Customer Intelligence

Diaspora – A Social Network Where Users Control Their Data

Posted on May 14, 2012 in Customer Intelligence | 0 comments

There’s an intriguing article in this week’s issue of BusinessWeek on Diaspora, which aims to create a new social network where users control their data.

In light of Facebook and Google’s recent privacy policy changes, Diaspora may be onto something. Here’s the full story.

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Berkeley Does Big Data

Posted on May 10, 2012 in Customer Intelligence | 0 comments

I stumbled upon a golden nugget from Technorati in my Twitter feed earlier this week.

Berkeley has decided to partner with Twitter to offer a class in Big Data!

This is a great move on Berkeley’s part, showing its desire to be nimble and address a critical skill set gap. It also is evidence we are at the forefront of an emerging trend that has staying power.

Here’s the full article from Technorati. Enjoy!

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SXSW – Big Data Is Sexy – Size Does Matter

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 in Customer Intelligence | 0 comments

Big Data is all the buzz lately, but if you ask a typical consumer what their thoughts are on the topic, you’ll likely be greeted by a blank stare or perhaps a “Big what?”

While it is true that Big Data should matter to everyone, you have to make it relevant to the audience. Sure, the institutional challenges are immense but what exactly does Big Data mean to Ms. Everywoman or Mr. Everyman?

Size matters. Big Data at the personal level is really not so big. Instead it’s a complete, accurate and relevant 360 view of every digital footstep I take “powered by Big Data” and within my control. As a consumer, I don’t care how it’s generated but it is something I need to make sense of everything I’ve left behind and tap into the digital dashboard of my life.

Facebook has already started to focus on this need with its timeline interface. But,that is only one small step. Consumers are struggling to manage a multitude of online profiles – Facebook and Twitter are two of the largest. When you add some other common social channels to the mix – Foursquare, LinkedIn, Amazon, Slideshare, MapMyFitness, Nike+, Netflix, iTunes, Mint.com, NY Times, Wall Street Journal – to name a few, the manageability challenge increases. App proliferation is accelerating rapidly, as evidenced by the plethora of new offerings at this year’s SXSW. Push fatigue – managing the volume of updates generated by these services – may soon be the next diagnosable condition.

As a consumer I need access to my focused piece of the big data puzzle, “small data” from a business perspective but it’s all of my data. How can I see it in one place and manage it effectively? How can I look at the past from many different perspectives to make better future decisions? How can I ensure I don’t miss something one of my friends said that could change my life (a new job opportunity on LinkedIn, for example) just because I missed the update?

Real-time, cross channel awareness of one’s Digital DNA is utopia from a consumer perspective. While such a solution can be “powered by Big Data”, it’s important to remember that size does matter when looking at the challenge of Big Data from a different perspective. Big Data must be right sized to be meaningful.

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SXSW – Big Data Is Sexy!

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 in Customer Intelligence | 0 comments

This year, I finally made the pilgrimage to South By Southwest (SXSW ever after) in Austin, TX.  I’ve thought about going in prior years but never actually made it happen.  Thanks to a blog post from SXSW a few days before stating that Big Data was going to be a big part of this year’s Interactive agenda (Music and Film are also in the mix), I decided to make it a priority and scramble to make it happen last minute (i.e. redeeming miles for the airfare, using airbnb.com for this first time, etc.)

So, what are my thoughts?  Was it worth it in the end?  You bet!  It was one of the best experiences I’ve had engaging with others and I didn’t want it to end!  There were so many great speakers and sessions.  I simply was overwhelmed by the scale of the event.  Without a doubt, I could write many posts on topics such as food trucks, Google Village, JayZ, Homeless Hotspots, BBQ, Highlight, or many others – but my focus of going was clearly on Big Data and you’re reading since you want to see the linkage to Customer Intelligence.  Here it is…

Big Data is Sexy!

Yes, you read that right.  The proliferation of data – and how to manage it all – was a huge theme at this year’s SXSW and the challenge it presents was clear, both from a consumer and an organizational perspective.

As a consumer, managing all the data being compiled about ourselves across many sites, apps, devices, etc. is a growing challenge.  So much is being captured every day – from check-ins on Foursquare and Facebook  to running routes, workouts and web searches.  How do we keep track of it all?  We see the recent items and think about pieces individually.  But what about the big picture of our digital lives, connecting the dots across time?  Sexy!

On a much larger scale, the same challenge is being presented to the organizations we do business with.  How do they become trusted stewards of big data and use the digital points in time we are creating to understand how to better engage with us over time, anticipating our needs at the right time, with the right solution, in the right location?  Super sexy!

Managing Big Data is no easy task but creative thinkers at SXSW Interactive tackled the challenge.  In a series of future posts, SWSW – Big Data is Sexy, I will explain how.  Stay tuned!

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Cyber Monday – Social’s Evolving Role

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 in Customer Intelligence | 0 comments

Great blog post today from Amanda Nelson at Radian6 regarding the role social media plays on Cyber Monday.

One of Amanda’s closing questions was “Do you think social media impacted Cyber Monday’s sales results?”

My response:

Clearly.  Social is becoming a vital channel in its own right, but the impact social is having across traditional channels should not be underestimated.

On the company side, social is often viewed as a channel to explore and ‘try new things’ in an effort to obtain better customer insights.  Offers are many times developed exclusively for social, whereas multi-channel campaigns can offer added incentives for ‘making the leap’ to social engagement.  As a result, companies are exploring innovative ways to leverage social as part of a holistic marketing strategy.

On the consumer side,  buyers are developing relationships with companies they admire, or simply want to receive special offers from.  There is a growing expectation that exclusive offers will be made available via social channels that are unavailable elsewhere.  Separately, there is a desire to be a thought leader in one’s social circles based on filtering the most relevant deals (many times across non-social channels) and sharing them accordingly.

So, is there an impact?  You bet, and it’s just beginning!

Here’s another link to the full article. Social Media Marketing and Monitoring on Cyber Monday

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Tuesday’s Best Dreamforce 2011 Session – Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing – Three Takeaways

Posted on Sep 1, 2011 in Customer Intelligence | 0 comments

My favorite session on Tuesday was presented by Brian Halligan of Hubspot, entitled Killing It: How Inbound Marketing Can Help You Crush the Competition.

Brian described that marketers need to adapt in order to address changing buyer behaviors and a shift from broadcast, high spend ‘rental marketing’ to inbound ‘owned marketing’ in three areas:

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU)
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
  • Marketing team structures

Top of the funnel (TOFU) – Companies must create remarkable content, since it pulls in visitors like a magnet. They in turn share via social channels and multiply the impact. You want your content to be infectious, spreading rapidly like an evil virus. Brian presented examples highlighting the differences between ‘average’ content being shared and ‘exceptional’ content. The impact was exponential in the later case.

Middle of the funnel (MOFU) – Brian described that once you attract and move visitors from TOFU to MOFU, B2B marketers need to learn from the best B2C magicians like Netflix and Amazon. He showed how these leaders drive extreme personalization, and implement continuous, better learning by growing their base of customers.

Marketing Teams – Brian described the need to have the right players, not hiring an old school ‘renter’ but instead looking for what he describes as a DARC – those that have an optimal skill set aligned with ‘owning’ the customer – a skillset including a blend of (D)igital, (A)nalytical, (R)each, (C)ontent Creation.

Great insights, Brian! Hubspot is spot on (no pun intended)!

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