Omni-Channel

Putting the X Factor Into Customer Experience

content

For many years now we have heard that organizations must look to improve their customer experience to stand a chance of retaining their existing customer base. This, we have been told, is the cornerstone of customer engagement – but what exactly is customer experience and why is it here now? How did we ever manage without it? The fact is our propensity to always be connected means we are bombarded with information and what feels like a vast array of choices to buy the same product with the only real variations being factors like price and delivery time. What fundamental difference is there in the myriad of offers we are exposed to that leads us to choose one supplier from another? There is one ingredient behind customer experience and customer engagement that has preceded the Internet and still makes a big impact on our behavior and brand loyalty today. Walk through a modern airport or drive through the suburbs of a city and you will be exposed to advertising hoardings, walk into a dentist surgery or add yourself to mailing lists and you will encounter lifestyle magazines. These are all forms of customer experience and engagement that rely on one characteristic – they grab our attention. Often they do not lead with product data such as price or specification, they cannot measure and analyse how successful they are (unless you take into account passing traffic volume, print circulation), they simply grab our attention through something that appeals to us as humans beings – stimulus. Most often it’s visual, in the case of lifestyle magazines they might even try to appeal to our olfactory senses to advertise a scent – indeed some magazines even just smell good! But if we go back to the advertising hoardings and the lifestyle magazines examples for one moment it is easy to see that visual stimulus provides the X factor that excites us, it grabs our attention and leads us to follow up. The common name for this stimulus is content. We have all heard the phrase “every company is a media company1” and of course this is true to varying degrees – every company produces content to grab customer attention and this has transformed from a rather small set of content to what can only be described as a tidal wave of diverse material. Some talk about a “content shock2” where we are overwhelmed to the extent that we are unable to consume more, but the real issue here is that the valuable content that grabs the attention is buried amongst the volume of mediocre material. Every company faces this challenge. We have also seen that CMO’s are starting to recognize the value of content but do not prioritize its management3. Content has intrinsic value – it is expensive to produce so like any valuable material it should be collected, curated and put to use where it can have maximum impact. Could it be that we are so focused on the customer experience where we measure, analyse and try to predict our customer’s next step that we are forgetting the one factor that defines what we are? Content provides stimulus and grabs our attention. Getting our attention is the first step in becoming a customer. Lets start looking after that content. 1 – “Every company is a media company” by Tom Foremski 2 – “Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is Not a Sustainable Strategy” by Mark Schaefer 3 – “CMOs believe in value of visual assets but don’t prioritize their management” by Lisa Hoover McGreevy – Fierce Content Management

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OpenText Positioned as a Leader Again in 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Communications Management (CCM) Software

Gartner

Gartner recently published its 2017 Customer Communications Management Software Magic Quadrant, with OpenText positioned as a Leader in this report. Gartner evaluated both OpenText™ Communications Center and OpenText™ Exstream before the acquisition. However, Gartner focuses on each vendor’s technology execution, strategy and vision – not product specifics – so there is only one OpenText “dot” on the graphic. The 2015 CCM MQ positioned both OpenText Communications Center  and Exstream in the “Leaders” quadrant. In the latest version, we believe we maintain a strong position as a Leader due to our breadth of capability across our CCM products and the strength of our direction to combine Communications Center and Exstream into a single platform, thereby bringing additional value to our current and prospective customers. Our position on the “Ability to Execute” axis improved from the average position of Communications Center and Exstream in the 2015 MQ. The position on the “Completeness of Vision” axis held steady compared to Exstream’s placement in the last report, which we believe is a good sign that Gartner approves of our strategy to provide a single flagship CCM offering to enable business users to easily design and deliver omnichannel communications – including web, mobile, SMS, and print channels. The future is bright and exciting as we bring our CCM products together into a single, powerful platform to meet any omnichannel CCM requirements. This is happening now and will bring benefits to all current customers of Communications Center Enterprise (formerly StreamServe), Exstream, and Communications Center CRM (formerly PowerDocs). Get your copy of the full report here.

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Removing the Data Barriers to get the Bigger Picture

Data barriers

Doing something over and over again and expecting a different result is EITHER practice, or insanity.  The difference is simply in how long you’re willing to wait until things start to change. Similarly, treating all customers the same and simply doing the same things over again in new channels, is equally unproductive. To successfully meet the experience expectations of today’s customer demands removing data barriers and agility in how companies leverage their customers’ data in order to deliver individualized experiences in preferred channels. This kind of agility requires connectivity and fluidity within an organization. Customer Experience takes a village It takes a collection of divisions and departments within an organization to deliver goods, services, and the desired brand experience, to customers. Similarly, customers interact with organizations via multiple touchpoints spread across multiple departments. So why would any company think a single source of data from any one department or division could provide the multi-faceted, let alone complete, picture of the customer it needs? To develop and implement a truly omnichannel and customer-centric customer experience strategy, companies need to gather insights from multiple data points to connect those experiences together. But even that is not enough. That data, all that data, also needs to be accessible by the myriad teams that contribute to delivering the customer experience for their own analysis and interpretation. Limited by data fiefdoms We’ve all heard the rhetoric of “breaking down the silos”. Many gasp and shudder at the thought of having to share the proverbial access code to the vault that contains THEIR data. Over the span of their careers employees develop areas of knowledge expertise, and maybe even fiefdoms, around particular systems and associated data. They develop a sense of ownership. The angst of now having to share their domain is brought on by many fears; What if they (the other departments) mess up my data? What if their findings contradict my own? What if …? What if …? What if …? This individual apprehension is compounded by the larger picture of company priorities and culture. Companies invest large amounts of money in existing systems, and with those systems adoption come established, good or bad, procedures and policies. Once these become intrinsic to the way a company does business they are difficult to adjust. Nobody likes change, and it isn’t realistic to expect these things to change, or as some cases may deem, disappear, overnight. But who says they have to? Permeable data silos Rather than trying to break down and remove the invisible walls that keep core customer data siloed and isolated in different parts and layers of the organization, let each group keep the keys to their (data) kingdoms, and benevolently grant access to the data to other groups and departments. By making the data silo walls permeable, allowing the data to flow freely to, and from, the different repositories, the company can make the most out of its investment in the technology being used to garner that information, and keep the kingdom’s (data) monarchs happy at the same time. By building these data bridges the flow of information from one system to the other is enabled, and subsequently encouraged. And instead of collecting the same data over and over again – a better experience for the customer already – companies can collect it once and share between systems, in a way that respects system ownership and allows each repository to use the data in the best possible way to fulfill its own line of business needs and tasks. Internal systems shouldn’t drive the Customer Experience; it should be the other way around Some might think that to solve this problem companies have to first look at the systems in place for collecting and storing the data. At some point, yes, there are likely redundant repositories that can be sunsetted once the data landscape is better understood. For a bigger, transformational impact, companies should turn to their teams and data-related activities. Understanding by whom, and how the data is used, agreeing to what it means across the organization, as well as in different teams and departments, is how the true value of data is extracted. By creating a customer-centric perspective internally around customer-related data, organizations enable the different parts of their business to consume and analyze data in a way that makes most sense for them, thus allowing them to have more insight into the customer, and therefore are better able to contribute to delivering a more customer-centric experience. Data driven companies that take a holistic view of their data, develop “data journeys” that transcend internal company borders and boundaries, and mirror their customers’ journeys, are winning the customer experience race. (This blog post was co-authored with Cathy McKnight of the Digital Clarity Group).

