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Ginger Conlon | December 29, 2006
“You can undo good work so quickly if you don’t balance your channels.” Mark Selcow pointed out this unfortunate truth yesterday when we were discussing the importance of having a consistent customer experience across channels. Selcow is president of Merced Systems, a performance management vendor focused on the contact center—for now. Merced has begun expanding into other areas of its customers’ organizations (field service and installation, back office, retail channel), courtesy of those customers. It’s not alone. Witness Systems is Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 28, 2006
Walker Information just released its 2007 The Walker Loyalty Report for Online Retail, which reveals what it found to be the eight websites that garner the most loyalty. One thing I thought was interesting about the findings is that offline brand awareness doesn’t always translate into online sales or loyalty. Read more »
John Gaffney | December 27, 2006
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that I buy into Time Magazine's choice of "me" as the 2006 "Person of the Year." If you haven't seen it, the media behemoth overlooked Al Gore, George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the person who "for better or worse" affected the news in 2006. It chose instead, everyone who gets onto blogs, social media sites and product review boards as that person. I think the choice is a complete copout personally, but Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 22, 2006
Yesterday in my blog entry, Redefining the C in First Call Resolution, I discussed how to overcome the six main barriers to first contact resolution, based on a conversation I had with Rob McDougall, president of Upstream Works. During that call, McDougall made another great point: Companies need to measure first contact resolution – not just in terms of the pure numbers of closed cases, but also in terms of why callbacks are happening. This is especially important because understanding Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 21, 2006
First call resolution is a favorite metric of many customer service leaders. But in today’s multichannel environment, first contact resolution is fast becoming a more fitting moniker. This thought hit home for me during a recent call I had with Rob McDougall, president of Upstream Works. We were discussing the six main barriers to first call (er, contact…) resolution and how to overcome them. We also discussed what first contact resolution actually means. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 20, 2006
In a feature article that I wrote in the May/June issue of 1to1 Magazine, I quoted a Delta Air Lines financial report as reading, “Unless we change our direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed.” Seems like Delta is sticking to that proverb. Delta yesterday announced that it rejected U.S. Airways $8.3 billion hostile takeover bid. Instead Delta outlined a five-year reorganization plan. In the plan, the airline lists US Airways as being a “poor strategic fit” and Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | December 19, 2006
Word-of-mouth marketing is certainly a hot trend. It's growing to the point where complex strategies and programs have been put in place to make them happen. But with growth comes the potential for misuse. So last week the FTC ruled that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | December 18, 2006
Today's 1to1 Weekly article, "Amazon Sets Customer Service Standard," highlights a new customer service study from the National Retail Federation. At the top of the list for customer satisfaction are, Nordstrom, and L.L. Bean. It's interesting that the top three companies are also some of the top 1to1 brands out there. Two of these three companies don't even have a physical store, but their commitment to individual service and MVC treatment have propelled them to the top of the Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 15, 2006
How’s that for a burning question? The desire to know what drives customer loyalty is definitely one issue that keeps many marketers awake at night. I was curious to know how various industry insiders – from loyalty experts to marketing and service practitioners – would answer that question, so I asked: Of the many elements that organizations might consider a signifier of customer loyalty, which is the most important and why? And then I collected the responses and put them Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 13, 2006
Social media is fast becoming the “it” online activity. Oh sure, it’s been around for ages. But with new technologies and marketers’ enthusiasm, its burgeoning role as a hotbed of advocates and influencers is undeniable. So, then, what sites are doing it well? Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 13, 2006
Consumers can buy most anything online today, so why not Christmas trees too? The New York Times this week reported that last year 200,000 to 500,000 Christmas trees were bought online. Many of the 60 U.S. growers that sell trees online are expanding their e-commerce capacity to accommodate what they expect to be a growing number of time-pressed consumers this holiday season who plan to order trees online. Similar to purchasing a book from Amazon, the tree is packaged and Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | December 12, 2006
For the first holiday sales season on record, gift cards are expected to sell better than gifts of toys, games, music and movies, according to the 2006 American Express Gift Card survey of 1,013 shoppers. Two-thirds (66%) of shoppers plan to purchase them this year, up from 57% in 2005 and 55% in 2004, according to the survey. It's a great experience for purchasers and redeemers alike, and with a smart strategy, it could be a great interaction experience for Read more »
John Gaffney | December 10, 2006
Jimi Hendrix was famous for asking that question. I think a lot of companies could profit from the same inquisition. As raised in our 1to1 Weekly story, the question of customer experience and its importance cannot be overstated. The mistake too many compannies make is in equating the customer experience with the retail experience. Big mistake. The customer experience is not just transactional. It is interactional. Every time a customer experiences the brand message, media, employees, contect center and even Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 8, 2006
Sales professionals in B2B environments, as well as in some retail environments, often specialized in the kinds of relationship building activities that are integral to fostering long-term, high value “partnerships” with customers. Does it get more one-to-one than that? Yes. Sprinkle a bit of technology into the mix and salespeople get a powerful tool to accrue and share information not just among their peers, but also with other departments in their organization that have information integral to the sales process Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 7, 2006
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending a launch event for Circuit City’s Firedog services group. The retailer has been taking direct steps to battle behemoth competitor Best Buy, including creating Firedog and hiring Samsung’s Peter Weedfald as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Not surprisingly, Weedfald dove right into the fray and brought his passion for customer and community to bear on the challenge. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | December 6, 2006
On a visit last week to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, I was surprised less by the mob scene in front of the tree as I was with the legions of girls gathered across the street and wrapped around a building. The building was American Girl Place—the Saks Fifth Avenue for the popular doll that bears its name. The New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles stores have become the Mecca for young girls to travel to for doll grooming Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | December 5, 2006
The corner office is usually reserved for discussions about financial impact and revenue numbers. Yet more high-level executives are rolling up their sleeves and getting in the muck and mire of customer service. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark told Business 2.0 recently that he spends at least 40 hours per week on customer service, and can't understand why other businesses don't. Read more »
