Archive for the ‘customer service’ Category
In September of last year, I blogged about the IBM 2012 Global Reputational Risk and IT Study, which I explained was an “investigation of how organizations around the world are managing their reputations in today’s digital era, where IT is an integral part of their operations and where IT failures can result in reputational damage.”
I also wrote “corporate reputations are especially difficult to manage in an era when anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection can file their complaint with a single touch.”
That continues to be the case, but what’s new is that IBM has recently issued another report on further implications of this study and its findings, and more importantly, what organizations can do to get on offense when it comes to better managing their corporate reputation.
The Connection Between Reputational Risk And IT
When the corporate world first began paying attention to the concept of reputational risk in 2005, organizations’ focus tended to be on business issues like compliance and financial misdoings.
Today, the focus has shifted to include the reputational impact of IT risks. Virtually every company is now reliant on technology for its critical business processes and interactions. While it may take 10 minutes or 10 hours to recover from an IT failure, the reputational impact can be felt for months or even years.
Reputational damage caused by IT failures such as data breaches, systems failures and data loss now has a price tag. According to analyses performed by the Ponemon Institute, the economic value of a company’s reputation declines an average of 21 percent as a result of an IT breach of customer data — or the equivalent of an average of US $332 million.
The question now is not whether IT risks affect your corporate reputation, but what you can do to effectively prevent and mitigate these risks.
Six Keys To Effective Reputational And IT Risk Management
An analysis of responses to the IBM study revealed distinct correlations between the initiatives that organizations are undertaking to protect their reputations from the ramifications of IT failures and the overall effectiveness of their reputational and IT risk management efforts.
Based on this analysis, and the pattern it revealed among organizations that are most confident in their ability to prevent and mitigate IT-related reputational risk, there are six key initiatives that IBM recommends as part of every company’s efforts:
- Put someone in charge. Ultimate responsibility for reputational risk, including IT-related items, should rest with one person.
- Make the compliance and reputation connection. Measuring reputational and IT risk management strategies against compliance requirements is essential.
- Reevaluate the impact of social media. In addition to recognizing its potential for negative reputational impact, social media should be leveraged for its positive attributes.
- Keep an eye on your supply chain. Organizations must require and verify adherence of third-party suppliers to corporate standards.
- Avoid complacency. Organizations should continually evaluate reputational and IT risk management against strategy to find and eliminate potential gaps.
- Fund remediation; invest in prevention. For optimal reputational risk mitigation, companies need to fund critical IT systems as part of their core business
How IBM Can Help
When planned and implemented effectively, your organization’s reputational and IT risk strategy can become a vital competitive advantage. When you protect against and mitigate reputational risks successfully, you can enhance brand value in the eyes of customers, partners and analysts. Further, your organization can better attract new customers, retain existing customers and generate greater revenue.
IBM can help you protect your reputation with a robust portfolio of IT security, business continuity and resiliency, and technical support solutions. You can start with an IT security risk assessment, or penetration testing performed by IBM experts.
For business continuity and resiliency, you can begin with a Continuous Operations Risk Evaluation (CORE) Workshop and move on to cloud-based resiliency services. Our technical support solutions range from basic software support to custom technical support.
What makes IBM solutions work is global reach with a local touch. This includes:
- Over 160 business resiliency centers in 70 countries; more than 50 years of experience
- More than 9,000 disaster recovery clients, with IBM providing 100 percent recovery for clients who have declared a disaster
- A global network of 33 security operations, research and solution development centers; 133 monitored countries
- 15,000 researchers, developers and subject matter experts working security initiatives worldwide.
To learn more about the IBM Global Reputational Risk and IT Study go here.
Written by turbotodd
March 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm
One of the things we heard about extensively during our time on the ground at SXSW Interactive 2013 in Austin over the past week was the importance of the customer experience.
Whether that be in applications in mobile devices, in customer service via the social media, the physical experience of a brand’s product or service…the customer experience rules!
And this anecdotal data is supported by IBM’s own research, including last year’s Global CEO Study, which queried 1,700 CEOs from 64 countries and 18 industries and found that CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency, and employee empowerment to the command-and-control ethos that has characterized the modern corporation for more than a century.
The study revealed that the advantages of this fast-moving trend are clear: Companies that outperform their peers are 30 percent more likely to identify openness — often characterized by a greater use of social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation — as a key influence on their organization.
Those “outperformers” are also embracing new models of working that tap into the collective intelligence of an organization and its networks to devise new ideas and solutions for increased profitability and growth.
In order to forge those closer connections with customers, partners, and a new generation of employees in the future, CEOs plan to shift their focus from using e-mail and the phone as primary communication vehicles to using social networks as a new path for direct engagement. And while social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods today, it stands to become the number two organizational engagement method within the next five years, a close second to face-to-face interactions.
