Friday Apr 26, 2013

Why WCM Should Be at the Heart of Your Multichannel Strategy

Today’s guest blog post was written by Stephen Schleifer. Stephen is Senior Principal Product Manager for Oracle’s Web Content Management (WCM) solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

It’s no secret that the WCM market has gone through a series of rapid changes over the past five years or so, in part because the business objectives driving the use of these systems evolved (from content publishing to online experience), and in part due to the changing nature and role of corporate websites, or brand sites. We are now living in a multichannel world -- with the rise of social networks, increased use of campaign marketing (including social media, email marketing and promotional microsites), and of course, the fact that more people are accessing the web via mobile devices than ever before. All of this has amounted to added complexity for web marketers to manage their brand and message across all these channels, but it has also changed the perception of what role a brand site, and by way of it, a WCM system, is supposed to play in online marketing.

While most still agree that a brand site is an important place for customers to acquire information about a company’s products and services, others propose that as more traffic and leads are generated through alternate channels that they should become the main focus of online marketing and customer engagement efforts.

I would argue that it’s not an either/or proposition, but instead what’s needed more often than not is a more blended approach, and in fact, your brand site should serve as the centralized point of your online marketing strategy. Why? Because it’s the one place where all these channels tend to converge -- it’s the glue that holds your brand and message together across all these diverse customer touch points. Linking these channels back to your brand site is also important because it’s the place where you control the message, and it’s ultimately where you can engage customers in more dynamic ways, as the experience you create there is entirely of your own making.

WCM systems are the technology set that provides the tools for marketers to manage corporate web sites, and they are unique in their ability to support a wide variety of cross-channel online marketing value propositions; these include:

Extending the reach of / re-purposing content between brand sites and social media: For example, by enabling site visitors to engage in interactions around site content and then extend the reach of that content by sharing it to their walls. Or by repurposing content on your site such as articles, blog posts or promotional offers for publishing on social media pages. Conversely, many organizations are choosing to host promotional or educational video on social video sites such as YouTube, but then integrate those videos within the context of brand site pages as streaming content. All this can be facilitated by a WCM system.

Seamlessly adapting brand site content for delivery though the mobile channel: Mobile has been a difficult channel for marketers to master, but we’re at the point where technologies like HTML-5 and approaches like responsive design where effective mobile web experience has become a reality, as you can now design once for your branding site, and have those templates instantly adapted and optimized for mobile delivery. While this is not the only effective approach to mobile web (depending on your business objectives, you may indeed want to develop mobile templates or mobile-specific sites), most WCM systems are now flexible enough to support multiple approaches.

Integrating websites with email marketing for cross-channel marketing automation: Bringing together WCM and email marketing makes a lot of sense, because the better the two work together, the more consistent, targeted and effective your online campaigns will be. Both systems leverage content such as text and images that will need to be duplicated or adapted across channels for web landing pages, email blasts, etc. -- the more you can centralize the management of that content for more effective cross-channel publishing, the more you can be sure that your branding and message will be consistent and clear to your customer. Both systems also require some level of personalization to ensure that the various customer segments in a campaign are spoken to with a relevant message – and whether it’s being featured in an email or somewhere on your site, that message must remain the same. Integrating the customer segment data that is being captured in your WCM system with that in your marketing campaign system (not to mention CRM) is key to be able to provide a unified profile across these customer-facing touch points, and in turn can help to ensure more effective targeting.

Whatever role you decide is best for your corporate website to play in your online marketing mix, there is no escaping that it continues to be as relevant as ever in today’s multi-channel world. Think of it as a kind of digital hub for online experience, and your WCM system is the backbone for creating and managing engaging, cross-channel experiences. 

Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

Does Your Online Experience Support the Customer Journey?

We live in an always connected world. Every minute of every day, two million search queries are made on Google, nearly 700,000 pieces of content are shared on Facebook, 571 new websites are created, and consumers spend $272,000 shopping online.1 We shop, we play and we connect online, and so do your customers. There is no doubt that the online channel is often your customers’ preferred channel for conducting and managing their personal and professional business. But does the online experience that you deliver really turn casual site visitors into long-term paying customers and advocates for your brand?

If you’re part of an organization looking to compete in an increasingly web, mobile and social world, you must take care to develop and execute an online customer experience strategy that supports the entire customer journey. Your goal should be to provide an engaging, consistent and connected experience, whether you are dealing with a prospective customer who is visiting your public website for the first time, or a long time customer who has logged on to your self-service portal to look up account information or conduct a transaction.