John Gaffney | December 3, 2006
Does mobile marketing have potential? Our 1to1 Weekly story certainly raises a lot of that potential. And you know what they say about the heavy burdens of potential. I think that for mobile marketing to succeed it needs to grow beyond its youth-heavy culture. As it stands now, mobile marketing is a very cool and engaging way to reach kids on their cell phones. It needs to grow into a very convenient way to help organize the lives of adults. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | December 1, 2006
You may have noticed that a few of my recent blog entries (and a couple of my 1to1 Weekly “Reporter’s Notebook” articles) focus on the close connection between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. Among many the presentations I attended recently there was one common thread: You can’t train for attitude, you have to hire it. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 30, 2006
“We’re a ‘yes’ company,” Build-a-Bear Workshop’s Chief Marketing Bear Teresa Kroll said during her keynote presentation at the North American Conference on Customer Management. “If you operate a company in that manner you will succeed. We live it every day.” Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 29, 2006
ComScore Networks, an Internet information provider, reported that online spending during the first 24 days of November reached $8.31 billion, a 23-percent increase versus the same days in 2005. Black Friday saw particularly high online sales—$434 million—up 42 percent versus last year. Shoppers most likely are shifting their purchases online because of retailers’ investments in technology to streamline the shopping experience for added convenience and a less frustrating check-out. Sites are becoming more personalized and user friendly and shoppers are Read more »
John Gaffney | November 27, 2006
Here's why every company needs to have a Chief Customer Officer, as discussed this week's 1to1 Weekly lead. A CCO puts an executive on the credibility case, regardless of what the pressures on that credibility might be. Credibility is different than advocacy. A customer advocate is an employee that acts with a positive customer experience in mind. So everyone should be a customer advocate. But credibility, to me, has to be considered with advertising, branding, images, communication and operations. Is Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 22, 2006
If you’re one of the many consumers who enjoy braving the frenzied crowds of Black Friday simply for the adrenaline rush, then shopping at Best Buy this Friday may not be the best choice. The electronics chain is treating this pivotal shopping day seriously, taking measures to ensure customers will have an easy shopping experience. Last Saturday Best Buy stores nationwide held Black Friday practice rounds with its employees. Starting at 6 a.m., employees in many stores lined up outside Read more »
John Gaffney | November 20, 2006
Maybe it's a little less sexy than the current facination with brand co-creation, but I like the customer focus shown in our 1to1 Weekly story this week. Credit Suisse and American Express may not have a lot of MySpace friends or YouTube videos, but their branding speaks to customers in a language that all the stakeholders undertsand. "One Bank" shows a brand promise and a higher customer goal for Credit Suisse. Involving employees from the top to the bottom at Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 16, 2006
According to Winston Wright, who heads marketing for Nokia’s Experience Centers and its stores, the company’s aim is to create guest-led experiences. “Never assume anything about the customer,” he said during a presentation at NACCM. “You need to ask questions to understand them and to lead them to where they [want] to go.” That is, to find the right product or service to fit their needs. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 16, 2006
When I ask, “What’s Your ‘Good Customer’ Quotient?” I’m not asking how many good customers your company has. What I really want to know is whether you’re a good customer. I just spend a few days at the North American Conference on Customer Management, where the focus was of course on improving the customer experience to drive growth. One of the recurring themes was to hire people who are passionate about delivering stellar service. All the talk about employee behavior Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 15, 2006
In his autobiography, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton wrote, “The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want.” That’s exactly what Wal-Mart is doing this holiday shopping season. After launching a new fashionable apparel line in September called Metro 7, revenues fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts, leaving the chain’s executives to admit they’ve made some mistakes. Retail analysts said Wal-Mart frightened off its core customers—low-income consumers who frequent the store for everyday low prices. Well it Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | November 14, 2006
Yesterday as I was walking through the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, I noticed a kiosk from the Star Tribune newspaper. It allowed people to search for jobs in the classifieds section. At first I was confused as to why this would be in the airport terminal, but then I realized how genius it was. Read more »
John Gaffney | November 13, 2006
I've always held a little facination about airlines. Continental is among those that have managed to make some money and make its customers less miserable than most, as we point out in this week's 1to1 Weekly story. What facinates me, though, is why so many people in the customer strategy business love to talk about airlines. And the reason they do is because consultants use them so much and unfortunately they provide so much material for their presentations. Airlines are Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 10, 2006
Earlier this week I attended the Sage Customer Summit and while there had the pleasure of hearing a keynote presentation by Mrs. Fields Cookies founder Debbie Fields Rose. Not surprisingly for someone who turned a love of baking and sharing cookies into a multimillion-dollar business, Fields’ speech focused on what some might consider the “softer” side of business: offering an experience that makes customers and employees feel valued. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 9, 2006
It’s often been said that customers are a company’s most powerful sales force. So it’s not surprising, then, that marketers are increasingly obsessed with inspiring word of mouth, creating communities, and measure Net Promoter Scores. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 8, 2006
Creating brand awareness is no longer enough for marketers. Creating brand demand by engaging with prospects and creating loyalty is becoming the new paradigm for building profitable growth. At the Ad-Tech New York conference this week marketing pundits toiled with not only the definition of engagement, but with how consumer-generated media is fast becoming the leading mechanism for engagement. No one would argue that social media is fueling a growing number of engaged customers. Ze Frank, founder of, a Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | November 7, 2006
"We should all take more risks in the marketing community," Tim Mahoney, SVP and CMO of Subaru, told last week's Conference Board Marketing Conference audience. That sentiment was also echoed by Carlson Marketing CEO Jim Schroer during his keynote. He explained that many marketers don't take the risks they know they should take because "it's too damn hard." Read more »
John Gaffney | November 5, 2006
Politics, regardless of the progress reported in this week's 1to1 Weekly story, has a long way to go to reach anything like modern times. Face it, we use voting machines that can't even hang with cash registers. We have political campaigns that still rely on trashy ads and pressing the flesh when much more honorable strategies are available. Did I say honorable? Sorry. Back to politics. Political campaigns could cop some easy lessons from customer-centric companies. Stop the telemarketing. Leave Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 3, 2006
