Customer Reference Programs: Time To Embrace Social Media/Web 2.0

Laura Ramos

Laura Ramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Customer reference management has moved from the sidelines to the
mainstream of corporate marketing activity. This is good news for the
dozens of customer reference management professionals who attended the February Customer Reference Forum in Berkeley, CA and
participated in the 2009 survey. Why? Because authentic customer
references help sales close business and marketing persuade analysts,
press, and investors that corporate positioning and product claims are
legitimate.

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B2B Marketing’s Job #1: Sales Enablement

Laura Ramos

Laura Ramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

If you have never been confronted by a sales person over lead quality, you can stop reading this blog post now:

The primary source of tension between marketing and sales is
this: Marketing wants to know what sales does with all the leads they
generate. In response to the question, sales says, “What leads? Those
leads were awful; send us better leads.”
Sound familiar?

The basic problem is that marketing and sales don’t agree on what
constitutes a lead. The deeper issue is that many marketers are still
learning what it takes to develop truly qualified demand and pass the
right information to sales in a way that helps sales to progress an
opportunity quickly and consistently.

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Microsoft's Bing Will Change The Face of Search

Shar VanBoskirk

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

Microsoft announced today its Bing search engine, a "decision engine" that will replace live.com worldwide as of June 3.  A distant third place in the search engine game, Microsoft hopes that this engine will help it gain more searcher share by delivering results and content more relevant to how users actually search.  What makes Bing different from existing search engines?

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We want your input on our Web Site Review!

Adele Sage

Adele-Sage [Posted by Adele Sage]

We’re updating our Web Site Review methodology, and we want your help.

We have a set of 25 heuristics that we think are pretty good. But we’re looking for feedback from you folks, specifically:

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June 21 Tweetup In NYC - The Night Before Our CXP Forum

Jonathan Browne

Jon-Browne [Posted by Jonathan Browne]

One of the great crimes of Twitter is the way Twitter users put "TW" at the start of perfectly good words and think it's cool, or ironic, or some combination of the two ...

My colleague: We're having a Tweetup before the Customer Experience Forum in NYC.

Me: Really? I thought that was frowned upon in New York. Haven't you seen The French Connection?

My colleague: Eh? Don't be so obtuse. I said "Tweet Up". It's like "Meet Up" for people who use Twitter and created an entire lingo of words with "TW" at the start, like "Tweeple" for "People" and that sort of thing.

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Climbing Out of Our Technology Silos - Good Acquires Intercasting

Julie Ask

Good Technology acquired Intercasting today. In the press release they state the goal of integrated messaging. I think they picked up great talent, too. Shawn has been one of the real thought leaders in mobile and especially around mobile social networking. Handset manufacturers have been trying - and mostly without success so far - to catch up with his vision of what social networking should be on phones.

Separately, I like the vision around messaging. Saw Palm's Pre implementation of integrated messaging yesterday - good stuff. Finally, as consumers we don't need to think about what silo'ed messaging application we want to use. Apple demo'ed similar technology to be released with 3.0 - it doesn't go as far as the Pre, but finally I can stop explaining SMS and MMS to my parents.

I look forward to seeing what they do with the technology.

The Mobile Internet Creates New Opportunities For Direct-To-Consumer Strategies

Thomas Husson

Thomas Husson [Posted by Thomas Husson]

The success of Apple's iPhone has acted as a marketing catalyst and showcased the potential of the mobile platform.

Leading brands such as l'Oréal, Audi, Kraft, Bank of America and many others have embraced the trend and launched iPhone applications to engage with a high-profile audience, appear innovative or benefit from richer mobile media capabilities.

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Utilizing NFC - The Implementation Matters As Much If Not More Than The Technology

Julie Ask

First, I do not attempt to "break" each new implementation of a technology. It simply happens because the implementation has not been thought through. Companies rolling out new services on mobile phones need to think through the user experience. With payments this is even more important. If customers don't feel comfortable with a process they've tried, they will be hesitant to trust and return.

This experience described below is not mobile, but it involves NFC, and one can easily imagine a scenario involving cell phones which could go horribly wrong.

I drove myself to SFO (San Francisco airport) last week for a one-day business trip. I pulled up to the gate at the entrance of the parking garage to collect my ticket. Suddenly, my Speedpass "beeps." I think, "What?"

I roll down my window and there stands a parking garage attendant. She confirms that I want to use this prepaid SpeedPass to pay for my parking. (Please keep in mind that the cost of parking for one day will exceed the average balance that I carry on the card that I use to cross bridges in the Bay Area about once a month.) I tell her that I do NOT want to use SpeedPass to pay - I want to use my American Express card. (Ok, SpeedPass tied to my Amex card, but I don't want to use it this way.) She asks why as she undoes the recording of the time/date on my SpeedPass. I tell her that I am traveling for business and need a receipt. Duh?  She scowls and punches a bunch of buttons on the machine so that it spits out a ticket for me.

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Nokia ' s Ovi Store - Good News for Consumers

Julie Ask

Nokia announced this morning that their new Ovi store is "open for business" and that AT&T here in the States will join the growing list of carriers supporting Ovi. This is good news for consumers. Apple has done a wonderful job of educating American consumers about all the things a high end cell phone can do. They've shown us games, fun stuff, FedEx tracking, news, sports, - the list is long. They've grown our appetite for high end devices that can do just about anything.

The N97 will come into the market this summer on the heals of the Palm Pre and maybe a new iPhone (if the rumors are true). No word yet on the pricing though we haven't seen US carriers subsidize the Nseries devices from Nokia to the extent that they have for Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, HTC, etc.

The Nokia phones have high quality cameras and mapping solutions that are excellent. There is a lot of cool content and services available through Ovi. Consumers will appreciate what they offer if they get the chance to get ahold of these devices at prices the market will support.

Here's the release:

Ovi Store Opens for Business

 

AT&T joins growing list of operators supporting new content service

 

May 26

 

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Landline Disconnects - It's Not Just Young Adults

Julie Ask

We recently got our data back from our annual Benchmark survey of more than 60,000 adults in the US. The percentage who are disconnecting their home phone lines has grown tremendously. My hypothesis on most of these disconnects is that they are college students, kids just out of college sharing apartments, etc.

When my mother told me that she and her husband just disconnected, I was shocked. They have simply given up on the local fixed line company. They split their time between Ohio and Florida. The BSP's are different in each location. The BSP's (in Florida who "get this") allowing them to turn services on for six months of the year and then off again still have their business. Those which are inflexible don't. They have no home phone.