Customer Intelligence Research Blog Archive

Press Releases

December 3, 2013: Social Intelligence: A Time to Listen, a Time to Engage

by  Whether one subscribes to the 4 P’s of market planning — product, place, price and promotion,or the more recent 7 P’s of marketing — product, price, place, promotion, physical presence, provision of service and processes, it is evident that “product” is the first P of priorities listed. Moreover, the latter 7 P’s are acknowledged as the standard modern marketing mix most relevant in service industries; however, they may be beneficial to any customer-centric business model where meeting the needs of customers is of highest priority. Incorporate social into product design cycles We recommend that all those involved in product innovation, service extensions or life cycle management, from the executive level to individual contributors, should rigorously pursue answers to the following questions: (for the rest of this article click on SandHill.com)

November 18, 2013: Complimentary Replay of What is the ROI of a Social Influencer hosted by Social Media Today & sponsored by SAP

What’s the ROI of an Influencer?

from SAP Social Solutions Influencer marketing takes into account the value of social networks in which the opinions of some individuals carry more weight than those of others. While traditional marketing broadcasts a message to an entire demographic, influencer marketing is dedicated to finding the individual who can help drive a desired behavior to a critical mass, driving toward the “tipping point” that Malcolm Gladwell describes. In this webinar we look at the practicality of this model – specifically, the ROI. What is an influencer worth? How can you leverage your influencers to maximize your ROI? Join us, and learn to:

  • Identify your influencers
  • Use influencers for lead-generation
  • Grow your influencer network
  • Measure the worth of your network

http://vimeo.com/79531840

November 14, 2013: How NOT to be a Social Influencer!

Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) – The Best MR Networking Group on the Web! What is the ROI of Social Influence? Leslie Ament SVP Research & Principal Analyst Hypatia Research Group What is the ROI of Social Influence? Social Media Today Webinar hypatiaresearch.wordpress.com November 12, 2013: What is the ROI of Social Influence? Today we shared research on a Social Media Today webinar sponsored by SAP. Interestingly, SAP did not present, nor did they compensate Hypati… 1 comment Steve Steve Needel Managing Partner, Advanced Simulations (competing market research firm) A sleazy plug for a $1200 report – shame on you for using this forum to rip off readers Leslie Ament  commented on What is the ROI of Social Influence? “ Steve: I’m sure Social Media Today recorded the webinar and that folks may access the replay for free which is why we stated the source. We are merely providing information on the source of our research contribution. Insulting a competitor to your research firm in an open forum may not be the best way to exert “social influence.” –Leslie ”

November 12, 2013: What is the ROI of Social Influence?

Today we shared research on a Social Media Today webinar sponsored by SAP. Interestingly, SAP did not present, nor did they compensate Hypatia Research Group for our presentation. In addition, three other panelists shared their expertise and best practices. We had a spirited discussion on how to define an “Influencer” versus an “Advocate” and whether companies should be transparent about paid influence or advocacy. We also discussed how to link or correlate influencer / advocacy activity to tangible ROI or business benefits. All of the research we presented can be found at: “Social Intelligence: A Time to Listen, A Time to Engage

October 28, 2013: Research Highlights from SAP TechEd

Technology conference season is now in full force, so we plan to share highlights of new offerings, recent acquisitions, and insights. First up is #SAPTechEd. Next up is IBM Information on Demand, and in November, Dreamforce.

Coming on the heels of its recent acquisition of Hybris, an enterprise solution for e-commerce, multi-channel commerce, master data management and order management, SAP announced plans to acquire predictive analytics software provider KXEN on September 10, 2013 and to complete the transaction before year’s end.

Our assessment is that KXEN is a key piece of SAP’s unified advanced / predictive analytics solution currently named SAP Predictive Analysis. Each offering provides a user or skills based approach to 1) information visualization, 2) rapid model development and application, and 3) data discovery and deep data mining.

Bottom-line:  The ability to access and utilize both predictive and advanced analytics should now be more approachable to those in line of business roles, and enable aggregation of more information sources via SAP’s HANA platform. This unified advanced analytics solution is comprised of:

  • Lumira–Designed for line of business users such as sales, marketing, operations and merchandising professionals who seek an easy to use interface tool for information visualization.
  • KXEN–Facilitates preparation, development, and continuous improvement of predictive models, scores, and best fit recommendations for business analysts, database marketers, decision scientists and statisticians. Models with high confidence levels can be built and applied within hours instead of weeks or months.
  • Partnership with SAS on HANA–Targeting hard-core statisticians and data scientists married to the use of SAS for advanced analytics, SAP endeavors to support customer choice on the HANA platform. The company expects this strategic partnership to advance in-memory data analysis capabilities for businesses across industries.

SAP HANA contains numerous powerful, native predictive algorithms (common as well as specialized algorithms are supported) for in-database processing to facilitate faster implementations, insight delivery and time to value. In addition, SAP has made significant progress in filling out its offerings in customer engagement via its #CRM roadmap, #Social offerings, and real-time consumer applications–all of which will run on #HANA, its enterprise cloud platform.

HANA is optimized for real-time business decision support and transactions via in-memory database and business application capabilities. SAP plans to build and migrate all of its software applications (inclusive of mobile and tablet interfaces), to run on HANA.  

Report topic suggestions are always welcome as we are currently prioritizing our research agenda for 2014 and beyond. Email: Research@HypatiaResearch.com 

October 9, 2013: #IIAR Around Hypatia Research Group in 10 Questions!

Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2013 by Ludovic Leforestier

Today we as our infamous ten probing questions to Leslie Ament (@Hypatia_LeslieA, LinkedIn) from Hypatia Research Group.

What are your coverage areas?

Our team covers enabling technologies and services that empower organizations to capture, manage, analyze and apply customer and market intelligence to accelerate performance and to enhance profitability.  These include: Information Management, Data Integration, Governance, Risk and Compliance; Customer Intelligence such as CRM, Social Intelligence, Customer Service & Support and Digital Marketing ;Business Analytics inclusive of: Business Intelligence (Operational Reporting), Advanced/Predictive Analytics, Text/Contextual Analytics, and Big Data Analytics ; Service Providers such as Management Consultancies, Marketing Services Providers and Agencies.

What’s your typical day like?

Answering end-user inquiries on vendor selection criteria, our research findings, best practice processes and workflows, the right performance metrics to use and how to justify value to one’s organization typically comprises one third of our day.  The other two thirds are spent interviewing end user customers, briefing vendors, analyzing data and writing research.

Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

Occasionally a vendor will get hold of our research and use it for commercial gain without properly licensing the rights to do so. Two of the worst cases involved a Voice of the Customer and a GRC vendor (seriously, one that is supposed to support GRC regulations for customers) who announced either online or in a press release that we had evaluated them quite favorably as a leader in our Hypatia GalaxyTM rankings. Because of a few bad apples in the cart, we were driven to have our lawyer change the language in our licensing agreements.  Other horror stories include certain other industry analyst firms or media/journalists “lifting” or “repurposing” our research under their own brand. Nuff said. More…..

September 16, 2013: NEW RESEARCH! Delivering Big Data Analytics Insights: Why Choose Between Accuracy, Agility OR Speed?

Executive Summary 

Exploiting the value inherent in the analysis of continuously increasing volumes of Big Data is not new. For at least the last ten years, companies within industries such as financial services, insurance, consumer goods, entertainment, travel and hospitality have engaged marketing serivces providers[1] to guide them in understanding, profiling, targeting and influencing customers to purchase their goods and services.

On the other hand, keeping analytical domain expertise in-house empowers companies to rapidly discover and apply unique insights created from proprietary and public information sources while the opportunity is viable.  It is this speed to insight that is at the root of value creation in a Big Data Analytics environment.

Questions we recommend organizations ask themselves before bringing Big Data Analytics (BDA) in house include: How many queries, accurate analytical models and reports does it take to support critical business decisions in minutes rather than weeks? How much is this worth to your business?

Research Approach

Our analysis of 436 Fortune 500[2] executives that actually utilize, recommend, influence, hold budget or veto power over the purchase of Big Data Analytics (BDA) or business intelligence software provides contrarian insight into how and why large organizations:

  • Invest in Big Data Analytics software solutions
  • Utilize a wide variety of informational sources
  • Measure productivity and effectiveness of BDA initiatives
  • Seek high accuracy and reliability of results
  • Realize downstream business benefits
  • Prioritize software selection criteria

This study provides end-user organizations with an analysis of why companies invest in Big Data Analytics solutions, what tangible benefits are possible with BDA, and what metrics can be used to measure the ROI of a BDA initiative.  In short, our research provides actionable insight that companies may use in compiling a vendor short list, request for qualifications and best practice terms of engagement with software vendors. Visit our E-store for further information.

August 28, 2013: The Best of CRM Evolution 2013 and Customer Service Experience Conferences

Latest Research!

The best of CRM Evolution 2013 and Customer Service Experience conferences! Two of the most popular industry analyst presentations are included:

Over 850 Fortune 500 businesses (revenues greater than $4.5B) across 10+ industries were analyzed for this extensive research initiative. Available at:http://store.hypatiaresearch.com

August 19, 2013: New Research: CUSTOMER CENTRICITY: A Time to Listen, a Time to Engage

Now that conversations about social media have taken over large amounts of digital ink in cyberspace—with consumers becoming more vocal about issues as less than perfect customer service, product quality issues and pricing— organizations of all sizes are struggling to:HYP-CUSTENGAGEMENT_TURNTURNQUOTE

@ Correlate social activities to tangible results @ Convert social analytics into actionable intelligence, and @ Create new business processes and rules to manage social interactions, to develop social engagement or to create customer advocacy.

Quite simply, we define social business as exploiting the ability to listen, analyze, interact and engage with customers via conversations in support of corporate goals that are strategic, operational and tactical as well as short and long-term in nature.

Why do organizations find this daunting? There is no dearth of software and service vendors offering sentiment analysis, twitter analytics, content analytics, and speech analytics tools. Each offers dashboards, drill-downs, graphs or other types of visualization that illustrate metrics for online sentiment analysis (positive, neutral, mixed or negative), such as influencer or net-promoter scores, share of voice, volume, product quality issues, crisis management, share price cause and effect or media and brand reach.

Our assessment is that customer-propelled social interactions are blurring the lines and driving convergence among sales, marketing and customer care business processes.[2] Social business offers the opportunity to improve customer interactions by fostering real engagement through innovative technologies combined with redesigned business processes.

[1] To Everything There Is a Season”, often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!” is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s based on text from the Book of Ecclesiastes. [2] “Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence”, ©2013 Hypatia Research Group. “CUSTOMER CENTRICITY: A Time to Listen, a Time to Engage”http://store.hypatiaresearch.com/customercentricityatimetolistenatimetoengage.aspx … pic.twitter.com/zZcvSiSuR
August 1, 2013: Presenting Hypatia's Research

CRM Evolution, Customer Service Experience, and SPEECHTEK conferences are just around the corner this month and will be held August 19-21 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

We are honored to have been invited to present our research at two of these conferences and will be speaking on: Monday August 19: CRMEvo Session C105 3:15PM ET: Executive Track

How Big Data Analytics Fuels Customer Management Excellence

Tuesday August 20: 11:45AM – Customer Service Experience Track 

Integrating Social Media Into Multichannel Customer Service

Attending? Why not reach out and schedule some time to discuss your company’s business/technical requirements for customer engagement software? Contact:LA@HypatiaResearch.com.

Software vendors: Let’s do coffee and a demo to catch up since our last briefing!