There's a lot of buzz about customized multichannel communications, and for good reason. When done right, the results can be staggering. Regent Seven Seas Cruises, for example, mailed personalized letters to past cruisers--complete with a photo of the ship they had last traveled on and suggestions for new destinations based on their known preferences--connecting them with Regent's travel agent partners, and as a result generated a 40 percent lift in the targeted cruises. Nice. And Regent's not alone. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | November 2, 2006
Companies aren’t the only business entities asking customers what they want. Today even musicians are creating customer engagement by asking for feedback. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 1, 2006
Interactive marketing can be challenging because if you’re an international company, you don’t always see every consumer transaction. Event-based marketing, however, provides a way for consumers to experience the brand in person and possibly make a connection with a company, while the company has the chance to build its brand personality. At Brown-Forman Beverages, which distributes a variety of beverages like Fetzer wines and Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, it's known that the brands are more important than the Brown family. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | October 31, 2006
Happy Halloween from 1to1 Media! Every year we celebrate by dressing up as part of a theme. This year we are dressed as 1970s and 1980s TV characters (link to pictures below). Read more »
John Gaffney | October 30, 2006
I see from our 1to1 Weekly story that AOL has stepped up its privacy efforts. Hey, I can be as cynical as the next former AOL customer, but it’s more than hot air as far as I can see. I think AOL CEO Jon Miller is a good man who understands the value of a brand. He’s taken AOL much farther than it really had any business going by leaning on the brand. It has had its business model taken Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 27, 2006
Earlier this week I attended Oracle’s Open World conference, along with about 41,000 customers and partners. The keynote speakers were a heady group of high-tech players, including Oracle President Charles Phillips, Dell Chairman Michael Dell, Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd, and Cisco President and CEO John Chambers. And, of course, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison – but I was off to Vegas for Better Management Live, so missed his presentation. Each took a different approach to their presentations. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 26, 2006
Company executives have gathered customer intelligence from multiple sources for ages: demographic data, survey feedback, and the like have long been mainstays for marketers. But today it is becoming increasingly important to not only look at that data holistically, but also to look further for that insight. Blogs, online communities, contact center interactions, and more reveal information on customers' feelings -- good and bad -- about your products, service, customer experience, staff, and brand image. Mining those channels is a Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 25, 2006
The staff at 1to1 Magazine has been hearing a lot of buzz from readers about Crutchfield’s excellent customer service. Last week, J.D. Power and Associates recognized the audio and car accessory call center operation for customer satisfaction excellence under its Certified Call Center Program. To attain certification, a contact center must meet J.D. Power and Associate’s cross-industry customer satisfaction criteria. This includes evaluation of courtesy, knowledge, concern for the customer, usefulness of the information provided, convenience of operating hours, Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | October 24, 2006
Email is entering into a renaissance as a business tool, but with new opportunities bring new challenges. It's not all about deliverability and the volume of the email list anymore. Creative and qualitative issues now run the show. Bill Nussey, Silverpop CEO, explained that click rates and retention success come down to a creative message presented in a way customers want to receive it. Read more »
John Gaffney | October 23, 2006
I have to admit when you see Business Week, Harvard Business Review, Knowledge @ Wharton and a slew of other respected business publications devoting entire issues to China and Chinese consumers, you start to ask yourself: "When do we get a shot at this?" This week's 1to1 Weekly provides that shot, finally. It's a bit of an underrated facet of the Chinese consumer tiger. That facet is customer loyalty. In the US and EU we tend to think we've invented Read more »
Don Peppers | October 21, 2006
In the October issue of “Treasury & Risk” (before you ask - my UBS broker sent it to me, thinking I would be interested in it, and she was right) the cover article urges CFO’s to pay more attention to customer satisfaction and service, because customer satisfaction is a key to long-term success. One metric the article considers at length is Reichheld’s NPS, or “Net Promoter Score,” which most of you already know boils down to the difference between the Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 20, 2006
I've been blogging sporadically about the information I gathered at the Gartner CRM Summit over the course of the past few weeks because there was so much meat at the event. I filled nearly an entire notepad with data, predictions, and insight gathered at the event that I've been dutifully transcribing since my return from Chicago. Here are some of the highlights of the sessions and one-on-one meetings I enjoyed while at the conference. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 19, 2006
During the DMA 2006 conference in San Francisco, John Greco, president and CEO, of the Direct Marketing Association, called for widespread use of something he’s coined the Three R’s: Results, Responsibility, and Relevance. He said they represent a delicate balance in the power of direct marketing. “Our goal is to build a bridge of trust with consumers,” he told the crowd. But building that trust may be more challenging than we think. Some marketers at the DMA told me about Read more »
John Gaffney | October 18, 2006
In some ways the recent news that Tower Records was finally shutting its doors was not surprising. The record and video businesses have undergone such radical disruptions over the past two years that its survival as a brick-and-mortar operation was dicey at best. I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of entertainment retailing, but I do see some interesting customer strategy trends that have been put in the spotlight by the news at Tower. The first is the Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | October 17, 2006
Virgin Records was originally going to be called Slipped Disc Records. "Can you imagine Slipped Disc Airlines?" CEO Sir Richard Branson joked during yesterday's keynote at the DMA Conference. No one doubts that he has transformed the company into a blockbuster superbrand, but many had their doubts as he entered new and completely different markets. What was he thinking? Read more »
John Gaffney | October 16, 2006
Saying you’re not in favor of protecting customer data and it’s a bit like saying you don’t like mom, apple pie or ROI. Everybody loves these things, but the question as raised in our 1to1 Weekly story, is how far is a company willing to go to protect it? I think there’s more to the technology end here than most executives want to know about. Personally, I don’t get too excited about encryption and kill pills. I do look at Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 13, 2006
Some people who can’t get their digital camera to work solve their problem by throwing it away rather than even going back to the store or calling the 800 number, according to research firm TARP Worldwide. TARP calls this trained hopelessness. In recent conversations with Purdue University’s Mike Trotter and NetBank’s Art Hall, both used the term business karaoke -- referring to companies that talk about being customer centric but don’t actually follow through with customer-focused actions. I thought these Read more »
John Gaffney | October 12, 2006
