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Experiential Social Media and Business Intimacy

Experiential social media & business intimacyExperiential Social Media and Business Intimacy shows how social media grounded in customer experience holds the key to trust, relationship and profit. When businesses discover, invite, and build trusted relationships with people in digital public, their actions speak loudly to the silent, ten times larger audience that’s observing the process. In addition, “accidents” are the express lane to developing trust and business intimacy.

“Customer experience” directly leads to customer preference and more share of wallet, although most business owners and executives dismiss it as a buzzword. As practiced by CSRA since 2006, experiential social media is a group of practices that deepen intimacy with customers and increase profit. “Social” information is the currency of business intimacy. Here I’ll outline how this enchilada rolls, so you can begin to use experiential to increase customers’ value and your profit. Continue reading Experiential Social Media and Business Intimacy

Noodle XIII: Surprising Benefit of Extreme Weather (Before you cancel that event..)

Surprising benefit of extreme weather: reflectionsThis winter carries a surprising benefit of extreme weather. It has been a bit colder than usual in much of the U.S.A. due to the “Polar Vortex,” and I have observed that many professional groups in Chicago have canceled or postponed events due to “extreme weather” over the past two months. This has started to become a phenomenon, so I’ve been observing it with interest.

My social business client work involves analyzing digital social networks, and it constantly reveals how people affect each other’s behavior, often in surprising ways. I hypothesize that reactions to this weather phenomenon are having unintended effects, so, in the spirit of all Noodles, I’ll explore some of these deeper meanings and invite your thoughts. Continue reading Surprising Benefit of Extreme Weather

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis: Do You Need a CDO?

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis is an executive summary of how CSRA helps organizations assess their need for “going digital” and hiring digital executives. These engagements serve as “requirements analysis” for an enterprise, business or brand.

Improving the Selection Process for Digital Executives

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis: Do you need a CDO?Astute CEOs and boards of established firms and brands are awakening to an increasingly uncomfortable reality in 2014: for many, business results have been flat, and customers are behaving “unpredictably.” Since this is such a prevalent trend, there is emerging consensus that “going digital” is the way to get closer to customers(1) and revitalize business. CEOs or board members get on the phone to their executive recruiter to search for a Chief Digital Officer, a “digital CMO,” or maybe a digital-savvy CIO to lead digital transformation. As we’ll see, in so doing they are too often putting the cart before the horse. They will get better results by assessing their needs for digital expertise first, so I’ll offer a simple yet robust needs assessment process.

Although CSRA’s client work shows accelerating digital adoption among most demographics, that doesn’t mean “going digital” is the way to strengthen any particular business, even though it is exactly what some businesses need. Moreover, there are many paths to “going digital,” so creating a strategy that aligns the business with its customers and other stakeholders(1) is critical to getting good returns.

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis addresses the boardroom knowledge gap that yawns wider each quarter as customers’ interests diverge from traditional offerings: “What do our customers want now, and how can we serve them better: by going digital or some other means?” Continue reading Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis

Noodle XII: Why Machines Won't Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy

Noodle 12: Why Machines Won't Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge EconomyWhy Machines Won’t Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy is a short thought experiment, in the spirit of all Noodles, which was in response to a post in Wired. In Here’s How to Keep the Robots From Stealing Our Jobs, John Hagel posited that a major rationale for the Knowledge Economy firm would be its role as a “knowledge platform” that enabled people to accelerate their learning and productivity. I highly recommend the post, which sparked many intelligent comments.

It’s obvious that many people (not just me ;^) are having difficulties imagining the world toward which we are hurtling, a world in which machines are getting “smarter” and able to “compete” for work roles that humans now do. In writing The Social Channel, I thought long and hard about the Knowledge Economy and people’s roles in it, and its main thesis is that everything, from states and enterprises to people and products, will be differentiated in the social channel and that “humanness” will assume a much more visible importance in the economy.  Continue reading Why Machines Won’t Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy

CIO Guide to CDOs and Digital Transformation: How to Adapt and Thrive

CIO Guide to CDOs and Digital Transformation: How to Adapt and ThriveCIO Guide to CDOs and Digital Transformation summarizes a presentation I gave to TechLeaders Association, a Chicago-based CIO group. It will brief you on how digitally empowered B2C and B2B customers are forcing change on enterprises by demanding seamless interactions across digital and analog interfaces, the rise of the Chief Digital Officer and how CIOs can use this disruption to their advantage. Omni-channel will become the new normal in industries in which a leader provides the omni-channel experience and raises the bar. While explaining omni-channel, I asked the room how many had abandoned transactions with ecommerce or mobile sites because they were too difficult to use, and 40% raised their hands. When leaders field their omni-channel experiences, customers will reject laggards en masse. CIOs can use these developments to their advantage, and the CIO Guide to CDOs and Digital Transformation shows how. Continue reading CIO Guide to CDOs and Digital Transformation: How to Adapt and Thrive

Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Social Big-Data Age

10 Detailed Case Studies + Big Data & Analytics’ New Digital Divide + How to Think Like a Data Scientist

Book Review: Numbers Rule Your World/Kaiser Fung

Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Big-Data Age[UPDATED] Step inside a data scientist’s mind, and learn why probability is the key to profit and how it’s the key to understanding and using big data for better decision making. This fascinating and useful book clearly shows how people misunderstand probability and misuse statistics—and therefore big data—and how the knowledge gap leads to faulty models, thinking and decisions. New winners and losers are emerging in the digital social and big-data age. A new digital divide, people who think like data scientists and use probability to support decision making—and everyone else. The data science group will outperform, and Fung shows how creative, fun and useful data science is.