July 16, 2013: The Rise of the Marketologist

Does your organization have a “Marketologist”? Someone who is equally experienced in market mix modeling, campaign strategy, customer segmentation, profiling and profitability modeling as well as business requirements gathering for digital marketing software selection, integration and deployment? What executive recruiters refer to as a “purple squirrel“?

Not too many of us currently exist. Having implemented several CRM / Marketing Automation systems, supervised data mapping and migration projects and headed marketing organizations, I know that this portfolio of triple-threat expertise is unusual. As a former data-driven marketer and current market researcher, these skills fuel our ability to assess the business value of various technologies such as:

  • Customer Engagement & Management
  • Business Analytics
  • Contextual Analytics
  • Digital Marketing Automation
  • Social Intelligence
  • Information Management
  • Governance, Risk & Compliance
  • Customer Data Integration & Quality

However, when we presented our research at the recent Marketing & Tech Partnership Summit” hosted by DMNews in San Jose, CA last month, we heard that candidates with these skills are being offered annual salaries in the range of $150-$200K. A good incentive to continue reading our research!

Report topic suggestions are always welcome as we are currently reviewing our research agenda for 2014 and beyond. Contact: Research@HypatiaResearch.com

June 17, 2013: New Research! Realizing the Downstream Benefits of Effective Customer Data Integration & Management

Industry analyst and market research firm Hypatia Research Group announces the availability of a new primary research study entitled “Realizing the Downstream Benefits of Effective Customer Data Management”. This forty-page study with fifteen figures provides end-user organizations with an analysis of why companies invest in Customer Data Integration, Quality, Governance and Management (CDM) solutions, what tangible benefits are possible with CDM, and what metrics can be used to measure the ROI of these initiatives. In short, this research provides actionable insight that companies may use in compiling a vendor short list, request forqualifications and best practice terms of engagement with software vendors.

Hypatia Research Group considers Customer Data Management (CDM) solutions to be a subset of Master Data Management software technologies. Effective CDM should include clearly defined data governance policies as well as business processes which may encompass integration with other enabling software categories such as:

  • Data Quality
  • Data Governance
  • Customer Data Integration
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Call Center Solutions
  • Marketing Automation (Enterprise Marketing Management or (EMM)
  • Business Process Management

Leslie Ament, senior vice president, and principal analyst at Hypatia Research Group stated, “Customer information is fluid, resides in several software applications or systems as varied as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM), or Data Warehouses and delivered via Cloud, On-premise, SaaS or hosted technologies as well as via online user-generated content such as social media networks. Achieving a comprehensive 360 degree view of the customer has never been more challenging, and yet, necessary given the sophistication of today’s multichannel consumer.”

Hypatia’s analysis of nearly 450 executives reveals end-user “Voice of the Customer” insight into:

  • The importance of interoperability among cloud, SaaS and on-premise solutions specific to customer information.
  • Which features, functionality and capabilities organizations value most and why?
  • Why companies plan to invest and how do they prioritize investment in CDM technologies?
  • Which performance metrics or KPI’s are tracked regularly and how important is each in establishing ROI?
  • As a percentage of the company’s marketing budget, what is the annual ROI realized from effective leverage of Social for CDM?
  • Who owns the budget versus who is accountable for results?
  • Which role(s) are primarily accountable?
  • Return on investment benchmarks by maturity level.
  • Which best practices or lessons learned from other organizations’ effective use of CDM for might benefit my organization.

Contact: For advisory, licensing or further analysis on this topic by company size, industry, job function or geography, please contact Research(at)HypatiaResearch(dot)com or call  978-828-7062  or 781-862-5106.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013HypatiaResearchGroup/06LeslieAment/prweb10817930.htm

June 4, 2013: How Jet Blue Lost Me as a Loyal Customer

I used to rave about JetBlue’s service and treatment of passengers and nearly always selected them whenever I traveled whether it was for business or personal. I used to love the snacks, roomier seats and the cheerful attitude displayed by all of its employees.

Unfortunately, when a company brand rises above its competitors to a coveted place on a pedestal, its fall from grace tends to obey the natural laws of gravity. The higher up one is, the harder the fall.

In August of 2012, I boarded a flight at LaGuardia NYC airport headed for Boston. Within 10 minutes of taking my seat, I experienced easily recognizable allergy symptoms. Nearly everyone in my family is allergic to cats, rabbits, hamsters, and gerbils but, surprisingly enough, not dogs. In fact, I adopted two and am not allergic to either of them. With itchy eyes, sneezing and a running nose, I asked the flight attendants if there was a cat on board. A few minutes later I was told a “service cat” was flying in first class.

I mentioned my allergies and asked if the cat could be placed in the lavatory and jokingly said perhaps the pilot would appreciate having a furry co-pilot in the cockpit for an hour? Next thing I knew, a stern woman who, when asked, said her name was Maribel (her name tag was tucked into her shirt so I couldn’t read it) asked me to gather my things and follow her off of the flight. I begged to remain on the flight thinking allergies for this short time frame wouldn’t be too bad, but she insisted I get out of my seat immediately or she would have law enforcement arrest me on the plane and charge me with obstructing a flight.

Airlines and Shareholders, Are You Listening?

I completely understand that airlines, like most businesses, make decisions based on profit and loss. Charging a first class customer a higher fee plus an additional fee for a pet riding in the same space is highly lucrative—much more so than fees charged for passengers flying coach. Having a policy that allows pet owners to keep their companions or service animals with them in the cabin is definitely good for business on a per-seat profitability basis.

However, according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, “The total pet population is more than 100 million or about four pets for every 10 people. Allergies to pets with fur or feathers are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma. From 15 percent to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. People with dog allergies may be allergic to all dogs or to only some breeds. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.”

For the rest of this “teachable moment and advice to airlines” click on: http://www.b-eye-network.com/view/16965

June 2013: - Get your IT ON at the Marketing & Tech Partnership Summit - June 20th, San Jose, CA

Marketing, Big Data, and Customer Engagement!

You heard it here first. Hypatia Research Group will reveal the results of “Big Boom in Big Data Analytics,” its recent study of IT and line-of-business executives on how Big Data analysis impacts customer management best practices and drives double-digit ROI. Using case studies and survey analysis, Leslie Ament, SVP, research, and principal analyst of Hypatia, will provide insights into:

  • Goals organizations should set for exploiting Big Data for customer management excellence and innovation
  • IT and marketing’s views of accountability for the results of these programs
  • Best practices for the effective use of Big Data for customer management and marketing
  • Benchmarks on maturity levels in using data for decision support in those areas
  • Metrics for assessing ROI, and average ROI gained among customer management leaders

The event link is: http://bit.ly/12efyzB

May 8, 2013: Presenting Research at Conferences!

Next week is SAP SAPPHIRE where Leslie Ament will be speaking at two separate forums on:

  1. How Big Data Analytics enhances customer engagement best practices,  and
  2. Managing the customer journey using CRM analytics.

May 20-22 we will be presenting our “Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence” at Aspect ACE. 

Feel free to contact us to schedule a briefing and demo!

May 2, 2013: Speaking Truth to Power?

Speaking “truth to power” is always a delicate diplomatic skill that one either naturally has, endeavors to learn, or perhaps, never learns.  However, providing data-driven guidance to those in executive positions is a technique everyone can and should master. It empowers  business professionals to support their assessments based on data points rather than subjective criteria and most importantly, provide guidance that more often results in positive business outcomes.

Having just returned from Actian/Pervasive Integration World (along with newly acquired ParAccel) and NICE Systems Interactions conferences, my assessment is that customers now, more than ever before, actively seek software solutions that supply embedded business rules and/or advanced analytics for real-time data-driven interactions and/or decision support for multiple business objectives relating to:

  • Customer Service & Support
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Product Innovation
  • Spend Intelligence
  • Risk Intelligence
  • Etc…

In addition to scoping out portfolio offerings, technological advances, go-to-market strategies, partnerships and product road-maps, I was impressed by the passion with which customers spoke of their vendor relationships. Cultural chemistry and a joint commitment to customer success was clearly a strong competitive differentiator for both of these software vendors in their respective markets.

Both Actian Corporation (with a significantly enhanced portfolio of offerings via its recent acquisitions of Pervasive and ParAccel) and NICE Systems have Big Data Analytics on their product road-maps–albeit for different business applications. Similar to our 2010 assessments in our 60 page primary research study on “Operationalizing Voice of the Customer“, we predict top performers will be those companies that are successful in operationalizing big data analytics most effectively.

April 30, 2013: Hypatia Keynotes at ProductCamp

ProductCamp Boston

Saturday, May 4

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Microsoft Cambridge

ProductCamp Boston is a full day of networking, learning and sharing the very latest ideas about product management, product marketing and startups. Unlike other events, ProductCamp is an unconference designed by and for attendees – so you can get the most out of the day.

From the morning keynote, “Big Data & Customer Management” to breakout sessions on product management, product marketing, career development, teaming and more, this year’s ProductCamp promises to be the best ever. We’re looking forward to a great day on May 4 and we hope you’ll join us. Don’t delay – register today!

KEYNOTE: Success Strategies – How Big Data & Analytics Fuels Customer Management Excellence!

Speaker: Leslie Ament, Hypatia Research Group 

Hypatia Research Group’s recent study, Boom in Big Data surveyed over 400 Fortune 500 companies to find out how Big Data Analytics impacts best practices in customer management. Customer-focused business executives reported double-digit return on investment. Wouldn’t you want to know how they did this?

Learn which selection criteria, business process capabilities and decision support best practices are critical in making the right investment for your organization. Using both case studies and survey analysis, Leslie Ament will provide insights into:

  • Goal-setting to exploit the analysis of big data for customer management excellence and innovation
  • Best practices in the effective use of big data for customer management
  • Who should be primarily accountable for these programs
  • Comparing your organization to others who use all types of customer and product information for decision support
  • The metrics your company should track to assess ROI

Dr. Leslie Ament, Hypatia Research Group 

Leslie Ament, SVP of research & principal analyst at Hypatia Research Group is a Customer Intelligence Management thought-leader & analyst who focuses on how organizations capture, manage, analyze & apply actionable customer insight to improve customer management techniques, reduce operating expenses & to accelerate corporate growth.

Previously, Ament served on management teams and lead global marketing and market research groups at Demantra, Inc. (acquired by Oracle), Arthur D. Little Management Consulting, Harte-Hanks, Banta Corporation, International Thomson Publishing (Chapman & Hall, UK) and Carnegie Hall, Inc.

From the keynote to compelling breakout sesisons, ProductCamp is a full day of learning.  

Register: http://pcampboston.eventbrite.com/

April 5, 2013: New Research

Dancing the Big Data Insights Waltz With Greater Accuracy, Agility & Speed

“Do it big, do it right and do it with style.”  ― Fred Astaire

Partners waltzing in triple time with four feet require grace and precision. Similarly, creating an effective Big Data Analytics ecosystem demands dexterity coupled with speed and accuracy. Instead of four feet dancing in triple time, enterprise-level Big Data Analytics (BDA) encompasses numerous information sources, multiple technologies (software and hardware), nimble business processes and specialized human expertise in advanced analytics.

February 18, 2013: New Research! How Big Data Analytics Fuels Customer Management Excellence

Our recent study entitled “Boom in Big Data Analytics” researched 436 companies with greater than $4B in revenues (Fortune 500) and found how analysis of both structured and contextual business information impacts customer management best practices. Business executives that actually utilize, recommend, influence, hold budget or veto power over customer management business processes and/or the purchase of customer management software and services reported double-digit return on investment is both tangible and real. Wouldn’t you want to know how they did this?