Big Data, Big Opportunity
Given the data explosion being witnessed by many organizations, CEOs also recognized the need for more sophisticated business analytics to mine the data being tracked online, on mobile phones and social media sites. The traditional approach to understanding customers better has been to consolidate and analyze transactions and activities from across the entire organization. However, to remain relevant, CEOs must piece together a more holistic view of the customer based on how he or she engages the rest of the world, not just their organization.
The ability to drive value from data is strongly correlated with performance. Outperforming organizations are twice as good as underperformers at accessing and drawing insights from data. Outperformers are also 84 percent better at translating those insights into real action.
From Theory to Action
To this end, IBM today announced the creation of the IBM Customer Experience Lab, dedicated to helping business leaders transform the way customers experience their products, services and brands through the use of mobile, social, cloud and advanced analytics technologies.
IBM Research scientists and business consultants will co-create with clients to deliver systems that learn and personalize the experiences of each individual customer, identify patterns, preferences and create context from Big Data, and drive scale economics.
The IBM Customer Experience Lab will provide CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, heads of sales and other C-suite executives direct access to a virtual team of 100 researchers, supported by the deep industry and domain expertise of thousands of IBM business consultants addressing the opportunities of the digital front office.
In the new age of Big Data and analytics, organizations are reassessing how to move from addressing mass audiences to personalized relationships. The same technologies allow enterprises to engage in new ways with their employees, allow government agencies to build new relationships with citizens, or enable new models of interaction among students and educational institutions.
IBM Research is developing technology assets and capabilities that can help deliver front office capabilities as a service from a cloud, design novel products to match customer preferences, and leverage math and psychological theories of personality to improve marketing effectiveness.
The Lab focuses on innovation breakthroughs in three primary areas:
- Customer insight. Applying advanced capabilities such as machine learning and visual analytics to predict differences in individual customer behavior across multiple channels.
- Customer engagement. Using deep customer engagement to drive insight and continuously deliver value by personalizing engagement, versus transactional experiences.
- Employee engagement. Embedding semantic, collaborative, and multimedia technologies to foster employee engagement and insight – in person and online.
Among the clients engaged with IBM on advancing their innovation process are Nationwide Building Society, the world’s largest building society serving 15 million members in the United Kingdom, and Banorte, one of the largest banks in Mexico with more than 20 million customers.
“Mobile and social technologies, and the ability to access information anytime, anywhere, is driving significant change in the way consumers bank and in the services they expect,” said Martin Boyle, Divisional Director of Transformation, Nationwide Building Society. “Our ability to innovate and anticipate, and not just respond, is what sets us apart from the competition and helps us to provide our customers with new and better ways to do business with us. By partnering with IBM, we can tap into its vast research and innovation expertise and facilities, which has already proved invaluable in our transformation program and will continue to be an important part in how we continue to innovate our service for customers.”
New Tools and Capabilities
The Lab provides IBM clients with an innovation process, assets and platform to give line of business leaders the exclusive ability to work side-by-side with IBM researchers and business consultants to analyze business challenges and jointly create solutions that integrate next-generation mobile, social, analytics and cloud technologies.
Co-creation with clients includes an innovation model called Innovation Discovery Workshops, which generate ideas, roadmaps, prototypes and solutions that draw on research assets, business consulting and IBM Software solutions in areas such as Smarter Commerce, Big Data, analytics, and Mobile First products.
The IBM Customer Experience Lab will be headquartered at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., supported by researchers at IBM’s 12 global labs including Africa, Brazil, California, China, India, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, and Texas.
The Lab brings together skills across disciplines including service science, industries research, mathematics and business optimization, social, mobile, Smarter Commerce, data mining, cloud computing, security and privacy, cognitive computing and systems management. IBM invests more than $6 billion annually on research and development and employs about 3,000 researchers worldwide. IBM Global Business Services deploys business consulting, applications and delivery expertise globally, including market-leading business analytics, Smarter Commerce, mobility and applications management practices.
Visit here for more information about the IBM Customer Experience Lab, and follow IBM’s innovation breakthroughs on Twitter at @IBMResearch.
Written by turbotodd
March 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: Outdoor Products Maker Husqvarna On “The Partnership Of Equals” Between Marketing And IT
One of the highlights of attending any of IBM’s events like the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Florida, last week is the opportunity to meet with and speak with IBM customers.
John Marchiodona, VP of marketing, and Simon Howard, head of IT for the Americas, at Husqvarna, are two prime examples.
John and Simon are the poster children for marketing and IT coming together to create new capabilities and opportunities for their customers, in their case for a 300+ year-old commercial concern that now focuses on outdoor products, including chainsaws, lawnmowers, and the like.
