Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

Delivering the Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise

On Demand Webcast: Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise

A Five Step Roadmap for Mobilizing a Digital business

Geoffrey Bock, Principal, Bock & Company
Michael Snow, Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle WebCenter

Over the past few years, we have been fascinated by the impact of mobility on business. As employees, partners, and customers, we now carry powerful devices in our pockets and handbags. Our smartphones and tablets are always with us, always on, and always collecting information. We are no longer tethered to fixed work places; we can frequently find essential information with just a few taps and swipes. More and more, this content is keyed to our current context. Moreover, we often are immersed in an array of sensors that track our actions, personalize the results, and assist us in innumerable ways. Our business and social worlds are in transition. This is not the enterprise computing environment of the 1990’s or even the last decade.

Yet while tracking trends with the mobile industry, we have encountered a repeated refrain from many technology and business leaders. Sure, mobile apps are neat, they say. But how do you justify the investments required? What are the business benefits of enterprise mobility? When should companies harness the incredible opportunities of the mobile revolution?

To answer these questions, we think that it is important to recognize the steps along the mobile journey. Certainly companies have been investing in their enterprise infrastructure for many years. In fact, enterprise-wide mobility is just the latest stage in the development of digital business initiatives.

What is at stake is not simply introducing nifty mobile apps as access points to existing enterprise applications. The challenge is weaving innovative digital technologies (including mobile) into the fabric (and daily operations) of an organization. Companies become digital businesses by adapting and transforming essential enterprise activities. As they mobilize key business experiences, they drive digital capabilities deeply into their application infrastructure.

Please join us for a conversation about how Oracle customers are making this mobile journey, our five-step roadmap for delivering the moments of engagement across the enterprise.

Editors note: This webcast is now available On-Demand


Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

How Do You Deliver High-Value Moments of Engagement?

Webcast: Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise
Oracle Corporation
Webcast: Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise

How Do You Deliver High-Value Moments of Engagement?

The web and mobile have become primary channels for engaging with customers today. To compete effectively, companies need to deliver multiple digital experiences that are contextually relevant to customers and valuable for the business—across various channels and on a global scale. But doing so is a great challenge without the right strategies and architectures in place.

As the kickoff of the new Digital Business Thought Leadership Series, noted industry analyst Geoffrey Bock investigated what some of Oracle’s customers are already doing, and how they are rapidly mobilizing the capabilities of their enterprise ecosystems.

Join us for a conversation about building your digital roadmap for the engaging enterprise. In this webcast you’ll have an opportunity to learn:

  • How leading organizations are extending and mobilizing digital experiences for their customers, partners, and employees
  • The key best practices for powering the high-value moments of engagement that deliver business value
  • Business opportunities and challenges that exist for enterprise wide mobility to fuel multichannel experiences

Register now to attend the webcast.

Register Now

Attend the webcast.

Thurs, April 17, 2014
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET





Presented by:

Geoffrey Bock

Geoffrey Bock

Principal, Bock & Company


Michael Snow

Michael Snow

Senior Product Marketing Director, Oracle WebCenter




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Friday Feb 22, 2013

Engage Your Customers. Empower Your Business. Do More with Your Minutes.

#DoMoreWithOracle ~  It’s a Social World

We live in very social times – in 60 seconds in today’s online world, we see 695,000 new searches on Google while 72 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube. We send 11 million instant messages and tweet 98,000 times. There are 1389 new blog postings and 695,000 new status updates to facebook. Meanwhile, Instagram gets 3480 new photos uploaded. 

Some of these figures may seem large, some may seem small, but they all show a trend for more - More - MORE as the population becomes ever more engaged with our social media world.

We see staggering statistics of social media usage across the globe – in 2011 YouTube had more than 1 TRILLION views or to put this in relative terms that would translate to 140 views for every person on the planet Earth. Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube.  Facebook has 845 million active users that create 3.2 billion likes and comments every day. Facebook users spend an average of 6 hours, 35 minutes per month on the site. Facebook has reached 100 billion friendships. There are 250 million photos uploaded each day = 173,611/minute.  Let’s face the facts – we are all hooked on socially engaging via the latest and greatest tools available.

The challenge?

Are you giving your customers, employees and partners the best online experience they have come to expect from their personal lives?

ARE YOU ENGAGING EVERYONE WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES?

Not to mention that this also usually includes managing huge QUANTITIES of business data, while replicating the QUALITY of the social media experience.

So then, how do you manage the qualities of a business – including data and interaction and replicate the quality of the social media experience?

#DoMoreWithOracle – we can certainly help! Check out the full week of Fusion Middleware Screencasts


Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics/

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-instagram-stats/

http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-social-media-statistics-for-2012/

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/social-media-stats-2012_b30651

Thursday Jan 24, 2013

Engagement: These are a few of my favorite things...