For starters, 89.6 percent of respondents cited the importance of customer recognition across multiple channels of engagement as “important and useful” or “critical for our business” in regards to analysis of customer behaviors such as:

  • Transactional (purchase)
  • Interactional (engagement) and
  • Influence (probability to recommend products or influence others to purchase)

Figure 1: Business Intelligence & Customer Analytics: Importance of Multichannel Customer Recognition

Hypatia Fig 1 For the full article, visit http://sandhill.com/article/how-big-data-analytics-fuels-customer-management-excellence/

February 12, 2013: New Research!

Hypatia Research Group Announces “Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence”

Return on investment from social customer service tools is higher than for other business usage.

Lexington, MA (PRWEB) February 12, 2013–Industry analyst and market research firm Hypatia Research Group announces availability of a new primary research study entitled “Exploiting Social Intelligence for Customer Service & Support Excellence”. Featuring the unique Hypatia GalaxyTM Evaluation, in which 27 software vendors are evaluated by 12 criteria, this report showcase current trends, organizational challenges, best practices, and return on investment metrics utilized by top performing organizations via 45+ pages, 18 tables or figures and several case studies that focus on business return on investment.

Hypatia Research Group surveyed more than 1100 global organizations for this research and found that only 246 respondents actually utilize, recommend, influence, and/or hold budget or veto power over the purchase of social media software for customer service and support initiatives at their place of employment. As a result, only analysis derived from these 246 respondents was utilized for this research.

Leslie Ament, senior vice president, and principal analyst at Hypatia Research Group stated, “Organizations that adopt social media tools for customer service, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows, are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Not surprisingly, 44.4% of customer service and support executives cited “the ability to respond to customer requests for support, service or information promptly” as the highest reason for investment in social engagement tools.”

Respondents with direct accountability for selection or use of social software and services for customer service & support functions were utilized for this primary research. Company size of respondents comprises: 37.5% large enterprises, 33.9% mid-market and 28.6% SMB. Geographic breakouts are: 47.3% North America, 30.2% Asia PAC: Australia, China, Japan, and Korea, 21.8% EMEA, and 0.8% South America.

A research abstract is available at:[http://store.hypatiaresearch.com/ExploitingSocialIntelligenceCustomerServiceandSupport.aspx.

December 21, 2012: Season's Greetings & Happy New Year
As we transition from 2012’s holiday season into the new year, our team wishes everyone a truly wonderful time with family, friends and colleagues. May 2013 be a year in which our world experience offers greater empathy and assistance to those in need, more stability to those living with uncertainty, and the opportunity for growth and prosperity.
Happy Holidays,

December 12, 2012 Big Data Analytics: Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, & Prescriptive Analytics!

Big Data is all the rage at present, reminding me of the growing interest in, and usage of social media conversations that began percolating about 2-3 years ago. (Anyone remember the term ‘user-generated content’?)

Much has changed as companies are deliberately shifting away from mere monitoring or listening to social channels to converting contextual customer information into actionable rules-based alerts, continuously refined business processes and predictive algorithms designed to further engage and delight customers.

As the first industry analyst firm to focus on Customer Intelligence–defined (©2001) as the “capture, management, analysis and application of customer insights towards accelerated performance and profitable growth–this is very exciting and gratifying to be a part of for those of us here at Hypatia Research Group. Many of us have contributed to these best practices, guided end-users, and published pragmatic vendor evaluation guides during the last 12 years. Next up are several uniquely end-user focused primary research studies focusing on best practices, benchmarks, maturity models, and of course, vendor selection guides such as our recently released major primary research GalaxyTM study entitled:

“Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable Insights”.

Also recently released were these two related reports:

Next on our publication schedule are:  

More to come in our next newsletter.  Report topic suggestions are always welcome!

Happy Holidays,

Leslie Ament, SVP Customer Intelligence Research & Senior Analyst

Twitter: @Hypatia_LeslieA

LAR@HypatiaResearch.com

November 10, 2012: Big Data Analytics with IBM

Having just spent time days with IBM’s Business Analytics & Optimization team viewing everything new, latest successes and hearing from live actual customers; I’d like to share observations and analysis of the summit–within the bounds of the NDA Hypatia Research Group signed.

IBM’s Watson, now comprised of 40+ IBM technologies, has transitioned from a laboratory environment into commercially viable solutions. Watson (or perhaps a more appropriate moniker might be Dr. Gregory House, the fictional chief diagnostician on the TV series “House”) supports medical professionals by rapidly computing best treatment options ranked by levels of confidence based on patient information such as:

  • Medical and family history
  • Preference for treatment options: aggressive, standard, minimal
  • Written observations of laboratory test results

Watson’s capacity to learn from algorithms that analyze information “in-context” allow it to handle idiomatic expressions, slang and other types of dirty data.”

How is Watson able to perform such sophisticated in-context contextual analysis? As Sherlock Holmes might say “Elementary my dear Watson”-with the same technologies the US government uses for risk analysis of terrorism threats:

  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Hypothesis generation and evaluation
  • Evidence-based learning

Increasing the number of information sources-both data AND contextual-used for analysis reduces the uncertainty of analytical results. More data/information analyzed equals higher confidence levels.

Gary Weber, representing an IBM customer, shared, “For us, it’s not about Big Data, it’s about relevant data.” This is evident in our latest study on Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable“.(Figure 2 below is based on 526 global respondents that utilize, influence the purchase, hold budget or veto power over social analytics and intelligence tools)

Best, 

Leslie Ament 

VP Customer Intelligence Research & Advisory 

Twitter: @Hypatia_LeslieA

November 2, 2012: Big Boom in Big Data Analytics: Are We There Yet?

Everyone is talking about big data and big data analytics, and it sounds as if every company has a big data application in production and is achieving amazing results. That’s the buzz, but what’s the reality?

Wouldn’t you like to know the answers to these big data questions:

  • Who really owns the budget, influences investment decisions or is ultimately accountable for results?
  • Which role(s) are primarily accountable for running and reporting on these programs?
  • What is the actual return on big data analyticsinvestment realized by geography, industry, and maturity level and company size?
  • How much are companies planning to invest over the next 3 years by size, industry and geography?
  • Which best practices or lessons learned from other organizations’ effective big data analytics initiatives would likely benefit my organization?
  • What analytical techniques, infrastructures, software solutions and/or consulting services would best support our corporate objectives?
  • Maturity levels for big data analytics initiatives: What differentiates beginners from the more sophisticated practitioners?

To answer these questions and assess the adoption and success of big data analytics, industry analyst and market research firm Hypatia Research Group has launched a new primary research study entitled “Big Boom in Big Data Analytics: How Top Performers Garner Insights for Greater Efficiency and Competitive Advantage,” which details current trends, organizational challenges, and business case justification.

To see more of this article, check out our channel on the B-Eye-Network. To receive a complimentary executive summary of the study, complete the survey: https://hypatiaresearch.us.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cLOwqRAVzNCpVqt

September 28, 2012: Hypatia Research Group Excited to Moderate a Panel at this Year's IBM Information on Demand (#IBM #IOD12) Conference This Year!

Theme: A Closer Look at the CMO, Social & Predictive Analytics

The 21st century global information market is comprised of 24-hour news, entertainment and information delivered on billions of intelligent devices. Today’s business users and consumers have a virtually limitless set of choices on how, when and where to get the content they want from an array of providers. Companies have to be smarter than ever to grow revenue and develop business models that respond to the demand of their clients. They need to firstly understand their audience – their behaviors, personalities, likes and dislikes in order to capture, connect and leverage the valuable information that allows them to anticipate customers’ changing preferences and rapidly turn these insights into new offerings.

Using advanced analytic technologies, news outlets, journalists, movie studios, retailers and more can now better understand, respond and predict public sentiment by analyzing public tweets.   By capturing data about customer behavior, usage patterns, and interest, businesses can improve production, cross-channel distribution, customer service and implement marketing strategies that are in line with customer sentiment.

August 15, 2012: Benchmarking Social Media Investments: Finding $Dollars & ¢ents

(Presentation available for download)

Social media software was developed to facilitate online conversations between businesses and their customers, partners, and future-stakeholders as well as to provide outlets for customers to share information with each other.  Hypatia reviewed nearly two dozen enterprise-level social media platforms vendors. Each offers various tools that enable organizations to create a variety of social venues for customers to utilize on either a corporate web site or on public networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and MySpace etc… A majority of these social media tools address at least two or more of these four business areas.

Customer Service & Support

Product Innovation & Ideation

Branding, Marketing & Commerce

Customer Analysis, Profiling & Segmentation

Ideally, social software tools should help organizations measure the effectiveness of social media on business—but, insofar as measuring a tangible ROI—software alone is just a major part of an overall strategy, operational plan and solution.  Organizations that adopt social tools, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Our analysis reveals that “customer experience” is an intangible metric.  True customer engagement has a higher probability of tangible outcome.  Effective usage of social media technologies may well create a differentiation for early adopters.

Case studies are available at: www.hypatiaresearch.com and B-Eye-Network on the Customer Insight Channel.

The presentation given at CRM Evolution 2012 is available for download.

August 6, 2012: Join me at CRM Evolution & SpeechTek!

Consultancies

As the CRM market grows with additional solutions, so, too, does its complexity, which is fueling impressive growth in the CRM consulting industry as well.  While the largest consulting houses continue to dominate the market, a crop of new players has been emerging to help clients assess where, when, and how to take advantage of new cloud-based alternatives. Another crop specializes in social media monitoring.

In addition to specializations, many consulting firms have expanded beyond very basic services this year to include implementation strategies, training, release management, customizations, product upgrades and migrations, system testing, business intelligence and analytics, data integration, and product support and maintenance. Some have even aligned themselves with specific solutions vendors to ensure a steady stream of business.

The Leaders:

All four of this year’s leaders have been around for a while, and while some of them have changed their focus slightly, most have stayed true to what has placed them at or near the top in the category since CRM magazine began presenting its Market Leader Awards more than 10 years ago.

Accenture, for example, ably produces in its ability to execute, earning a score of 3.9.  However, Leslie Ament, vice president and senior analyst at Hypatia Research Group, says the company’s accomplishments will go far beyond. “Accenture has certainly made inroads into the customer management arena with its digital marketing offerings,” she says. But that comes with a caveat: “Customers should carefully evaluate whether they require the full portfolio of resources that a management consulting firm brings to the table or whether a digital marketing agency or marketing services provider would serve as well,” Ament says.

Deloitte continues to demonstrate its ability to execute, where it scored a 3.9. While the company’s main focus has been on compensation management, it has“been busy developing intellectual property around social risk and reputation management,” Ament says. “Coupled with its comprehensive portfolio of risk intelligence services, Deloitte is well-differentiated from its competition.”

IBM, a powerhouse in the areas of analytics and compensation management, garnered a respectable score of 4.0, and its ability to execute (3.9).  Ament attributes its leadership position to a much broader reason. “While navigating global services is often challenging, IBM’s portfolio of CRM-related consulting and software offerings is unmatched,” she says.

The Winner:

Cognizant, a newcomer to the leaderboard, shared the top mark in ability to execute, with a 3.9, but where it really impressed analysts was its company direction (4.3) and cost (4.0).  Ament is enthusiastic. “Cognizant’s rapid growth in the B2C sector after carving out impressive wins in the manufacturing sector and supply chain operations make this consultancy one to watch in the customer management service line,” she says.

Data Quality

Current estimates put the waste associated with poor data quality—blamed for duplicate mailings, lost contacts, and missed sales opportunities—at about one sixth of the company budget at many organizations. That unacceptable loss has prompted an uptick in the data quality market.