It's a bit of a dangerous time for marketers. Jim Schroer points that out in our debut issue of The Marketing Xfactor. Fact-based management, the science of marketing, has progressed to a point at which we can know almost anything about customers, if we want to. We can even try to predict customer reaction to a marketing campaign. But where risky business is concerned, we need some gray area. Art needs to be reintroduced into the art + science = Read more »
John Gaffney | October 10, 2006
Customer-centric strategy will grow a company's bottom line, but maybe not as fast as Wall Street wants it to. I see a clear dichotomy developing in profit taking. The old school thinking says develop customer leverage, not customer centricity. Go no further than the gas station for examples. Anybody thinking about the customer as an asset at ExxonMobil? New school thinking says a company needs to develop new products and profit opportunities that grow organically. The ideas are formed with Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 9, 2006
Taking care of customers takes care of the bottom line. That's the takeaway from this year's Gartner CRM Excellence Awards. BNSF Railway took top honors in the Excellence in Enterprise CRM category with a customer strategy that contributed to 41 percent revenue growth. Uniprise won the Excellence in Sales, Marketing or Customer Service category for its customer care initiative, which resulted in a reduction in average handle time in the range of 18 to 21 percent and an increase customer Read more »
Don Peppers | October 8, 2006
From the “technology so cool it’s scary” department comes this news: Google researchers have worked out a kind of software application that will allow the company to synchronize what a Web user is seeing on the computer screen with what he or she is watching simultaneously on television! Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 6, 2006
It's National Customer Service Week and companies everywhere are saying "thanks" to their contact center agents for all their hard work throughout the year. But based on the findings of a online recent survey conducted by Witness Systems in celebration of National Customer Service Week, thanks may not be enough. It seems that what's also needed is giving agents the tools, training, information, and authority to resolve issues during the first call and deliver a better customer experience. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | October 5, 2006
“The 4 Ps don’t mean anything anymore when it comes to creating a business model,” Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light, said during his keynote at the recent Gartner CRM Summit. He cited Threadless T-shirts ( as an example: People submit T-shirt designs, site visitors vote on them, the winners go on sales on the site. “We no longer live in the business ecosystem, we live in a customer ecosystem,” Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 4, 2006
Workforce optimization provider Witness Systems announced yesterday that it acquired Demos Solutions Consulting and Exametric, two resource planning solutions providers to the financial services industry. I spoke on the phone to Ryan Hollenbeck, Witness Systems' vice president of corporate marketing, who said this move represents a shift to relationship banking for all banks. Read more »
Don Peppers | October 3, 2006
A new academic field called neuroeconomics involves the study of how people make economic decisions in ways that are not always rational. It is a field that combines neuroscience, psychology, and economics. I just came across a bit of learning from this field that has important implications for how people make trade-offs between short-term and long-term benefits, and I want to share it with you. I warn you now, however, that I’m sharing this because I think it’s interesting, not Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | October 3, 2006
Lots of companies try to learn about their customers. That's a great idea, but there are many missed opportunities if companies focus on the wrong customer groups or ask the wrong kinds of questions. Taddy Hall, chief strategy officer of the Advertising Research Foundation, says many marketers are "following the herd off the cliff" by segmenting customers into worthless groups. Read more »
John Gaffney | October 2, 2006
I find this whole intrigue about CMO tenure a bit irrelevant. Our story in 1to1 Weekly points out some reasons that the short shelf life of this relatively new C-level position is important, but I hear too much at conferences and in talking to marketing executives about the length of that tenure. CMOs will be effective and employed as long as they create customer value. That’s the bottom line. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 28, 2006
"There are three basic factors for successful innovation: demand, design, and doability," Peppers & Rogers Group cofounder Don Peppers said during his recent keynote presentation at the Gartner CRM Summit. "All of these are customer focused." Apples' iPod, for example, continues to dominate the market, even at a higher price point, because the company has woven these elements into its approach to innovation. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 27, 2006
Yesterday, Mark Selcow, president and cofounder of Merced; and Mark Gally, director of marketing at Merced, shared some findings with me about their company’s latest survey: The “Merced Systems 2006 Performance Management Best Practices Study.” Of the 107 companies interviewed, 94 percent of respondents cited data challenges, 70 percent reported data complexity as a problem, and only 42 percent believe their data is accurate. Gally attributes these statistics to a widespread use of home-grown tools like spreadsheets to track and Read more »
John Gaffney | September 24, 2006
WalMart is losing its brand mojo. As evidenced in our 1to1 Weekly story this week, the mega-retailer will now experiment with different store sizes. This comes on the heels of getting into high-definition TV, organic foods, low-priced drug prescriptions, high-end concept stores and a flirtation with banking. All of this, in a way, is based on sound customer strategy. I'm sure there are masses of customers that would be attracted to WalMart for all these new reasons. And I'm sure Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 22, 2006
Here are some interesting observations: + Agent satisfaction is one of the top concerns of contact center managers in Shanghai. + The growth of the outsourcing industry in the Philippines is spurring a boom of new 24-hour retail outlets. + The lack of toll-free telephone service in Japan has dictated the development of call centers there. These views aren't from a voluminous research report. They're from a road trip of sorts. Read more »
Don Peppers | September 21, 2006
This morning I was at Carlson headquarters, in Minneapolis, talking with our newly hired director of interactive marketing, Doug Rozen. We were just sharing thoughts with each other when he asked me an intriguing question: Does 1to1 work with social networks? I’ve done a lot of thinking about social networks, but I had never actually thought very deeply about where 1to1 ends and social networking begins, or even whether 1to1 marketing applies to a social networking context. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 21, 2006
Customers want a consistent accurate answer regardless of which channel they use to contact a company. This simple fact, according to Kana CMO Marchai Bruchey, is one of the drivers leading to the convergence of marketing and the contact center. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 20, 2006
With Ford Motor’s announcement that it plans to cut 14,000 white collar jobs, eliminate 30,000 hourly jobs, and close 16 factories, we wonder if Ford will ever again regain a competitive edge. Even with the restructuring, Ford doesn’t expect to see a profit in the North American business until 2009. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 19, 2006
New research from the CMO Council reveals that marketing executives are failing to keep pace with information security in the digital world. The study “Secure the Trust of Your Brand: How Security and IT Integrity Influence Corporate Brands,” surveyed 2,000 consumers in North America and Europe and includes results of discussions with 25 leading marketing executives. The study delves into how security is impacting business performance, customer confidence, and brand reputation. Last week I spoke with Scott Van Camp, editorial Read more »
John Gaffney | September 18, 2006
