Blog Archive

I was a journalist back in the 90s. At that moment, social media was not there yet. LinkedIn was launched in 2003, Facebook saw daylight in 2004, and Twitter was born in 2006. Because of social media, there’s no central authority in the press anymore. That decentralization becomes common: everybody can become important at once when the message is good.
Social media has a huge impact on our lives. But some people are still resistant. Vote for or against social media after reading the 5 remarks below.

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Most marketers seem to agree: in 2015, the customer will once again be at the heart of the brand strategy. There are countless new technologies that drastically change the way we do business, but research among marketers shows that they are merely meant to be a driver for better customer experience. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make your customer fall in love with your brand over and over again.

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Hybris Software, leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, enlightened the future of its eCommerce and marketing platform. The annual summit in Munich promised to be exciting again, and exceeded our expectations!

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Remember May last year, when the new EU e-privacy directive forced websites to be more open about user tracking cookies? It caused quite a stir, as site owners were forced to display compulsory opt-in pop-ups before visitors could begin browsing their website.


In the end, fortunately, the EU Information Commissioners Office decided to allow less intrusive measures. Most sites simply hyperlink to a “Privacy Policy and Cookies” article, expressing that using the website implies consent with the use of cookies. Digital marketers got away nicely.

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New ways of interacting means new ways of communicating with your customers . It is important to understand, reconnect and provide new value to empowered customers

iconTechnology  Knowing your customer

Spreading the word about products and services, getting people to buy them, and fostering a long-term relationship with your customer: isn’t that the main role of marketers?

But how can they adapt to the new ways of interacting in order to reconnect with and provide new value to empowered customers? In a time where customers take matters into their own hands, it has never been more important to know exactly what they want. The good news? We help to do just that.

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On average, customers will tell 15 people when they’ve had a good experience with a brand. They will tell 24 people when they’ve had a bad one. In this day and age, where virtually everyone has a digital megaphone, this fact might frighten you. Heck, maybe it should.

Extreme customer centricity is one of the new challenges that marketers are facing in 2013. Customers want to be heard, and they want to be heard now. Actively taking your customers into account should be front and center for your business. Losing a client is always unfortunate, and it is important to keep in mind that it is 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer as it is to retain an old one.

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Social Media Strategy

I don’t have to tell you that Social Media are all the rage nowadays. Brands are engaged in a virtual arms race, trying to conquer every social platform known to man. We need a Facebook! And a Twitter! And a Pinterest! Come on troops, we can’t stay behind! Wait, where are we?

A multitude of brands is drowning in a barrage of like and win. They have no goals (other than ‘get an abundance of vacuous likes’), no vision (other than ‘social media is the future!’) and, let’s face it, no idea what they’re doing.

We are living in a multi-channel world

The most important thing to realize is that Social Media itself are not a KPI. Being present on Social Media is not an endgame. They are merely another channel that you can earn, rather than buy, to get your message across. One of the more significant tasks when venturing into Social Media is defining these messages and assuring that they align with your offline strategy.

Be where your customers are

Trying to be present on every possible social platform is not only time-consuming, it is downright useless. If your brand caters to hardcore gamers, you probably won’t be needing a Pinterest account any time soon. An interior decorator, however, should have been adding inspiring visuals yesterday.

Content is key when it comes to a successful Social Media Strategy, but one easily forgets that all content must be adapted specifically to the various Social Media channels. One size does not fit all. Take pity on your Community Manager and do some research into your customers’ favorite platforms. This will allow your Community Manager to spend more time creating and optimizing content, rather than struggling to post to a bulk of accounts that barely reach anyone.

Monitor wisely

Of course you want to know whether or not you are gaining or losing followers. However, it is not, nor should it be your main KPI. Go beyond the headcount and choose quality over quantity. How many people did you help this week? Are people actively engaging with your brand? Are you sending a clear message that serves a purpose linked to a business goal?

Take a sufficient amount of time deciding which Social Media KPI’s you value most. They can make or break your entire Social Media Strategy.

Author: Lauren Van Bever. You can follow Lauren on Twitter (@ikbenlauren) or connect with her on LinkedIn

The need to drive revenue grows in the evolving global market. Buyers expect brands to be available on multiple channels and to be more interactive. It is complex for marketers to publish their content in a multichannel environment. Each channel, being the web, mobile, tablet, paper catalog, has its own requirements.

The most important part of the published content is definitely the product information. Without adequate data, buyers cannot know what your brand is selling. The lack of correct product information makes it impossible to publish it uniformly on the various channels. Even worse, if a potential buyer does not succeed in finding the information or product he is looking for, he will quickly continue his journey on the internet and find what he needs somewhere else.

To make it even more complex, ERP and MDM systems, the only true sources of product information, have always been focusing on providing “raw product master data” to run the enterprise. This does not help marketers in selling products. Necessary marketing and sales content is missing in those systems. Typical master data is limited to technical properties, SKU and stock information. It does not contain marketing information, such as sales text, application areas or advantages of a product.


Example of mixed master data and enriched product marketing information

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The surf – or in Dutch ‘de branding’ – is the stretch of the sea close to the coastline where the waves break. Because the water is shallow there, the waves crash against the bottom with a crushing force and promptly collapse. But, sometimes, the heavy breakers can be a blessing: when they help us to come ashore.

And maybe that’s a fitting metaphor

We are surrounded, and sometimes overwhelmed, by a non-stop stream of information. Do you know the amount of frames we can process per second? That is 25 in total. Those 25 images form a fluent whole when we watch a movie on TV. A brand must be strong to stand out. It has to stay upright in the heaps of information that we digest every day. Next to that, it should help our consumer by being the perfect guide, in the way the waves show you the right direction.

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Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

Smartphones and tablets continue to gain popularity. For brands, that reality is both an opportunity and a threat:

  • First the good news: each additional touch point (store, print, web, mobile, … ) offers a new way to get your message across; an extra business opportunity. The numbers prove it: in the next 6 months, 13% of tablet users are likely to purchase something, and 10% of smartphone users (Forrester 2012)
  • Whether at work, at home, or on the road, always-connected customers find different touch points to interact with your brand and they have increasing expectations. If you don’t meet those, your prospects may not feel understood, be disappointed and become unsure about your brand.
    You’ll need to work hard and offer a consistent multi-channel experience.

When working on a unified customer experience strategy, never forget these two key success drivers: organize your team and implement the right technology stack.

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