John and Simon explained in the interview Scott and I conducted with them how new digital opportunities, particularly in the social space, have required them to come together earlier and more often to map out new requirements and capabilities for better serving their clients.
As they explained, “Technology is becoming more and more a requirement for everybody,” and a good example of the fruits of their labor was a new social media section of the Husqvarna site that contained videos demonstrating the safe and productive use of their products.
As they explained in our discussion, theirs’ (marketing and IT) is a “partnership of equals,” and that to fulfill on the new digital demands of their consumers, “they have to have the necessary platforms in place to do what they want to do.”
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: IBM GBS Exec Paul Pappas On IBM’s Smarter Commerce Consulting Capabilities
If you’ve ever wondered just what part of IBM it is that helps bring IBM Smarter Commerce solutions to life on behalf of our clients, you need look no further.
Paul Pappas, the Smarter Commerce Global Leader for IBM’s Global Business Services unit, is an executive with over 22 years of experience in consulting and over 15 years of specialization in customer relationship management and business analytics.
Paul now leads a global practice that helps clients use digital technologies to increase the value they provide to their customers and business partners.
Paul was formerly a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and has held several practice leadership roles throughout his career.
Prior to assuming his role as the Global Smarter Commerce leader, Paul led IBM’s Life Sciences practice and is a recognized industry subject matter expert.
During our 11 minute discussion at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit this past week in Orlando, Paul outlined the vision behind IBM’s approach to smarter commerce, the so-called “systems of engagement,” which focuses on customer touchpoints (and not just transactions).
He also explained the four “I’s” — Interact, Inform, Integrate, and Innovate — that drive his discussions with clients.
The IBM Smarter Commerce GBS practice began 18 months ago with just over 1,000 consultants, and in that short time has already doubled to keep pace with market demand.
As Paul explains in the interview, “Every IBM client has a different set of objectives or needs,” and it’s that customer-centricity that has helped IBM rapidly become a market leader in servicing this burgeoning growth area.
If you love nothing else about IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, you have to love the fact that it’s driven by results.
Here in Orlando, day one of the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit has already revealed some of those facts, or business outcomes, that demonstrate the power of a more integrated customer experience in action.
By way of example: I mentioned earlier via Twitter that over $27 billion in sales generated by the Internet Retailers Top 500 is powered by IBM Commerce software.
Another example: IBM manages $57 billion in annual procurement spend managed on behalf of our clients.
Yet another: IBM analyzes over $100 billion of commerce transactions each year in the cloud and conveys that insight back to our customers.
But those are results on the so-called “back-end.”
Let’s turn our attention for a moment to the newly empowered consumer: 86 percent of them use multiple channels in their shopping efforts, and they spend four to five times more than the average.
Four in ten smartphone users search for an item while in the store, and yet online sales via mobile devices were up 300 percent over 2010.
Or how about this one: 77 percent of the global population are now mobile subscribers.
That’s an immense opportunity.
Guy Kawasaki On Enchanted Customers
As former Apple evangelist and social media thought leader and author Guy Kawasaki kicked off today’s keynote session here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, he explained to the audience that we had over 200 interesting and very valuable sessions of the audience’s peers and outside industry experts sharing their own insights.
He began with the notion of the “chief executive customer,” that is to say, with placing customers at the center of the commerce experience.
Citing his own book, “Enchantment,” Kawasaki revealed there are three pillars for building enchantment with your customers. One, you have to be likable. Two, you must achieve trustworthiness. And three, you have to do something “DICEE” (the acronym which translated to “Deep,” “Intelligent,” “Complete,” “Empowering,” and “Elegant.”)
Kawasaki shared some compelling examples of which he spoke. After running into Virgin mega CEO Richard Branson at a speaking engagement in Moscow, Branson cornered Kawasaki and asked him the ill-fated question: Do you fly on Virgin Airlines?
Kawasaki admitted that, as a loyal United customer, he did not. Branson then used his charm and personality, and even a quick shoe shine, to convince Kawasaki he should reconsider.
Kawasaki now also flies on Virgin.
The Legend Continues…
After some other amusing anecdotes, Kawasaki turned the rostrum over to Craig Hayman, IBM’s general manager, Industry Solutions.
Hayman talked about examples of businesses that have had to completely reinvent themselves (Play-Doh, the children’s product, used to be a cleaning goop used prior to World War II!).
Hayman explained that the rate and pace of change in today’s marketplace is soaring, but that ultimately the customer “owns the transaction.”
“If you disappoint them,” Hayman explained, “they’re going to share their point of view (especially via the social media!) and then move on.”
Hayman handed the reins over to Lenovo senior VP of supply chain, Jerry Smith, who explained that Lenovo is a $30 billion global personal technology company with 27,000+ employees and customers in 160+ countries.