For today’s post, I’d like to let the visuals speak for themselves as great examples of how companies are working really hard to change the dynamics of engagement to build a legion of highly loyal and engaged customers and fans. So, grab a cup of coffee and take a break to watch the videos below.

We’ll start with a video from one of our partners, LBi where Paul Beck, Global Head of Audiences and Engagement, explains that “It’s not the Steak – it’s the Sizzle!” as the secret to success in today’s marketing jungle.

Every year, one of my favorite magazines, Fast Company, puts out numerous lists, but their “The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies“ list is a great one to watch for some of the coolest customer engagement examples each year. 

A great example (IMO) from 2012

RedBull

One of LBi’s clients, RedBull, has become a media powerhouse themselves – especially with the recent space jump spectacle that gave them maximum free advertising across the globe. If there is an extreme sport where life and death often hang in balance, you'll often find RedBull there as a sponsor. What you are about to see below really pushes the limit of both extreme sports as well as expense for sponsorship. Whether or not you drink their magic potion or not, this project (http://www.redbullstratos.com/) created an audience across multiple social channels with a vast viral distribution of the multiple videos and documentaries created before, during and after the world record-breaking event. This is RedBull's MO, creating sponsorships and spectacles for adrenalin rushes vicariously explored and experienced through their media machine and hopefully also selling some of their elixer along the way. 

RedBull Stratos, A Mission to the Edge of Space

On 14 October 2012 Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere doing the highest parachute jump ever done by a human.. He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39 kilometres (24 mi), reaching an estimated speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour (834 mph), or Mach 1.24. The capsule was launched from Roswell International Air Center at 09:30 MDT (15:30 UTC).

Standing on the step of the capsule, Baumgartner made a short address:
"I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are... I'm coming home now."

RedBull Stratos from AixSponza on Vimeo.
Peter Clausen Film and AixSponza created this animation above visualizing the whole process of going up and jumping down.

Title : "Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of Space" Client: Red Bull Media House GmbH
Production Company: Peter Clausen Film & TV Produktionsgesellschaft mbH, Munich

Jump from the Edge of Space from NotWorkingFilms on Vimeo.

A NotWorkingFilms Tribute to FELIX BAUMGARTNER JUMP FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE Red Bull Stratos - 14 October 2012
Remixed* by Fabio Palmieri
Music by György Ligeti - Requiem for Soprano (Cathy Berberian)
2012©NotWorkingFilms http://www.notworkingfilms.com  Like on FB!! https://www.facebook.com/NotWorkingFilmsPage

------

RedBull has done some great work with car racing as well. www.redbullracing.com/
------------------

Nike

 At Oracle Open World this past October 2012, our customer Nike, won a Fusion Middleware Innovation Award for their Nike FuelBand built with Oracle technologies. There is another interesting article on Fast Company’s Design site regarding this new product and direction for Nike.  They were aiming to create a “Universal Currency” to engage users no matter what they were doing combining personal goals, social networks  and engagement across multiple aspects of a person’s life.

Everything COUNTS!

Nike Achieves Scalability with Oracle: Nike supports 8 million global users to monitor active lifestyle in social environment with 150,000 requests per minute using Oracle


Life Technologies

Another interesting leader on the list is an Oracle client that won an Innovation Award this year as well, Life Technologies. They are praised for bringing the cost of gene sequencing down to a manageable level from both a cost and time perspective in a rapidly growing market of biowares.

They have used Oracle WebCenter Technologies to build their service portal that provides yet another proof point in the Internet of Things that can communicate from machine to machine and provide service, maintenance and proactive care to keep very expensive equipment up and running for peak utilization.  Increasing customer satisfaction and engagement by removing a task and letting researchers focus on research not the maintenance of their equipment.



Looking back at our Social Business Thought Leaders from 2012, there are a couple that immediately come to mind when we talk about trends in Engagement across both Mobile and Social.


Mobile is the New Face of Engagement
featuring Ted Schadler, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester 



Organic Business Networks: Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected World

featuring Mike Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC   


Wednesday Jan 23, 2013

New Worlds of Customer & Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement goes far beyond the existence of technology and tools – it is something that needs to be well baked into the culture of the organization. I stumbled upon a wonderful paper on a great site I found that was chock full of interesting articles on employee engagement and the psychology of work and employment and living life to the fullest being personally satisfied and rewarded. The article entitled, “A call for the HIGH PERFORMANCE HUMAN WORKPLACE” by Dominique Giulini, General Manager Novartis Healthcare, Canada talks about the shift in thinking that is required now to promote full employee engagement. Companies are increasingly challenged to create opportunities to fully engage their employees to increase both retention as well as quality of work. I’m sure that many won’t like his approach or suggestions as they do challenge the historic sacred cow of corporate culture – Profit. His premise is quite simple yet presents a significant challenge for today’s leaders:

“This shift is from seeing profit as the goal to profit as the result of meaningful things done in fulfilling ways.”