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Five Factors That Are Driving the Changing Publishing Landscape

changing publishing landscape

From scrolls to print, from hardback to paperbacks, from broadsheets to tabloids, and from print to digital, the world of publishing has always been one of change. What makes the current landscape different is the sheer rate of change. This time it’s not only the delivery model that’s changing, and changing fast, it’s also the combination of new technologies and the demand for information consumed across a variety of different media. While traditional print markets are at last showing slow recovery in some markets the demand for information via digital sources continue to grow (although it could be argued that this growth is slowing down), while other media, such as video and audio continue to gain in popularity. From my perspective I see five primary influences that are driving this change in the publishing landscape: Channel growth: The move from having a single delivery channel, i.e. print, to multiple digital mobile channels on the web and mobile is moving news and information delivery from a traditional, single stream publishing model towards a model closer to broadcasting, with subsequent pressures to create and deliver differentiated content for each channel while maintaining the core integrity and facts of the information being delivered. Speed of updates: It used to be sufficient to publish on a regular pre-determined cadence, be it quarterly, monthly, or weekly in the case of magazines; or weekly, daily, or in selected editions (morning, lunch, evening, and late) for newspapers. Today, a large proportion of the population gets its first notification of a newsworthy event via social media and expects updates to be in real time as events unfold. To compete with this, news organizations must deliver their own content via social media and back it up with deeper analysis via news websites and more traditional channels that take longer to deliver. Changing business model: The newspaper industry has traditionally been funded by revenue streams from print advertising, i.e. selling physical space alongside the content. In this scenario the content is secondary to the advertising, although it could be argued that good content drives up circulation, which allows the publication to charge higher rates for the associated space. In the digital world, while it is possible to sell advertising space, it is at lower price points and less effective than in print. As a result, advertising revenues have dropped significantly and news and information providers are looking at other revenue streams, such as leveraging their content through paywalls, and syndication. To date, no new single business model has emerged as the new baseline. Easy access to different media types: While print was once the predominate media for the dissemination and consumption of news and information, it is now just one of a number of choices. With the advent of digital mobile devices, most consumers now have ready and instant access to content in textual, visual (graphics and video), and audio format. While print is never likely to disappear completely, it is now supplemented by the steady growth of other media types. Impact of technology companies: The majority of digital advertising revenue is generated by five technology companies, four of which, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter include news content. The impact of these companies goes beyond such financial considerations, as more of them onboard editorial staff and start to change the way that news is delivered and tracked through a combination of more personalized storytelling techniques and trending topics. Digital transformation is key to survival in the publishing industry. However, any digital efforts must not only address the process of delivery, they must also address the new paradigm where content becomes the hub of the business model. It is no longer sufficient just to automate the original print process model using technology, it is now essential to leverage content assets to deliver compelling and engaging stories that can be accessed from any platform, from print to digital, to mobile, to social, at any time.

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How to Identify Return on Investment of Social Media Marketing (Infographic)