Partnering with IBM, Smith explained, Lenovo rebuilt its company around a global supply chain vision whose goal was simple yet straightforward: To become the undisputed #1 supply chain in personal technology by providing a best-in-class customer experience.
As Smith related to the gathered audience, “We need you (Lenovo’s sales force and partners) to sell product on the water,” meaning those units which were already on ships leaving China heading for parts around the globe.
Lenovo’s supply chain overhaul saw delivery performance go up by 15 percent, and onboarding costs/time down some 85 percent, giving them better negotiating leverage, higher order speeds, and leaner inventory, a must for the PC business.
The Grass Always Grows At Husqvarna
Smith’s handoff was to two executives from Husqvarna, the 300+ year-old company that, these days, specializes in outdoor equipment.
Think chain saws and lawn mowers.
“Grass always grows,” explained John Marchionda, Husqvarna’s VP of marketing, as his counterpart from IT, Simon Howard, nodded his head in agreement.
Husqvarna’s most recent marketing investments include a social video education space on its website that are both sales force and tutorial, explaining the likes of using chain saws safely, and effectively, and helping turn the inventory in the process.
The last IBM customer to “testify” in the morning session was Aditya Bhasin, the senior VP for Consumer Marketing and Digital Banking.
“People trust other people, not institutions,” explained Bhasin. He and his team are using that knowledge to make banking better, combining the best of human interaction with a more robust and effective technology system.
One example: “BankAmeriDeals,” a form of digital couponing that combines buyer behaviors, shopping, and payment systems to bring more value to its customers in direct savings on purchases.
Another: Its new Facebook branch, which is helping match consumers with local ATMs and bank branches, and helping answer customer questions through a medium they’re most comfortable with.
Change Is A Four Letter Word
The co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Dan Heath, batted clean-up in the morning session by talking about a theme universal to many of IBM Smarter Commerce clients’ initiatives: Change.
“Change is a four-letter word for a lot of people,” Heath explained, before challenging the audience to think about “what happens when you leave Orlando? Will the change you envision be a change you are willing to fight for?”
Heath explained that change is definitely within the art of the possible: We’re certainly optimistic about change the moment we decide to get married.
With much laughs from the audience, and Heath’s wedding album pictures onscreen as pudding proof, Heath explained that change is made more difficult by the battling two sides of our brains: The Rational, Conscious, and Deliberative side, and the Emotional, Unconscious, and Automatic side.
The emotional side is like a big elephant in our heads, the little devil telling us “We deserve ice cream” or “Call my ex.”
The rational side…well, we like to often ignore that side.
To make his thesis actionable, Heath explained a three-part framework for thinking about change.
One, he explained, we have to “direct the rider.” Point to the way you want to change and “find the bright spots,” those areas of opportunity where you’ve already succeeded.
Second, “motivate the elephant” — give them a compelling reason to change.
And finally, “shape the path,” for change.
That is, “cultivate a culture that’s more conducive to change” and encourages more people to participate.
Written by turbotodd
September 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Posted in best practices, business analytics, business travel, conference, customer experience, customer service, customer stories, enterprise mobility, ibm software, innovation, smarter commerce, social networking, social networks
It was a big day today in Singapore, where the country celebrated its independence, and where government leaders encouraged Singaporeans to make even more Singaporeans, in order to counter the country’s declining birthrate, which is among the lowest in the world at 7.72 births per 1,000 people.
I’m sure a few Singapore Slings may have been consumed, and I would have been right there with them, as the Raffles Hotel is definitely on my list of places to frequent for when I visit.
And that will be sooner rather than later, as IBM is going to be hosting a new, first-of-its-kind event at the Resorts World Sentosa this October 9th-11th.
This new IBM event will share with attendees the breadth of IBM’s integrated software and systems solutions capabilities, and demonstrate IBM’s strategic perspective on becoming a smarter busienss that excels in turning opportunity into outcomes in this new era of computing.
At the event, IBM will focus discussions on a variety of key “hot topics,” including those focused on speeding innovation with mobile computing, defending against cyber-threats with security intelligence, rethinking IT with cloud computing, and a host of others.
If you’re game, but need some compelling reasons to convince your boss to send you to Singapore, here’s a starter list:
- Networking. You’ll have the opportunity in Singapore to network with peers, industry experts, and IBM thought leaders from around the globe, including IBM customers already collaborating to better align business and technology investments.
- Learning. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from experts in our Solution Center, as well as through a personalized agenda of keynote session, “Hot Topic” sessions, and Exchange sessions built around your business interests.
- Delivering New Value. At IBM Interconnect, you’ll become one of the first to learn how to manage the velocity of change from real world examples of business delivering new value to the people they serve.