While there are many different stages of the customer journey, there are five primary phases you’ll want to consider carefully as you develop your online customer experience strategy:

Online Customer Experience Journey

1) Research

As potential customers begin to research solutions to the problems they are trying to solve, the focus of your online customer experience should be on engagement. The days when prospects could be won over by a static, one-size-fits-all web experience are long gone. Instead, you need to focus on providing prospects with personalized and interactive online experiences that are easily accessible and optimized for PC’s, tablets and mobile phones. By combining a well thought out content strategy with a dynamic web presence, you can begin to earn the trust of prospective customers and get them to seriously consider your brand.

2) Select

Once you’ve successfully engaged prospective customers with a relevant and interactive experience, and gotten them to consider your organization as a possible solution for their needs, you can continue to guide and influence their selection process by making it easier for them to search for and discover suitable solutions for their needs. Depending on your business model, there are numerous approaches that aid the online selection process including the incorporation of faceted search and guided navigation, segmentation and targeting, or even endorsements from other customers in the form of comments, ratings or reviews on the web presence.

3) Purchase

If your business model includes an eCommerce component, speeding and simplifying the purchase process is the next step in the online customer experience journey. A streamlined and efficient online purchase process is vital to preventing shopping cart abandonment. The purchase process can even become another opportunity for engaging customers and influencing them to purchase more or related products; it can also be structured to incent customers to take action now through various promotions or offers.

4) Service

Once you’ve successfully converted site visitors into paying customers, you’ll want to assure that it is easy for customers to do business with you and to help them get the most out of their investment in your products or services. For certain industries, such as financial services, your online presence may even be the primary channel in which customers conduct business with you. In any case, an effective customer self-service portal can not only drive down service costs, but it can actually improve customer satisfaction at all phases of the ownership experience, from product delivery to use and maintenance.

5) Recommend

The final phase that you should consider in your online marketing strategy is the recommendation phase, whereby satisfied customers become advocates for your brand and recommend it to others. By giving your customers opportunities to share their experiences with their social networks, and by enabling them to endorse your products and services in the form of comments, ratings, and reviews on your web presence, you help extend the reach of your brand and leverage your customers’ influence over their peers – truly one of your most powerful assets in your marketing toolkit.

Developing an effective online experience that supports the customer journey is critical to driving sales and earning long term loyalty. Customers’ needs change as they move between the research, selection, purchase, service and recommendation phases of the lifecycle, often necessitating a number of different technologies to deliver on customers’ expectations at each stage. From a technology perspective, this often means integrating web experience management, faceted search, eCommerce, or portal technologies that help support the online customer experience and unify it across all online touch points seamlessly. Be sure to check back on the WebCenter blog this week as we take a closer look at customers' expectations and needs at each of the fives phases of their online journey and the CX technologies that can enable your businesses to deliver on them.

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Webcast: Connect the Online Customer Experience with Oracle WebCenter

If you’d like to learn more about how to connect the online customer experience with Oracle WebCenter, please register for our webcast on Thursday, January 17 at 10a.m. PT / 1p.m. ET. You will learn how Oracle WebCenter:

  • Enables contextually relevant and interactive experiences across web, mobile and social channels
  • Works with Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca to deliver consistent and engaging browsing, shopping and search experiences across all of your customer facing websites
  • Enables you to optimize the performance of your online initiatives through integration with Oracle Real-Time Decisions for automated targeting and segmentation

Register for the webcast today.

1 AllTwitter, Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube -- What Happens On the Internet Every 60 Seconds

Monday Jan 14, 2013

Holland America: Optimizing the Online Customer Experience with Oracle Real-Time Decisions

Prior to the holidays, we spent some time on the WebCenter blog focusing on how to optimize the online customer experience using segmentation and targeting with Oracle's web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.  We also introduced you to Oracle's real time decisioning engine, Oracle Real-Time Decisions, which can be used in combination with Oracle WebCenter Sites to enable automated targeting and segmentation.You can check out those posts using the following links:

Today, we're expanding on this theme and featuring a guest post from Oracle sales consultant, Sumeet Prasad.  Sumeet is part of the Oracle Real-time Decisions strategy team. Sumeet has been with Oracle for six years and has twelve years of experience in the real-time decisioning space. This post will give you a very good sense of the truly powerful capabilities of Oracle Real-Time Decisions for optimizing the online customer experience.

