Thursday, 25 June 2009

Harder, better, faster, stronger – 6 ways to increase ROI metrics in your case studies

One of the hottest topics for customer reference professionals; over the years we have found several tactics worth considering:

1) Create case studies later
If it’s business outcomes you seek the solution has to have had an impact on the business. Do the press release then wait until you have a story worth telling
2) Establish ground rules and expectations up-front
Make it clear to the customer that you will be seeking metrics. You can decide how to proceed based on the response however the customer must still feel valued if you decide not to proceed
3) Use writers with a journalistic background
Journalists get to the root of the story, asking the same question from different perspectives in order to get the required result. Similar to ‘is it safe’ in Marathon Man but in a positive way!
4) Consider independent case study endorsement
Sometimes a respected third party can add value; companies open up to independent analyst firms. They can validate and add weight to case studies
5) Leverage market data
Give the customer a starting point using industry or product benchmarks rather than just asking for ‘metrics’
6) Limited-use sign-off
Consider asking for a ‘one-to-one sales environment only’ legal release – i.e. not for marketing use. Customers release more information when it’s not used by the press or for brochures/adverts/events. Marketing can be frightening!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Funny how 30 seconds can last a lifetime

My favorite television advert advertises television advertising.

Telling, though
Thinkbox disagrees. I'm with Seth; no-one's listening. This is a marketing history lesson; creative but stuck in 1950's thinking.

The nostalgia is good; '30 seconds can last a lifetime'. Not so sure they are referring to the 30 seconds of flashing images that seems to last a lifetime as I skip over them as fast as possible to get past interruption advertising and back to the programme.

Break bumpers make it easier than ever before; if your reflexes are good enough then a combination of break bumpers and 12 or 30x fast-forward makes it possible to avoid television advertising altogether.

see also (oldies but goodies):

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Citizen Marketers? 10% of Twitter users generate > 90% of content

Interesting article on BBC News concerning a Harvard study into Twitter usage. It looks at 300,000 users. Survey insights include:

  1. Over 10 million visitors to Twitter; Facebook has 200 million active users

  2. More than half of all people using Twitter updated their page less than once every 74 days

  3. Most people only ever "tweet" once during their lifetime

  4. With typical online social networks the top 10% of users accounted for 30% of production

  5. Twitter is being used as much more of a broadcast medium

  6. Men had 15% more followers than women despite there being slightly more females users of Twitter than males

  7. An average man was almost twice as likely to follow another man than a woman, despite the reverse being true on other social networks (no pics on Twitter?)

  8. Ashton Kutcher is king of the tweets with more than two million followers

For me this largely supports the '1 Percenters' premise of the great book by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba - Citizen Marketers i.e. one percent of visitors to public social media sites (such as wikipedia) create the content viewed by the other 99%

Monday, 8 June 2009

Bean-counter culture

It had to be said. Bean counters can be dangerous to businesses, everyone deserves a good deal however everyone with marketable talent and knowledge deserves respect too.

This cuts both ways; the culture of unsustainable short-term gain is just as unacceptable whether buying or selling.

Nobody really wins and mediocrity is the only possible outcome.

A larger pile of beans is no use to a company if they don't do something remarkable with it; they may lose a few along the way however I can guarantee nothing amazing can happen unless the bean-counters are forced to plant some and help something develop.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Google Wave - really impressive integration

Integrated Email, IM, Twitter, Blog, and real-time collaboration. You have got to hand it to Google; they are never short of ideas and Google Wave (aside from search) is the best one yet.

I came across this video earlier today and found myself watching the whole 1:20 (sorry boss).

The integration is impressive (if you juggle email, IM, Blog and Twitter you will relate to this) however it's the real-time collaboration capabilities that I believe sets this future product apart. You don't have to read down a complete email trail, you can insert comments in relevant areas and see who said what, and when. you can even edit the edits.

A change in the way you think, but not a big one.

One moment that stood out for me was the contextual real-time translation and spell-checking capabilities. We have come a long way from Babel Fish and Word.

Some detailed reviews:

Monday, 1 June 2009

Net Promoter; a wasted opportunity?

Net Promoter (when implemented properly) is inspiring, creating organisational change, rewarding excellence while giving a voice to dissatisfied customers.

On its own as a 'vanity' number? A wasted opportunity (though many companies stop at just this point)

I believe you judge how seriously a company takes Net Promoter with a simple question (not ultimate!) 'Does your senior management pick up the phone and respond to any scores of seven or less? (or even five or less?). It's about how you deal with detractors that counts; even if you have taken the business decision not to invest time with lost causes and sack them.

Q) Has anyone any experience of IBM’s CFiq (Customer Focused Insight Quotient)?

It goes beyond a single measure of satisfaction or likelihood to recommend. After all, a happy customer isn’t necessarily one who automatically converts into new sales or even stays as your customer. The CFiq takes a more sophisticated approach by combining responses to three statements to obtain a more predictive and commercially viable view of advocacy.

The three statements advocates agree with are:
1. I would recommend my XXXX to friends and family.
2. I would buy my next product from XXXXX
3. If another XXXXX offered me a competitive product/service/solution I would remain with XXXXX.

Overall it’s an interesting progression; Net Promoter (Satmetrix) is focusing on certification to bring some rules to the game; good thing too. Fred Reicheld’s vision of meaningful feedback re customer satisfaction gathered as close to the point of delivery as possible, with organisational support is worth protecting.

See also CRP-specific post by Barbara Krasner