- Unleashing Innovation. You’ll also have the opportunity to begin to understand the new economics of IT, and how to use technology as the catalyst for unleashing innovation in your organization.
- Uncovering New Markets. And finally, in an environment where most every organization is looking for new customers in new markets, you’ll have the opportunity to start to develop a clear plan of how you can reinvent relationships with yoru customers and workforce and, in turn, start to uncover those new markets.
Changing With The Changing Times
Rapid change has become the new normal, as entire industries are now transforming to deliver compelling new value to their customers. In this era of interconnected industries, businesses and consumers, a new kind of leadership is required to turn opportunity into business outcomes.
Smarter businesses are capitalizing on information as an indispensable resource and using technology as the catalyst for unleashing innovation. They are expanding the digital world of the back-office into the front-office and the corresponding business infrastructures that are at the heart of business leadership and operations; the key interconnection points among consumers, business partners and employees.
Take advantage of this opportunity to develop a personalized agenda around your business needs, collaborate with business decision-making peers, and meet face-to-face with technical decision-makers and industry experts.
If you’ve never visited Singapore, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s like visiting a future that has already arrived, and in the meantime, you’ll have the opportunity to attend an IBM event that’s intended to help you create a future looming just over the horizon.
Written by turbotodd
August 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm
Posted in announcements, business analytics, business continuity, business intelligence, business partners, business travel, conference, customer experience, customer service, customer stories, cybersecurity, digital marketing, education, emerging economies, growth markets, ibm software, information insight, mobile enterprise, mobile internet, online collaboration, pure systems, smarter commerce, social media, steve mills
If you’ve been following the mobile and social space, and especially if you own your own smartphone, you know the impact that that increased mobility means in terms of your ability to conduct business –- personal and professional –- while on the go.
Now, IBM has some empirical data that indicates those behavioral changes due to smartphone adoption are occurring on a more massive scale.
The IBM Retail Online Index, a cloud-based analysis of the online retail sector, integrates factual marketplace data from its analytics offerings, including the Benchmark, with insights from the IBM Social Sentiment Index, an advanced analytics and natural language processing tool that analyzes large volumes of social media data to assess public opinions.
The combination of these two offerings provides the most accurate and immediate snap shot on the state of the online retail market.
According to the latest IBM Retail Online report, mobile shopping rose while social media sales fell, providing an indication of where US retailers may invest in order to capture the attention and loyalty of the digital consumer. The IBM Retail Online Index reported that retailers experienced 15 percent growth in sales from mobile devices but saw a 20 percent decline in sales traced to social media based on a much smaller base over this three-month period.
This report follows today’s news from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau which announced its estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales. According to the findings, retail sales fell 0.5 percent in June from May, the third straight month sales have been down from the month before. On a positive note, June 2012 sales were 3.8 percent above the pace of June 2011.
IBM’s Retail Online Index: Mobile Commerce Now 15% Of All Online Purchases
IBM’s Retail Online Index identified several trends of importance to chief marketing officers (CMO), e-commerce leaders and customer service professionals. Over the second quarter consumers continued to embrace mobile devices as a shopping tool, with mobile commerce accounting for 15.1 percent of all online purchases, an increase of more than 14 percent. Despite this momentum retailers are still struggling to sustain substantial success with their social media efforts, evidenced by a more than 20 percent drop in social shopping.
According to IBM’s State of Marketing 2012 survey, one explanation for social commerce’s failure may be the absence of a CMO and CIO alliance which is critical as marketing and online commerce become increasingly technology-driven. The lack of this alliance hinders the deployment of integrated technologies capable of fueling effective social media efforts.
A second factor is marketing’s inability to form a clear consensus on how to utilize social channels. As a result, the retail online index saw a decline in positive sentiment around social media, which according to the online index dropped from 25.1 percent in Q1 to 18.6 percent in Q2. Leading factors for this shift were the lack of deals being offered by retailers through these channels, which were more prevalent in Q1.
More Shoppers Are Multi-Channel, Mobile And Social
“Shoppers today are shifting from a singular online approach to a multi-channel experience that includes both mobile and social media. As a result, retailers must be prepared to connect with their customers on all fronts, or lose them to the competition,” said Craig Hayman, General Manager, IBM Industry Solutions. “As we enter the home stretch for the 2012 holiday season, we will continue to watch how CMOs and CIOs tackle these challenges and create social media efforts that deliver value to the customer while driving revenue for the business.”
Over the second quarter, while online traffic and sales for Q2 were down 6.7 percent and 2.3 percent from Q1 respectively, there were signs of optimism. Specifically, for completed orders, shoppers bought more items (average items per order grew 2.6 percent) and spent more for each transaction (average order values for each purchase grew by 2.3 percent) over the second quarter.
