Friday, December 22, 2017
This blog has become an every-other-year reminder from my domain provider, to renew and recall that I set this up way back when. I had a few different and shifting goals about what I wanted to share here. I've decided to start it up again and become a big more agnostic about what I share here. My goal is to share content and thoughts and questions on the following topics:
- Business: Customer marketing, digital marking, social media marketing, online community management
- Music Breaks: Great songs and videos, and my Follow the Band Name* game results, possibly some Too Much Cat** ditties
- Creative Writing: Questions, Ideas, Frustration, Rants, and hopefully (hopefully) some prose.
*Great, great, great game - I'll tell you soon!
**May have to add the asterisks to the band name
I'm not confident I'll have readers here, but if you do stop by, feel free to shame my 5 year hiatus in the comments, or tell me how one blogs properly, or post some latke recipes (mine could be crispier)
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
This event was the brainchild of Claudia Koenig, a Customer Reference heavyweight out of Heidelberg, Germany, who already hosts a bimonthly conference call for collaboration in this space. Attendees and speakers hailed from around the world, with dynamic representatives from Italy, Costa Rica, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Canada, US, and Australia. I considered the event a roaring success. After two and a half long days with this extremely engaged community, my head is swimming with many new ideas to apply to my own work enabling and celebrating Saba's customers and community members.
Here are some of my quick thoughts from our collaborative week in the city on the hill:
Lessons and Laughs in International Business
We spent a lot of time talking about cultural differences, laughing over our worst faux pas from navigating work with international clients, and jotting down tips to prevent those terrible "foot-approaching-mouth" moments. Our companies and roles were all different of course, most reference professionals at the event sit in their marketing organizations, but there were a few who reported in through sales, sparking some great tips about how to engage the sales team for reference recruitment. Lastly, the scope of experience varied greatly, many people come from more than 10+ years experience working with customer references, but a fair number of us were new to the space, soaking up the ideas and offering a fresh perspective on the industry.
Across almost every presentation we saw a focus on new, social tools, and how best to take advantage of them while avoiding public blunders. Rhett Livengood, Director of B2B Customer Engagement Programs at Intel, talked about empowering references to participate in LinkedIn communities, linking them with the conversations that matter. Nick Martin, Social Media Consultant at Projectline introduced a new way to highlight our videos and case studies, sourcing and packaging dynamic Customer Evidence so that prospective customers using Social and Search will find our best customer stories.
Engaging the Big Names
Miriam Rack, CEO at MRM Reference Consulting, LLC said the best way to engage the big names in reference activities is by asking yourself - What can I give them? By looking into their marketing strategy, you can see what story they want to tell, and propose partnering on creating content that will benefit both organizations.
And Finding the Big Stories
I particularly loved listening to Cynthia Hester, Director of the Customer Reference Program at VMware. She shared the journey she's taken since joining VMWare and how she focuses her program around two important concepts: Empowerment and engagement. By communicating continuously with her key internal stakeholders, VMWare is aware of what's new with customers, where the gap areas are, and what the customers care about so she can find and highlight those big stories.
Those were just a few of my favorite moments from the event. I'll leave off with a quote that Jill Shaul, Marketing Programs Manager form Cisco shared with us from a 2010 Gartner webinar on Customer Success Stories:
“Customer reference stories are amongst the most powerful tools in the sales arsenal and yet it is a discipline which is often neglected or left to chance. Well executed case studies are worth their weight in gold; Few things are coveted more within marketing circles than compelling customer case studies from recognized industry names.The reasons for this desire are clear. Customer case studies help sales people to sell.”
How do you leverage your best customer stories?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Exploring the Practical Side of Social: Notes from the Virtual Enterprise 2.0 Social Analytics Conference
Here’s a shot of that section in the half hour before the first session started – and I watched as more and more attendees joined the event, heading to the lounge to say hi in the chat room or filed into the auditorium to wait for the first keynote to begin.
I want to talk a little bit about the first two presentations so you can decide if it's worth it to register to view the recordings.
How Analytics and Big Data Are Driving Better Social Business
The opening keynote was presented by Dion Hinchcliffe, Executive Vice President of Strategy at Dachis Group. He talked about the current moment in enterprise social business, and how analytics can lead social business pioneers to success.
He pointed out that enterprise social space is 2 to 4 years behind the personal social space.
He took on the question: What is social data?
He talked about aggregation, analysis & mining of observable work – describing the different roles of analytics and search, and why each is essential to a social business.
His presentation provided a lot of valuable insights for social managers who are already implementing innovative projects, and perhaps even more so for marketing professionals who want to create a social focus and need to create the business case for their leadership – how do you use enterprise 2.0? Why is it worth it?
IBM Platinum Sponsor Feature Presentation: Maximizing Competitive Advantage with Social Analytics
In this presentation, Mark Heid, Program Director of Social Analytics at IBM, went into some fascinating details of IBM’s use of Social Analytics internally, and how they pull an impressive amount of information from their internal social posts through IBM connections, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.
However, he also pointed out you have to address the privacy question – if we are looking at much of our employees communications – how do we keep from creating an Orwellian environment?
Heid shared some best practices on reasonable privacy within social analytics. IBM scrubs individual employee information, they only look at the aggregate, never reach out to the individual – so they are looking at trends, not at individual communiqués.
Heid went on to talk about social analytics as it applies to recruitment, within and without the enterprise.
What a fantastic, free event from Enterprise 2.0!