The Leaders:

DataFlux, a part of SAS Institute, maintains its leadership position mostly on the strength of its customer satisfaction, for which it received an industry-leading score of 4.4. The company also scored an impressive 4.3 in depth of functionality. Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president at Hypatia Research Group, calls its flexibility an asset. “DataFlux enables its brand-name retail apparel clients that sell direct via multiple channels…to consolidate customer records via multiple channels,” she says. Moreover, its data management platform supports any domain, any data source type, in any time frame—real, batch, or virtual.”

Trillium Software, a division of Harte-Hanks, sits proudly among the industry elite for the ninth straight year. Its depth of functionality score of 4.3 was among the highest in the industry, but it also attracted attention for making its solutions cloud-ready (with support for the Amazon and Microsoft Azure clouds), and offering on-premises and hosted offerings. Its partnership with Microsoft, which positions it as the first and only choice for data quality profiling and cleansing within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment, will only expand its reach. Beyond that, “Trillium has amassed an impressive quantity of clients,” Ament says, noting that the company “is now engaging directly with customers by offering ROI value propositions that attract both upstream and downstream decision-makers.”

August 1, 2012: Join me at CRM Evolution!

(to book a meeting Aug. 13-14, 2012 email: LAR@HypatiaResearch.com)

The 2012 CRM Market Leaders

By the Editors of CRM magazine

The editors of CRM magazine would like to extend their deepest appreciation to those who took part, in degrees large and small, in evaluating this year’s CRM Market Awards. This issue, and the Market Awards themselves, would not have been possible without the contributions of these judges, assessors, commenters, and raters. Thank you to: Leslie Ament, vice president, customer intelligence research and client advisory service, Hypatia Research Group;…

Enterprise CRM: One to Watch

KANA came in as our One to Watch, and while the company didn’t make it to the leaderboard this year, Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president of Hypatia Research Group, says she is “favorably impressed” by the company’s spring launch of the Service Experience Management platform, which is targeted for the enterprise. “Ease of use is provided via a single sign-on with one interface for agents, so that CRM data is available to them for history and decision support without having to access multiple screens,” Ament says.

Mid Market Suite CRM: One to Watch

Being snapped up by Oracle last year for $1.5 billion did not hurt RightNow Technologies‘ position as a strength player, as it scored a 4.0 in customer satisfaction and retained its title as One to Watch. “This vendor has a significant offering with a good reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality, and company direction,” says Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president of Hypatia Research Group. “After being acquired by Oracle, along with ATG, Endeca, and other front-office vendors, it will be interesting to see if RightNow will be able to maintain the level of customer satisfaction built up over many years.”

Small Market Suite CRM: The Winner

Zoho stepped up its game and stole top spot as our winner with a 4.5 for cost and a 4.0 for functionality. Analysts had plenty of positive things to say about this vendor.“Zoho CRM is cost-effective, easy to use, and continues to add on attractive functionality priced like an a la carte menu, which enables smaller businesses to scale as necessary,” says Leslie Ament, senior analyst and vice president of Hypatia Research Group. This year, Zoho gave its user interface a full facelift, added a plethora of features like Pulse for internal collaboration, came out with myriad mobile integrations, and integrated Zoho Support with Facebook and Twitter.

July 11, 2012: Exploiting Value via Social Analytics & Intelligence Tools

Converting Contextual to Actionable = Customer Engagement

Creating social intelligence out of social media analysis tools takes a village. A mere youngster in comparison to more mature technology relatives such as search, text analytics, and data mining tools, social analytics is a highly fragmented emerging software category that has rapidly developed alongside consumer adoption of social communication vehicles such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Businesses that market to these consumers want to know more about them. How old are they, where do they live, what sites are grabbing their attention and why? What products, services and content interest them, and most importantly, what influences them to purchase or recommend certain products or brands?

Challenges: What Organizations Seek and Require

With more than 100 social analytics vendors to choose from, organizations seek to understand which selection criteria are most critical in making the right investment for their organization. At present, some vendors offer analysis of either Twitter and/or Facebook. Others focus on analysis of blogs, RSS feeds, and/or certain media outlets, while the most sophisticated literally “drink from the fire hose” in analyzing all online sources of user-generated content.

Metrics, trend analysis, and/or key performance indicators available through dashboards, visualization or other types of reporting are another area companies struggle to assess. Our research found most fall into one or more of the following maturity levels:

  • Clients know they need metrics but are uncertain as to what to use in order to be effective;
  • Clients expect vendors to provide them with a menu of available metrics or KPIs to choose from;
  • Clients know precisely which metrics they want for each of their business objectives.

Estimating total ROI eludes many organizations. More than 50% of all companies reported not tracking return on investment from in SA&I. On the other hand, 5% overall reported getting an ROI of at least 1% of their annual marketing budget from social analytics and intelligence (SA&I) investments.

Guidance for End-Users of Technology: Galaxy Leaders, Satellite Competitors and Nebulae Contenders

Our illustrative chart (in Chapter 2 of the report) utilizes a data-driven methodology to evaluate and place vendors on an X/Y axis corresponding to dimensional measurements of maturity and vision. (See our complete primary research study “Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable ” to view vendors evaluated in Hypatia’s 2012 Social Analytics & Intelligence study).

Vendors evaluated as Galaxy Leaders evidenced the most comprehensive offerings, exhibited a roadmap with innovative new product or feature releases, a clearly defined product methodology and vision for SA&I services inclusive of strategic, operational and technical services, as well as integration partnerships. Integration is key for many, but not all, vendors in order to take action (execute) on social intelligence through complementary enabling technologies such as customer interaction and relationship management, or marketing automation. Weighted modeling ensures that only the top 15% of vendors place in Hypatia’s Galaxy. We recommend that organizations shortlist all Galaxy vendors for consideration and consider Satellite Competitors before making a final selection.

For the rest of this article, visit the B-Eye-Network Customer Analytics & Insight Channel

July 6, 2012: Maximizing Return on Investment from Social Community Initiatives

Hypatia Presents Primary Research @CRM Evolution 2012

Today the social web is a diverse ecosystem of user-generated content. Social media is not something that marketing and business executives can afford to ignore. This session covers how to effectively select and deploy social communities that provide a tangible return on investment; how to create a business use case that aligns with corporate goals and objectives; and how to balance costs with sourcing of expertise.

Leslie Ament, Senior Analyst & VP at Hypatia Research Group will to share best practices, return on investment benchmarks, case studies, and innovative ideas and pragmatic tips for getting the most out of:

  • Social community initiatives
  • Leveraging & measuring social forums, blogs and tweets to facilitate innovation and manage your brand
  • Incorporating the social channel for customer service & support
  • Engaging and influencing customers’ propensity to purchase or recommend your products & services

Attending the conference August 13-15th in NYC? Contact LAR@HypatiaResearch.com to meet with us!

June 30, 2012: The Hype Cycle of Analyst Briefings

http://analystrelations.org/2012/05/18/the-hype-cycle-of-vendor-briefing-requests/

Gentlemen:

I must weight in here on the issue of “non-clients” as articulated by Ludovic

“There is though a more troubling aspect: the VB process is dysfunctional and puts non-clients at a dis-advantage, which in turns can impact negatively independence.”

At present, 100% of our Hypatia G2M Enterprise Access licenses are purchased solely by end-users. Vendors are allowed to purchase our research for syndication only AFTER our primary research studies are drafted and put into our production cycle.

As such, all software vendors and service provides we evaluate become clients AFTER the results of evaluations are completed. In this manner, independence and objectivity is maintained for the benefit of our end-user subscribers.

Best, Leslie Ament Vice President, Research & Client Advisory Hypatia Research Group, LLC, Calculating ResultsTM

June 22, 2012: It's Elementary My Dear Watson

Having just spent 2 days with IBM’s Business Analytics & Optimization team viewing everything new, latest successes and hearing from live actual customers; I’d like to share observations and analysis of the summit–within the bounds of the NDA Hypatia Research Group signed.

IBM’s Watson, now comprised of 40+ IBM technologies, has transitioned from a laboratory environment into commercially viable solutions. Watson (or perhaps a more appropriate moniker might be Dr. Gregory House, the fictional chief diagnostician on the TV series “House”) supports medical professionals by rapidly computing best treatment options ranked by levels of confidence based on patient information.

Increasing the number of information sources—both data AND contextual—used for analysis reduces the uncertainty of analytical results. More data/information analyzed equals higher confidence levels. Gary Weber, representing an IBM customer, shared, “For us, it’s not about Big Data, it’s about relevant data.”

This sentiment is highly evident from our analysis in our latest study on Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable”. (Figure 1 at right is based on 526 global respondents that utilize, influence the purchase, hold budget or veto power over social analytics and intelligence tools). For more….check out our research library. 

June 14, 2012: Microsoft in Discussions to Acquire Social Platform Yammer

#Microsoft may acquire #Yammer a social media platform for US$1B. Me too strategy follows Salesforce acquisitions of #BuddyMedia #Radian6 and Oracle acquisition of #CollectiveIntelligence.

June 6, 2012: Acquisitions in the Social Analytics & Intelligence Software Landscape

Interesting. Exactly 6 weeks after Hypatia Research Group announced its primary research study on “Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Contextual to Actionable, [Available July 1, 2012] Oracle announced its intent to acquire Collective Intelligence. In addition, Salesforce.com, who previously acquired Radian6, announced its acquisition of BuddyMedia  in a deal valued at $689M.  What really caught our attention was the verbiage used in each separate announcement–words such as  “engagement”, “actionable intelligence”, “insight” etc….

So are we futurists? Have a magical crystal ball? More likely, we are fortunate to operate globally using primary end-user research combined with industry expertise, pragmatic hands-on experience, and a modicum of humility:-)  Typical for industry analysts. For a quick preview of our study, here is a draft of our executive summary. Please note our usage policies before sharing our research.

From Oracle’s annoucement:

On June 5, 2012, Oracle announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Collective Intellect, a leading provider of cloud-based social intelligence solutions that enable organizations to monitor, understand, and respond to consumers’ conversations on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year, and until the transaction closes, Oracle and Collective Intellect will continue to operate independently, and it is business as usual.

Collective Intellect’s semantic analytics engine processes tens of millions of conversations daily,transforming social conversations into actionable intelligence. Collective Intellect’s solution eliminates irrelevant and duplicate data, captures a clean signal, determines consumers’ intentions and interests, and automatically identifies emerging trends and hot topics to help organizations drive better decisions with meaningful consumer data.

By integrating Collective Intellect with Oracle’s Software-as-a-Service products and Social Platform, Oracle will enable marketing organizations to create more targeted marketing campaigns; help customer service teams respond quickly to customer feedback on social media; generate targeted leads and opportunities for sales teams; and strengthen how companies build more effective brands using the Internet and social media.

The combination of Oracle and Collective Intellect’s solutions will enable organizations to build stronger relationships with consumers through intelligent understanding of their social conversations, and to respond with appropriate action and engagement.

From Salesforce.com’s announcement:

Buddy Media, which is based in New York, allows customers to create content on social-media sites, place ads there and measure the effectiveness of such campaigns. Combined with the Radian6 products that Salesforce acquired last month, Salesforce will be able to deliver a package that lets customers “engage, gain insight, publish, advertise and measure social marketing programs,” Michael Lazerow, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Media, said in a blog post Monday.

June 5, 2012: Access Network Scales up Publishing with Atex Solution

New Case Study from: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Content to Increase Customer Engagement!

The Access Network Company, a provider of management systems for publishers, serves approximately 600 colleges around the country with its College Publisher Platform. College Publisher serves as a central booking system for advertisers interested in targeting college audiences. It then schedules the ads and serves them up to the appropriate papers based on advertiser preferences.