social media ROI

The B2B marketing leaders will be spending more money on technology than the CIO in 2017. Sure they may already spend a lot, but the interesting question here is: will they now finally be able to identify the revenue? It was not long ago when CMO’s were perfectly ok with having more and more new technology tools. The problem came when they were forced to maintain the tools and, also to measure the performance of those tools in order to prove that they were still needed. While each platform may include its own reporting tools, in an omnichannel world, having so many partial views of the truth makes little sense. Many business users and decision makers can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to the current analytics environment. How will they manage then in an Analytics of Things of world with 6.4 billion connected devices? Are CMO’s prepared? According to a recent study on The State of Marketing Analytics by VentureBeat, “Analytics are key to showing value, yet the market is huge and fragmented.” Customers are no longer using a single channel to buy yet only 60% of marketers create integrated strategies. Probably the most painful source to measure is social media. It is painful because there’s no way that investors will accept engagement metrics such as impressions or likes as revenue. It is also painful because the CMO is being pushed by market analysts to invest more and more budget on social media. Social media spending is expected to climb to a 20.9% share of marketing budgets in 5 years even though analytics is not yet fully integrated or embedded according to a recent CMO Survey. ROI of social media in the form of adding new revenue sources, enhancing revenue sources and increasing revenues is more pronounced among companies with a more mature data-driven culture. The graph below shows where competitive advantage has been achieved as a result of data-driven marketing by stage of development according to Forbes. What’s worse for the laggards is that their immature analytics culture is resulting in the lowest profitability – they even don’t know often which analytics platforms they are paying for, according to the same research. “There is no substitute for hard work,” said Thomas Edison. In order to identify the ROI of social media marketing, we will go through the hard work by going through the requirements for your social media data below, including: Why you need integration and democratization of data in the cloud, including social media data Why you need self-service advanced and predictive analytics for your campaigns Why agility is so important when it comes to marketing analytics Why integrated reporting and insights should be easy to access by any marketer or business user Integration and democratization of data in the cloud, including social media data This is not just useful to get a single view of the truth. Working in an environment where each platform’s reporting is separate from the others, is not possible to calculate ROI of social media marketing. You may find a way to calculate the revenue of a Paid Per Click campaign in LinkedIn for example, but this is a very narrow view of what social media marketing is about. The first step to identify the real revenue of social media should be to integrate all disparate data sources in the cloud. They should be integrated, because that way you will be able to cross reference information, discover the real 360º customer view and the actual ROI. Also, it should be integrated in the cloud specifically so other business users can access and self-service the final insights. Some people may think they have a 360º customer view when they integrate Google Analytics and Salesforce to calculate the ROI of a paid campaign in Google Adwords. But they are still far from that view. According to Think with Google, for instance, customers in most industries in US click on a paid ad long after they were engaged in social. That means that a percentage of the ROI of the Pay Per Click campaign should be attributed to social to be accurate. What if instead of making assumptions you start to track which channel is the first, then which is next, and which is the latest? You can do this with tools like Piwik or Eloqua Insights because they track all different devices from which the customer is visiting your website as well as specific URLs they land on, and order the events by date. While this is fine if you have less than 200 sessions per day on your website, if you have more than that you will quickly understand why big data is more than just hype! Trust me, if you had the time to explore, analyze and export using Piwik or Eloqua Insights you would really know what patience means. With big data, even if you just want to use a selected small part of it, you need columnar database technology like the one used by OpenText™ Big Data Analytics. Having your data sources integrated at the start and managed by IT is fine, but when it comes to data audits, data cleansing and data enrichment you had better expect this to be self-service. B2B companies need to know as much as they can about the companies they market to and 75% of B2B marketers say that accurate data is critical for achieving their goals but lack of data on Industry, Revenue, and Employees is a problem in up to 87% of the examples. Bad data affects not just marketing but also sales, according to Forrester, executive buyers find that 77% of the sales people they meet don’t understand their issues and where they can help. As a result a lot of CMOs are taking the initiative to start profiling and creating more targeted leads so that sales don’t have this problem. Self-service advanced and predictive analytics for marketing campaigns According to a recent study by MDG Advertising, B2B organizations that utilize predictive analytics are 2x more likely to exceed their annual marketing ROI goal. The research offers interesting reasons why 89% of B2B organizations have predictive analytics on their roadmap. According to VentureBeat there are 3 main reasons why marketers aren’t that advanced in their analytical approaches – including skill gaps around data science. Easy-to-use tools can make it easier to run reports, but without a real understanding of data-driven approaches, the final report may not be accurate enough. Predictive lead scoring, for instance, can yield significant ROI and 90% of large organizations will have a Chief Data Officer or CDO by 2019. Meanwhile CMOs are not inactive and 55% of B2B organizations are already hiring for marketing analytics roles. Success in social media is not as easy as being 30 years old. You know that you will be 29 years old for 12 months and then it will automatically change to 30. This is easy to predict, but it is not scalable to social media. In terms of social media you need to go deeper than the surface to measure, for example, if it is worth having 30 social media accounts or maybe 10. You need to measure if it is worth having 30 blog articles or maybe 300. You will want to calculate if “Channel A” is worthwhile because it generated 300 conversions from unqualified leads or not. You may want to go further and identify which of the qualified leads bought “Product A” and “Product C” but haven’t yet bought “Product B”. Do you want better segmentations and profiles of those, so you can create a custom cross-selling campaign, based on information that you can get from LinkedIn, for instance? If so, you will need to go further than data visualization. Companies need advanced analytics to identify ROI. This is what will give you the insight on the ROI of your social media, but more than it could ensure success in the current digital era. You will find the following ad-hoc & pre-built tools at OpenText Big Data Analytics: Venn Diagram: Are you tired of reaching the wrong people? Smarter companies are reporting benefits doing data mining to target advanced segmentations and the most appropriate people with marketing material that resonates with them. Note that segmentations are based on data mining, but can be created by drag and drop of the database objects in the left column. Profile: Are you still re-marketing to visitors who landed on your website by mistake? Our drag and drop, easy-to-use tool is needed by marketing in the current customer-centric culture. B2B marketing goals for predictive analytics span the customer funnel including customer retention, customer lifetime value, customer effectiveness right up to customer acquisition – so having a customer profile is a must-have to begin. Association Rules: What if you could identify which users are likely to abandon with sentiment analysis of their activity in social media and help-desks – so you can reduce churn with a loyalty campaign? Would that help the ROI of your social media? You can find more predefined analysis screenshots and use case videos to help. Companies plan to increase spend on marketing analytics, but many will select the wrong capabilities or be unable to use them properly. Harvard Business Review alerts to this point “marketing analytics can have a substantial impact on a company’s growth, but companies must figure out how to make the best use of it”. Why agility is so important when it comes to marketing analytics You already know that advanced and predictive analytics is not new, if you think about how financial services has been using it. What’s really new is how easy analysis can be created as self-service now. In the real world, only 20% of organizations are able to deploy a model into operational use in less than 2 weeks according to TDWI, so don’t forget to ask for self-service and real-time advanced analytics. You will be happy that your analytics platform technology includes a columnar database when you get to this point. Why integrated reporting and insights should be easy to access by any marketer or business user 3 out of 4 marketers can’t measure and report on the contribution of their programs to the business. Isn’t that scary? To know the customer and how to deliver relevant data is a key business differentiator. Marketing analytics tools need to be more than a nicely displayed report, they need to allow decision makers to interact with the information according to McKinsey & Company. There’s a lot that has been written about the opportunities of using big data in supply chain and retail companies, and specifically the social media capabilities to reach their audiences. The retail analytics market is estimated to grow from 2.2 billion to 5.1 billion in 5 years but difficulty in sharing customer analytics is ranked as a top challenge by the Industry. Social media is a smart way to connect a customer with a specific local store, right? Instagram includes stats of impressions, reach, clicks and follower activity for businesses. There are a few tools with powerful capabilities to personalize, share and embedded HTML5 data visualizations available, but OpenText™ Information Hub is the only one that is tied to advanced and predictive analytics. 9 out of 10 sales and marketing professionals report the greatest departmental interest is in being able to access analytics within front-office applications and OpenText Information Hub is ranked as the top vendor in the latest Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study by analyst Howard Dresner – not without reason. Don’t forget to ask for an analytics platform that is perfectly fine to be scaled to unlimited users. Turn your social data into strategy, then gold Predictive analytics not only applies to what will happen next quarter, but also to what the user may want to find right now. Google doesn’t wait for you to make association rules that have probably helped you a few times – they make their big data work for millions of users in real-time. Now think about your company and one of your prospects sharing your content on social media or email. Do you create a campaign to track and nurture these actions? How do you react if a user won’t complete a form more than once? What do you do when one of your prospects is searching on your site having landed from a social media post about “Product A”? Are you able to identify that “Product C” will be the more likely purchase? There are musicians unhappy about piracy, but there are others tracking, mining and getting revenue from social data. Getting these insights on revenue before running new omnichannel campaigns will provide one voice communication, essential for a successful omnichannel strategy. What is also important: this will help with better data-driven decisions and greater return on investment of your social media budget. 86% of companies that deployed predictive analytics for two or more years saw increased marketing return on investment according to Forbes. Download the Research “Operationalizing and Embedding Analytics for Action” from TDWI The report notes that operationalizing and embedding analytics requires more than static dashboards that are updated once a day, or less. It requires integrating actionable insights into your applications, devices and databases. Download the report here.