Part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the Retail Online Index draws data and insights from IBM’s big data offerings to provide the industry’s most comprehensive look into the pulse of online retail through traditional and social media channels. The index analysis for second-quarter 2012 reveals the following trends:
Online Retail Sales for Q2 2012 versus Q1 2012:
- Consumer Spending: Total online sales for the quarter were down 2.3 percent over Q1 2012.
- Average Order Value: The average value for each order in Q2 grew by 2.3 percent.
- Items Per Order: The average number of items per order increased by 2.6 percent.
- Page view Per Session: Page views per session dropped by 2 percent to 6.4 pages.
- Mobile Sales: Sales from mobile devices reached 15.1 percent, up from the 13.3 percent in Q1 2012.
- Mobile Devices: While Apple’s iPhone continued to rank one for mobile device retail traffic at 8.2 percent, Android surpassed the iPad which finished at 6.8 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.
- Social Traffic: Shoppers referred from social networks generated 1.3 percent of all online traffic over Q2 2012, a slight increase from the 1.1 percent seen the previous quarter.
- Social Sales: Shoppers referred to retailer sites from social networks generated 1.9 percent of all online sales over Q2 2012, a decrease from the 2.4 percent seen in Q1.
Online Retail Categories for Q2 2012 versus Q1 2012:
- Consumers further intensified their focus on the home with home goods sales growing by 35.3 percent in Q2.
- Department stores continued to catch the attention of consumers with sales growing 3.7 percent
- Jewelry stores maintained its upward track with sales growing by 1.4 percent.
Consumer Sentiment for Department Stores for Q2 2012 versus Q1 2012 based on the IBM Social Sentiment Index:
- Social Media: A potential result of retailers failing to deliver compelling campaigns through these channels, positive sentiment around social media dropped by 6.5 percentage points, from 25.1 percent in Q1 to 18.6 percent in Q2.
- Loyalty and Pricing: Where sales and clearing inventory were priorities in Q1, retailer prices returned to more normal rates in Q2, a shift that fueled negative sentiment around pricing which grew by 2.1 percentage points. These factors also impacted consumer loyalty where negative sentiment grew by 2.1 percentage points.
About IBM Smarter Commerce
IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative delivers software and services to help companies transform their business processes to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands in today’s digitally transformed marketplace. The initiative is driven by the demands from organizations who are increasingly looking for ways to bring new levels of automation to marketing, sales and fulfillment to secure greater customer loyalty. The growth of mobile, social and online commerce are key trends within Smarter Commerce.
You can learn more about IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative here.
Written by turbotodd
July 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm
Posted in big data, business intelligence, ceo study, cio study, cloud computing, customer experience, customer service, digital marketing, enterprise marketing management, IBM Social Sentiment Index, mobile internet, mobile marketplace, smarter commerce
IBM today announced new software that helps CMOs and CIOs transform the digital experience for employees, customers and fans across a broad range of mobile devices.
The IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.
By 2017, the CMO will have greater control of the IT budget than the CIO, according to Gartner. Marketing budgets will grow 7-8 percent over the next 12 months, which is 2-3 times that of IT budgets.
With the growing number of mobile devices, social networks and social media tools on the rise, CMOs struggle to reach their audiences. At the same time, CIOs are struggling to provide access to company data on every type of device for a geographically distributed workforce.
Given the business realignment between marketing and technology, the CMO and CIO can no longer afford to operate on separate stages. To succeed, they’ll have to forge a shared agenda to deliver business results through innovation and efficiency, working together to streamline their technology needs.
The convergence of social and mobile is prompting organizations to revisit decades-old website to create exceptional web experiences to reach and engage with their audiences.
And despite their growing reliance on technology and their soaring budgets, CMOs readily admit they lack the skills that IT requires. According to the IBM CMO Study, while 79 percent of CMOs expect high levels of complexity in their job over the next five years, only 48 percent feel prepared to deal with it.
Building on these increased demands, IBM is delivering a new Customer Experience Suite giving millions of marketing professionals the power to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment.
Also delivered today, the new IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.
The Power of Social, Mobile And Analytics
The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings together the power of social networking, analytics and mobile computing to front office operations and externally to clients, allowing companies to create exceptional Web experiences. As a result, organizations can gain faster insight on customer buying patterns and consumer sentiment allowing them to more quickly reach and engage their audiences.
At European industrial automation technology manufacturer Omron, employees are connecting knowledge and technical know-how through the organization’s Intranet, helping to meet the specific needs of their customers.
Omron delivers an exceptional Web experience through a single communication platform that embeds relevant social data into the daily workflow. Omron has sped knowledge sharing across boundaries and between departments, enabling employees to support customers better and faster.
Working with IBM and its partner Portico, Omron created an award-winning business intranet, called Ozone internally, helping to create a single-source communication and collaboration platform for all 1,700 European employees.