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Holland America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp. It is recognized as a leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports of call in more than 100 countries and is expected to have carried over 750,000 cruise passengers in 2012 that visited all seven continents.

Like many in the travel industry, Holland was looking for ways to increase revenue and margin in a poor economy. Maximizing the revenue from their passengers was important to increasing overall revenue. The travel industry is trending towards more online bookings and customers are increasingly more web savvy. Holland’s existing websites for both cruise booking and shore excursion provided a one size fits all approach in regards to customer experience.

Holland America decided to utilize Oracle Real Time Decisions (RTD) to help achieve their goals. They went live with RTD in June of 2012 within their Online Shore Excursion booking process. They had 2 primary business goals for this initiative:

  • Leverage Real-Time Decisions to help increase booking revenue for Shore Excursions, Indulgences, Spa and Dining by optimizing cross-sell and up-sell offers in the web channel through adaptive learning and multi goal arbitration
  • Leverage Real-Time Decisions to improve the overall customer experience by providing personalized and targeted content, and product recommendations throughout the Shore Excursion selection experience.


RTD provides Holland America with a cross channel, centralized decision management service for Customer Experience Optimization. RTD enables real-time intelligence to be instilled into any customer interaction, thus Holland is able to learn and predict which shore excursions, indulgences, and dining options are most appropriate to deliver to a customer. By learning from every single interaction and adjusting their processes in real-time, Holland America always takes the best course of action and optimizes the value of each opportunity.

The RTD Decision Management Framework provides for user-defined business rules, automated segmentation, real-time predictive models, test and control capabilities and user defined performance goals for optimizing decisions. Both rules and models can operate on historical, transactional and contextual real-time information.  This allows Holland America to treat every customer coming to the Shore Excursion site as a “segment of one” and provide for personalized and optimized customer experiences.

There are four optimized decisions that RTD makes as part of the Shore Excursion Booking Process. 90% of visitors have the optimized experience (RTD) and 10% of the visitors have the control experience (status quo):

  • Decision #1: Show/No Show shore excursions landing page:  Determine which flow is best for each customer.
  • Decision #2: Which landing page image is best to display?
  • Decision #3: Rank order the top excursions on the catalog page for each customer?
  • Decision #4: What are the best additional shore excursions, indulgences and spa and dining offers to recommend on the shopping cart page?

Within one month of being live, Holland America saw booking rates increase by 14% for the optimized experience (RTD) vs. the Control Experience (status quo). The success of this first project is helping pave the way for future RTD projects, as well as the adoption of Web Center Sites for building and managing their websites.


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!

Wednesday Nov 07, 2012

What Do Your Customers Want in an Online Experience?

In a time where customers have an increasing number of choices and an increasing level of control over their relationships with brands, what matters most is engagement. In order to engage your customers online, you need to provide them with a relevant, interactive and multichannel experience.  Check out this video to see the kind of engaging online experience that Oracle WebCenter can power for your customers.

Want to learn more?  Visit our Connected Customer Experience Resource Center to:

  • See a demonstration of how easy it is for marketers and other non–technical business users to create and manage online experiences like the one above with Oracle WebCenter Sites
  • Hear Ancestry.com describe how they use Oracle WebCenter Sites to deliver an online experience that converts site visitors into customers and keeps them coming back to learn more about their family histories
  • Hear what analysts are saying about the exciting new and enhanced web experience management capabilities in Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g

Friday Aug 10, 2012

The Butterfly Effect in Web Experience Management

Today’s guest post comes from John Prince, founder and CEO of DreamFire Interactive (http://dreamfireinteractive.com). He has extensive experience in strategy, product management, marketing and sales for internet businesses. DreamFire has delivered its comprehensive internet marketing services and solutions to Fortune 100 brands and is an Oracle partner specializing in the web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

I was recently on a vacation, a much needed and deserved one at that, to Cape Cod to celebrate Independence Day along with friends. I decided to take a bus after considering various options and booked my tickets for a 9:00 AM bus that departed from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. I had some calls with our India office that were scheduled to end by 8:00 AM. I was impatiently trying to conclude my final call before I could take off, but the call got prolonged by 12 minutes. As a result, I managed to miss the bus to Cape Cod and found myself two and half hours later writing this blog. A seemingly small , 12 minute delay, ended up pushing my departure by two and half hours. But this was not the end of the story. Because of this initial delay I was met with increased traffic and reached the Cape after the sun set . This was not part of my original plan, but no big deal. I was on vacation.