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How Digital Disruption is Shaping Customer Experience – Webinar Invite

digital disruption

On May 12, I am the key speaker on a customer experience webinar entitled ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’. It’s the first in the new OpenText Digital Innovation webinar series that takes a fresh perspective on important issues that are affecting every business today. So, I thought I’d take a moment to give my perspective on delivering an excellent customer experience beforehand in the hope it persuades you to join me on the day. Perhaps the place to start isn’t with experience at all. Perhaps the place to start is with customer expectation. In almost every industry there are transformational changes in the experience companies are delivering to their customers. Think about moving from 28 days to same day delivery – then to real-time tracking of your order in transit. Today it seems that we’re not far from having delivery drones landing on our lawns! The first time you experience something like this, it feels like a revelation. By the tenth, it feels like it’s the norm. We have to live by one rule of thumb: customer delight always turns rapidly into customer expectation. You can occastionally afford to not delight your customer on a few of the interactions you have with them –  but you are in big, big trouble if you consistently fail to meet their expectations. The challenge is that, with every digital customer experience innovation we deliver, we consistently raise the bar on customer expectation. So what do customers expect? They expect a consistent experience with a company no matter which stage they are in their buyer’s journey. They expect to be able to connect with the company on any channel they choose. They expect to begin an interaction – buying a product or receiving support – on one channel and complete it on another seamlessly. They expect more transparency, more honesty and more information from their chosen suppliers than ever before. They don’t hope for this experience. They don’t want this experience. They expect this experience. And, they will go elsewhere if they don’t get it. Customer experience expert Steven Van Belleghem says: “The amount of trust consumers put in brands is decreasing all the time, and a typical consumer will now switch brands without hesitation if they get a better offer.” In this world of digital disruption, it is all too easy for an organisation to become the architect of its own downfall. In a rush to provide better and better external experiences, the company overlooks how closely tied external and internal processes actually are. In doing so, they set themselves up to disappoint the expectations of their customers. There is little point in marketing painting a wonderful picture in the customer’s mind if the product or the service fails to meet the expectations set. A customer can have the perfect purchasing experience but if the product arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive at all then all that good work is undermined. Organisations want to go digital on the outside. They know they need to be able to accommodate the growing number of data types and communications channels that their customers are embracing. They also want to go digital inside – creating new systems that transform digital operations, streamline internal processes, reduce information glut, and integrate business applications with information stores. Most companies find the prospect of tackling both at the same time too daunting and risky preferring to focus on internal processes. But, even here, creating end-to-end processes is challenging when you are faced with information silos built up over years or decades. On top of breaking down the silos, you have to layer on the ability to integrate the new data types and channels. Digital disruption is challenging the customer-facing parts of your business, but business transformation is an even greater force. At this point, business transformation becomes the bigger initiative and digital transformation falls under the larger umbrella. Unless carefully managed, the initial reason for embarking on the transformation – to deliver excellence digital customer experience – can become lost in the drive to improve internal processes. From my perspective, a more productive and longer term strategy is to redefine what you mean by digital outside and inside your business. You can instead see then both as a single cross-functional process that flows seamlessly between customer behaviours and internal functions. This allows you to focus on changing a single business process – such as supply chain management – rather than taking on two huge transformation projects simultaneously. It reduces the cost and risk involved in effectively responding to digital disruption and delivering consistently excellent customer experience today and into the future. I hope this has captured your curiosity and you’d like to know more about how OpenText can help you deliver an ever better customer experience. If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on the ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’ webinar on May 12 at 2pm BST for an hour.

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Why Customer Engagement is Critical to Your Success

customer engagement

Customer engagement is a term that is everywhere now. The industry is moving from touting “customer experience” to “customer engagement” because we all know that “engagement” is much deeper; it is about interactions, not just transactions. Excelling in customer engagement is a critical component to outperforming your competitors and delivering lifetime customer value, but how do you that? Why should you do that?   Well for one thing, your customer base is changing. Baby boomers are giving way to millennials, Gen X, Y and Z, and digital customers are becoming the norm. Within 10 years, 75% of the labor force will be born digital and they don’t like paper communications; they use digital media and social channels like no other generation. Are you going to be able to speak their language? Find out why a multichannel customer communications strategy is important with this infographic and also read how OpenText™ Exstream can help deliver this for you.

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Using Synchronized Media Assets to Bridge Platform Silos

media assets

Positive customer experience is all about removing the friction from the process. The easier something is to do, the better the experience. Today’s customers increasingly expect these transactions to seamlessly transition from one digital platform to another while retaining a consistent, personalized, digital experience, with data, information, and media assets moving seamlessly from one environment to another. It is tempting to try to address this by breaking down as many operational and siloed business and technology platforms as possible. This is often an impractical approach that leads to mismanaged expectations, delays, and higher than expected costs. It is better to bridge the silos in a way that allows data to flow between them. Instead of trying to break down silos, bridge them into irrelevancy by delivering a customer experience solution that focuses on delivering high impact content (usually visual), and allows you to conduct meaningful analytical analysis to continuously refine the experience. With an exceptional digital experience in place, it is not only the customer, but also your supply chain, distributors, and even employees who can benefit as well. The most effective way to bridge content silos is by adopting a media management strategy that empowers your digital supply chain by drawing brand approved assets from a centralized repository to deliver a connected consistent experience to multiple destinations – web, kiosk, mobile, tablet, etc. – which are compatible with the end user’s device. But what happens once you’ve published a media asset and it’s been delivered to one or more devices? What if the asset (be it an image, video, PDF file etc.) needs updating? Do you need to trace it and update each siloed instance individually? How do you know that you’ve found all the possible uses of that asset? Managing a media asset’s lifecycle can often be a hidden cost that in real terms costs more than the original investment in producing the asset. With the OpenText™ Media Management (OTMM) you can control your assets even after they’ve been published outside of OTMM. Assets are updated automatically when the tethered version in OTMM changes so you don’t have to. Every web page or application with the asset’s embed code – even the forgotten ones – will have the latest, correct version to make sure you stay on brand with current media assets. No more chasing content across operational and technology silos. Find out more about OpenText Media Management and how it helps companies enhance their investment in brand value and digital media with technology to manage and control media assets across various departments and optimize resources, efforts and budgets in an organization-wide strategy that delivers on your brand promise.