The colleges pay a small fee to subscribe and gain access to national advertising. Their student editors and publishers also gain experience using ad publishing software. In 2007 the company decided to migrate from its existing system to Atex’s Polopoly content management software.

Read more at: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Content to Increase Customer Engagement!

For more information, contact Lisa Lincoln, Global Director of Client Accounts at:

May 22, 2012: How to Engage Customers with Dynamically Personalized Content

Organizations invest tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in creating and maintaining their Web sites with the expectation that the investment will be paid back in more visitors, more leads, referrals and, ultimately, more sales. With businesses pouring money into bigger and better sites, it’s no longer enough to post some informative copy and attractive graphics and expect to be competitive.

With all that Web content vying for attention, online shoppers have become overwhelmed by the flood of content from the multitude of companies vying for their attention. This reality is driving companies to maximize the appeal of their Web content by employing more automation and personalization features that can serve up the information and graphics specific to the language, location, past buying history, current Web behavior, and, ultimately, the perceived needs of each Web site visitor.

Today, these organizations need features that will enable them to provide access to their Web content from any device or messaging channel and personalize it so the customer can get directly to the most relevant content specific to the products, geographic location, and language in which he or she is interested.

It is this collection of features that Hypatia Research refers to as customer content engagement (CCE), a subset of features typically found in customer content management (CCM) solutions. CCM products encompass both Web content management and customer engagement capabilities and are designed to optimize the value of customer content by streamlining content creation, distribution and reuse, and by employing automated personalization and multichannel technologies to provide Web visitors with content based their perceived needs.

Many CCM solutions provide a variety of features, including support for mobile devices, workflow to handle content creation and distribution, rules engines for personalization, content analysis tools, and a centralized repository with enterprise search tools and taxonomies for categorization content. While companies invest in CCM for a variety of reasons, including controlling costs by reusing content and speeding up the production workflow, most invest in it primarily to improve their customer engagement. Hence it is the CCE functionality in CCM that really drives the content management market.

Understanding the Features, Benefits and ROI of CCE Technologies 

CCE features include personalization rules engines, visitor behavior monitoring and analysis, multi-channel and multi-device support. Organizations who are concerned about maximizing customer engagement with their Web customer content will want to select CCM solutions that have some or all of these CCE features. To help end-users navigate this evolving market, Hypatia Research conducted a survey of 400+ organizations that purchased CCM software, either for customer engagement or other business reasons. In this report, we evaluate these results as they relate specifically to customer content engagement, and provide helpful information on what metrics those organizations are using to judge the success of their customer content and on the best practices they follow to optimize their success.

Some of the questions this report answers for companies considering, or already implementing, CCM and CCE technologies includes:

  • What are the reasons we should invest in CCE technologies?
  • What are the specific features needed to enable personalized, dynamic customer content?
  • What benefits are other organizations achieving with their CCE investments?
  • What, if any, services do we need to plan and implement a CCE strategy?
  • What metrics are best for measuring success with our customer content?
  • Who should be responsible for CCE and customer content?
  • How does our organization stack up in regards to our CCE capabilities?

Conclusions and Recommendations

Doing business today requires successful organizations to invest in content rich, dynamic, and increasingly personalized Web sites to keep customers returning and foster brand loyalty. Yesterday’s content management solutions provide only the mechanics of Web content management — workflow, version control, shared repositories — all of which are important, but not enough to create a Web site that visitors will enjoy being on and buying products from. Online businesses must implement customer content engagement capabilities as well if they are to remain competitive in their markets. (Excerpted from “Best Practices in Leveraging Content to Increase Customer Engagement”, ©2012 Hypatia Research Group.)

May 12, 2012: Leveraging Social Channels for Customer Service & Support

Business Case Justification & Best Practices 

Creating social intelligence out of social media analysis tools takes a village.  A mere youngster in comparison to more mature technology relatives such as search, text analytics, and data mining tools; social analytics is a highly fragmented emerging software category that has rapidly developed alongside consumer adoption of social communication vehicles such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Businesses that market to these consumers want to know more about them. How old are they, where do they live, what sites are grabbing their attention and why? What products, services and content interest them, and most importantly, what influences them to purchase or recommend certain products or brands?

Driven by high volumes of online user generated content, social analytics is actually, an exploding category. There is no dearth of software and service vendors offering sentiment analysis, twitter analytics, content analytics, and speech analytics tools.  Each offers dashboards, drill-downs, graphs or other types of visualization that illustrate metrics for online sentiment analysis (positive, neutral, mixed  or negative), such as influencer or net-promoter scores, share of voice, volume, product quality issues, crisis management, share price cause and effect or media and brand reach.

The good news is that organizations that seek to leverage SA&I solutions on an enterprise-level for multiple business initiatives are motivated to develop discrete multi-phase business objectives, key performance metrics, and operational execution plans before engaging with a vendor or provider of services. We expect that most enterprises will begin their use of Social Analytics & Intelligence tools in the customer service, brand and marketing communications and competitive intelligence functions initially, before expanding to other business areas. Not surprisingly, 44.4% of customer service and support executives cited “the ability to respond to customer requests for support, service or information promptly” as the highest reason for investment in social intelligence tools.

Our research of 526 organizations, (based on survey respondents that actually utilize, recommend, influence, hold budget or veto power over the purchase of social analytics and intelligence software) shows that return on investment from customer service and support initiatives is higher than other business use cases. In fact, 17.8% of customer service and support executives realize greater than5% return on investment–defined as a percentage of total annual marketing spend.  Another 20%realize between 3%-5% return on investment. (see Figure 1 at right).

Our assessment: Organizations that adopt social intelligence tools, combined with best practices for rules-based business process workflows are empowered to utilize their social channels as decision support and customer engagement for value creation. Our analysis reveals that “customer experience” is an intangible metric.  True customer engagement has a higher probability of tangible outcome.  Effective usage of social intelligence technologies may well create a differentiation for early adopters.  (Excerpted from “Social Analytics & Intelligence: Converting Context to Actionable Insights”, ©2012 Hypatia Research Group.)

May 8, 2012: Is Your Industry Analyst Relationship Safe From Your Competition?

Hypatia Research Group regularly signs and strictly adheres to non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with its advisory clients–on both the demand (end-users of enabling technologies) and supply-side (vendors and providers of services). So we were surprised to recieve this “pitch” letter from a research outsourcer claiming to have access to “several various databases such as Capital lQ, Bloomberg, Factiva, Thomson, Onesource, IDC, Zawya, Gartner and Forrester for authenticity of the research work.”

In this age of cyber-security threats, regulatory mandates (governance, risk, and compliance), disgruntled former employees and thrill-seeking teen-age hackers–just how safe is your proprietary information?  Are third-party suppliers using it to benefit your competition?  Serious food for thought.

Unedited email excerpt:“Kizashianalytics is a research and analytical services firm that offers customized outsourced research and consulting services to clients globally. With a unique blend of market knowledge and research expertise, it offers a range of services that help clients attain their strategic objectives of enhanced efficiency, revenue growth, and cost reduction. It’s services can be grouped into three broad categories: Investment Research, Business Research, and Analytics & Modeling.

It has emerged as a valuable research partner for investment banks, brokerage firms, independent research providers, hedge funds, private equity, and management consulting firms globally. In addition to this, we even offer customized research to suit your requirements, whereby we provide more focus on any specific area of interest and provide full in–depth knowledge of the industry. Since we have various research assignments on a daily basis, we have access to several various databases such as Capital lQ, Bloomberg, Factiva, Thomson, Onesource, IDC, Zawya, Gartner and Forrester for authenticity of the research work.”

May 2, 2012: #IW12 Integration World

Just back from a worldwind trip to Austin, Texas to attend Pervasive’s Integration World event.  Real-world business ROI results as presented by Pervasive’s customers were actually more impressive than the Texas BBQ–which was quite tangy, hot and in abundance during the conference meals.

Bottom-line:  While SaaS applications combined with use of mobile devices (tablets/phones) continue to gain traction for ease of use, cost, and timeframe to value at organizations of all sizes and industries–there is still a need to integrate all of these disparate apps, tools and systems in order to achieve a single view of the customer, standardize reporting, leverage intelligence for decision-support and to comply with industry or governmental regulations (see our just released study on “Enterprise Convergence of Governance, Risk & Compliance“)  Looking forward to next year’s event!

April 26, 2012: Social Analytics & Intelligence

Having just returned from the inaugural “Social Media Analytics” conference in San Francisco, I’m glad that our study on “Social Analytics & Intelligence: Benchmarks, Best Practices & Vendor GalaxyTM Rankings” is about to publish.

With over 100 social analytics vendors to choose from, organizations seek to understand which selection criteria are most critical in making the right investment for their organization. At present, some vendors offer analysis of either Twitter and/or Facebook. Others focus on analysis of blogs, RSS feeds, and/or certain media outlets, while the most sophisticated literally “drink from the fire hose” in analyzing all online sources of user generated content.

Metrics, trend analysis, and/or key performance indicators available through dashboards, visualization or other types of reporting are another area companies struggle to assess. Our research found most fall into one or more of the following maturity levels:

  • Clients know they need metrics but are uncertain as to what to use in order to be effective;
  • Clients expect vendors to provide them with a menu of available metrics or KPI’s to choose from;
  • Clients know precisely which metrics they want for each of their business objectives.

Want to share your expertise?  Take the survey and contribute to our research findings!

 SOCIAL ANALYTICS AND INTELLIGENCE SURVEY 

Provide your contact info and we will send you an executive summary of the report highlights as a thank you.

March 20, 2012: Common Sense & the Customer Experience

Having just spent 45 minutes in voice-mail jail with everyone’s favorite bank –primarily because I refused to give my social security number to an automated IVR –which would store my information in some third-party database, unsecured, accessable by anyone the bank’s governance policies allow, I was struck by the sheer idiocy of it all.

Common Sense & the Customer Experience

In an age where identity fraud is a reality, governance, compliance and security policies are encouraged, but not always enforced; and where terms such as “customer experience” and “customer empowerment” are continuing as the Flavors du jour–I was on the receiving end of numerous unproductive, (OK lousy, I was trying to be diplomatic) yet easily correctible customer-facing business processes.  One would think that with all of the ivy league MBA’s running around BOA, some customer-centric common sense would surface?

Nope. As much as everyone throws around buzzwords and phrases such as we are committed to “enhancing the quality of the customer experience”, “increasing customer loyalty” and “enterprise-level customer-centricity is part of our DNA or mission statement”, the reality is not much has really changed.  Companies are in business to make money, create shareholder wealth, reduce operating costs and improve profit margins.

If improving the customer’s experience has a significant impact on either the top or the bottom line, companies will jump on creating better customer journey business processes all day long.  Strategic committees and centers of excellence dedicated to improving a customer’s experience will sprout faster than Summer corn in the Midwest. (I’m a Midwesterner, so I’m not being pejorative.)

Let’s be intellectually honest here.  Methinks the emperor is not wearing enough clothes.  What is really important to business organizations is increasing customer ENGAGEMENT with a goal of gaining share of wallet, customer lifetime value and influencing other consumers to purchase the same brands or services via their personal and professional networks. No shame in that.  Capitalism is alive and well in the USA.

Oh, and the missing credit card that didn’t arrive within 14 days after mailing? The one that I attempted to put on hold to prevent identity fraud? As they say, and for the rest of the story, tune into my channel on the B-Eye-Network.  To be continued… Best, Leslie Ament.

February 12, 2012: What Large Enterprises (>$2b) Value Most?

