly six and a half hours each weekday on email.
  • Respondents reported commonly checking their email while engaging in other tasks such as watching TV/movies (70%), while in bed (52%), vacationing (50%), talking on the phone (43%), using the bathroom (42%), while driving (18%).
  • 58% of respondents say that email is their preferred way to be contacted by a brand, however, consumers want fewer emails (39%) and fewer repetitive emails from brands to make email offers less annoying/intrusive (32%).  This suggests the customer experiences – especially on mobile – ought to be top-of-mind for marketers.
  • More than one-third of respondents (34%) said they have created new email addresses to get away from spam messages, so relevance and personalization are increasingly important.
  • Almost half of the respondents said they think their use of email in both work and personal communications will increase over the next two years.
  • Surprisingly, Millennial consumers are even more email-dependent than the average adult. This is likely due to their mobile use; 88% of Millennials check email on smartphones, compared to 76% who use desktop or laptop computers.

MY POV: eMail is not dead. These results suggest that there is an opportunity for email as a key channel in a cross channel strategy – with relevance and personalization as guiding principles for effective email marketers.  Email marketing is at its maximum effectiveness when it’s fully integrated across all phases of the campaign strategy.

It may seem as though marketers generally play down the significance of email early in the campaigns, but the data needed to mount an effective email campaign is being collected during research and consideration phases of customer engagement. Then, as marketers follow the customer through acquisition, conversion and retention, email can kick into action to exercise its impact and power. While it can be very confusing to keep up with all the various channels, email still seems to be a very relevant one, when used wisely.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

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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

 

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How Retailers Can Optimize Their Holiday Shopping ROI

Who Shops When

While one third of all consumers do their Christmas shopping ten days before Christmas it’s not a good idea for retailers to wait this long to start their holiday marketing strategy. After all, retailers earn around 20 percent of their profits between Late November and December. In order to take full advantage of shoppers’ buying behaviors during the holidays, it’s important for you to fully optimize your holiday shopping ROI.

When and What to Promote

As with all aspects of marketing, the most important part is to know and understand holiday shopping behavior. You can separate holiday shoppers into three categories:

Early Shoppers – Many shoppers fall into this category, most likely because of Black Friday. These shoppers will purchase their gifts at least one month in advance.
Average Shoppers– These consumers purchase the majority of their gifts during the first two weeks of December. Interestingly, these shoppers make up only 21 percent of the holiday shopper demographic.
Late Shoppers – The second highest demographic, these shoppers wait until the last week to make their purchases.

What to Put on Sale

If you want to appeal to all three groups, you should already have come up with a promotional plan earlier on in the year and have it ready to launch by Thanksgiving for best results. When deciding what to put on sale you should consider the following:

● Items that are overstocked
● Items with the best profit margins
● Items in great demand

More importantly, you should keep in mind that your promotions should keep your current customers happy and attract new ones. Marking off your cheapest items might attract bargain hunters, but they are unlikely to stick around holidays and convert into regular consumers. If you use your market research and consumer profile to find the perfect items to put on sale you will be able to increase your revenue overall for the following years.

How to Promote Your Products and Services

Brick and Mortar Stores

While brick-and-mortar stores still have their place during the holiday season, more consumers are turning to the Internet for all of their shopping needs. This means that your holiday promotion should extend to your online presence as well. Adding simple things like holiday promo images or holiday sales tab on your website can significantly increase your sales. As well, if you don’t already have a mobile strategy, now is the time to implement one. After all, 66 percent of tablet owners and 76 of smartphone owners will make holiday purchases.

Website Optimization

While your website might be command a majority of our attention, it’s important that you don’t neglect social media. Traditional advertising doesn’t have the same effect it used to. Today more people trust social media recommendations from their friends and family over commercials and ads. One of the best ways to get some easy shares and likes is to use the various social ads available on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can easily target your exact demographic and the more people who like your ad, the better your chances of making some sales. For increased visibility you can also host a some holiday themed contests and giveaways.

Email Lists

Your email list is another great way to generate more interest and revenues. While it might seem spammy to send out Christmas sale emails, remember that those who signed up for your newsletters are directly interested in your product. So long as you don’t flood their inboxes with emails, you’ll likely see a higher open and click through rate during this season. Of course, you still need to make sure your email is designed well and has a strong call-to-action for the products you choose to display. Your email should showcase your products and sale items immediately upon opening to capture your reader’s attention.