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Eight Seconds! Your Deadline to Deliver an Engaging Web Experience

web experience management

Eight seconds! Research has shown that’s all the time you have to capture the attention, and engage with, the average user on the web. Eight seconds! To meet this challenge, it isn’t enough to create great web content and deliver it through a traditional web content management system. To really capture attention you need a compelling web experience management strategy. Today’s web users expect a higher level of engagement and sophistication when it comes to their online experience. These elevated expectations have led to a more contextual, meaningful and compelling conversation between website, brand and user – across multiple devices and platforms. Rather than simply pushing static content to web properties, businesses now need to exceed customer expectations with tools that dynamically deliver adaptive and content-centric experiences across any, and every, channel where the customer may be interacting with them. There needs to be a bi-directional flow that runs from consumer to the organization and back again. Web content management is no longer a single point solution for website management because businesses are looking to integrate other enterprise systems that can bring greater value to their web content. Integration into these touch points allows for a greater 360-degree view and three-dimensional understanding of your customers. Omni-channel touch points must also take into consideration multilingual content, translation services and engines, and translation dashboards, which ensures that content pages are translated and localized for global visitors. Omni-channel touch points need to be available 24/7, which means that more self-service applications have to support consumers’ behaviors. Website management has been transformed from a static publishing process to a highly engaging web experience that compels audiences to interact and engage. As businesses try to find the balance between outbound and inbound marketing, the website is still at the forefront of every conversation with the customer. Using your website to create fresh, relevant, targeted content specifically designed to reach a distinct audience segments is key. Inbound marketing, significantly less expensive than outbound marketing, includes strategies such as social media marketing, blogging and content marketing, podcasts, white papers, eBooks, infographics, etc., and can be used to personalize the experience of customers, engage with them and let your brand shine. With a web experience management strategy and supporting platform in place, Digital-First enterprises can report and analyze the usage of pages, content and other relevant objects to increase the visibility of any information delivered in a personalized way and to optimize their knowledge regarding consumers’ expectations through any related business process, business partner and enterprise application. This will help to drive a higher customer lifecycle value and increase upsell revenue. Find out more about the OpenText™ Web Experience Management platform, and how you can use it to deliver compelling, and adaptive experiences across multi-channel touch points, to transform everyday online transactions into actionable, strategic insight.

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Creating Interactive Dialog With Your Customers

interactive dialog

What if each customer felt that every communication with you was not only well managed, but a meaningful, interactive dialog? What if every employee engaging with your customers could generate communications that not only inform but engage? Imagine using your customer communications to turn documents into dialog, communications into conversations. Every touchpoint with your customer is an opportunity to engage in a meaningful and relevant exchange. In today’s digital market place, the customer is empowered like never before. As a result businesses need to exploit every opportunity to communicate as clearly and consistently as possible across every channel and medium; whether online or offline, on paper or electronically. Most companies have yet to exploit the potential for driving additional business through customer-facing communications. These communications, the data that feeds them, and the exchanges between a customer and a company are critical assets for strengthening relationships and fueling sales. Tailoring each customer’s correspondence with personally relevant information, informing and engaging customers with every communication, deepens the relationship. The ability to work more personally with customers, even in regular mass-distributed communications such as bills, invoices, statements, notifications etc., is a strong competitive edge. Acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers, and a two percent increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by ten percent. Yet research has shown that 68 percent of customers who break away from a relationship with a company and go elsewhere do so because they feel unknown and unwanted. This alone justifies efforts to connect more personally at every touchpoint of the customer’s journey and to create easy, frictionless, ways for customers to initiate and manage their own contact. Smarter Communications Improve Revenue and Streamline Costs: Enable business managers to drive business: Direct, hands-on connections to customer communications remove the lag time between seeing a business opportunity or necessity and acting on it. Business managers create and manage marketing messages and campaigns and the rules that deliver them to the right customer at the right time. Match the message to the customer: Whether it’s welcome packs, order confirmations, delivery notices, invoices, or statements, personalized documents build customer loyalty. Even at high volumes and processing speeds, personalizing every document, including cross/up-sell offers or other notices can be tuned to each customer. Let the customer control the conversation: Through simple self-service, customers can specify their preferred channels; print, fax, email, mobile, web, and other electronic channels. This variety of choice empowers customers and also gives you multiple channels for new services or business development initiatives. Interactive content presentment: Rich media, dynamic charts and graphs on communications not only provide better information, they create dialogues between supplier and client. Each touchpoint brings you closer to your customer, providing valuable insight and a better customer experience. Find out more about how you can use OpenText™ Communications Center to establish a modern communication processing environment in your enterprise. Using data from your existing business systems (without requiring any changes to those systems) to dynamically generate the communications you use to run your business and correspond with your customers, partners, suppliers, and employees.

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It’s Technically Easy to Upgrade to the Latest Version of Exstream

Data barriers

OpenText™ Exstream is a powerful, efficient and robust multichannel customer communications solution that allows users to create a variety of simple and complex customer-facing documents with dynamic content for interactive, on-demand or batch environments. Release after release, Exstream brings a lot of new exciting features mainstream, while ensuring backward compatibility for Exstream applications developed through older releases. You may be wondering if it is difficult to upgrade to the latest major release – it’s not. There are just few steps to execute, and that’s it! Know before you go! Information on upgrading to OpenText Exstream can be found in the User Guides. It will help you to better assess what needs to be done during the upgrade process. There are several ways to make the upgrade process easier. Following are a few modules you might have installed that can assist with the upgrade process: Test Data Capture – Optimizes your test data for the upgrade Rule Analyzer – Checks whether your business rules were triggered or not Output Compare – Compare PDF, PostScript and AFP generated by the old version and the new version, in the Workstation Output Batch Compare – Does the same as Output Compare but with larger files, in the server If you do not have these modules installed, please reach out to your OpenText Exstream account executive for more information. Collect test data What you need to know is that a complete test data coverage is the key to a successful upgrade. But don’t try not to use an entire data set from a production run as it can be too cumbersome and time consuming to manage. As mentioned above, we recommend using Test Data Capture in order to decrease the amount records in the Test Data file. Preparing for the upgrade In order to prepare the upgrade, some key activities are necessary: Duplicate the Database Instance and work on this duplicated database to perform the preparation Delete any unused objects you see and empty the Trash Can of Design Manager Execute Database Maintenance before upgrading the Database Choosing the right methodology to upgrade OpenText Exstream Engine only upgrade No need to perform the Database migration to the latest version Useful to fix a defect that only occurs with the engine It does not allow you to use the latest features of Exstream Design and Engine upgrade Install the new Exstream Design and Production on a targeted workstation Simply use DBAdmin_DBCS.exe to migrate the duplicated instance of the database This will allow you to use the latest feature of Exstream For a full upgrade, you can repackage all the applications (manually or through Batch packaging). It is then recommended to test the output with the one generated with the older version You can still use the engine with the old packages and only repackage once a modification is done in the application Additionally, you can use a step-by-step migration using XOB that will need more time to achieve the upgrade and require two engines in the same environment. This method is typically suited for: Allowing you to continue developing with a minimal business impact Revamping the applications in the new version in order to better control which new features can be applied The upgrade is fully supported by OpenText. You can also rely on the Exstream Professional Services team to ensure best practices are applied and to accelerate the process thanks to the experience of our consultants.