This shift is best described by using the examples from his paper that talk about one major aspect to this shift – based on numerous studies, employees prefer to have a "Noble Purpose."

This is Noble Purpose - Some Examples:

  • Banking sector: Instead of profit only: Giving credit allows entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and contribute to innovation in society.
  • Insurance: Instead of premium increase: Increasing quality of life by allowing people to focus on the possibilities in their live because their big worries are insured.
  • Computer: Instead of “Selling more computers”: Revolutionizing the access to communication and entertainment.
  • Pharmaceutical:  Instead of “more blockbusters”: Increasing access in the world for Cures.”
  • Books: Instead of selling more books: Being the most customer oriented company in the world. (Amazon)

Noble Purpose is not jargon or a slogan. If it is not genuine it doesn’t work. It starts in a leader’s heart and mind. It is always available if you become 100 percent responsible for it in your company culture.”


When one starts doing research on "Employee Engagement", there are a couple of very well known groups that appear frequently having conducted major research on employee or "human capital" patterns of behavior. Both Aon and Towers Watson have provided insightful research on the topic.

From Aon's "Trends in Global Engagement" Report:

"Engaged employees deliver better performance, which is critical for business success. They understand their role in the business strategy, have a strong connection and commitment to the company, are more involved, and strive to go above and beyond in their jobs. The bottom line is that employee engagement matters—now more than ever. And the solutions for maintaining or improving engagement are increasingly complex for companies operating in an environment of instability and varied economic conditions. Striving to maintain a higher level of employee engagement not only contributes toward short-term survival during economic volatility, but is also a key factor for longer-term business performance and better positioning when market conditions become favorable. The companies that get engagement “right” will enjoy a source of competitive advantage in talent strategy and business results that is hard for others to replicate."

Embed engagement into business practices - engaging employees can't be a side thought. It needs to be part of the culture and fabric of the organization. Growing a culture of collaboration that allows employees easy and rapid communication speeds up both internal and external, employee and customer satisfaction.

From the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study — conducted with 32,000 employees across 30 countries:

“The first gap is effectively enabling workers with internal support, resources and tools, which can take a variety of forms. Think of the helpful supervisor who prioritizes and organizes work, regardless of whether the employee is in front of him or her, or 1,000 miles away working at home or in a remote office. Think of efficient technology that works (and a helpful help desk when it doesn’t). Think of a collegial work team ready to jump in to help. Or of online tools and processes that give remote or contract workers access to information and guidance to make good job-related decisions in real time.”

“When engagement starts to decline, companies become vulnerable not only to a measurable drop in productivity, but also to poorer customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover.” (from Towers Watson 2012 study)

Keeping employees engaged leads to happier employees and ultimately that translates to happier customers. This is outlined clearly in a post on the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz, entitled "How Employee Engagement Hits the Bottom Line". In this post, Tony Schwartz praises the results of the 2012 Towers Watson study that "makes the most powerful, bottom line case yet for the connection between how we feel at work and how we perform." 

He writes further; "For leaders, the key is to begin thinking of themselves as Chief Energy Officers. Energy is contagious, for better and for worse, and disproportionately so for leaders — by virtue of their influence. "The manager is at the heart of what we might think of as a personal employee ecosystem," the Towers Watson study concludes, "shaping individual experience ... day in and day out.""

Side Note: Interestingly enough, Tony Schwartz also has the record for the most read blog post in 2012 on the HBR site with a post that everyone should read to reset their multitasking behavior and expectations for more depth and productivity. "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" by Tony Schwartz

Most of the social engagement rhetoric comes down to directing an organization’s focus on building a customer-centric organization starting from the inside out. Without the employee and customer-centric internal health of the organization, the external or customer-facing engagement is doomed for failure. Here’s an interesting video from the 2012 Oracle OpenWorld Customer Experience Summit Keynote with one of our partners, SapientNitro speaking with customer, Vail Resorts, on the importance of building a customer-centric corporate culture.



There has been a lot written about how to better engage with your customers across all of the new and existing or "legacy" channels of communication. Most companies were used to evaluating how well they were doing in retail or other face to face engagement modes. With the rapid growth of online and social engagement venues, today's successful organizations have been forced to align their channels for message consistency, culture, and context. 

For a deeper dive into this subject, not so long ago, we hosted Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & CEO from Constellation Research as part of our Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series where he spoke on the 9 C’s of Customer Engagement - How to Engage Your Customers and Employees.