After slicing, dicing, and performing multivariate analysis on our data from “Leveraging Content to Increase Customer Engagement” study, our analysis revealed the three top capabilities valued most by large organizations:

  • Content search, categorization & organization; 48.6%
  • Analysis & reporting on content usage; 43.2%
  • Ability to publish to a variety of devices & formats; 40.5%

For in depth advisory or specific analysis on this topic by company size, industry or geography, please contact JoeA@HypatiaResearch.com or call 781-862-5106.

January 12, 2012: Buying Good Reviews From Industry Analysts?

April Dunford, principle of Rocket Launch Marketing (disclaimer: also a keynote speaker at a Forrester Research Product Marketing Summit 2010) recently posted this question from a B2B startup founder who “asked if it was possible to buy placement in a Gartner Magic Quadrant. The question shows a fundamental misunderstanding that the big industry analyst firms like Gartner Group and Forrester are “Pay for Play”. That simply doesn’t make any sense.” Hypatia’s POV: Although we do agree that purchasing a contract or research subscription will likely get a vendor more attention and time with Gartner, Forrester and IDC analysts; there are still a few independent boutique and mid-sized analyst firms who do not engage in pay for play  as well. Vendors and service providers of all sizes get Hypatia Research’s attention when a vendor’s offerings align with our research agenda–which is primarily customer-driven.  Briefings, product demonstrations and customer references are all done as part of our due diligence at no cost to vendors.

A boutique [10-15 person] industry analyst and primary market research firm since 2001, Hypatia focuses on four major research areas: Customer Management, Business Intelligence-operational, predictive and social/contextual analytics, Information Management and GRC, and Consultancies.  More at http://store.hypatiaresearch.com

December 15, 2011: Customer Analytics, Decision Management & Customer Journey Maps Oh My!

In October I was honored to co-chaired a conference on Customer & Marketing Analytics and ran a workshop entitled “Strategies, Plans & Execution Techniques for Aligning Marketing Performance with Corporate Goals”.

Attendees were tasked with using customer analytics and rules-based decisions to create a customer interaction journey process designed to reduce customer churn OR to increase customer profitability at an annual rate. One attendee asked us to provide examples as they had never developed this in house! One of Hypatia’s high level process map is illustrated at right.

Is your organization equipped to effectively capture, manage, analyze and apply actionable customer intelligence to enhance corporate performance and to accelerate profitability? Are all sources of interactional and transactional customer information such as social, user-generated online content, purchase data, CRM, call center notes, marketing databases, survey feedback or voice of the customer initiatives effectively exploited in your customer management processes?

If not, give us a call….as industry analysts and practitioners, we can assist your organization with vendor evaluation and selection criteria, best practices and industry benchmarks as well as customized advisory services. 

Best,

Leslie Ament 

VP Customer Intelligence Research &  Advisory 

Twitter: @Hypatia_18 

November 30, 2011: How to Lose or Gain a Paying Customer in 72 Hours

Most of the time we share best practices, success stories, technology evaluations and market analysis related to Customer & Market Intelligence.  Today is a compare and contrast example.

After driving a wonderfully reliable 12 year old Subaru Forrester these many years, I decided to do my research (occupational hazard right?) and find my next car–which I fully intend to drive for the next 10-12 years. (Frugal Midwesterner that I am).

My requirements and specifications were much simpler to prepare than a RFQ for an enterprise CRM, BI, Analytics or GRC application.  Thus I rapidly sent this list to several local dealerships that advertised Black Friday specials.  I requested:

  • Pricing on a 2012 SV/SL model
  • Included an interior/exterior color choice
  • Specified AWD
  • Requested an estimated delivery date if the model selected was not currently in stock.

Imagine my surprise when I received “canned” email responses from 4 dealerships pushing “slightly owned fleet vehicles”, 2011 models, models that were not in my choice of color, and cars that obviously did not have AWD. Is anyone listening to the voice of the customer?

I then called each dealership to inquire about stock.  I was told I would have to come in and speak to a sales consultant before they would check stock and delivery time-frames for me.  I took a chance and visited 2 dealerships in person and reiterated my specifications and requested pricing and delivery times-frames.  Both dealerships promised to get back to me within 48 hours–although only one allowed me to test drive a similar pre-owned 2011 model. Curiously, the internet-only sales consultants competed with the on-site sales consultants for my business–without actually providing a quote on the car I wanted–and without working with each other to reel me in. I was not entirely sure as to whether the right hand and left hand were simply not in sync with each other or if internal competition for commissions were at the root of these poor customer management processes. 72 hours later and frustrated that no local dealership wanted my business (we are talking about a $25,000+ purchase that would close before the end of the month) I called a dealership located a significant distance from my home.  Imagine my surprise when “Craig” checked delivery time-frames and stock for the car selected and got back to me with answers within 1 hour!  He further suggested I speak with “DJ” upon arrival. I hopped in my trusty 12 year old car and made the trip–negotiated a fair price with a sales consultant “Todd”–and bought a car on the spot. Isn’t it amazing what a bit of teamwork and customer-centricity accomplishes!

I’m looking forward to picking up my new means of transportation at a future date…and am pondering why companies fail to apply common sense to customer management processes? I realize I’m not purchasing a high-end Porshe or Jaguar here, but a paying customer should have more value than having no customers at all.

November 1, 2011: New Case Study: Psion Mobile Computing Devices!

Social Community Investment and ROI A Negotiation: Often a Balance between Profits & Performance

Psion (LSE: PON.L) makes ruggedized handheld or vehicle-mounted computer devices for heavy duty applications within airports (luggage handling), supply chain logistics (shipping and inventory management), and postal and warehouse management. Operating globally in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe, Psion has approximately 300 partners who develop solutions based on Psion devices. The company’s aim was to foster an open source style of development based upon collaboration between partners to meet as many of the diverse needs of different industries and use cases as possible.

Challenge

In 2001 through 2006, the company lost market share to competitors and had some key partners pull out of projects. In 2008, the new CEO implemented a new corporate strategy based on the modularity of products and open collaboration between partners and customers. Senior leadership felt the company was perceived as a follower in the market rather than a technology leader or a strong brand. The company recognized the difficulty in getting partners who are located literally around the world to collaborate with each other and turned to social media for a potential solution.

Psion also wanted to gather intelligence on its customer base, gain insight into the public perception of Psion products and understand why some sold well in some markets, while in others the products were less successful.

Read the entire Business ROI Evaluation report exclusively on the B-Eye-Network’s  Customer Analytics & Insight Channel compliments of Hypatia Research!

End-user organizations are encouraged to review our vendor selection guide prior to engaging with a provider of voice of the customer or social media techniques and/or technologies. Consider visiting our new online store to assist your organization in building a short list of vendors to evaluate. Discounts are available for small and mid-market businesses. Contact Joe Azzolino at JoeA@HypatiaResearch for discounts. 

October 12, 2011: New Survey Launch!

Leveraging Content to Increase Customer Engagement!

Best Practices, Benchmarks & Vendor Galaxy Rankings

Hypatia Research categorizes customer-facing content as encompassing all types of digital interaction channels, online content or digital assets utilized for sales and marketing, customer service & support, branding, product information, public relations, social community, and/or webcast business initiatives with the goal of engaging or influencing behaviors of both known or unknown potential customers.

We would like to personally invite you to participate in Hypatia’s exploration of how organizations effectively leverage content to engage customers with the goal of impacting acquisition, retention and revenue levels!

Take our survey (less than 10 minutes to complete) and receive a complimentary executive summary with research highlights as a “thank you” for your input.

We will need a valid email address in order to deliver the results, but rest assured we will never share your contact information without your permission. We appreciate your time and participation in this solution study: Survey link.

Sept 8, 2011: Hypatia Research Chairing Upcoming Conference!

Customer & Marketing Analytics: Strategies, Plans, and Execution Techniques for Aligning Performance with Corporate Goals

Hypatia Research is again chairing this seminar eventdesigned for all those in Marketing, Customer Insight, Customer Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Market Research and Database Analysis interested in knowing how top performers in both B2B and B2C businesses utilize customer and marketing analytics. An essential two-day conference that delivers the knowledge you need for better customer management, marketing, sales, product management, product innovation, market research, ecommerce, merchandising, demand management and pricing. The two day conference combines presentations, panel sessions and an interactive workshop.

Starts: Thursday November 10, 2011, 08:00AM PST

Ends: Friday November 11, 2011, 05:00PM PST

Event Type: Conference

Location: John Hancock Hotel and Conference Center, 40 Trinity Place, Boston, MA 02116 US

Price: Registrar: dawnb@henrystewart.co.uk

Website: http://www.hsmarketinganalytics.com

August 22, 2011: Operationalizing Social Business: The How, What, When, Where & ROI.

Now that information and articles on social media have proliferated in online tweets, chat, and media articles…the result is everyone is interested and understands the “why” of doing social…but the how, what, when, where and tangible ROI still eludes most organizations.

Following Hypatia’s recent primary research study focused on best practices and return on investment–“Benchmarking Social Community Investment & ROI”,–management consulting firms have seen an opportunity to provide best practice strategy & consulting services for social media initiatives as well. In alphabetical order:

1) Accenture entered with a 2011 handbook entitled “Everything You Need to Know to get Social Media Working for Your Business”.  [in 298 pages available on Amazon.com]. Surprisingly, the authors maintain “Case studies should only be used to generate ideas, not as evidence that any particular strategy or tactic will work for anyone other than the organization in the case study.” Judge for yourselves what this type of thought leadership is worth.

2) Capgemini, one of the first management consulting firms to offer services on SaaS solutions, just announced a strategic partnership with Attensity to launch a new comprehensive Social Media Management service, to help businesses take advantage of online social interactions. [Hypatia placed Attensity in its Vendor GalaxyTM for Voice of the Customer capabilities in March 2011]. This partnership is poised to be a game-changer.

3) Deloitte’s former CMO and principle Jonathan Copulsky’s, latest book “Brand Resilience” identified seven crucial steps to brand risk management.  A thought-provoking read, Copulsky cites end-user case studies and borrows from warfare scenarios in regards to social strategy initiatives. For example, the book cites practices from counterinsurgency doctrine [such as defensive, guerilla, flanking and offensive warfare] to illustrate how brand stewards can aggressively defend themselves from intentional or unintentional brand saboteurs.

4) As of 8/18, HP is in talks to buy Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion and plans to spin off its personal-computer business. Autonomy specializes in software that analyzes documents and data for so-called “unstructured information” and looks for links that can be tied together in order to understand relationships between documents. This could be a significant boost for HP’s information management, and unstructured content analysis [social media] capabilities portfolio when fully integrated and operational. 

Hypatia’s POV: Enabling technologies facilitate leverage of social media, but strategy, business processes, performance metrics and the ability to create and leverage actionable insight are necessary to attain tangible ROI.

PS: Next month’s primary research study“Best Practices & GRC Vendor Drill-Down: Guide for Practitioners”

Best,

Team Hypatia Research, LLC  Twitter: @Hypatia_18 

October 12, 2011: New Survey Launch!

Leveraging Content to Increase Customer Engagement!

Best Practices, Benchmarks & Vendor Galaxy Rankings

Hypatia Research categorizes customer-facing content as encompassing all types of digital interaction channels, online content or digital assets utilized for sales and marketing, customer service & support, branding, product information, public relations, social community, and/or webcast business initiatives with the goal of engaging or influencing behaviors of both known or unknown potential customers.

We would like to personally invite you to participate in Hypatia’s exploration of how organizations effectively leverage content to engage customers with the goal of impacting acquisition, retention and revenue levels!

Take our survey (less than 10 minutes to complete) and receive a complimentary executive summary with research highlights as a “thank you” for your input.