This book is a perfect twin to Duncan Watts’ Everything Is Obvious* Once You Know the Answer, which exposes how common sense pervades management decisions and failure. I shall refer to several specific connections between the two reviews. You can appreciate both reviews without reading the books, although I highly recommend buying both. Where Watts does an enthralling job of describing the limitations of the common-sense, hyperlocal human brain, Fung shows his readers new ways of thinking that take advantage of large data sets.

Best of all, although Numbers Rule Your World (hereafter “Numbers”) doesn’t skimp on details, it is not a dry book because Fung is an talented storyteller who revels in thinking about information in creative ways. He’s curious and smart. I covered his Chicago talk, and he’s like that in person, too, one of those people who thrives on what he’s doing. He’s a total geek, but he’s also an excellent interpreter. I have never studied statistics, although I am strong in logical and abstract thinking, and I enjoyed the book immensely.

My analysis and conclusions follow the outline of each chapter.

Continue reading Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Social Big-Data Age

Using Social Media and Social Business Together to Evolve Experience

Using Social Media and Social Business Together to Evolve Experience reveals differences between “the two socials,” and its startling conclusion is that most businesses will benefit from keeping them separate but related during the next three years.

Using Social Media and Social Business Together to Evolve ExperienceThere’s a much deeper context that makes the two socials vital: many of the assumptions on which business is built are being completely disrupted. For only one example, as Chief Marketer myself, I used to follow the mantra, “We always want to show our brand in the most positive light” (even when we’re lackluster). That impulse is increasingly risky. Take a few minutes and reflect on how profound that change is. Entire marketing and public relations industries are built on it, and it is very risky because people reveal the obfuscation and half-truths that used to work. There is no such thing as a “half” truth.

From a practical standpoint, organizations need to manage their way through the transition to pervasive transparency, pacing their evolution with changing stakeholder expectations. This is where social media and social business are valuable as separate-yet-related competencies. Now let’s dive into how to develop each and use them together. Continue reading Using Social Media and Social Business Together to Evolve Experience

Omni-Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints: DAA Chicago Symposium

Omni Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints: DAA Chicago SymposiumOmni Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints takes you behind the curtain of the digital provider world. The audience of the Digital Analytics Association’s Chicago Symposium was focused on omni-channel from the point of view of how its moving parts functioned because members buy and sell media and marketing content. Brand and agency digital professionals are caught in the tidal wave of data, which is straining legacy processes and relationships to the limit.

However, “Attribution” stole the show from omni-channel—and, for a fascinating reason. The same capabilities that enable big data give ecommerce vendors the ability field solutions that “attribute” the value of each media asset to the customer purchase. Hence, attribution is a massive accounting exercise, but it is disruptive to the digital media ecosystem because it enables, in theory, far more inclusive and granular counting of digital content’s impact on ecommerce or mcommerce or even in-store purchase. This is bringing accountability to digital and advertising firms. Just think of all the media that customers see before they purchase something. Agencies and vendors are using cheap computing to try to account for each asset’s “contribution.”

I have shared the bullet points of my notes of each session before my Analysis and Conclusions. Continue reading Omni Channel From Brand and Agency Viewpoints: DAA Chicago Symposium

Digital Transformation's Personal Issue: It's the Key to Customer Experience

Digital Transformation’s Personal Issue reveals personal treatment to be the key to breakthrough customer experience, and it shows how digital social spaces enable Chief Digital Officers to use personal treatment to create more profit. Before they arrive, though, they need to lead their organizations through the Personal Issue. Digital Transformation's Personal Issue

The Personal Issue refers to a perceived conflict between empowered customers and profit-starved companies. Digital social technologies are enabling customers to “re-personalize” business and society because their online interactions among themselves are personal, which is changing their expectations of all interactions.

However, businesses resist treating customers personally because they fear cost and inefficiency. They don’t understand the digital social economics of treating customers personally online, at scale.

Meanwhile, chief digital officers’ (CDOs) mission is creating bold new “customer experience” and profits by using digital technologies to transform organizations, brands and businesses. They will fulfill their missions far more quickly and completely by using the key. Continue reading Digital Transformation’s Personal Issue

Big Data in Healthcare and Education: Two Examples

Big Data in Healthcare and EducationBig Data in Healthcare and Education shares how U.S. and UK government agencies used big data & analytics to help evolve national policy and outcomes. These examples are useful because they show the range of big data projects; the U.S. example is simple, yet it has profound impact on the health of the citizenry and therefore on the economy. The UK example is more involved and shows in depth how organizations can use big data to address expensive programs that are full of unknowns—like national education.

This post shares my notes from a recent Deloitte Dbriefs webcast, Analytics in Action, which you may watch and download its slides. The webcast was moderated by Steve Dahl, and David Weir and Haris Irshad presented the examples. Continue reading Big Data in Healthcare and Education