Monday Dec 10, 2012

This is the End of Business as Usual...

This week, we'll be hosting our last Social Business Thought Leader Series Webcast for 2012. Our featured guest this week will be Brian Solis of Altimeter Group. As we've been going through the preparations for Brian's webcast, it became very clear that an hour's time is barely scraping the surface of the depth of Brian's insights and analysis. Accordingly, in the spirit of sharing Brian's perspective for all of our readers, we'll be featuring guest posts all this week pulled from Brian's larger collection of blog postings on his own website. If you like what you've read here this week, we highly recommend digging deeper into his tome of wisdom.

Guest Post by Brian Solis, Analyst, Altimeter Group as originally featured on his site with the minor change of the video addition at the beginning of the post.



This is the End of Business as Usual and 
the Beginning of a New Era of Relevance
 - Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group 

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

- Bob Dylan

I’m sure you are wondering why I chose lyrics to open this article. If you skimmed through them, stop here for a moment. Go back through the Dylan’s words and take your time. Carefully read, and feel, what it is he’s saying and savor the moment to connect the meaning of his words to the challenges you face today.

His message is as important and true today as it was when they were first written in 1964. The tide is indeed once again turning. And even though the 60s now live in the history books, right here, right now, Dylan is telling us once again that this is our time to not only sink or swim, but to do something amazing.

This is your time. This is our time. But, these times are different and what comes next is difficult to grasp. How people communicate. How people learn and share. How people make decisions. Everything is different now. Think about this…you’re reading this article because it was sent to you via email. Yet more people spend their online time in social networks than they do in email. Duh. According to Nielsen, of the total time spent online 22.5% are connecting and communicating in social networks. To put that in perspective, the time spent in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube is greater than online gaming at 9.8%, email at 7.6% and search at 4%.

Imagine for a moment if you and I were connected to one another in Facebook, which just so happens to be the largest social network in the world. How big? Well, Facebook is the size today of the entire Internet in 2004. There are over 1 billion people friending, Liking, commenting, sharing, and engaging in Facebook…that’s roughly 12% of the world’s population.

Twitter has over 200 million users.

Ever hear of tumblr? More time is spent on this popular microblogging community than Twitter.

The point is that the landscape for communication and all that’s affected by human interaction is profoundly different than how you and I learned, shared or talked to one another yesterday. This transformation is only becoming more pervasive and, it’s not going back.

Survival of the Fitting

But social media is just one of the channels we can use to reach people. I must be honest. I’m as much a part of tomorrow as I am of yesteryear. It’s why I spend all of my time researching the evolution of media and its impact on business and culture. Because of you, I share everything I learn in newsletters, emails, blogs, Youtube videos, and also traditional books. I’m dedicated to helping everyone not only understand, but grasp the change that’s before you.

Technologies such as social, mobile, virtual, augmented, et al compel us adapt our story and value proposition and extend our reach to be part of communities we don’t realize exist.

The people who will keep you in business or running tomorrow are the very people you’re not reaching today. Before you continue to read on, allow me to clarify my point of view. My inspiration for writing this is to help you augment, not necessarily replace, the programs you’re running today. We must still reach those whom matter to us in the ways they prefer to be engaged. To reach what I call the connected consumer of Geneeration-C we must too reach them in the ways they wish to be engaged. And in all of my work, how they connect, talk to one another, influence others, and make decisions are not at all like the traditional consumers of the past. Nor are they merely the kids…the Millennial.

Connected consumers are representative across every age group and demographic.

As you can see, use of social networks, media sharing sites, microblogs, blogs, etc. equally span across Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. The DNA of connected customers is indiscriminant of age or any other demographic for that matter. This is more about psychographics, the linkage of people through common interests (than it is their age, gender, education, nationality or level of income. Once someone is introduced to the marvels of connectedness, the sensation becomes a contagion. It touches and affects everyone. And, that’s why this isn’t going anywhere but normalcy.

Social networking isn’t just about telling people what you’re doing. Nor is it just about generic, meaningless conversation. Today’s connected consumer is incredibly influential. They’re connected to hundreds and even thousands of other like-minded people. What they experiences, what they support, it’s shared throughout these networks and as information travels, it shapes and steers impressions, decisions, and experiences of others.

For example, if we revisit the Nielsen research, we get an idea of just how big this is becoming. 75% spend heavily on music. How does that translate to the arts? I’d imagine the number is equally impressive. If 53% follow their favorite brand or organization, imagine what’s possible. Just like this email list that connects us, connections in social networks are powerful. The difference is however, that people spend more time in social networks than they do in email.

Everything begins with an understanding of the “5 W’s and H.E.” – Who, What, When, Where, How, and to What Extent? The data that comes back tells you which networks are important to the people you’re trying to reach, how they connect, what they share, what they value, and how to connect with them.