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Media Management is Now Mission Critical to Providing an Engaging Customer Experience

digital media management

In today’s customer-centric environment, digital media management is an imperative. The customer experience is becoming more visual every day with the rapid growth in the consumption of videos, the use of photography, infographics, and other rich media assets that provide your customers with an engaging experience. A well-defined media asset strategy and associated technology platform is essential to help companies enhance their investment in brand value while maximizing the ability to manage and control media assets across various departments and optimizing resources, efforts and budgets. Digital Asset Management is a core technology and a critical infrastructure component for creating that engaging customer experience. From creation to consumption, a Media Management platform provides a “single source of truth” and consolidated asset repository for marketing, branding, commerce, video and global distribution. It becomes the focal point of an ecosystem with interconnected and interdependent contributors and production environments (such as agencies, photo, video, audio, graphics, layout) provisioning digital media content for the multi-channel digital supply chain, digital operations, marketing and brand management, and more. In every organization, the quantity of rich media assets is exploding. And, the investment in acquiring, creating, managing and using all those assets is significant. OpenText™ Media Management: Reduces spend by managing assets for re-purposing and reuse – not re-purchase or replicate. Increases productivity with a simple yet powerful user experience to search and find media assets in an enterprise-wide, centralized repository. Increases revenue with faster time to market, transforming and publishing your content with adaptive delivery and multiple renditions for multi-channel, multi-device experiences. Energizes your media supply chain with secure and controlled access for internal and externals users, partners and groups. Protects your valuable assets from costly misuse with flexible and granular user and asset security policies and integrated rights management. Media Management consolidates all your digital media and video into a single managed, controlled and centralized repository with rich metadata to accelerate publishing and distribution to multiple channels and devices for better customer engagement. Eliminates multiple systems, shared drives and local storage for media assets. Provides metadata capabilities to personalize, profile and manage assets for more relevant and engaging customer interactions. Offers localization and multi-language capabilities to support global operations. Embeds rich media analytics using data and predictive capabilities to provide understanding and smarter decisions about customers, the business landscape and market trends for better insight. Media Management supports the entire media content lifecycle with integrated processes and functionality for planning, creation, production, collaboration, approvals, delivery, asset /usage performance and archive disposition. Find out more about OpenText Media Management and how it helps companies enhance their investment in brand value and digital media with technology to manage and control media assets across various departments and optimize resources, efforts and budgets in an organization-wide strategy that delivers on your brand promise.

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Contact Center Industry Predictions for 2016

contact center

From the desk of Dr. WFO: 2015 is almost over! Can you believe it? Friends and colleagues are already talking about resolutions for 2016, (I shared one of my resolutions here). After attending and speaking at several industry events, participating in various roundtables, and talking to numerous analysts, customers and prospects, below are my thoughts on themes within contact centers for 2016. Emerging and/or continued investments in the following areas of technology: Multichannel analytics Desktop optimization (analytics) Managed services Cloud-based solutions where it makes sense Predictive analytics Mobile applications Emerging and/or continued focus on customer experience (CX): Need to establish multichannel strategy based on your customer demographics and expectations Determine if you are ready to deliver a seamless cross-channel strategy; if you do not have a solid multichannel foundation in place, don’’t get distracted by the term “omni-channel experience” Review current metrics to determine if these are appropriate based on your strategic and operational plans; are you measuring customer effort? If not, why? If so, how are you doing? Self-service options that are well executed Continued investment in human capital: With an ever evolving workforce, investments in training, succession planning, and overall development must continue to be a focus at all levels within the contact center Rewards and recognition programs improved (one size doesn’’t fit all) Using a multichannel analytics application can provide the necessary data to measure, take action, and laser focus in a few areas: agent productivity and customer experience. Agent Productivity With multichannel interactions, the opportunity for agents to handle multiple chat and email sessions can reduce the cost per contact compared to agent handling a voice call. The cost per contact is even less when work-at-home agent are handling chats and email interactions because there aren’’t brick and mortar costs to be factored. Customer Experience Keep in mind, changes to the demographic landscape are evolving as your customers are becoming younger and younger. Self-service will continue to become an expectation from consumers. Timely and accurate resolution to an issue/inquiry without the customer having to wait in a queue for an agent will often result in a better customer experience. For those consumers who take advantage of the self-service channel, they have communication expectations and requirements including – their inquiry has been received, a particular person is handling it and will get back to them, and when they can expect a response. Organizations who provide self-service channels must measure the effectiveness through post-chat surveys, Net Promoter scores, customer effort and even SMS or email surveys. What do you see as key themes for the contact center in 2016? Let me know in the comments below. Enjoy the holidays and I look forward to a great 2016!

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: It Only Takes a Finger

My niece recently went up to my TV and said the “swipe” wasn’t working. When I read her a children’s book, she asked, “What’s a radio?” She’s five, which means touchscreen devices have been around longer than she’s been alive. New college graduates have been completely raised in the Internet Era. In ten years, college graduates will have been raised on “one finger”. Digital engagement isn’t optional, it’s required. And it has to go beyond easy, and be intuitive. When a five year old goes up to a TV to swipe it, that’s intuitive. Consumers have grown accustomed to sending messages, downloading music, opening a bank account, and even purchasing a house—all with just one finger. In the digital world, they have infinite choices at their fingertips. Customers can browse, compare, research, and purchase without setting foot into a physical location—at any time, from anywhere. The digital world is always on. Decisions are made quickly, but they are informed. Gratification is immediate. This means that you have mere seconds to captivate a customer. And you have to demonstrate that you “know” them in those few seconds. So that first impression (which can be your only and your last) is more important than ever. Customers are growing increasingly savvy and fickle, and their loyalty must be earned. Every unnecessary click or irrelevant message aggravates, pushing your customer into the welcoming arms of your competitor. The Digital Leaders know this. That’s why they’re already innovating and creating wildly compelling omni-channel experiences. But this requires digitalized customer journeys and consolidated information. This starts behind the firewall and extends outside the enterprise across the supply network. Only then will you be able to predict what content will positively influence your customers, respond in real time, and deliver highly curated and satisfying experiences. Remember, your customers have the world in the palm of their hand. If you don’t impress, it only takes a finger… to unlike, unsubscribe, post a bad review, or buy now—from your competitor. In the next post in this series I’ll look at how seamless, consistent, personal, and engaging experiences are they key to winning and keeping customers. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The New Barbarians