The current marketing obsession with using content to influence customers needs to find an intersection with expertise. The story in this week's 1to1 Weekly shows how direct marketing can start to define an influencer profile for a company's brand or service, which I love. Any customer strategy worth its salt has to be operationalized to be measurable and effective. But a recent observation regarding the way Bob Dylan's new song collection (album or CD just doesn't cut it anymore) has Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 15, 2006
"Customers want to be loyal," Scott Creighton told me during a conversation we had during the Gartner CRM Summit earlier this week. Creighton is vice president of business development for RightNow Technologies. The catch, however, is that customers are also more empowered than ever because they have more choice, they are more informed, and they have higher expectations about getting a deal done. "This is what I want, this is what I'll pay, do you want to do the deal?" Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 13, 2006
The buzz from the Gartner CRM Summit: Go multichannel or go nowhere. “CRM is only as good as your last interaction and your weakest channel,” Scott Nelson, Gartner’s managing vice president, application strategies and governance, said during his keynote. The message from Nelson and other Gartner analysts is that organizations need to meet customers' increasing expectations for consistent multichannel experiences and access or risk irrelevance. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 13, 2006
The jig is up. The creators of Lonelygirl15, a home schooled 16-year-old who, since June 16, has posted vlog confessionals on about topics ranging from parental rebellion to romantic confusion, posted a message on the site last week stating that lonelygirl15 is actually fictionalized. Critics weren’t surprised. Many realized early on that her video diaries sounded scripted and the story arc Shakespearean. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | September 12, 2006
Last season, my husband Eric went to his first professional football game. It was the New York Giants playoff game against the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately, the Giants got pulverized, losing 23-0. Eric was so disgusted at the team's performance (and the amount of money he paid for the ticket) that he considered switching his allegiance to another football team for this season. But in the end, his loyalty was strong enough to see him through that rough patch. He sat Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | September 11, 2006
Recently Ginger Conlon moderated a webcast with some of our Customer Champions. They discussed strategic initiatives designed to improve the customer experience. As always, when you think of the customer experience, companies like Southwest, Best Buy and Ritz Carlton come to mind. But the definition of a customer experience differs from company to company, and even from customer to customer. Read more »
Don Peppers | September 9, 2006
The writing is on the wall for mobile operators. And how. Mobile operators face a steady commoditization in their business, as the inexorable force of improving technology continues to drive bandwidth costs down while simultaneously allowing more players in more industries to enter their space. One example: Mobile phone manufacturers are already bringing phones to market that will connect via a wireless LAN, then dial VOIP calls for free over the Internet, without ever setting foot in anyone’s mobile network Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 8, 2006
You may have fabulous products, unique services, and abundant touchpoints, but if your employees are apathetic, customers are sure to depart for the competition. To build customer engagement, you must first have employee engagement. And that will only happen with... Read more »
Ginger Conlon | September 6, 2006
I love good customer service as much as the next person. But, frankly, a pleasant encounter with an employee is great, but just isn't enough if the rest of the customer experience is lacking. Two examples: Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 6, 2006
By now you’ve heard about RadioShack terminating 400 employees at its Forth Worth headquarters last week by email. The employees came to work last Tuesday, opened their inboxes and read this: "The workforce reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated." Read more »
John Gaffney | September 5, 2006
Our Inside 1to1 lead story this week addresses an issue that has puzzled even the brightest marketers. That issue: How do I move my money where the customers are? Companies who aspire to spend their branding millions more effciently need to stop theorizing about the percentage of their total budgets they will put online, or how much they're not going to spend on TV this year. The debate needs to turn toward how money will be spent in below the Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 30, 2006
In a high-volume service business mistakes happen. The actions that result and the speed at which they’re taken to make things right with the affected customer are critical. Focusing recovery efforts solely on correcting the errors, while failing to address the inconvenience they have caused for the customer by not responding to their initial needs may generate potential negative word of mouth. Recently, my friend Mike had an experience at a hotel that dealt a negative experience but promptly turned Read more »
Chris Helm | August 29, 2006
At today's 1to1 Webinar, "What's Next for Loyalty Programs?," presenters Luc Bondar and Will Wittkopf of Carlson Marketing talked about using loyalty data more strategically. Part of the discussion was about "enterprise loyalty," which involves taking the data generated by a program and using it to improve other areas of the business--and in some cases, extending the loyalty program across multiple product lines or lines of business. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | August 29, 2006
Last week eBay announced it will increase the fees it charges to those who sell items through its online stores. The new prices will raise fees by an average of 6 percent for the approximately 500,000 online store owners, eBay estimated. Some sellers are angry with the news, and are considering jumping ship to Amazon, Yahoo or But eBay is cool with this, because some experts say the move was done to "fire" its below-zero (BZ) sellers. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 25, 2006
"The biggest mistake organizations make is thinking that branding is marketing," Intellidyn president and CEO Peter Harvey told me in a recent conversation. "Companies need to tell people who they are -- branding -- or they'll waste their money on marketing." Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 23, 2006
Customer lifetime value. It's a metric that many of the executives I speak with long to calculate and use, but say they lack the data necessary to truly assess. One of the challenges is in how an organization defines customer value. Some base it on purchases alone. Other may include such "soft" data as customer influence (with other customers and in the broader market) in the calculations. There are myriad views of what comprises customer lifetime value (CLTV). Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 23, 2006
Instead of treating IP as simply enabling cost savings, companies are really looking at how it can drive business value—IP not as a means to an end, but as a catalyst to drive change. That mission became clear at last week’s International Contact Center Management show, where many vendors told me that they’re customers are saying “I’m willing to make fundamental changes to the customer experience and the way I manage contact centers.” They say they plan to achieve this Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | August 22, 2006
Last week a U.S. court ruled that cigarette makers can no longer use the words "Light," "Ultralight," "Mild" or "Natural" to describe their cigarettes. Everyone know by now that cigarettes, no matter how they're labeled, are unhealthy, but it took a court ruling to get the ads changed. It brings up to me the question of trust. Read more »
John Gaffney | August 20, 2006