Don’t Let the Holidays Sneak up on You: Start Your SEO Strategy 3 Months Prior To Holiday Shopping

Pulling off a successful holiday marketing campaign doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you plan your strategy in advance. You should map out your plan at least 4 months before the holidays and start on your SEO strategy at least 3 months prior to your actual holiday promotions. Once you have everything in place, all you need to do is roll out the plan and make small tweaks as necessary and you and your consumers can have a happy and festive holiday season.

Guest Blog Post by: Ivan Serrano

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Brands Are Listening, But They’re Not Hearing: The 7 Keys to Increasing Engagement

I told you a little bit about the workshop I’m hosting for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk coming up in March…here’s more info to get you excited!

Studies show Marketers, PR Professionals and Social Media/ Digital Experts are measured on increasing engagement. Engagement is often evaluated with fluffy metrics or “Likes.” Content is what people share and hence, it’s what drives engagement. What brands don’t have a good handle on is how their content ranks amongst their competitors in driving engagement.

So with the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars spent on content and engagement tactics in social media and digital marketing, brands and agencies are flying blind. Many typically use social monitoring/listening tools to monitor social media interactions. However,  these traditional tools don’t provide a clear, competitive standing on how engagement and content performance stack up against other top brands.

As marketers become publishers, they need to move beyond social listening tools and advance to competitive industry reports that provide insight into their rivals’ positioning in social engagement. These reports are guideposts not only for smart executives who want to know where their brand stands, but also for those who want to learn how to improve their brand’s engagement and content performance for a higher social media ROI. Join me as I provide practical tips and guidance via my “7 Steps to Social Media Engagement ROI” based on best practices from my UCLA Anderson School of Business Executive Program.

When: March 14th, 10:15 AM

Where: At your desk! Really! Register here.

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
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Join me for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk, March 14th

Starting at 10:15 AM on March 14th, I’ll be presenting “Reboot Your Marketing Plan with Smart Data – for Email, Social Media and Beyond!” I’ll demonstrate how data and social media interactions can  seriously increase ROI, including loyalty, brand advocacy and referrals.

Here’s a little more about Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk:

The Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk Virtual Conference & Expo, brought to you by Direct Marketing IQ and Target Marketing, is a one-stop shop where you can find the information you need to reach more people and serve them better, to market more effectively, and to increase revenue — all online.

Peggy Hatch, Group President and Publishing Director of DMIQ and Thorin McGee, editor-in-chief of Target Marketing, are masters of direct marketing strategy. Peggy, Thorin, and the teams at DMIQ and Target Marketing have gathered a team of direct marketing professionals who represent the freshest thinkers in the industry today for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk — a one-day virtual event for direct marketers.

DMIQ’s mission is to give marketers practical tips and strategies for profitable direct mail marketing, thanks to research and trends discovered in our extensive Who’s Mailing What archive, the world’s largest library of direct mail. In addition to our website, DMIQ also offers a weekly newsletter that offers case studies and unparalleled insight on the trends, tests and controls of what’s working in direct mail.

Target Marketing publishes both a monthly magazine and a daily newsletter, delivering hands-on, how-to-do-it editorial that gives you the tools you need to effectively develop, execute, and evaluate your direct marketing efforts. Whether it’s direct mail, telemarketing, or websites, you’ll get the ideas and insight you need to help you and your company market smarter and more profitably.

 

Looking to sign up for my roundtable? Just click here! I hope to “see” you there!

Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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LIVEOPS Engage Press Announcement

LiveOps® Engage™ is the industry’s first single, integrated, multichannel desktop, built with both the agent and the customer in mind. LiveOps Engage simplifies the user experience to increase agent productivity and improve customer experience across all channels on a single screen: phone, email, live chat, SMS, Twitter, and Facebook.

Inspired by modern web design, LiveOps Engage is a browser-based cloud application that’s available at no additional cost to customers of the LiveOps Platform. The contemporary design, color palettes and typography of LiveOps Engage create a highly intuitive user interface that’s easy to learn and use. Agents using LiveOps Engage need less time and fewer clicks to complete the most common functions, since everything is contained in a single, integrated agent desktop.