Digital is second nature to Millennials and plays a significant part in their lives. They believe new technology makes life easier and brings people closer together. Millennials are mobile. They are hyper-connected and always on. Based on their love of all things Digital, Millennials are introducing a whole new value system to the workplace. They eschew traditional hierarchical structures, prefer working in ways that are open, flexible and social, and are introducing new digital technologies into the enterprise (even if it means circumventing IT policy). They are multicultural, global, and believe in a work-life balance. This demographic will soon make up 50% of the global workforce. To accommodate their needs, corporate cultures will have to create an environment that caters to them (flex hours, remote access, BYOD). And if their demands are not met, this band of talented nomads will simply move on. Their influence extends beyond the enterprise. Millennials are making demands in the marketplace too. Being hyper-connected has created an “anytime, anywhere” expectation. As consumers, convenience and instant gratification are key—otherwise they’ll find another brand that can satisfy their expectations. Millennials are informed. They are communicators. And they value authenticity. All of these factors are driving brands to support digital, omni-channel shopping experiences, forums for open dialogue, and co-creation—where the consumer is empowered to interact with and influence a brand. Armed with new technology, influential opinions, and wallet power, Millennials have the means to supplant incumbents. If you fall short of meeting expectations—if you fail to deliver relevant and authentic digital experiences, provide flexible work environments, and adopt open communications—you will not survive the invasion. In my next post in this series, I’ll explore how engaging digital experiences are no longer optional, and what Digital Leaders are doing to fulfill this new business requirement. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The Subscription Economy

Pre-digital, subscription was for periodicals, newspapers, cars, and book-of-the-month clubs. Today, it is a required part of businesses. If you do not have a subscription model in your business, you need to—and it is not easy to do. Every business must have a subscription model. Millennials expect it. Your investors expect it. There is a class of users that prefers to own an asset. Is it generational? In regulated industries? Is it for strategic or balance sheet reasons? Whatever it is, make sure your selection criteria are clear. All others prefer to have access to the asset. We have officially reached the tipping point. Access is the preferred method and thus we are in the “The Subscription Economy”. Subscription models challenge the incumbent or can create a competitive barrier. Netflix challenged Blockbuster and continues to challenge the entertainment industry in Hollywood. Salesforce challenges Oracle and SAP. Apple challenges music and the mobile/telco industries. You can now subscribe to an iPhone via a new Apple service. Heck, you can even subscribe to an IBM Mainframe today. One of the prizes of subscription is loyalty. But buyer beware. Subscription models are usually more expensive in the long term. Do your math. If you intend to subscribe for the long term, it can be two to three times more expensive than purchasing outright. There are also challenges in making your products or services available as a subscription. You have to move from one-time transactions to multiple transactions. You also move from receiving value up front to receiving a lifetime of value. And the greatest determinant to long-term value and loyalty is rapid and continuous usage of your service. Successful transitions to the Subscription Economy are well thought out, financially planned through, well communicated, and capture new spend. They identify new streams of revenue using new channels of engagement to appeal to the emerging powerhouse consumer—Millennials. In my next post in this series, I’ll discuss how this new generation is changing the face of business—as both consumer and employee. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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Both Sides, Now—Key Steps to Transforming Government

So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way Joni Mitchell, Both Sides, Now It’s almost 50 years since Joni Mitchell wrote those words, inspired by the sight of clouds from both above and below in an airplane. The song observes that every part of life can benefit from different perspectives. The same is true of government processes. While Mitchell recognized that technology revealed two sides of clouds, many governments are still focusing on only one side of Digital Government. The good news is that we are universally recognizing and moving toward a government experience similar to the way consumers interact with businesses. That is, businesses like Amazon and Uber, who capitalize on what technology can do to improve services, have set the standard requiring interactions that are: Digital Personalized Immediate Transparent Mobile—that is, available anywhere, anytime, on any device While government is generally not quite there yet, most agencies and departments are moving in that direction and local and state or provincial governments are moving especially fast to simplify two-way interactions with citizens. So that’s the bottom of the cloud—the side that we most frequently see when we glance up—but it’s the other side, the one visible from 30,000 feet, where government is languishing. In order to deliver on Digital Government, then, government has to be digital on the inside, too. For a business like Uber, for instance, technology inspired the execution from the beginning. There were no internal processes to disable, SOP’s to revise, legacy applications to transition or decommission and, most significant, no employees to retrain. These challenges have long impeded government’s ability to modernize. But to truly transform, to digitize, organizations have to take the critical steps to apply technology to internal mission-delivery processes—not to incrementally automate process steps as they are performed now in silos but to envision the way agencies could share information across the functional silos to take giant leaps to cut service delivery times, increase inspection or regulatory effectiveness, improve facility or asset maintenance, investigative efficiency and so on. So what’s the other side—the inside—of Digital, Personalized, Immediate, Transparent, and Mobile? Well, it looks something like this: Outside Inside Digital Informed and governed on-line e-forms that populate account folders, centralized auto-classified content governance/reconciliation tied to ERP and mission systems, interactive forums, online chats for questions Personalized Account/case-driven entity/ person-focused accounts that draw together information from all agency sources around that entity for a 360° view inside and outside. Every interaction ties to this file and new services, changes in services automatically notify entities of the change and they can see status of their requests or services in flight Immediate Workflow and AI / analytics-driven decisions where processes are predictable workflows speed delivery; where intelligent intervention is needed, decisions are guided by analytics, access to information is available in real-time and metrics help identify outcomes achieved and bottlenecks to refine Transparent Outcome-focused, metrics and measures service measures are defined, routinely tracked and publicly reported in real-time or near real-time, regulatory results published, non-sensitive information provided as Open Data Mobile Omni-channel (any device access), anywhere, any time for employees in the field and citizens These are, of course, non-trivial changes for most governments and, as technologies and technology accelerators evolve, modernizing processes to take advantage of them will require continuous transformation. Yet none of us want to echo Mitchell’s refrain ‘so many things I could have done…” So as we step into Digital Government, make sure to commit to both sides, now. Hear more about digital disruption in government at Enterprise World 2015‘s government customer panels and in our all-new Digital Disruption Zone.

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We live in exciting times. Digital Transformation is here, Now.