I'm going to do something somewhat sacriligeous. I'm going to take issue with part of the NetPromoter concept, which is the subject of this week's Inside 1to1 story. Yes, I think the concept is full of simple brilliance. And as I write this I'm wearing my Fred Reichheld Fan Club t-shirt. But here's my problem. Reichheld, as well as the folks at Satmetrix who have cornered the consulting market on NPS, are touting the index as part of the way Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 18, 2006
In "Are You Modeling Customer-Centric Behavior" I wrote about one of the key messages I glean from my conversations with three of our 1to1 Customer Champions -- Kevin Cantwell, president of Big River Telephone; Kelly Lam, manager of marketing services for BMW Canada; and Brynn Palmer, director of the customer experience for Charter Communications -- when we met to tape our next Champions webcast (watch for it in September!). That message was the importance of executives modeling customer-centric behavior to Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 17, 2006
If you want your front-line staff to be customer focused, you have to continually stress the importance of doing so. And the best way to do that is to be customer centric yourself. Creating a customer-centric culture must start at the executive suite if it is to permeate an organization. That was one of the key messages I glean from my conversations with three of our 1to1 Customer Champions -- Kevin Cantwell, president of Big River Telephone; Kelly Lam, manager Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | August 15, 2006
Monday's issue of INSIDE 1to1 discussed a new direction for marketing strategy to go in, where the entire organization is involved in marketing success. Now Forrester Research has expanded its advice to the B2B space, where customer relationship progress traditionlly has been very difficult to achieve. Author Laura Ramos predicts that B2B marketers will move online, where tactical demand generation can evolve into strategic ownership of the customer relationship, experience, and intelligence. What do you think? Does success revolve around Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 11, 2006
There’s a crackdown going on in New York. Last week the NYPD started a wave of ticketing and towing illegally parked scooters. Many scooter owners park their rides on the sidewalk to avoid getting hit by drivers who “touch” park or getting moved by drivers who are desperate for a space. Scooter manufacturer Vespa has stepped in, pushing for a policy change for parking two-wheel vehicles in the city. The company is circulating a “Vespatition” to pressure lawmakers; about 5,000 Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 10, 2006
Although "76 percent of firms polled by a leading analyst firm indicate they have some type of CRM [technology], 80 percent of customers stop doing business with companies because of a bad experience. So there are obviously lots of companies that have deployed traditional CRM and still treat customers badly enough to lose them." This is an excerpt from an email RightNow Technologies CEO Greg Gianforte sent me yesterday. Gianforte talked about how companies that misuse CRM technologies could "strip Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 9, 2006
Small businesses face tough choices. Often faced with limited resources, companies with small workforces used to trail in CRM deployments. That doesn’t seem to be the case today. Affordable and accessible technologies have made it possible for SMBs to grow their businesses. But for SMBs to jump in the race, also requires a change of mindset. Take Altman Lighting, for example. The 52-year-old family owned and operated commercial lighting with 140 full-time employees and 400 customer accounts worldwide had no Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | August 8, 2006
No one can deny Google's dominance in the Internet space, but what's interesting is its ability to create both short-term buzz and long-term loyalty. Cool features like moveable maps and book text searches, along with its supreme search engine make it stand out from other online services. The New York Times compares its "wow factor" strategy to Yahoo's, which is more conservative and deliberate, but is also losing search market share. Google's experimental nature may well win in the long Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 7, 2006
I remember the not-to-distant past when most wireless telecoms gave all their best deals and service to new customers and didn't pay much attention to existing customers. It was all about acquisition; achieving critical mass. But as churn rates grew, so did the recognition that retention might actually be a good idea. Most of the rest of us already seemed quite aware of the adage that it costs less to retain customers than to acquire new ones, understanding that companies Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 4, 2006
As a fervent BlackBerry fan, I've been especially interested in the adoption of CRM on handheld devices. This is one of those areas that has been talked about for a long time before reaching any critical mass. Although mobile CRM almost seems like old news (nearly every CRM vendor offers a mobile component), the fact is that it's really just taking off among users. There seem to be several reasons for this. One is that mobile professionals are starting to Read more »
Ginger Conlon | August 3, 2006
What began as a meeting of customers with a common concern has evolved to an industry forum. Last week I had a conversation with Talisma CEO Dan Vetras and Vice President of Marketing Jim O'Farrell about the newly launched CIM Forum. CIM is an ancronym for customer interaction management; the CIM Forum is a "business and technology consortium" created to discuss best practices primarily related to online customer service . What's interesting about this launch is its double layer of Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | August 2, 2006
Last night I got engaged and my new fiancé made reservations at an Italian restaurant in the city in which we live. Granted, we only had been there once before about two months ago, but when we walked in, the owner, Nino, remembered our table and had written my fiancé’s name on the table to reserve it. This is remarkable since John hadn’t told him his name when making the reservation. Nino simply remembered the sound of John’s voice because Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | August 1, 2006
Last week Wal-Mart announced that it was giving up on the German market, and sold its 85 stores in Germany to Metro Group. This comes on the heels of its exit from the South Korean market as well. In Germany, many mistakes were cultural -- employees offered to bag groceries for customers (Germans prefer to bag their own groceries) and clerks were instructed to smile at customers, who are used to brusque service. Many Germans were put off by this Read more »
John Gaffney | July 30, 2006
Last week in this spot I railed on about the lack of creativity and risk that too much process brings to a company. But I'm taking the other side when it comes to B2B relationships. When it comes to B2B, as you can see in our current Inside 1to1 story on the Tri-Arc Manufacturing Company's customer-centric effort, I think process is progress. I've worked for enough companies that sealed big sales with a wink, handshake, and promise of co-op dollars. Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 28, 2006
"Word of mouth is an outcome and a philosophy, not a marketing tactic. There's no 'marketer' in consumer-to-consumer. But word of mouth can be treated like traditional media in many ways, like tracking its impact." This quote is from BuzzMetrics CEO Jonathan Carson. He was presenting at the WOMMA conference. This comment struck me because some marketers do talk a lot about word of mouth as a marketing tactic. I would venture to say that although most word of mouth Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 27, 2006
I received a press release a few days ago announcing a new pay-per-lead service. Consumers sign up to receive information on product types, provide contact information, and, if they choose to, give other details to help match their specific needs. Companies interested in reaching those individuals bid for the leads. The four highest-bidding companies are given each lead, so prospects can do some comparison shopping. My first thought was, companies that contact a prospect are simply the highest bidders, not Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 26, 2006