From there, your next steps are to create a community strategy that extends your mission, vision, and value and it align it with the interests, behavior, and values of those you wish to reach and galvanize.

To help, I’ve prepared an action list for you, otherwise known as the 10 Steps Toward New Relevance:

1. Answer why you should engage in social networks and why anyone would want to engage with you

2. Observe what brings them together and define how you can add value to the conversation

3. Identify the influential voices that matter to your world, recognize what’s important to them, and find a way to start a dialogue that can foster a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship

4. Study the best practices of not just organizations like yours, but also those who are successfully reaching the type of people you’re trying to reach – it’s benching marking against competitors and benchmarking against undefined opportunities

5. Translate all you’ve learned into a convincing presentation written to demonstrate tangible opportunity to your executive board, make the case through numbers, trends, data, insights – understanding they have no idea what’s going on out there and you are both the scout and the navigator (start with a recommended pilot so everyone can learn together)

6. Listen to what they’re saying and develop a process to learn from activity and adapt to interests and steer engagement based on insights

7. Recognize how they use social media and innovate based on what you observe to captivate their attention

8. Align your objectives with their objectives. If you’re unsure of what they’re looking for…ask

9. Invest in the development of content, engagement

10. Build a community, invest in values, spark meaningful dialogue, and offer tangible value…the kind of value they can’t get anywhere else. Take advantage of the medium and the opportunity!

The reality is that we live and compete in a perpetual era of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than our ability to adapt. This is why it’s our time to alter our course. We must connect with those who are defining the future of engagement, commerce, business, and how the arts are appreciated and supported.

Even though it is the end of business as usual, it is the beginning of a new age of opportunity. The consumer revolution is already underway, and the question is: How do you better understand the role you play in this production as a connected or social consumer as well as business professional?

Again, this is your time to define a new era of engagement and relevance.

Originally written for The National Arts Marketing Project

Connect with Brian via: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+

---

Note from Michael: If you really like this post above - check out Brian's TEDTalk and his thought process for preparing it in this post:

http://www.briansolis.com/2012/10/tedtalk-reinventing-consumer-capitalism-screw-business-as-usual/



Monday Oct 29, 2012

Fix Your Broken Organization

Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

Simple. Powerful. Proven.

Face it, your organization is broken. Customers are not the focus they should be. Processes are running amok. Your intranet is a ghost town. And colleagues wonder why it’s easier to get things done on the Web than at work. What’s the solution?

Join us for this Webcast. Christian Finn will talk about three simple, powerful, and proven principles for improving your organization through collaboration. Each principle will be illustrated by real-world examples.

Discover:

  • How to dramatically improve workplace collaboration
  • Why improved employee engagement creates better business results
  • What’s the value of a fully engaged customer

Time to Fix What’s Broken

Register now for this Webcast—the tenth in the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Series.

Tuesday Oct 23, 2012

Customer Engagement: Are Your Customers Engaged With Your Brands?

Social Engagement with Brands increases spendEngaging Customers is Critical for Business Growth

This week we'll be spending some time looking at Customer Engagement. We all have stories about how we try to engage our customers better than ever before.  We all know that successfully engaging customers is critical to an organization’s business success. We also know that engaging our customers is more challenging today than ever before. There is so much noise to compete with for getting anyone's attention. Over the last decade and a half we’ve watched as the online channel became a primary one for conducting our business and even managing our lives. And during this whole process or evolution, the customer journey has grown increasingly complex. Customers themselves have assumed increasing power and influence over the purchase process and for setting the tone and pace of the relationships they have with brands and you see the evidence of this in the really high expectations that customers have today. They expect brand experiences that are personalized and relevant -- In other words they want experiences that demonstrate that the brand understands their interests, preferences and past interactions with them. They also expect their experience with a brand and the community surrounding it to be social and interactive – it’s no longer acceptable to have a static, one-way dialogue with your customer base or to fail to connect your customers with fellow customers, or with your employees and partners. And on top of all this, customers expect us to deliver this rich and engaging, personalized and interactive experience, in a consistent way across a variety of channels including web, mobile and social channels or even offline venues such as in-store or via a call center. And as a result, we see that delivery on these expectations and successfully engaging your customers is a great challenge today.

Customers expect a personal, engaging and consistent online customer experience. Today’s consumer expects to engage with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. Customers have come to expect a lot for the online customer experience. 