The IBM Intranet Experience Suite integrates with external social media, including Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, allowing employees to pick and choose which applications they want in their Intranet view. For example, a sales manager can leverage the Cognos software integration to ensure a clear view into monthly sales reports by region, as well as competitive background on new product updates and forecasts.
“The world is changing and is becoming increasingly connected and social,” said Michel Min, Head of Strategic Communication & eMarketing, Omron Europe B.V. “Because of this, we know our clients are changing as well, which is why it’s increasingly important to ensure our sales teams have the right information at the right time.”
Analytics to Help Marketers Engage Audiences
From digital marketing and mobile commerce, to websites and social media, marketers are inundated — often paralyzed — by data amassed from consumers via searches, purchase histories, Facebook “likes” and comments on Twitter.
Combine that with data about in-store traffic, conversations with call centers and updates from suppliers, today’s marketers confront a daily deluge of data waiting to be sifted for nuggets of intelligence they can act upon to boost their business.
Because of this, it’s critical for CMOs to not only be aware of and monitor the social conversation, but to truly understand the sentiment and interact one-on-one with that customer. Taking it one step further would be to integrate these conversations directly into the organization’s web site, providing one place to both network and shop.
The new IBM Customer Experience Suite provides CMOs with the power to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment.
Web data has evolved today to include social media, videos, and web-based forms, as well as traditional enterprise data such as financial, customer and order data, and transactions. The software suite pulls together IBM’s market-leading enterprise portal, web content management, forms, and enterprise social networking software into a single view.
CIOs Creating Exceptional Intranets To Help Employees Gain Insight from Data Deluge
The new IBM software also helps business leaders extend their corporate intranet to a broad range of mobile devices in an effort to deepen employee collaboration and information sharing.
According to IDC, employees typically see up to a 30 percent increase in productivity using social tools internally to complete their work. With unlimited access to any type of information, consumers expect this same level of information availability in their professional lives, in order to work efficiently and reach business goals quickly.
The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings the power of social and analytics capabilities to CIOs and lines of business employees helping organizations innovate and evolve their internal operations and communications. The solution pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.
You can learn more about the IBM Intranet Experience Suite here.
Written by turbotodd
July 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm
Remember that team of blackjack-playing cohorts from MIT in the book (and, later, movie) “Bringing Down The House,” who fleeced a number of Vegas casinos before they were invited never to grace their gambling doors again?
Well, IBM executive and Unica co-founder Yuchung Lee was one of those who was asked not to come back. Permanently.
Which is okay by those of us at IBM, as we’re keeping him way too busy to bother with card counting.
Instead, Lee’s mathematical prowess is being applied to help companies improve their marketing capabilities, a key ingredient in the IBM Smarter Commerce soup.
Doubling Down On Enterprise Marketing Management
As Lee explained in his keynote session this afternoon here in Madrid, “this is the first time we’re bringing together Coremetrics and Unica.” He also highlighted the fact that out of the 1,700 participants here at the Summit, over 1,000 are marketeers!
Lee provided a broad overview of the Enterprise Marketing Management portfolio at IBM, explaining that “we’ve shared progress as a group within IBM over the past year,” sharing that also incorporates lessons learned from both the market and IBM customers.
“The pieces of our portfolio are better connected,” Lee explained, but also highlighted the fact that “We now have a more comprehensive suite for relevant and personalized offers across all channels, and social media,” a capability recently introduced in Unica 8.6
The social buildout also incorporates enterprise analytics, tag management, and full mobile and social market capabilities that tie more closely together the marketing automation experience with the social realm.
Acquisitions That Count
Lee also debriefed quickly on two recent acquisitions, DemandTec, which expands IBM’s EMM offerings with pricing, promotion, and product mix optimization, and Tealeaf, which rounds out IBM EMM solutions with customer experience management and analytics.
As Lee explained, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” and that’s precisely what TeaLeaf provides, the ability to look at snapshots of individual user sessions to help determine where, exactly, it is that you’re driving them crazy with your convoluted web experience!
But where Lee really “hooked” the audience was in his observations about the Generation C customer, who is more connected and in control than ever! Did you know that 4 in 10 smartphone users search for an item in a store? Or that 77 percent of B2B buyers check with their peers before buying?
If you didn’t know that, then this is your reality check and maybe it’s time you get more focused in your own customer centricity. Marketing, Lee suggested, must “move beyond its silo and focus on business value.”
Which, he expanded, means that it must work more closely with other disciplines and functions, including merchandising, on- and offline sales, customer service, and even with IT.
Marketing must move that customer centricity beyond marketing as well, so that they understand and influence the entire customer experience, as well as “own the operational process to influence social conversations.”