Hasbro this week released a British version of the classic Monopoly game that substitutes a Visa-imprinted debit card for the colorful play money. Now instead of exchanging paper money, children will swipe their cards into a palm-sized scanner. Hasbro spokesperson Chris Weatherhead said that the company responded to the fact that consumers now use more debit cards and carry less cash, so the game, he said, should reflect current trends. Hasbro is delivering on customer expectations, but are marketers ready Read more »
John Gaffney | July 23, 2006
Our Inside 1to1 story this week shows how successful CRM providers have been in emerging markets. That's all well and good because customer management and customer insight is being enabled by technology. Without customer insight any global initiative is bound to fail. But I think that too many companies have been lulled into thinking a global initiative and a Chinese initiative are the same thing. The complete saturation of the academic business press by thought leaders who say China is Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 21, 2006
Have you seen the Jet Blue stories page yet? It's very cool. There's a collection of brief video stories of customers sharing their positive Jet Blue experiences. Not only does the site show customers' enthusiasm for the airline, but many of the stories illustrate Jet Blue's commitment to the customer experience -- and not just commitment designed by the marketing department that never permeates the rest of the company, but commitment from all parts of the airline's operations. Consider the Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 20, 2006
With the countless number of blogs available to information consumers, is it really worth it to start or run one? According to a new survey, it seems the answer is yes -- with the caveat that it may take some time and effort to build the level of awareness that creates significant interaction. A survey conducted by analytics firm Cymfony and public relations firm Porter Novelli found that 76 percent of respondents' companies noticed an increase in media attention and Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | July 18, 2006
The idea of electronic passports is getting closer to fruition, and it's got security and privacy advocates in an uproar. The new passports will include a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that will store all the information on the data page of the passport, including name, date and place of birth, and a digitized version of the photo. The State Department said last week that it is confident the right security and encryption measures will be in place. Critics argue Read more »
John Gaffney | July 16, 2006
Ginger Conlon asked the question in Inside 1to1 this week: Is there a seat at your table for the customer? There better be. The customer is definitely coming to dinner. And so are your biggest shareholders. I think the balance between how a company plays the politesse between the two guests is one of the hottest issues in business today. No better example than GM. I would argue that the company's current dinner party with Kirk Kerkorian and Carlos Ghosn Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 14, 2006
No may be the favorite word of toddlers and parents everywhere -- heck, even most sales professional see it as an opportunity to learn about customers' real motivations -- but many marketers tend to shun it whenever possible. Think about it. How often do marketing communications offer a "no thanks" option? Some do, but it's rare and most often found in direct mail for such offers as a subscription to a specific magazine. Personally, I don't think I've ever seen Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 13, 2006
Salespeople have a reputation for bringing in new customers then letting someone else in the company worry about keeping them around for repeat business. That may be true in some cases, but savvy sales professionals are also great relationship builders -- they know firsthand that it's easier to keep and sell to an existing client than to acquire a new one. Their efforts may not be enough. Companies that pay more than lip service to being customer centric should have Read more »
John Gaffney | July 12, 2006
Excuse me for twisting the Al Franken book title here. But one of the hot topics around the office lately has been the sincerity of bloggers. Business Week's media columnist John Fine has done a great job of documenting some of the more outrageous uses that PR pros have made of the blogosphere. Fine has also reported on the new practice of paying "normal people" to get out and blog away on their "favorite" products. Now, first of all I Read more »
John Gaffney | July 10, 2006
It's hard to get anyone to talk about it on the record, but it seems to me that a lot of executives whisper a lot lately about Six Sigma and Balanced Scorecard. The whispers say these processes lack flexibility, agility, employee innovation and a true customer focus. I agree. That's why I love the point that our Inside 1to1 story makes today. The point: A business can be all about process, but the people involved need to be humanists. Too Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 7, 2006
In my recent entry "Getting to Yes" I discussed selling top management on the idea of treating different customers differently. The gist was to ensure that management understands that low-value customers will not be treated badly, but that higher-value customers would be treated accordingly. At the Gartner CRM Summit, principal research analyst Adam Sarner made another interesting point about the importance of creating a baseline for your customer experience that treats low-value customers well. According to Sarner, if you treat Read more »
John Gaffney | July 5, 2006
It didn't take the World Cup for me to see my global ignorance. But it sure helped. I always knew it was there, mind you. I never really got the obsession with royal families, regardless of what country they were from. Never understood why the French love Jerry Lewis or why the Irish or English drink so much tea, even though my heritage is Irish. So when I saw David Beckham in tears over losing in the World Cup I Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 5, 2006
If you read 1to1 magazine and INSIDE: 1to1 articles it's likely that you're a proponent of treating different customers differently. However, that may not be the case among other executives in your organization. Even if you're the marketing chief, you likely need buy-in from other top executives to get the support you need from across the organization to make one-to-one strategies a reality. I attended a Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange recently during which one of the speakers provided insight Read more »
Ginger Conlon | July 3, 2006
I just read a terrific Business Week article on innovation. There's a lot to it, but the gist is that it's difficult to be innovative if your corporate culture has been process-perfected and short-term oriented to the point of being completely risk averse. One reason this article caught my attention is that we've been discussing this issue a great deal internally (as subject matter for articles), and have written about it as well. In the March issue, for example, the Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 30, 2006
On one hand, I’ve found it interesting and a bit surprising that PRM (partner relationship management) never gained the same popularity as CRM. Of the approximately 14 million salespeople in the United States, only 30 percent are direct sellers for their firms. The other 70 percent are agents, brokers, dealers, and the like. Basically, channel partners. On the other hand, it’s not surprising at all. If you consider the challenges of user adoption among staff salespeople, then add the complexity Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 29, 2006
I recently attended a Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange during which Purdue's Mike Trotter talked about customers' expectations for reaching the companies that serve them. Trotter is the executive director of the university's Center for Customer-Driven Quality. According to Trotter, a recent Purdue study found that 68 percent of customers will not do business with companies that don't offer multiple channel choices for interaction. That's up from 61 percent last year. These customers want access to companies via the Web, Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | June 27, 2006
