Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011's Most Popular eBusiness Challenge...will you be able to conquer it?

A recent "After the Storm" benchmark report from Retail Systems Research, a retail research company, identified a major shift in e-Business social marketing challenges for 2011. In 2010, it was all about connecting with your customers to find out what they want. 2011 is all about helping customers connect to other customers to become of the "facilitator" of the social network.

Simply observe what the customers are saying to each other and allow them to recommend your products for you. This trend is even trickling into the B2B space. In fact, today I'll be working on forums for one of our clients that will enable their 87 different dealerships to speak directly to each other to discuss parts available for sale at various locations.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Experiment with New Ways to Use Blogging to Your Advantage

Many companies have almost forced themselves into the blogging and social media marketing world because they don't want to be the last ones left. But unfortunately, if you aren't really listening to your customers or taking the time to be actively involved in what you've created, all you are really doing is burning up cash and time.

One great way to get fresh and meaningful content onto your site is to rotate who's doing the posting each day. Many companies find this to be a great way to get all of your SMEs (subject matter experts) posting and they don't feel like it's taking up too much of their time. I would take it a step further and challenge all bloggers to actively commit themselves to reviewing and researching what their customers are saying about their products and services each week and actively respond to or commit to making positive change in the organization as a result of what they are finding out on other blogs and social media sites.

A weekly 15 minute or 30 minute meeting is a great way to circle back with your cohorts and share what people are saying about your organization. In this meeting, decide on strategies for how you are going to react. You'd be amazed at the level of customer service you'd be providing back to your customers especially by responding to them online. Don't be afraid to apologize online! Customers just want to know you care. Go on, give them a little bit of Valentine's Day love today! Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tools to Measure Social Marketing ROI

In IBM's Social Business Jam discussion, I found a link with some great tools for measuring ROI for social marketing - http://oneforty.com/blog/tools-to-measure-social-media-roi-in-2011. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Don't Miss IBM's Social Business Jam Starting Today and All Week Long!

IBM's Social Business Jam begins today! @ 10 am EST. If you've already signed up for it, you can log in here using the username/password combination you signed up w/ - https://www.collaborationjam.com/minijam3/socialbusiness/.

You can still sign up by going here - http://ibm.co/joinsbjam. Many CEOs and Executives of large corporations will be included in panel discussions providing an opportunity to craft your skill sets in marketing, operations, IT, and more.

So get jamming!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Google Analytics Monday

I think we need all the help we can get on a Monday morning after the Super Bowl. So, I wanted to post a few good reference links I found related to using Google Analytics. If you haven't seen these two already, they are great comprehensive lists for what custom reports you can set up. Every custom report can have one or more dimensions and metrics associated so enjoy!

Also, found an interesting post comparing the differences between Google Analytics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, and Yahoo Web Analytics - http://www.webanablog.com/2010/01/07/omniture-google-yahoo-analytics-comparison/

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Are Retailers Properly Equipped to Provide the Buy Online Pick Up in Store Experience?

While every retailer knows the hippest convenience trend for shoppers these days is the concept of "buy online, pick up in store", many retailers are not ready for this implementation and implement too early. The biggest challenge is integrating their eCommerce application with their POS application and providing real time information.

Think about it. When someone uses the "buy online, pick up in store" feature, why are they using it? Well, they probably don't want to pay for shipping. But they also probably want to pick that item up that day and in many cases, within hours. If that item isn't ready and waiting for them when they get to the store to pick it up, you've actually made their shopping experience 10 times worse. Because now they've already purchased the item online and paid for it. But now they feel like they are shopping for it again. They have to stand in line and wait to get their item in many cases. Then wait for the clerk to go find their item. Heck, the customer could have went to the shelf and got the item faster and went through the regular checkout line...

Bottom line, if you are thinking about implementing this feature, make sure you are really ready for it, think about the value it will really add to your bottom line, the systems that need to be upgraded, the staff that needs to be trained, and the impact that the possibility of a poor customer experience might have on the shopper. Will they come back to your store to shop again?