I’m new to the what we internally call the EcoSystem team in OpenText, having moved into my new role in the last 6 months. Previously to that I spent 15 years in the ever changing world of Customer Experience Management. All that time the EcoSystem LOB was known to me as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft – or in my mind the great space on the mental map that is called the Back Office, where nothing much changed compared to CEM where you had to keep up-to-date on what was the hot new startup / social media network or buzzword that everyone was jumping on board this month (HTML 5, Responsive Design, OmniChannel, Phigital, ….. ). In my new Program Manager role, some of our partnerships have been in place for over 20 years, such as our relationship with SAP, are newer or emerging, and reflect the continuous growth of information in Enterprise platforms and more importantly the growing need to use this valuable information more effectively when approaching Digital Transformation. At Enterprise World 2015 You’ll hear a lot about Suite 16 and Cloud 16 and what that means for all of OpenText’s products including those that our group is responsible for. You will also hear from us about “Simplify: Run Digital”. It’s our key message to our customers and prospects that now is the time to simplify what you do to start transformation into a true Digital Enterprise. Simplify. Run Digital: covers all areas of an organization, from the necessary building blocks of the Platform, accelerating up through the Business and into the world of Transformation. Our sessions at Enterprise World cover all 3 areas, because tackling each one in isolation could lead to failure, really quickly and we believe that you have to consider all 3 (Platform, Business and Transformation) to be truly successful. At the Platform we will announce new products and enhancements as part of Blue Carbon supporting S4/HANA, Fiori and hybris; Microsoft Azure and Office 365; SFDC and of course OpenText Cloud. For the Business, at our Roundtable lunches speak to other customers like Southern California Edison, Man Diesel and Heineken about the success and benefits they have gained with our products. Experiencing Transformation, see live demo’s of the products and in the Disruption Zone experience how new tech like 3d Printing and our solutions are driving transformation. Digital Transformation is happening now, but getting started is not easy and that’s where we can help. We’ll share with you a tried and tested methodology to identify your digital maturity, prioritize the opportunities in your organization, your supply chain and products and finally your customer engagement models. Finally and against common wisdom – in this case, just because it happened in Vegas doesn’t mean it has to stay there. Enjoy Enterprise World 2015!!

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Data Driven Digest for September 18: Money and Finance

This week marks the 133 anniversary of the opening of the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. The establishment was created to serve the interest of businesses that struck it rich mining for gold during the California Gold Rush. Nowadays, businesses mine for data hoping to strike it rich by analyzing that data for clues about how to best serve their customers, streamline their operations, or gain a competitive advantage. In honor of those financial pioneers, this week we offer three different visualizations of financial data. Eureka! U.S. Fiscal Responsibility   In 1789, the United States established its first loan to pay salaries of the existing and future presidents and the Congress. As our friend Katy French (@katyifrench) posted in Visual News this week, bean counters in Washington kept great records and even produced stunning visualizations to represent trends. The graphic above represents the Fiscal Chart of Debt and Expenditures by the U.S. Government between 1789 and 1870. Note the spikes in military spending during the War of 1812 and Civil War as well as the first major accumulation of debt in 1861.   Euro Spending How do Europeans spend their paychecks? That was the premise of a recent data plot developed by The Economist (@TheEconomist). Based on data sets from Eurostat entitled Final consumption expenditure of households by consumption purpose, The Economist found life in the Euro zone is quite diverse. Living in Lithuania? Your budget is dominated by food and clothes. Lithuanians also spend more per capita on alcohol and tobacco than the rest of Europe. Meeting in Malta? Forget about eating at home. Nearly 20 percent of Maltese spending goes toward restaurants and hotels. Spaniards spend the least on their transportation. Germans spend more on their furnishings than their E.U. neighbors   World Population Based on Income Our friends over at Pew Research Center (@PewResearch) have come up with an interactive visualization based around the paradigms of income and how it relates to world population. For example, the map above shows the density of people living under what they term as a middle income. By middle income, that means your daily wages are between $10.01 and $20. According to the map, 13 percent of the 7+ billion people in the world are middle income. The map has a second option that reveals the percentage point change in that population between 2000 and 2011. It’s a fascinating study on both financial statistics as well as data maps. The income groups are defined as follows: The poor live on $2 or less daily, low income on $2.01-10, middle-income on $10.01-20, upper-middle income on $20.01-50, and high income on more than $50; figures expressed in 2011 purchasing power parities in 2011 prices.

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Digital Engagement: A New Business Requirement

Digital engagement isn’t an option anymore, it’s a requirement. Today’s consumers are savvy and fickle, and companies must work to earn their loyalty. They’re demanding more from the brands they love, and their tolerance for anything but a seamless, engaging, and compelling experience is flagging. In a digital world, organizations must digitize their customer journeys, from initial interest through to purchase and follow-on service or support. The best way to do this is to shift to a digital marketing strategy. One that creates consistent and compelling customer experiences at every touchpoint through omni-channel delivery, responsive design, and targeted communications and information. Digital technologies have introduced new customer touchpoints and increased opportunities to engage. Since consumers often use more than one channel to interact with a brand (in some instances they use five or six), delivering uniform and relevant messages across all channels is crucial for return on marketing investments and customer satisfaction. Omni-channel focuses on meeting consumer needs by pulling together programs to provide a cohesive brand experience across channels, platforms, and devices. To borrow from Bruce Lee, digital design should “be like water”. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. The same holds true for digital experiences. The transition from desktop to device to point-of-sale should be fluid. This is achieved through responsive design. Customers don’t see individual devices or channels; they look for a consistent and familiar brand experience that delivers relevant content. Nirvana on the customer journey is realized when a company anticipates the needs and wants of a customer and serves up targeted and tailored content, products, or services, in the moment of need, wherever the customer is. Organizations that can predict customer behavior have a better chance at fulfilling consumer needs. Analytics—or analyzing data collected across various touchpoints of the customer journey (transactions, interactions, social media sites, and devices) helps organizations discover valuable customer insights so that they can offer more personalized and satisfying experiences. The most effective way to target different audiences is to use messages that focus on products and services with the greatest appeal for each segment. Using dynamically generated customer communications, organizations can create and automate their marketing campaigns. When correspondence is part of a digitized process, end results are gains in efficiency and the ability to create superior customer experiences. As one of the foundational suites for Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Customer Experience Management (CEM) aims to create a richer, more interactive online experience across multiple channels without sacrificing requirements for compliance and information governance. CEM brings together all of the technologies required to re-architect back-office systems, consolidate customer data, and create digitized front-end experiences. Digital engagement starts inside the firewall and extends outside the enterprise and all along the supply chain. In the next post in this series, I’ll explore how the supply chain is being disrupted and how enterprises can digitize key processes for greater collaboration, information exchange, and business agility. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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