You are just reading one small instance of what is called the Butterfly Effect. The phrase, Butterfly Effect, refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate, or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location. Sounds crazy, but it is not.

I would like to relate the Butterfly Effect to digital marketing to see how seemingly small things could cause significant effects. For example, let us look at the effects of ‘contextual relevance,’ the concept of delivering the right information, to the right person at the right time, in your digital marketing efforts.

Studies have shown that in the publishing industry, contextual relevance helps improve the average time spent by users by up to 300%. Recommendations can phenomenally improve average revenue per customer on eCommerce sites.

Contextually assembled home pages reduce bounce rates by 60% and improve customer engagement dramatically. Smart phones and tablets with geo-location take contextual relevance to a new dimension. Social media adds a new dimension of relevance to the user.

Real time decisioning can help drive contextual relevance of your online content. When used with Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle's Real-Time Decisions (RTD) platform combines both rules and predictive analytics to deliver a contextually relevant web experience to your users.

I have heard business clichés like 'make it rain' and 'think big' in terms of digital marketing. The truth, however, is that we can accomplish remarkable results by applying the Butterfly Effect and initiating small actions setting your initiatives in the right course. But chasing the storm hoping for lightning to strike you is rarely the best use of your money.

Monday Aug 06, 2012

Citius, Altius, Fortius: A Faster, Higher, Stronger Online Customer Experience

If you’ve been keeping up with coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, you’ve probably been hearing a lot of the Latin phrase, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” the Olympic motto which means “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”  This motto was proposed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) founder, Pierre de Coubertin, back when the IOC was first established in 1894.  Since then, this motto has represented an Olympic ideal. An ideal that comes to life as medals are earned, as records are broken, and above all, in the day-to-day sacrifices made by athletes as they strive to compete at the elite level .

While the motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” is very clearly and easily applicable to the realm of athletic competition, what does it mean to strive to be “Faster, Higher, Stronger”  when it comes to delivering an ideal  online customer experience in a competitive business landscape?  Like competitive athletes, those tasked with the management of extremely large, complex and dynamic web deployments are looking to create conditions for optimal performance.  And in the business arena, optimal performance translates into increased sales, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.  

Citius, Altius, Fortius

You could say that Oracle knows a thing or two about creating conditions for the optimal performance of your online customer experience initiatives. By deploying Oracle’s web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites on Oracle Exalogic, a combination of hardware and software for applications and middleware, the desired conditions for optimal performance can be achieved.

This combination of hardware and software is called an engineered system. Oracle’s engineered system for the Oracle database is Oracle Exadata Database Machine. Oracle’s engineered system for applications, including WebCenter Sites, is Exalogic. Deploying WebCenter Sites, on WebLogic, JRockit, Exalogic and Exadata can improve the performance of uncached page delivery by 11.6x, the performance of cached delivery by 1.6x, and the performance of publishing by 3.7x over a comparable system running Tomcat. For a large site with 200 million page views per month, that’s 200 million more positive customer touch points, which ultimately leads to higher top-line revenue through increased brand loyalty and conversion rates.


These are just a few of the ways in which the combination of Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata enable you to deliver a faster, higher and stronger online customer experience.  To learn more about how this powerful combination can supercharge Oracle WebCenter Sites performance, reduce total cost of ownership and deliver faster time to market, check out the free whitepaper, Oracle Exalogic & Oracle Exadata: The Optimal Platform for Oracle WebCenter Sites.


Friday Jul 27, 2012

Customer Experience Online Forum: Join the Revolution



Customer Experience Online Forum:
Join the Revolution

July 31, 2012
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM PT

It’s a new era in customer relationships where customers are in charge. Customer experience is now the primary differentiator and driver of business value. In fact, according to the December 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, a full 89 percent of consumers will switch brands for a better customer experience.

Watch the Customer Experience Online Forum to hear from Bruce Temkin, a leading expert in customer experience, Anthony Lye, SVP of Oracle CRM, and other thought leaders to learn about the ROI of customer experience, what strategies leading brands use to win over customers, and how Oracle solutions can help you succeed in the Experience Revolution.

You will learn:

  • Why customer experience matters more than ever
  • What is the business value of a great customer experience
  • How Oracle Customer Experience can help organizations create their own great customer experiences across all channels, touch points, and devices.