Results of a recent survey of traditional multichannel agents indicate that the use of LiveOps Engage creates the potential for agent productivity gains, efficiencies and cost savings including:

  • 25% to 50% increase in agent productivity
  • 25% to 50% increase in agent “happiness”
  • 25% overall cost savings
  • Improved first call resolution
  • Reduced average interaction handle time
  • Reduced customer churn
  • Increased Customer Lifetime Value

“LiveOps Engage is very appealing. The look and feel is clean and a lot less cluttered than the user interfaces that many other vendors are showing,” observed Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research. “It masks many of the unavoidable complexities and lets the agents focus on what’s most important without having to spend time toggling between multiple applications and browsers.”

Industry experts estimate that the time delays created for agents by disconnected applications can cost companies more than $5,000 per year in unnecessary spend per agent. These delays also lead to inconsistent service across communications channels and ultimately a fragmented brand experience for the consumer. Contact center agents are critical brand ambassadors, but they are often not empowered with the right tools they need to effectively manage their work flow or track customer engagement across an increasing number of channels.

“Agent experience is directly linked to delivering superior customer care across multiple channels. As such, it’s imperative that businesses focus on empowering their agents with tools that help them easily access unified multichannel information,” said Omer Minkara, Research Analyst, Contact Center and Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group.”Best-in-Class organizations enable agents with the ability to handle multi-channel customer interactions through a unified agent desktop on a single screen. These unified agent desktop tools, such as those provided by LiveOps, enable increased agent productivity and improve customer satisfaction results by 39.9% year-over-year.”

Whether the customer initiates a phone call, email, chat session, SMS, Facebook post or Tweet, the message and phone panels in LiveOps Engage are integrated within a single screen. This single screen integration enables agents to receive a 360 degree view of the customer to ensure that the most relevant information is seen at the right time alongside a history of past interaction. Plus, the integrated user interface of LiveOps Engage helps agents to quickly and easily respond to customers in the channel the customer prefers, or seamlessly pivot to the channel best suited to resolve the customer’s issue. This empowers agents to resolve customer inquiries faster and with greater accuracy, and can improve customer satisfaction.

As a company with more than 10 years of experience running the world’s largest cloud customer service contact center, LiveOps knows how agents work and how their performances are measured. This unparalleled expertise has shaped the vision at LiveOps that the future of customer service hinges on brands not only having a complete view of their customer and their interaction history in one place, but also the ability to pivot customer interactions across multiple channels in one application.

“There is little doubt that for customer support operations to improve performance in today’s complex environment, a unified agent desktop is an essential tool. It improves the customer experience, increases accuracy, supports more personalized interactions and reduces processing time,” said Elizabeth Harrell, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. “LiveOps demonstrates solid innovation in this area that will attract more customers and help sustain its strong year-over-year growth in cloud customer service.”

“At LiveOps we have a saying: ‘the agent experience creates the customer experience.’ It really is that simple,” said Kieron Lawson, Chief Technology Officer of Applications, LiveOps. “Driving agent productivity and efficiency are still the foundation of any contact center. LiveOps Engage lets today’s Internet-savvy agents interact with customers on their channels of choice, with a user experience that’s as simple as any other consumer application. By providing agents with a 360 degree customer view and all the tools they need to manage both social and private channels in a single desktop, they are more productive, more efficient, and ultimately provide better customer service. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most to contact center decision makers.”

About LiveOps

LiveOps is the global leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions. More than 300 companies around the world, including Salesforce.com, Symantec, Royal Mail Group, and Amway New Zealand trust LiveOps’ technology to enable effective multichannel, social and mobile interactions with their customers. LiveOps’ award-winning platform has processed more than 1 Billion minutes of customer interactions and managed operations for the largest US-based cloud contact center of 20,000 home-based, independent agents. With 10+ years of cloud experience LiveOps is the partner of choice for companies wanting to migrate to the cloud. Headquartered in Redwood City, California with European regional headquarters in London, UK, LiveOps supports a wide range of industries including financial, health care, insurance, retail, and high tech. For more information visit www.LiveOps.com.
Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
@drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

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