·        They expect it to be personal:

o   Accessible:  - Regardless of my device  Via my existing online identities 

o   Relevant:  Content that interests me 

o   Customized:  To be able to tailor my online experience 

·        They expect it to be engaging:

o   Social:  So I can share content with my social networks 

o   Intuitive:  To easily find what I need  

o   Interactive:  So I can interact with online communities

And they expect it to be consistent across the online experience – so you better have your brand and information ducks in a row.Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

These expectations are not only limited to your customers by any means. Your employees (and partners) are also expecting to be empowered with engagement tools across their internal and external communications and interactions with customers, partners and other employees. We had a great conversation with Ted Schadler from Forrester Research entitled: "Mobile is the New Face of Engagement" that is now available On-Demand. Take a look at all the webcasts available to watch from our Social Business Thought Leader Series.

Facebook recommendations make a difference

Social capabilities have become so pervasive and changed customers’ expectations for their online experiences. The days of one-direction communication with customers are at an end. Today’s customers expect to engage in a dialogue with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. You have at a very short window of opportunity to engage a customer before they go to another site in their pursuit of information, product, or services. In fact, customers who engage with brands via social media tend to spend more that customers who don’t, between 20% and 40% more.  And your customers are also increasingly influenced by their social networks too – 40% of consumers say they factor in Facebook recommendations when making purchasing decisions.  This means a few different things for today’s businesses. Incorporating forms of social interaction such as commenting or reviews as well as tightly integrating your online experience with your customers’ social networking experiences into the online customer experience are crucial for maintaining the eyeballs on your desired pages.

---
Notes/Sources:

93% - Cone Finds that Americans Expect Companies to Have a Presence in Social Media - http://www.coneinc.com/content1182

40% of consumers factor in Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing (Increasing Campaign Effectiveness with Social Media, Syncapse, March 2011)

20%-40% - Customers who engage with a company via social media spend this percentage more with that company than other customers (Source: Bain & Company Report – Putting Social Media to Work)

Thursday Oct 04, 2012

Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld

This first-ever Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld kicked off yesterday, bringing together established thought leaders and practitioners in customer experience. The first day saw noted marketing and customer experience thought leader, Seth Godin, take the stage to discuss how rapidly accelerating change and adoption are driving new behaviors and higher expectations in a massively disruptive transformation in which the customer now holds the power. His presentation gave us in-depth insight into this always-connected, always-sharing experience revolution we are witnessing.

If you haven’t yet made it over to the Oracle Customer Experience Summit at The Westin St. Francis and the recently made over Oracle Square (aka Union Square), there’s still time today and tomorrow to network with industry peers and hear best practices from those who have steered their ventures through the disruptive trends of customer experience and have proven, successful strategies to share for driving strategic customer-centric initiatives.

Oracle Square


If you’re interested in learning how Oracle WebCenter helps businesses meet the demands of the customer experience revolution, be sure to check out these sessions at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit later today:

Using the Online Customer Experience to Drive Engagement and Marketing Success

Thursday, Oct 4, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM - St. Francis - Georgian
Mariam Tariq - Senior Director Product Management, Oracle
Stephen Schleifer - Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle
Richard Backx - Business IT Architect/Consultant, KPN NL Netco CE Channels Online

The online channel is a critical means of reaching and engaging customers. Online marketing efforts today must be targeted, interactive, and consistent to provide customers with a seamless experience. These efforts must include integrated management of Web, mobile, and social channels—supported by cross-channel customer data and campaigns—and integration with commerce to drive an engaging and differentiated online customer experience. Attend this session to learn how you can use the online channel to increase customer loyalty and drive the success of your marketing initiatives.

Empowering Your Frontline Employees: Sales and Service Enterprise Collaboration

Thursday, Oct 4, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM - St. Francis - Elizabethan AB
Stephen Fioretti - VP, Product Management, Oracle
Peter Doolan - Group Vice President, Sales Engineering, Oracle
Andrew Kershaw - Sr Director Business Development, Oracle
Marty Marcinczyk - VP Customer Experience Engineering, Comcast

A focus on the employee experience is critical, because it can make or break your customers’ experiences, directly or indirectly. Engaged and empowered frontline employees become your best advocates and inspire your brand champions. This session explores proven approaches and tools, including social collaboration tools, that can help you empower and enable your frontline teams to improve customer and employee experiences.

And before you go, you'll also want to explore the Innovation Tents in Oracle Square which feature leading-edge customer experience demonstrations; attend our customer journey mapping workshop; and learn at sessions focused on innovating differentiated experiences that drive cross-functional alignment.

Monday Sep 17, 2012

Systems of Engagement

 Engagement Week

This week we’ll be looking at the ever evolving topic of systems of engagement. This topic continues generating widespread discussion around how we connect with businesses, employers, governments, and extended social communities across multiple channels spanning web, mobile and human face to face contact.