Event Agenda:

  • The Customer Experience Revolution
  • The ROI of Customer Experience
  • Customer Experience in Action: Featuring Nikon and Marriott International
  • Integrating Marketing and Loyalty to Deliver Great Customer Experiences
  • Commerce: Delivering Great Experiences Across All Customer Touchpoints
  • Customer Experience for Customer Service: Delivering on Your Brand Promise
  • Harnessing Social Interactions to Drive Customer Experiences
  • Where to Start Your Organization's Revolution

Register now for the half-day live event.


Friday Jun 29, 2012

The Customer Experience Revolution is Now

To conclude this week’s focus on customer experience, I’ll end by recapping how my week began in New York City at The Experience RevolutionWe all know that customers increasingly call the shots, and that winning or losing depends on how well we manage to meet their expectations. Today’s customers have a multitude of choices and are quick to jump ship following a poor experience. As a result, delivering an experience that is relevant, interactive, engaging, and consistent across channels and fostering rewarding relationships are increasingly important to business success.  It is only through exceptional customer experiences that companies can expect to acquire new customers and maintain their loyalty. 

Over 400 of us gathered at Gotham Hall on Monday night to hear Oracle President Mark Hurd introduce Oracle Customer Experience, a cross-stack suite of customer experience products that include Oracle RightNow CX Cloud ServiceOracle EndecaOracle ATG Web CommerceOracle WebCenter,Oracle Siebel CRMOracle Fusion CRMOracle Social Network, and Oracle Knowledge Management. I'd encourage you check out this video to hear Mark explain why having a good product isn't good enough in the wake of the customer experience revolution.

The Experience Revolution event itself was designed to deliver the kind of rich experience that sticks with you, using an interactive gallery of customer experience to deliver an individualized experience to each attendee through a combination of touch screens and near field communication technology.  Over the coming weeks we’ll share some of these customer experience vignettes with you. In the interim, you can learn more about Oracle Customer Experience solutions here.


Tuesday Jun 26, 2012

Catch Oracle Today and Tomorrow at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2012 East

Continuing our coverage of the customer experience revolution this week, don’t miss a chance to catch up with Oracle at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2012 East today and tomorrow in New York City. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Outside In: The Power Of Putting Customers At The Center Of Your Business” and will take a look at important questions surrounding how to transform your company in order to take best advantage of the customer experience revolution:

  • Why is customer experience the greatest untapped source of cost savings and increased revenue today?
  • What is the key to understanding and taking control of your customer experience ecosystem?
  • What are the six essential customer experience disciplines?
  • Which companies have adopted best-in-class customer experience practices?
  • How do customer experience strategies drive differentiating activities and processes at top companies?
  • Which organizations appoint a chief customer officer to lead their customer experience efforts?
  • What is the future of customer experience?
  • How can you design an enterprise wide customer experience?
  • How can you measure the results of your customer experience efforts?


As a gold sponsor of the event, there will be a numbers of ways to interact with Oracle while you’re attending the Forum.  Here are some of the highlights:

Oracle Speaking Session
Tuesday, June 26, 2:10pm – 2:40pm
The Customer And YOU — Today’s Winners Are Defined By Customer Experience
Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President of Customer Relationship Management, Oracle

Come hear Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President of Customer Relationship Management at Oracle, explain how leading companies are investing in customer experience solutions to enrich all interactions between a customer and their company. He will discuss Oracle's vision for transforming your customer engagement, insight, and execution into a connected, personalized, and rewarding experience across all touchpoints and interactions. He will demonstrate how great customer experiences generate real business results by attracting more customers, retaining more customers, and generating more sales while improving operational efficiency.

Solution Showcase
Tuesday, June 26th
9:45am - 10:30am - Morning Networking Break in the Solutions Showcase
11:45am – 1:15pm - Networking Lunch an Dessert in the Solutions Showcase
2:40pm – 3:25pm - Afternoon Break in the Solutions Showcase
5:30pm – 7:00pm - Networking Reception in the Solutions Showcase

Wednesday, June 27th
9:45am - 10:30am - Morning Networking Break in the Solutions Showcase
12:20pm -1:20pm - Networking Lunch and Dessert in the Solutions Showcase

We hope to see you there!


Webcast: Learn How Ancestry.com Delivers Exceptional Online Customer Experience with Oracle WebCenter
Date: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM PDT/ 1:00 PM EDT

Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online family history resource, providing an engaging customer experience to more than 1.7 million members. With a wealth of learning resources and a worldwide community of family history enthusiasts, Ancestry.com helps people discover their roots and tell their family stories. Key to Ancestry.com’s success has been the delivery of an online customer experience that converts site visitors into paying subscribers and keeps them coming back. Register now to learn how Ancestry.com delivers an exception customer experience using Oracle WebCenter Sites.