But, Lee indicated, they can’t stop there. Marketing must also share customer insights with other parts of the business so that all functions can benefit from these insights.
Finally, they must extend that sharing of customer insights with other key stakeholders who can benefit: Partners, agencies, customer communities, and so forth.
Lee also explained that many organizations must adjust their marketing cultures to fully capitalize on the “Generation C” (“C” for “connected”) culture. They must build organizations that balance analytics and creative talents (easier said than done!), work with IT rather than around IT, and break down marketing siloes — digital and traditional marketing must consolidate and collaborate.
Finally, accept mistakes and learn from them, and be agile enough to iterate and improve upon them. As even Lee can explain, there are only so many opportunities to double down in blackjack, and in business.
The enterprise marketing management opportunity vis-a-vis IBM’s Smarter Commerce strategy is one of those rare opportunities.
I mentioned in my last post that I must have been dreaming on the way over to Madrid. Or maybe it was just all these thoughts running through my head before I actually drifted off to some semblance of jet-engine-drone-induced slumber.
One of those thoughts reminded me of the guy in the YouTube video who reminded us all what an amazing time we live in. That we can climb into what essentially constitutes a rather large beer can and zoom a few thousand miles away in only a matter of hours. In a journey that, once upon a time, would have taken a Benjamin Franklin or a Thomas Jefferson weeks by sea, and likely would have been filled with seasickness, scurvy, or worse, when all they wanted to do was get there.
That was one of my thoughts: Then I fell asleep somewhere near Dallas and woke up somewhere over lovely Spain.
Be Amazed By This Amazing Opportunity
But I also dreamed of commerce. Of its history, and its evolution, and what an amazing time we live in terms of how we conduct business.
I went and looked up “commerce” on Wikipedia, curious as to what the “crowd” out there had to say. That, too, is another relatively new concept, to be able to “crowdsource” information from people around the globe.
Their definition goes something like this: Commerce is the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any country. Thus, commerce is a system or an environment that affects the business prospects of an economy or a nation-state.
First, there were barter economies, where trading was the principal “facility” in which peoples bartered for goods and services from one another.
Then, currency was introduced as a standardized money, which, facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services — everything from coins to lumps of precious metals to, today, even virtualized currency like “Bitcoin.”
But these days, as the Wikipedia entry observes, commere also includes a complex system of companies that try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market (consisting of both individuals and other companies) at the lowest production cost.
The Early Road To Smarter Commerce
So what did some of those early commerce scenarios look like? Imagine, for example, how the domestication of camels allowed Arabian nomads to control long distance trade in spices and silk from the Far East.
Or the “Silk Road,” which was established after the diplomatic travels of the Han Dynasty Chinese envoy Zhang Qian to Central Asia, which allowed Chinese goods to make their way to India, Persia, the Roman Empire — and vice versa.
The English East India Company was an English and, later (from 1707), British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.
In more recent times, we saw the introduction of 23 countries agreeing to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in 1947, which attempted to rationalize trade among nations.
Going All In…For Your Customer
Today, circa 2012, we find ourselves at another inflection point in the history of commerce, one which begins and ends with the customer. Today’s commerce environment features a customer who is dictating a new set of terms in the dynamic between buyers and sellers, and these are very smart consumers, ones empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information.
Just simply walk through your closest local retailer or your nearest airport, and you’ll see signs of this new and smarter consumer. Via smartphones and other mobile devices, they are connected real-time to an absurd amount of information that empowers them as buyers, and, in turn, requires an accelerated sophistication on the part of sellers, no matter the product or service.
These consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels.
Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.
No More Business As Usual
This ultimately means, of course, that there is no longer such a thing as “business as usual.” Empowered and connected consumers are deeply linked — to their friends, colleagues, and the world at large — and they evaluate and compare the quality of their experiences with those of others. And they are the ones who can reward, or penalize, the businesses that do, or do not, give them what they want.
This is new trading crossroads of the 21st Century, and it is those companies who are interested and compelled to act to enable and encourage this new consumer who are in attendance here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit here in Madrid this week.
To thrive in this new age of the customer, they recognize they must understand the motivations of each individual purchaser. They must predict, and not merely react to, customers’ needs and preferences.
They must understand not only what they buy and where, but also why and how they choose to buy it.
That’s what this new world demands. That we need not only a better system of doing business.
But, also, a “smarter commerce” environment, one that puts the customer at the center of all operations, and that helps companies better buy, market, sell and service their offerings accordingly.
Written by turbotodd
May 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm
Posted in 2012, big data, business analytics, business intelligence, collaboration software, conference, crowdsourcing, customer experience, customer service, digital marketing, digital media, e-commerce, globalization, marketing, marketing automation, smarter commerce, smarter planet, social networks