We will need a valid email address in order to deliver the results, but rest assured we will never share your contact information without your permission. We appreciate your time and participation in this solution study:Survey link.

Sept 8, 2011: Hypatia Research Chairing Upcoming Conference!

Customer & Marketing Analytics: Strategies, Plans, and Execution Techniques for Aligning Performance with Corporate Goals

Hypatia Research is again chairing this seminar eventdesigned for all those in Marketing, Customer Insight, Customer Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Market Research and Database Analysis interested in knowing how top performers in both B2B and B2C businesses utilize customer and marketing analytics. An essential two-day conference that delivers the knowledge you need for better customer management, marketing, sales, product management, product innovation, market research, ecommerce, merchandising, demand management and pricing. The two day conference combines presentations, panel sessions and an interactive workshop.

Starts:

Thursday November 10, 2011, 08:00AM PST

Ends:

Friday November 11, 2011, 05:00PM PST

Event Type:

Conference

Location:

John Hancock Hotel and Conference Center

40 Trinity Place

Boston, MA 02116 US

Price:

Registrar: dawnb@henrystewart.co.uk

Website:

http://www.hsmarketinganalytics.com

August 22, 2011: Operationalizing Social Business: The How, What, When, Where & ROI.

Now that information and articles on social media have proliferated in online tweets, chat, and media articles…the result is everyone is interested and understands the “why” of doing social…but the how, what, when, where and tangible ROI still eludes most organizations.

Following Hypatia’s recent primary research study focused on best practices and return on investment–“Benchmarking Social Community Investment & ROI”,–management consulting firms have seen an opportunity to provide best practice strategy & consulting services for social media initiatives as well. In alphabetical order:

1) Accenture entered with a 2011 handbook entitled “Everything You Need to Know to get Social Media Working for Your Business”.  [in 298 pages available on Amazon.com]. Surprisingly, the authors maintain “Case studies should only be used to generate ideas, not as evidence that any particular strategy or tactic will work for anyone other than the organization in the case study.” Judge for yourselves what this type of thought leadership is worth.

2) Capgemini, one of the first management consulting firms to offer services on SaaS solutions, just announced a strategic partnership with Attensity to launch a new comprehensive Social Media Management service, to help businesses take advantage of online social interactions. [Hypatia placed Attensity in its Vendor GalaxyTM for Voice of the Customer capabilities in March 2011]. This partnership is poised to be a game-changer.

3) Deloitte’s former CMO and principle Jonathan Copulsky’s, latest book “Brand Resilience” identified seven crucial steps to brand risk management.  A thought-provoking read, Copulsky cites end-user case studies and borrows from warfare scenarios in regards to social strategy initiatives. For example, the book cites practices from counterinsurgency doctrine [such as defensive, guerilla, flanking and offensive warfare] to illustrate how brand stewards can aggressively defend themselves from intentional or unintentional brand saboteurs.

4) As of 8/18, HP is in talks to buy Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion and plans to spin off its personal-computer business. Autonomy specializes in software that analyzes documents and data for so-called “unstructured information” and looks for links that can be tied together in order to understand relationships between documents. This could be a significant boost for HP’s information management, and unstructured content analysis [social media] capabilities portfolio when fully integrated and operational. 

Hypatia’s POV: Enabling technologies facilitate leverage of social media, but strategy, business processes, performance metrics and the ability to create and leverage actionable insight are necessary to attain tangible ROI.

PS: Next month’s primary research study“Best Practices & GRC Vendor Drill-Down: Guide for Practitioners”

Best,

Team Hypatia Research, LLC  Twitter: @Hypatia_18 

August 3, 2011: Hypatia Research Publishes - Enterprise Convergence of Governance, Risk & Compliance: Benchmarks & Vendor Galaxy Rankings

 75% of Practitioners Cite eGRC and IT GRC as Important

August 3, 2011 — BOSTON, MA — Industry analyst firm Hypatia Research, LLC announces availability of a primary research study entitled “Enterprise Convergence of GRC: Benchmarks & Galaxy Vendor Evaluations “detailing current developments, major organizational challenges, business case justification and a detailed assessment of this fragmented vendor landscape. Featuring the unique Hypatia GalaxyTM in which 28 enabling technology providers that support GRC initiatives and business processes are evaluated by 10 interdependent dimensions, the report offers readers actionable insight via 40 pages, 3 case study evaluations and 15 charts, tables and figures.

Hypatia categorizes GRC software technology as either an integrated suite of tools, point solutions, platform or a cloud based architecture designed to facilitate enterprise convergence of both IT and enterprise GRC capabilities. This viewpoint is predicated on the ability of vendors to deliver solutions based not only on solving specific issues, but solutions that flexibly address at a holistic and integrated level all of the interlocking and interwoven governance, risk, and compliance issues that companies face no matter where or in what industries they do business.

According to Howard Baldwin, senior analyst and co-author of this study, “Some vendors offer GRC for the enterprise, known as eGRC, focusing on strategic and operational risk management. Others offer what’s known as IT-GRC, focusing on monitoring access and communications for compliance. The fact that both branches of GRC use technology to automate highly complex processes is confusing to most organizations.”

Leslie Ament, vice president, senior analyst and co-author shared, “Organizations invest in GRC more often as an insurance policy against unforeseen financial, legal, regulatory and operational threats rather than for a tangible return on investment. Our assessment is that this is about to change as companies move from investing in GRC merely to comply with annual audits, industry or regulatory standards to proactive decisioning grounded in strategic GRC. The products that will best serve those efforts will incorporate facets of both traditional IT-GRC and eGRC, encompassing everything from the security of data access to insight for risk management.”

Over 440 respondents with direct accountabiilty for selection or use of GRC software and services contributed to this primary research study. Respondent segmentation is 70% large enterprise >$1B, 23.6% mid-market and 7.3% SMB. This research study is available for purchase online. Vendors covered in this research may contact JoeA@hypatiaresearch to inquire about licensing.

July 10, 2011: Introducing Mint Jutras

Making Enterprise Systems Pay Dividends

Hypatia welcomes Cindy Jutras, Contributing  Senior Research Fellow to provide ERP focused research a la “Mint Jutras” to Hypatia’s subscribers!

Cindy Jutras is a widely recognized expert in analyzing the impact of enterprise applications on business performance. Utilizing over 35 years of corporate experience and specific expertise in manufacturing, supply chain and business performance management. She has spent the past 5 years benchmarking the performance of software solutions in the context of the business benefits of technology.  

Check out her latest research “Don’t Confuse How You Deploy ERP With How You Pay For It” on our online store. 

June 15 2011: Announcing Galaxy Evaluations for Convergence of Enterprise GRC

We are pleased to pre-announce our upcoming primary research study entitled “The Coming Convergence of Enterprise GRC: Benchmarks, Best Practices & Vendor Selection Guide”. This study will publish in early July 2011.

Executive Summary

The market for governance risk and compliance (GRC) software is a maelstrom, the kind of maelstrom that engenders confusion among both customers and vendors. Some vendors offer GRC for the enterprise, known as eGRC, focusing on operational risk management. Others offer what’s known as IT-GRC, focusing on monitoring access and communications for compliance. The fact that both branches of GRC use technology to automate highly complex processes is confusing. The fact that many vendors offer capabilities that overlap into both areas is confusing. The fact that many vendors offer limited pieces of the GRC puzzle is confusing.

In addition, the topic itself covers so many areas, many of which overlap, hampering companies’ efforts. Governance covers not only how data is accessed, protected, and secured, but also involves adherence to everything from partnership contracts and service-level agreements. Risk covers investment in new products, geographic expansion, and exposure to lawsuits and reputation damage. Compliance covers not only industry-specific governmental regulations, such as those for the finance or pharmaceutical industries, but also other government regulations such as maintaining privacy of customer data; add to this compliance to industry regulations found in manufacturing and consumer packaged goods.

Feel free to contact Joe Azzolino for North American based companies or Octavio Diaz for companies with global headquarters based outside North America. Alternatively, visit us at our online store.

June 4, 2011: The Democratization of Enterprise Analytics

Access is Just One Part of Operationalizing Analytics–Having just returned from IBM’s business analytics analyst summit, I wanted to share some of the highlights that are most relevant to Hypatia’s subscribers. Final product names are under NDA until actual product release which in most cases is expected to be in late 2011 and throughout 2012.

  • Personal Desktop Analytics–designed for line of business executives that seek to perform robust analysis without relying on IT. Functionality includes:
    • What if scenario planning
    • Data Exploration & Visualization
    • Import, merge & data enrichment from multiple enterprise/personal data sources onto the desktop
    • Ability to share within work-groups or across the enterprise so that all are viewing the same analysis
    • Support for 20+ languages
  • Integrated Risk Management–one would expect an IT-centric offering to GRC from IBM OpenPages. However, I was impressed with the balanced approach presented during a one on one briefing at the summit. Many GRC solutions provide either a siloed, bottoms-up view, or an aggregated high level top-down view. This solution offers both along with role-based and regulatory templates that can be utilized as accelerators for industry requirements and/or in preparation for external audits.
  • Social Media Analytics–according IBM, is an extension of enterprise customer analytics–a highly pragmatic philosophy in our view and one that we have championed over the last few years. Analytics-savvy organizations understand the power of leveraging multichannel customer analytics to extract customer insight as well as to perform market mix modeling in support of budget optimization. IBM “gets it” that “integrated customer intelligence” is necessary for organizations working in today’s multichannel, customer-centric environment.
  • Decision Management (released 2010) “combines predictive analytics, business rules and optimization to automate the very high volume of small decisions made every day within an organization.” This semi-automated solution provides line of business executives with enough guidance to create pragmatic support for typical business decisions with enough control over which priorities or outcomes should be optimized. (See Hypatia’s “Decision Science & Customer Analytics” ) In short, decision management is a set of preconfigured best practicesthat include business rules, predictive models and an optimization engine.  Examples of pre-configured solutions include:
    • Customer churn prevention
    • Credit-card or claims fraud

Hypatia’s POV: Line of business end-users require a customer intelligence platform that enables them to “capture, manage, analyze and apply customer insight effectively.”

Our Assessment: Much progress has been made on IBM’s vision for Business Analytics Optimization software & service offerings. In light of acquisitions made within the last few years, we expect to see some portfolio rationalization in regards to redundant functionality and/or more integration among customer-facing solutions such as Coremetrics, Unica, and SPSS.

May 4, 2011: Announcing Galaxy Evaluations for Social Community Networks

Hypatia Research Publishes “Benchmarking Social Community Investments: Best Practices for ROI

19% of Companies Expect Social Initiatives to Increase Sales

May 04, 2011 — BOSTON, MA— Industry analyst firm Hypatia Research, LLC announces availability of a primary research study entitled Benchmarking Social Community Investments: Best Practices for ROI detailing current developments, major organizational challenges, business case justification and a detailed assessment of this nascent landscape. Featuring the unique Hypatia GalaxyTM in which 20 enabling technology providers that support social initiatives and business processes are evaluated by 10 interdependent dimensions, the report offers readers actionable insight via 42 pages, 4 case study evaluations and 12 charts, tables and figures.

Hypatia categorizes social community technology as an integrated suite of software tools or online platform architecture designed to facilitate communication with customers, prospects, partners, or the general public at the same time. Unlike person-to-person emails, social channels are generally defined as one-to-many or many-to-many channels. According to Sue Hildreth, senior analyst and co-author of this study, “What differentiates social media platforms isn’t usually one major feature or characteristic. It’s the collection of features and technologies that enable organizations to create rich and flexible social environments for their customers, partners or public brand.”