Monday Jun 25, 2012

You Say You Want a (Customer Experience) Revolution

rev-o-lu-tion [rev-uh-loo-shuhn]

noun

1. a sudden, radical or complete change

2. fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something; a change of paradigm

3. a changeover in use or preference especially in technology <the computer revolution>

Lately, I've been hearing an awful lot about the customer experience revolution.  Tonight Oracle will be hosting The Experience Revolution, an evening of exploration and networking with customer experience executives in New York City where Oracle President Mark Hurd will introduce Oracle Customer Experience, a cross-stack suite of customer experience products that includes Oracle WebCenter and a number of other Oracle technologies. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Forrester Customer Experience Forum East also kicks off in New York City where they'll examine how businesses can "reap the full business benefits of the customer experience revolution."


So, are we in the midst of a customer experience revolution? As a consumer, I can answer that question with a definitive “yes.” When I bought my very first car, I had a lot of questions. How do I know if I’m paying a fair price? How do I know if this dealer is honest? Why do I have to sit through these good cop, bad cop shenanigans between sales and sales management at the dealership? In the end the whole experience left me feeling deeply unsatisfied. I didn’t feel that I held all that much power over the experience and the only real negotiating trick I had was to walk out, which I did, many times before actually making a purchase.

Fast forward to a year ago and I found myself back in the market for a new car. The very first car that I bought had finally kicked the bucket after many years, many repair bills, and much wear and tear. Man, I had loved that car. It was time to move on, but I had a knot in my stomach when I reflected back on my last car purchase experience and dreaded the thought of going through that again. Could that have been the reason why I drove my old car for so long? But as I started the process of researching new cars, I started to feel really confident. I had a wealth of online information that helped me in my search. I went to Edmunds and plugged in some information on my preferences and left with a short list of vehicles. After an afternoon spent test driving the cars my short list, I had determined my favorite – it was a model I didn’t even know about until my research on Edmunds! But I didn’t want to go back to the dealership where I test drove it. They were clearly old school and wanted me to buy the way that they wanted to sell. No thanks!

After that I went back online. I figured out exactly what people had paid for this car in my area. I found out what kind of discount others were able to negotiate from an online community forum dedicated to the make and model. I found out how the sales people were being incentivized by the manufacturer that month. I learned which dealers had the best ratings and reviews. This was actually getting exciting. I was feeling really empowered. My next step was to request online quotes from the some of the highest rated dealers but I already knew exactly how much I was going to pay. This was really a test for the dealers. My new mantra was “let he who delivers the best customer experience win.”

An inside sales rep from one dealer responded to my quote request within a couple of hours. I told him I had already decided on the make and model and it was just a matter of figuring out who I would buy it from. I also told him that I was really busy and wouldn’t set foot in the dealership unless we had come to terms beforehand. Lastly, I let him know that I’d prefer to work out the details via email. He promised to get back to me shortly with a detailed quote.

Over the next few days I received calls from other dealers. One asked me a host of questions that I had already answered in their lengthy online form. Another blamed their website performance issues for their delay in responding to my request. But by then it didn’t really matter because I’d already bought the car days before from the dealer who responded to me first and who was willing to adjust their sales process to accommodate my buying one.

So, yes, I really do believe we are in the midst of a customer experience revolution. And every revolution leaves some victorious and others vanquished. Which side do you want to be on when it comes to the customer experience revolution?

Friday Jun 22, 2012

Learn How Ancestry.com Helps Families Uncover Their History with Oracle WebCenter

Oracle Corporation
Delivering Exceptional Online Customer Experiences
Delivering Exceptional Online Customer Experiences

Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online family history resource, providing an engaging and interactive customer experience to more than 1.7 million members. With smart search technology, a wealth of learning resources, and a worldwide community of family history enthusiasts, Ancestry.com helps people discover their roots and tell their unique family stories. Key to Ancestry.com’s success has been the delivery of an online customer experience that converts site visitors into paying subscribers and keeps them coming back. To help achieve this goal, Ancestry.com turned to Oracle’s Web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Join us as executives from Ancestry.com and Oracle discuss how Oracle’s Web experience management solution is helping them deliver engaging online experiences. Learn how:
  • Ancestry.com selected Oracle WebCenter Sites to meet their demanding Web experience management requirements
  • The company was able to get up and running quickly despite a complex technology stack and challenging integration requirements with legacy systems
  • Ancestry.com empowered business users to manage the online experience and significantly reduce time to market for their online campaigns and initiatives
Register now for the Webcast.
Oracle Fusino Middleware Webcenter
REGISTER NOW
Thursday,
June 28, 2012
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
Presented by:

