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A great customer experience is defined by its relevance and timely availability to the customer.
I've been reading Jay Baer's treaty on the topic (Winning Hearts in Real-Time), the first in a series extravagantly titled 'Masters of CX'.
What sticks out is the importance of mobile. Indeed, Econsultancy's Skills of the Modern Marketer report, compiled from interviews and an online survey, shows respondents to value CX and mobile as the most important broad and hard skills respectively (incidentally, if you fancy assessing your own digital skills, try sitting our Digital Skills Index test).
I thought I'd highlight some of Jay's thoughts on what makes great CX and include a few examples. Let us know what you think.
Ask your average person born around the turn of the century, meaning this one, about 'real time marketing' and you're likely to get a moralistic ear-raid.
They'll talk about the theoretical evils of the NSA, randomly but comprehensively gathering personal data about any number of individuals supposedly in the name of our collective well being.
Even though almost everyone with a smartphone makes tracking their every move relatively easy with constant check-ins and status updates, there remains a deeply entrenched paranoia when it comes to any organization 'spying' on us citizens, even if we're part of the problem by being so carefree in our digital communications.
'We' don't want 'them' to be intrusive, but 'they' don't want 'us' to remain elusive. Therein lies the philosophical paradox.
In short: How can an honest marketing scheme be pervasive without being invasive?
That is the rub, of course and it’s a sea of gray area that marketers must learn to navigate..
Real-time retailing means being able to detect, understand, communicate with and serve your customers at every point in the purchase lifecycle.
So how can online retailers react responsively to customer needs when they visit their websites?
Here are my seven top tips for how you can become a real-time retailer today.
As content marketing and SEO grow in importance for all sorts of online business, so does the need for real-time keyword analysis.
Rankinity allows you to check positions of a website for certain keywords in all popular search engines in real time.
The founders of Rankinity are hoping that flexible reports and wide means for joint operation (it can take a lot of cross-department teamwork to successfully manage SEO) will make their service "an irreplaceable assistant both for a SEO savvy and a website owner".
For most publishers and businesses operating online, analytics has become an indispensible tool for understanding the audiences that keep the bills paid.
But in some instances, analytics is limited in that it generally provides a better view of the audience as it existed in the past (yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, etc.). For Google Analytics users, however, that is changing.
Here at Econsultancy we’re big on data, and we believe that the best way for publishers to monetise their online audience is to properly evaluate visitors, just like the smarter retailers do. We’ve created a tool to show you how we’re trying to do this.
Called ‘Project Arachnid’, the tool is essentially a real-time visualisation of our website traffic. You can see new visitors arriving at the different sections of our website, represented by dots.
Chatroulette remains a bit of a marketing headache.
On the one hand, it’s a free platform that has had enormous amounts of publicity and thousands of users. On the other though, the site is somewhat stigmatised, as quite a number of those users don’t seem to be the sort who want clever, real-time advertising.
For major publishers, covering real-time and local information is increasingly a struggle. As budgets and bureaus shrink, publications are competing with never ending updates from social media and young upstart news sites on increasingly stretched resources.
Associated Content is one of those crowd sourced news organizations that often strike fear in the hearts of traditional publishers. Rather than funding huge newsrooms around the country, Associated Content that lets anyone publish content and try to make money off off of it. The network taps into a growing cadre of citizen journalists and professional writers who want to have their voices heard.
Revenues have grown 100% year over year, for the last five years. Patrick Keane has been CEO for the past year, and seen the company's roster grow to over 300,000 registered contributors. Those writers publish about 10,000 new pieces of content weekly.
Keane (who is not related to me) came from Google, and brings a data driven approach to content to his new company. It shows in their approach to publishing. Rather than relying on brand to promote their content, Associated Content finds readers through searchers interested in specific topics. According to Comscore, they have 16 million unique visitors monthly, and 90% come through search.
If that's not enough to make other publishers who depend on their trusted brands nervous, articles like Keane's AdWeek piece — The Case Against Engagement — are sure to do it. But Keane doesn't see Associated Content as a competitor — or threat — to traditional news media. I caught up with him to find out why.
After recalling 8.5 million cars and sending its CEO around the world to apologize, automaker Toyota is in crisis mode. But the company is hoping that a few tweets will help repair some of the damage to its brand.
The Japanese company has partnered with Federated Media to launch a branded channel on TweetMeme to help get control of its reputation back.
With so many brands jumping at the chance to integrate real-time content into their interface, there are sure to be a few slip ups. But this time, Google has stepped in it with the launch of Google Buzz.
The search giant has already gotten into trouble over privacy issues surrounding its new social sharing service. But now Google is having ad scraping issues. Namely, the search giant has been serving its ads with other people's content.
Yahoo may be slow to the social game, but the portal is frantically trying to catch up. Yahoo integrated Facebook functionality into its sites at the end of 2009. And this week comes the announcement of a similar deal with Twitter.
But there is one big (and important) difference for Twitter. Yahoo will be paying the microblogging company for its services. For a hotshot upstart like Twitter, that is exactly what it needs right now: reach and revenue.