'Websites' Category

Google Data Protection Opinion May Ruffle Feathers of Businesses Worldwide

Posted by Neal Leavitt on May 30th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

A non-binding opinion handed down earlier this month by the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), the European Union’s highest legal authority, is roiling the business community. While the opinion needs the approval of all 28 EU governments before it can become legally binding, there’s already a lot of online chatter about the potential blowback to businesses operating in the EU.
The case followed complaints in March 2010 from Mario Costeja Gonzalez, a Spanish lawyer, who said that when Google’s search results revealed details on an auction of his repossessed home in a local newspaper (La Vanguardia), it infringed on his privacy rights.
CJEU ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten” and can ask Google to remove some sensitive information from Internet search results. Tech companies, noted the Financial Times, fear it may be “the beginning of a broader assault in which Google would be regulated like a utility.” Or to use an oft-used English idiom, it could be “the thin end of the wedge.”
No surprise then that organizations and associations from all walks of life are now weighing in with their two bits/bytes.
“Individuals may now have the ability to essentially go in with a... Read more

Dispelling the Myth about Customer Touchpoints

Posted by Jeannie Walters on May 20th, 2014 at 7:41 am

Creating an inventory of all of the touchpoints within the customer journey helps define a lot of moments, both good and not-so-good. When done thoroughly, a touchpoint inventory can be a great launch pad into your customer experience improvement initiative.

But what exactly IS a customer touchpoint?
According to Wikipedia:
Touchpoint (also touch point, contact point, point of contact) is business jargon for any encounter where customers and business engage to exchange information, provide service, or handle transactions.
Wikipedia is spot on, if you happen to be viewing your customer's journey from within the vacuum of your own organization. And too often, that happens to be the case. Customer touchpoints generally are not well understood or appreciated from the customer’s perspective. And they are definitely not just "business jargon." But they can be meaningless unless the company understands them as a complete inventory and as individual opportunities to improve the customer experience.
Awareness and understanding of  your customers’ current situations, and what drives them toward loyalty or defection, is the essential to delivering a superior customer experience. Understanding the actual touchpoints your customers have with your organization is a basic part of that understanding.
Most companies, when defining their customer touchpoints, list things like:

Direct Mail
Web Sites
In-Store Sales Associates
Welcome Letters/Customer Communications
Customer Service Call... Read more

Why Your Website and Blog Are More Important Than Facebook

Posted by Mark Edwards on May 5th, 2014 at 10:12 am

There's a lot to be covered here, much of which you've seen if you're a brand marketer or someone who likes seeing your personal Facebook updates read by most of your followers.  I'm not going to repeat things that have been posted all over the Interwebz in the last couple of months, you can see some of those stories at the bottom of this post.  But I am going to give you some solutions to a problem you MUST address is you've been using Facebook as one of your prime online outreach methods.Here's the problem.  Facebook is now a public company with lots of shareholders who want a big ROI.  How can they increase revenue?  By charging for things they used to give away.  That means Facebook (and soon Instagram) is decreasing reach on free posts from brands and even personal accounts in hopes you'll pay them to promote your posts and get them seen by lots more people.  Want proof?  Just look at this graph, courtesy of the 4129 Agency.  It clearly shows engagement dropping in a big way between 2012 and 2013, and we're seeing the organic (read: free) engagement continue to nosedive in 2014.

Facebook is throttling engagement... Read more

CEOs and Twitter: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted by Neal Leavitt on April 30th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

These days if you sneeze funny, it can go viral – and for CEOs, catching cold may be the least of their worries. The myriad social tools available to CEOs can be a mixed bag.
Take Twitter, for instance. There are numerous content opportunities if properly implemented. But there are caveats. As reported by Louis Bedgian in Benzinga, a financial media outlet, CEOs aren’t infallible – and their words can cause financial tremors.
Marlene Morris Towns, a Georgetown University marketing professor, told Bedgian that in many instances, a CEO’s tweets are often distributed in real-time without being vetted.
“They’re not run through legal and compliance which allows you a lot of flexibility to jump on things as they happen – it also holds you at risk,” said Towns.
Towns added that CEOs “step in it themselves sometime by letting their personal views be known when they shouldn’t necessarily be known. Sometimes that’s their fault, sometimes it’s not. Somebody asks them a question in an interview, they say something off the cuff and next thing you know, it’s on social media.”
To wit, a few years ago, Micky Arison, former CEO of Carnival Corporation who also owns the NBA’s Miami Heat, was fined $500,000 by... Read more

4 Questions to Prevent an Experience That's Dead by Design

Posted by Jeannie Walters on April 29th, 2014 at 8:15 am

You’ve heard of death by PowerPoint, right? That feeling when the presenter, whether in a conference or company meeting, is reading poorly worded phrases off generic bulleted lists... It's enough to kill any enthusiasm in the room.
Doesn’t it annoy you when the people behind those conveyors of information don’t ask the appropriate questions before launching into the design process?
Unfortunately, this type of design failure is not limited to PowerPoints. Any experience you provide- for customers, attendees, or employees- can be dead by design.
Death by design can easily creep its way into your work.
Whether you’re delivering information in the form of:

A shiny new mobile app
A PowerPoint presentation
Your website or blog
Your ad copy or signage

You could be killing the customer’s interest with the experience your materials provide.
It's not just a malady afflicting “official” designers.
It can sneak into any and all content on display for your customers.
Remember this example of really poor design from the U.S. military? Following the leak/whistle-blowing of the PRISM surveillance program, the poorly-designed PowerPoint which explained the program quickly made the rounds. Instead of just criticizing the design, some designers took the initiative and redesigned the key slides to make them clear, concise and attractive.

This points to many issues... Read more