When I hear people talk about loyalty these days, they always mention how it's all about the customer experience. What I don't hear these same people talk about is customer value. After all, what's an experience without value to the customer? Loyalty programs are great ways to learn more about your customers, and then act on that information to increase their value. These programs must have a long-term goal that involves deep customer connections. That means rewarding value with value. Read more »
John Gaffney | June 26, 2006
One of the facts that was not highlighted in this week's story about consumer goods and their advanced customer strategy was the amount of cash these companies have on hand. According to Columbia Universoty professor Larry Selden, consumer goods companies have an embarrasing amount of cash in the bank. Instead of using this cash to reinvest in customers, they are buying back stocks and buying other companies. The most recent example is Johnson & Johnson's plan to pay $18 billion Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 23, 2006
Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting with several of our Atlanta-based readers. We had a lively discussion on various customer strategy topics, and were joined via teleconference by Don Peppers. During our conversation, several comments particularly caught my attention. One was from Delta's Carole Ashworth (who Mila D'Antonio recently interviewed for our feature on the airline's customer strategy overhaul). Carole noted that one challenge Delta faces in building customer relationships is that some customers won't give the Read more »
John Gaffney | June 22, 2006
If Enron had to report the lifetime value of its cusomer base on a quarterly basis, could it have misled so many people for so long? I don't think so. The kind of detailed measurement discussed in our Return On Customer newsletter this month is not only effective as a measurement and accounting tool, it's necessary as a backstop against corporate greed and corruption. A company that can measure the result of its short-term and long-term customer strategy is worthy Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 21, 2006
Vincent Ferrari, blogger at and dissatisfied AOL customer, made headlines this week when he publicized a recording of his discussion with an AOL customer service rep on his blog. Ferrari, who through numerous attempts during the conversation, pleaded with the agent to cancel the account. The abrasive rep, in a desperate attempt to retain the customer, told him that keeping the service was for his own good, implied that Vincent had a problem, and even at one point asked Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | June 20, 2006
Marketing's evolution will revolve around the customer, if John Fleming has his way. At last week's CCSF retreat in Las Vegas, Fleming, chief scientist for customer engagement at Gallup, discussed the movement toward "Human Marketing." The concept, developed by Donald Cooper, is all about viewing both internal and external marketing holistically. Why not bring all customer-facing activities into one group? HR, marketing, finance, and the contact center almost never talk, but if they worked together as a "human marketing" department, Read more »
John Gaffney | June 18, 2006
I'll say what Forrester Research didn't quite say in the research report we quoted in this week's Inside 1to1 piece on alternative marketing strategies. What it didn't quite say was: Marketers are cowards when it comes to putting their money where their customers are. If you went by the media that attracts the most money, you would think that customers were researching purchases and making them on network TV and print ads. Nothing could be further from the truth. Customers Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 16, 2006
The W Hotel uses the funky catchphrase "Whatever Whenever," which means that the staff willl go out of their way to provide you with whatever you need whenever to need it to make your stay more enjoyable. This is great, and quite a few of the staff members at the W Atlanta (where I stayed last night) have clearly embraced this strategy. The concierge, bell manager, and front desk staff all gave a warm welcome when I entered, as did Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 15, 2006
Yesterday I gave a presentation at a conference on how to increase customer profitability. The audience was a mix of CPAs and their IT executives. About 50 people attended my session. I started by asking a question: Who here feels that customers are their firm's most valuable asset? Surprisingly -- to me, anyway -- only four or five people raised their hands. After sharing with them Don Peppers and Martha Rogers' quote from Return on Customer, "Without customers, you don't Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | June 13, 2006
It's great that there are technology solutions to help companies measure marketing initiatives and other formerly intangible programs. But the fact that you can now measure short-term impact doesn't mean that you should react quickly to the short-term results. Last week I spoke to Firefox's community coordinator Asa Dotzler, who emphasized that any customer interaction program needs time to develop. "Looking at a three-month ROI on a customer interaction program is missing the point," he said. If you can be Read more »
John Gaffney | June 12, 2006
Let me amplify one of the points made in our lead story in Inside 1to1 this week. Customer satisfaction is not only a lame measurement of customer strategy, it is simply not enough to achieve. I am a satisfied ExxonMobil customer. And as soon as a competitor comes up with one of those cool little Speedpass keys that keeps me tied to ExxonMobil it will take a hot minute to switch. Why? Because at eight billion dollars of profit for Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 7, 2006
Business travel is often filled with tales of woe: flight delays; lame snack boxes; multitasking at security to get laptops, shoes, belts, and more in bins. So let me share my recent positive experience at DFW Airport. With 90 minutes until my flight and an empty stomach, I was looking for a place to eat. As I walked by Champps Americana (Terminal D), the hostess, DJ, beamed at me, said hello, and invited me in. So, in I went. There Read more »
Ginger Conlon | June 7, 2006
Is marketing child’s play? Of course not, but thinking of marketing as an ongoing, evolving process (think: Slinky) instead of a closed-loop can improve your outcomes. So says Andy Wright, EVP of sales and marketing services for Carlson Marketing Worldwide, who recently met with our editorial team. Andy made the point that marketers shouldn’t think in terms of a closed-loop cycle, but should think of marketing as more like a continuous wind of a Slinky: You test a program or Read more »
John Gaffney | June 1, 2006
The buzz at the Thought Leadership Summit (TLS) telecom conference was learning about customer retention. Not just churn, but loyalty drivers and other retention strategies like communication triggers and interaction with customers even if their contracts aren’t up yet. Offering unique services also came up as a topic of interest. According to Lee Khatchadourian-Reese, national director of customer service for Comcast, the company is about to do a big deal with Sprint to provide wireless services with Comcast cable content. Read more »
Elizabeth Glagowski | May 31, 2006
Pitching seems to be one way some editorial folks are going after readers these days. No, not as in making sales calls (or throwing a baseball). According to Lance Ulanoff, PC magazine’s Reviews editor, “pitching” is to post stuff about what’s new on your site on other sites (kind of like blogging on other sites’ blogs) to attract people to click over to your site. PC mag’s approach sounds a bit promotional, but Ulanoff says the strategy works quite well Read more »
Ginger Conlon | May 23, 2006
The buzz at THE Conference on Marketing Everyone was all about the need to go beyond traditional marketing tactics to focus on the customer experience. The speakers – from such companies as Mercedes Benz, eBay, Mandalay Entertainment, Starbucks, Pitney Bowes, Wachovia, Wal-Mart, and PepsiCo -- all talked about 1to1, but never CRM. One said, "You don't have 100 million customers. You have one customer, 100 million times." (Sounds familiar…) Everyone in every business mentioned something about experience, engagement, and building Read more »