Earlier in our Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series, we had AIIM President John Mancini presenting "Moving from Records to Engagement to Insight" discussing the factors that are driving organizations to think more strategically about the intersection of content management, social technologies, and business processes. John spoke about how Content Management and Enterprise IT are being changed by social technologies and how new technologies are being used to drive innovation and transform processes along and what the implications of this transformation are for information professionals. He used these two slides below to illustrate the evolution from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement.


The AIIM White Paper is available for download from the AIIM website.

Later this week (09/20), we'll have another session in our Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series featuring  R “Ray” Wang (@rwang0) Principal Analyst & CEO from Constellation Research presenting: "Engaging Customers in the Era of Overexposure" 

More info to come tomorrow on the upcoming webcast this week.

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In the spirit of spreading good karma - one of the first things that came to mind as I was thinking about "Engagement" was the evolution of the Marriage Proposal.  Someone sent me a link to this link a couple of months ago and it raises the bar on all proposals. I hope you'll enjoy!



Friday May 11, 2012

Enterprise Social Networks: The Heart of Any Social Business

As we wrap up this week on social collaboration and engagement, today’s guest post comes from David Christopher. David heads up Oracle’s EMEA Social Networking & Business Collaboration (SNBC) programme along with leading one of the executive programmes and Content / Portal Management. This post was originally featured on David’s StopThinkSocial site.


Social Networks in our personal lives have become so embedded in our culture that signs like "Follow me on Twitter" or "Like my Facebook Page" are becoming the norm. I even saw one on the side of a local bus recently requesting to follow the bus company on Twitter.

So if we have embraced social networks in our personal lives so readily to be better connected to our friends, why is it taking so long to do the same inside a company to better connect our employees?

A company that is socially connected is not just going to be more effective and more efficient, but it's going to have a knowledge reach spanning the entire company that any employee can tap into and make use of. This is the Power of the Enterprise Social Network and the heart of any Social Business.

"It's not important for you to know all the answers, but it's key that you know someone in your employee network that does"

Many of the presentations I now give uses this tag line because it's time we put more focus and attention on building employee social relationships. By doing so we build up employee trust and an expansive knowledge network which we can then utilise.

Let's take the following scenario:

Your CEO is tired of the scatter gun like approach to internal communications and wants something done about it. As your companies Head of Communications your CEO assigns you to deal with it quickly.

However, you already have a PR nightmare on your hands which is taking up all of your time...

So what do you do...

  • bluff your CEO and drag out the project with high level strategy stuff that talks a good project but delivers nothing (oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about!) ?
  • put in a lot of over-time?
  • assign someone in your team to take on the project and re-prioritise their priorities?

None of these responses are ideal and are unlikely to deliver a good solution.

However, for a company that has embraced Enterprise Social Networks, there is another way....put a "Shout Out" to your employees asking for active participants (volunteers to be part of the project team) and passive contributors (volunteers to contribute from the sidelines).

This "Shout Out" approach provides some great business benefits:

  • avoids duplication of time, money and effort if someone is already working on something similar in your organisation (in large enterprises duplication is often a common occurrence)
  • delivers a better solution as the volunteers are interested in the subject matter
  • allows you access to a large knowledge network to minimise risks and issues
  • provides a better chance of adoption as the employees themselves have been involved in the delivery of the project

I call this Open Collaboration (yes, I avoided using the term social) and have been trialing it now for a while with some great success.

This is just one example of what you can do once your company's employees are better socially connected which couldn't be possible without first developing your Enterprise Social Network.

Friday Mar 30, 2012

Transform Your Portal Experience and Optimize Online Engagement

Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals & Websites

Does your portal environment foster collaboration between your business and your customers? Are you effectively managing your customer, employee, and partner relationships and engagement? Can your users access information through Web, mobile, and social channels? Online engagement solutions give organizations the ability to listen and respond to their customers, provide targeted experiences, and encourage interaction among customers and employees.

Join us for a webcast on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, where Sachin Agarwal, Senior Director of Product Management and Kellsey Ruppel, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Oracle WebCenter, will tell you how to transform your portal experience and optimize online engagement. With Oracle WebCenter, you can:

  • Deliver an optimized online experience for your users
  • Create contextually relevant, targeted online experiences
  • Provide intuitive and secure access to back-office applications
  • Manage and moderate interactive, multichannel social interactions

Register today and learn how to make your portals more interactive and engaging across multiple channels.

Monday Mar 26, 2012

The Numbers of Customer Experience

This week, we’ll be continuing our conversations about Customer Experience (CX) on the Oracle WebCenter blog.  While we all know that customer experience is critically important for acquiring new customers and engendering long term brand loyalty, I thought we could kick this week off by taking a look at the numbers of customer experience.   I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing quite puts things into perspective like numbers and figures.