Blane Nelson
Chief Architect–Applications,
Ancestry.com

Christie Flanagan
Director of Product Marketing, Oracle WebCenter Sites,
Oracle

Thursday Jun 07, 2012

Creating Engaging Online Experiences is Easy and Intuitive for Marketers with Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g

Last month, we announced the availability of Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g, the latest release of our web experience management solution. This new release is really geared toward enabling marketers and business users to drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty by simplifying the whole process of creating, managing and optimizing engaging online experiences.  To show you just how this works, we’ve created the video below which takes you through the tasks a typical marketer might execute using Oracle WebCenter Sites to manage their online presence -- everything from page editing to page creation, right on through to optimizing the mobile experience and moderating user-generated comments and reviews is covered here.

I hope this video has give you a flavor for just how easy and intuitive it is for marketers and other business users to manage engaging and interactive online experiences using Oracle WebCenter Sites.  To see more about the new release, please check out the recording of our launch webcast.


On Demand Webcast - Introducing Oracle WebCenter Sites: Transforming the Online Experience

Enabling marketers and business users is a key requirement for creating and managing contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences. Oracle WebCenter Sites transforms the online experience into one that is simple and intuitive to manage as a content contributor, encourages interaction between site visitors and their social networks, and provides marketers with automated targeting options for optimizing online engagement. View this webcast now to learn more.

Friday May 18, 2012

Do More with Oracle WebCenter to Create Engaging Online Experiences

Today’s guest post comes from a member of our WebCenter Evangelist team, Noël Jaffré, a Principal Technologist based in France.

Today’s public websites are no longer purely content driven informational sites and today’s extranets are no longer strictly transactional in nature.  In many cases, your online engagement strategy may require a combination of both informational marketing content as well as online services, to engage your customers and to enable them to do business with you effectively.

For example, financial institutions require marketing content, say on different investment options, that is designed to help convert prospects into customers, as well as robust and secure capabilities that allow customers to conduct their financial transactions.  In this case, a combination of capabilities including web experience management and portal are required to make this type of online initiative successful with the ultimate goal of creating an experience that is seamless and consistent from the customer’s perspective.


Deliver Seamless Marketing Sites and Self-Service Extranets with Oracle WebCenter

Deliver Seamless Marketing Sites and Self-Service Extranets with Oracle WebCenter

So whether you take content created and managed in your web experience management solution and embed it in a transactional application using portal or native APIs, or whether transactional applications are embedded in the web experience, Oracle WebCenter provides a complete platform to design and build the best online experiences across public marketing sites, self-service extranets and intranets.

With WebCenter you can:

  • Drive sales and loyalty with engaging cross-channel online experiences
  • Enable self-service extranets, intranets and custom application dashboards
  • Enhance productivity with social collaboration
  • Optimize information access with content management

Want to learn more about how to do more with Oracle WebCenter, view our recent webcast.


Watch NowDo More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Web Experience Management

Are you providing your customers with engaging online experiences using Oracle? If so, you probably realize that there's more to exceptional customer engagement than just Web experience management. You must also empower your business by engaging and enabling employees and partners to deliver on customers' expectations. View this on demand webcast and learn how to meet your engagement goals by doing more with Oracle WebCenter.

    View webcast now.

    Wednesday May 16, 2012

    What's New in Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g: Social Computing Integration and User-generated Content

    It’s no secret that the online experience has been completely transformed by social computing.  Increasingly, individuals are looking to interact with brands socially and to share their experiences with their extended social networks.  For online marketers, this creates a host of challenges. Businesses need to incorporate social computing capabilities into their online presence in order to create an interactive experience that helps build community engagement. At the same time, businesses must take care to assert a level of control that safeguards brand integrity. With the latest release of Oracle WebCenter Sites, online marketers have an even more comprehensive set of social computing capabilities that enable them to offer engaging and interactive online experiences.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the new social computing features in 11g:

    Facilitate Social Login and Social Sharing
    Oracle WebCenter Sites removes barriers to site visitor registration and facilitates social interaction through out-of-the box integration with Facebook and Twitter for social login.  This enables site visitors to be authenticated on an organization’s Website based on their familiar social network credentials, making the experience easier for those who may not wish to create and maintain a separate traditional account.  Social login also encourages site visitors to contribute comments, reviews or other user-generated content using their existing social network identities.