86%
A whopping 86% of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.  But many companies are failing to step up to the challenge.  And when companies fail deliver on customer experience expectations, they leave money on the table.


89%
A huge percentage of customers, 89%, begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Breaking up isn’t hard to do and today’s empowered customers have no qualms about taking their business elsewhere when their expectations for customer experience are not met.



26%
Over a quarter of consumers, 26%, posted a negative comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter following a poor customer experience. Today, individual customer service failures have the ability to easily snowball.  An unsatisfied customer has the ability to easily share their rancor with their entire social network and chip away at your brand’s reputation.



79%
A large number of consumers, 79%,  who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored.  Companies ignore customer complaints at their own peril.  And unsatisfied customers, when handled effectively, have the potential to become advocates for your brand.  Of the 21% of consumers who did get responses to complaints, more than half had positive reactions to the same company about which they were previously complaining.



50%
Half of consumers will give a brand only a week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.  The clock is ticking when customers have questions about your brand and a week is an eternity in the realm of customer experience.  

The source for these stats is the 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, which explores the relationship between consumers and brands.  The report is based on a survey commissioned by RightNow (acquired by Oracle in 2012) and conducted by Harris Interactive. If you’re interested in seeing more facts and figures about customer experience, download the full report.

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Engage Your Customers or Lose Them!

A couple of weeks ago I was urging those of you in chilly climates to head south for fairer skies while taking in the latest thinking on customer engagement at Gartner’s conferences in Orlando this week.  How was I to know that the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit and Garner Customer 360 Summit would both coincide with a week of unseasonably warm and spring-like weather across the northeastern United States?

At any rate, those of you who made it down to Florida for Gartner’s event this week, may have had the opportunity to catch Oracle WebCenter’s Vice President of Product Management and Strategy, Loren Weinberg, present on the topic of customer engagement in her session, "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Engage Your Customers Or Lose Them."  For those of you who were unable to attend the session yesterday, I’ll highlight some of the salient points.

Engagement

Engaging Customers Isn’t As Simple As It Used to Be
Engaging your customers is a lot more complicated now that everyone is connected through the online channel. The number of mobile device types and the number of people using them have increased exponentially.  Information is now readily accessible to most anyone, at any time, on any device, in increasingly varied digital formats. At the same time, social computing has made the online channel a hub for participation, sharing, interaction and community. As a result, providing an engaging experience across the customer journey is an increasingly complex endeavor.

Today’s Customers Have High Expectations
Today’s customers expect you to know who they are.  They expect you to recall the details they’ve provided to you on your website, on your Facebook page and to your sales people or CSR’s.  They expect every interaction with an organization to be personalized and highly relevant.  They expect anywhere anytime access to information and transactions, and they expect to be able to interact socially in all that they do.

Unmet Customer Expectations Can Have High Consequences
When customer expectations are not met, brands get dumped for their competition. And with only a small percentage of customers feeling that their expectations for a good customer experience are always met, it is easy to see why the relationship between brands and customers often flame out. And today, individual customer service failures have the ability to snowball.  An unsatisfied customer has the ability to easily share their rancor with their entire social network and chip away at your brand’s reputation. 
 
Engagement is the Key to Gaining and Retaining Today’s Customers
Engagement has really become the key to gaining and retaining customers. Today’s empowered customer is in the driver’s seat.  And the only way to attract their attention and keep it, the only way to cultivate and maintain relationships with them, is to engage them in meaningful ways along the customer journey.

Delivering contextually relevant, interactive and multichannel online experiences is now essential for converting prospects into customers and for engendering long term loyalty.  A one-size-fits-all online customer experience is the way of the past.  Companies today must deliver personalized and contextual experiences to their customers, with information that is specifically tailored to their needs and interests, anytime and anywhere, whether on the desktop at the office, the laptop at home, or on any of the thousands of different mobile device types customers carry when they are on the go. Additionally, companies must foster a social and interactive online experience by enabling customers to contribute, participate and share their experiences.

Optimization is Essential to Successful Customer Experience Initiatives
And finally, optimizing engagement across this increasingly complex environment is critical to effective marketing and customer experience management initiatives. However, successfully using the web to drive these initiatives is more challenging than ever before. In order to succeed in optimizing online engagement, organizations require the help of technologies that can offer a means to manage a multi-channel online presence with ease, including targeting, multiple geographies, social elements and much more, and this must be integrated with their systems for managing customer data.  Then a layer of analytics and optimization must be applied to understand the customers’ journey and what will help them successfully accomplish their goals and be delighted by the service they receive.

While the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit draws to a close today, there is still the opportunity hear more about customer experience from Oracle at Gartner Customer 360 over the following days. Be sure to follow the #gartnercrm and #webcenter hashtags to learn more.

About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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