    Social Login

    The Oracle WebCenter Sites Social Networking Integration Offers Social Login and Social Sharing Capabilities


    Organizations can also extend the reach of their brands and promote site visitor engagement via social sharing of website content with Facebook and Twitter.  This out-of-the-box capability makes it easy for site visitors to share and comment on information they like with their extended social networks. With social login and social sharing, site visitors’ onsite experience is seamlessly integrated with the rest of their online interactions and networks, driving relevance, engagement, and ultimately customer loyalty. Social login and social sharing can be further expanded to over twenty social networking sites.

    Encourage Social Participation with User-generated Content (UGC) Widgets

    Social computing features such as comments, ratings, reviews, polls and corporate blogs have become essential capabilities for driving customer engagement and sales. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, enterprises can easily implement social features throughout their existing web presence and manage them as a seamless part of their web platform. Business users can quickly insert UGC features into the context of their web pages making sure the look and feel matches that of the website as a whole. These social capabilities cultivate loyal and satisfied customers.  To enhance Oracle WebCenter Sites’ already robust UGC capabilities, the following new UGC widgets are now available:

    Polls: A new and simple to use poll widget is now available with attractive charting options. Site authors can easily deploy polls using an intuitive and easy interface that allows them to precisely controls the display of the poll widget, results views, themes and poll status.

    Ratings Widgets: Oracle WebCenter Sites now offers dynamic new rating widgets like Thumbs Up/Down, Like It button and Recommend (Email a Friend). Ratings results can then be used to help drive dynamic content on the web presence.

    UGC Widgets

    Some of the User-generated Content Widgets Available with Oracle WebCenter Sites

    Pluggable Login Bar: A new, individually deployable login bar helps improve the look and feel of the site and can be placed on any part of the website. User login is recognized across all UGC widgets deployed on the website.

    Enhancements to Existing UGC Widgets: The new release also includes a number of enhancements to existing UGC widgets for comments and reviews. Website visitors can now preview their comments or reviews before posting, get a permalink to their contribution or rate the helpfulness of the comment or review posted by other users.

    More Power for UGC Moderation: Moderators also have new options to further streamline the management of user generated content in Oracle WebCenter Sites:

    •    Categorize comments/reviews under custom buckets
    •    Set limits on the number comments/reviews posted on a page
    •    Set limits on the number of days a webpage accepts comments/reviews
    •    Blacklist/whitelist website visitors with a single click

    The WebCenter Sites 11g release is an exciting one that provides organizations with the tools they need to create engaging and interactive online experiences.  To learn more about the features in this new release download the data sheet, Oracle WebCenter Sites: Build Community Engagement Through Social Computing, or view the launch webcast on demand below.


    On Demand Webcast - Introducing Oracle WebCenter Sites: Transforming the Online Experience
    View Now

    Enabling marketers and business users is a key requirement for creating and managing contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences. Oracle WebCenter Sites transforms the online experience into one that is simple and intuitive to manage as a content contributor, encourages interaction between site visitors and their social networks, and provides marketers with automated targeting options for optimizing online engagement. View this webcast now to learn more.

    Monday May 14, 2012

    Webcast - Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Web Experience Management

    Oracle Corporation

    Engage Customers and Empower Your Business with Oracle

    Are you providing your customers with engaging online experiences using Oracle WebCenter? If so, you probably realize that there's more to exceptional customer engagement than just Web experience management. You must also empower your business by engaging and enabling employees and partners to deliver on customers' expectations. Join us for this Webcast and learn how to meet your engagement goals by doing more with Oracle WebCenter. This proven, powerful Oracle solution can help:

    • Drive sales and loyalty with engaging, cross-channel online experiences
    • Enable self-service extranets, intranets, and custom application dashboards
    • Enhance productivity with social collaboration
    • Optimize information access with content management
    Register now for this Webcast.

    Oracle Fusion Middleware Webcenter

    REGISTER NOW

    Thursday, May 17, 2012
    10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

    Presented by:

    Stephen Schleifer
    Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle
    Christie Flanagan
    Product Marketing Director, Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle
    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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