Leslie Ament, vice president of research and co-author shared, “Organizations invest in social media initiatives for both long term (customer intelligence gathering and analysis) and short term (marketing and sales campaigns) goals. Others have no clear idea as to why a member community was launched on either a website or on a Facebook site–except that everyone else is doing it.” Ament added, “Companies realizing tangible ROI from social initiatives demonstrate several best practice behaviors:

  • There is a strategic business purpose for engaging in social media beyond–everyone is doing it!
  • Successful social media engagement requires an effective strategy, and consistent business processes, execution plans and actionable measurement metrics
  • The social media environment poses challenges that are similar to public and private clouds–thus, socially-adept organizations know that if they fund public communities–their competitors may benefit from the investment as well.”

Over 300 organizations that utilize social community software and services contributed to this primary research study. Industries represented included telecommunications, retail/CPG, manufacturing, financial services, manufacturing, hi-tech and non-profit. Company size representation was 33% small businesses, 33% mid-market and 34% large enterprises. This research study is available at http://store.hypatiaresearch.com/.

For more information, contact Joe Azzolino our Director of Account Services & Business Development at  978-828-7062 or JoeA@HypatiaResearch.com

April 7, 2011: If Moses & Pharaoh Had Social Media Tools?

With the Passover and Easter holidays almost here, we wondered “What Would Moses and Pharaoh Have Done” communication-wise if they had social media tools? (Checkout the very clever video authored by Aish.com)

Enterprise Social Media Investments: ROI Benchmarks & Best Practices,

Hypatia Research LLC is finalizing a groundbreaking primary research study on Social Media investment. While social media is generally acknowledged as being the latest buzz or flavor of the year in terms of customer engagement, interaction and brand reach, organizations struggle to justify investment in regards to tangible returns.

Our research, comprised of over 300 end-user survey responses and more than 30 interviews will detail the top measurement metrics and key performance indicators (KPI’s) used by companies that effectively leverage social media.

Moreover, the study will highlight several current use-case examples, best practices and social media techniques leveraged by successful companies.End-user organizations of social media techniques and technologies interested in purchasing our research are welcome to visit our new online store.

For more information, contact Joe Azzolino our Director of Account Services & Business Development at  978-828-7062 or JoeA@HypatiaResearch.com

April 3, 2011: Announcing Hypatia Go2Market!

HypatiaG2MTM is a comprehensive customer & market intelligence service designed to facilitate an organization’s use of our research findings, benchmarks, market size & forecast, and best practices across industries and geographies.  Subscribing to our growing library of customer intelligence research is an incredibly cost effective way of getting the pragmatic, use-case best practices, industry benchmarks, and performance metrics required to take your organization to the next level.

An Annual Enterprise Corporate Subscription includes:

  • Access to all in-depth primary research;
  • Access to all briefs, webinars, presentations;
  • A complimentary advisory session with a Hypatia expert;
  • Corporate-wide license, with 24×7 web access for an unlimited number of users. With tiered-pricing, our research is affordable for companies of all sizes:
    • Not-for-profit
    • Small Enterprises (SMBs)
    • Mid-Market
    • Large Enterprises

Contact us at Research@HypatiaResearch.com for more information or visit our online store.

March 8th, 2011: Complimentary Webinar!

Retain and grow market share through

Voice of the Customer initiatives

Voice of the Customer (VOC) is the market research process of capturing a customer’s expectations, preferences and aversions and using the analysis to better target customer offers.

Attend this IBM SPSS hosted webinar Effective Voice of the Customer Techniques, Processes and Metrics, to learn how you can turn customervoices into customer choices – creating a measurable strategy to capture and use customer data across your entire organization.

Hear how VOC analysis can help you justify ROI to:

  • Improve customer service and support
  • Gather insight into product pricing, product quality, innovation and ideation
  • Capture customer information for analysis, profiling and segmentation
  • Manage brand reputation

COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR

Effective Voice of the Customer Techniques, Processes and Metrics 

Date: Wednesday, March 22

Time: 2 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. CT)

Presenters:

Leslie Ament, VP, Research & Advisory

Hypatia Research, LLC

Matt Madden, Senior Marketing Manager

IBM SPSS

February 28th, 2011: VOC Research on the Road

Having completed in-depth analysis of over 24 vendors that offer enabling technologies and tools to facilitate multi-channel capture, management, analysis and application of actionable customer insight, Hypatia research has been sharing our findings via webinars, seminars, ROI case studies and a 40 page report.  For information on purchasing or licensing “Operationalizing Voice of the Customer: Maturity Models, Benchmarks & Best Practices” for syndication, contact: research@HypatiaResearch.com orZGR@HypatiaResearch.com.

To preview the Executive Summary and Table of Contents click here:

January 12, 2011: Accenture Takes Page From IBM Playbook

Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company seems to be following in the footsteps of IBM by turning to software solutions and services as a  means of growing its considerable portfolio of offerings.  In February of 2010, the firm announced a strategic alliance with SAS  designed to expand their strategic relationship by jointly developing, implementing and managing next-generation analytics solutions. Moreover, the companies declared intentions to jointly invest in the development of solutions focused on industry-specific predictive analytics applications, starting with the financial services, healthcare and public service sectors; as well as cross-industry solutions in the customer and enterprise management domains. Leveraging SAS software solutions, Accenture plans to deliver advanced analytical capabilities as a managed service.

On November 10, 2010, Accenture acquired Beijing Genesis Interactive Technology Co., Ltd. (Mogenesis), a Beijing-based company that provides mobile software outsourcing services and solution licensing for companies in China. On January 10, 2011, Accenture completed acquisition of customer relationship management company and mobility software firm CAS Computer of Germany.  Although details of the financial aspect of the deal were not available it is expected that 234 CAS employees–located in multiple locations, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States and Australia–will be joining Accenture as a result of this acquisition.

Why is this of interest to Hypatia?

It is expected that CAS will be folded under Accenture’s ever-evolving software business division but will continue to operate as a separate business unit.  Since SAS offers comprehensive CRM functionality through its Customer Intelligence Suite, Hypatia asserts that Accenture targeted CAS for its intellectual property resources and global SMB and Mid-Market customer base.  On November 2, 2010, acquired Knowledge Rules Inc. a Philadelphia-based consulting company that focuses exclusively on implementing and integrating business solutions using Pegasystems’ Business Process Management (BPM) software.  Pegasystems, is a developer of on-premise and SaaS/Cloud-based business process management and CRM software solutions. Accenture evidently plans to expand its expertise, capabilities and service offerings in the customer management arena.

This growth strategy–via a rapid down-market entre–differs greatly from Accenture’s traditional large enterprise customer base. It also diverges from the strategies engaged in by other consulting firms with strong IT chops. For example,  Cognizant, Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG, PWC and others typically wrap business consulting services around software solutions such as Governance, Risk, Compliance & Security, or wrap performance management consulting services around Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing software. While Accenture will continue to bundle business consulting with software solutions–similar to the aforementioned competitors–investment in its dedicated software business (CAS will become a part of Accenture Software) through acquisitions such as CAS, will set Accenture apart.

According to Accenture, the firm intends to add retail specific functionality that is currently lacking–such as digital merchandising, distributor management and analytics, to CAS CRM software and plans to focus on expanding in Latin America, China and India specifically.  Currently, CAS offers industry solutions (excluding retail) for the following business sectors:

  •      CAS IT Services, CRM for software producers and IT service providers.
  •      CAS Consulting, CRM for consulting companies, banking, financial services
  •      CAS Research, CRM for research, education and scientific institutions
  •      CAS netWorks, CRM for member administration for organizations & associations
  •      CAS Drive, CRM for car dealerships
  •      CAS carBid, Auction platform for cars

Against the backdrop of IBM recently scooping up numerous software vendors with marketing strength such as Coremetrics, Unica, and SPSS and Oracle acquiring ATG, Accenture’s recent acquisitions and hiring spree sourcing interactive and digital marketing professionals signals a comprehensive, defensive strategy calculated to maintain and potentially expand its market share in comprehensive customer management services.  Is the market ready for Accenture to offer customer intelligence, customer management and analytics as a managed service? Accenture’s investment strategies in software, consulting services and analytics seem to predict a highly lucrative market. @Hypatia_18

January 2011: May this year bring peace, good health & financial stability to all!

Benchmarking Social Media Investments: How Leaders Track Tangible ROI

Take the Survey!

Challenge: Enhancing the customer experience, and mining increasingly granular levels of customer data–both behavioral (interactional) and historical (transactional) for targeted segmentation and/or precision marketing initiatives often requires new processes, new metrics and new ways of measuring return on investment.  What best practices should organizations utilize to exploit and to justify return on social media investment?

Focus: Taking a survey-based approach, Hypatia will uncover the selection, deployment and assessment processes top performers utilize when leveraging social media.

Outcome: Our research will benchmark performance as well as provide a Hypatia GalaxyTM assessment of the vendor landscape that companies should consider when evaluating options for social media investment.

Take the Survey!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with Hypatia Research, LLC. All qualified respondents will receive a complimentary summary of this primary research study. Please provide a company email address and phone number in order to receive your study. Follow us on Twitter: @Hypatia_18  / http://twitter.com/#!/Hypatia_18

December 17, 2010: Deloitte Snatches Bargain--Positions for Ireland Growth

Just as Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan on Tuesday, announced the harshest budget in the 90-year history of the state on December 8, 2010–“Our economy is still in a weakened condition and our self confidence as a nation has been shaken,” Lenihan said. Deloitte announced acquisition of Irish consultancy Curach Consulting on December 14, 2010.

Curach Consulting, with annual revenues estimated at $9M USD provides business advisory, delivery and diagnostic services to a range of clients in sectors such as financial services, technology and public sectors. Focus areas include: IT strategy and architecture, business intelligence and performance management, as well as project management and customer channel management. This acquisition brings Deloitte Ireland’s consulting & advisory practice to nearly 400 consultants.

Why is Hypatia interested?  With overlapping business advisory and IT transformation expertise–specifically in customer & channel management consulting services–this acquisition strategically positions Deloitte as the new go-to management consulting firm in Ireland.  While a seemingly contrarian move, given that many consulting firms of late focus on IT and business advisory as a loss-leader and IT outsourcing or IT managed services as a cash cow, Deloitte is competing on its strengths in multiple business advisory practices coupled with solid IT advisory and delivery services.

A contrarian industry analyst firm such as Hypatia, always appreciates company. @Hypatia_18

VOC: Most Valuable Information Sources

December 8, 2010:Voice of the Customer

Tools & Techniques Continue to Evolve

With Customer Intelligence, Convergence is the New Operational Situation!

Voice of the customer (VOC) market research technique defined as the process of capturing a customer’s expectations, preferences and aversions. Ideally, Voice of the Customer analysis produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs that is prioritized by company objectives or strategic goals. Additionally, VOC typically consists of both qualitative and quantitative research processes.

Figure 1 copyright 2010 Hypatia Research, LLC emphasizes the nascent impact that social media currently has on VOC initiatives.  Many organizations are in “listen” or “understand” or even “categorize” mode, but at best, utilize the following 5 VOC information sources in a siloed approach.

For example, customer satisfaction and loyalty surveys are largely quantitative in nature, and are analyzed and reported on via numbers or percentages. Contextual information such as survey verbatim, online content and emails between organizations and their customers are seldom analyzed or even shared with the same job functions/roles that perform quantitative customer satisfaction and loyalty survey analysis.  Moreover, mapping unique customer identities from quantitative data with unstructured information is either performed manually or is nearly impossible at present.

To view the entire research article visit: B-Eye-Network @http://www.b-eye-network.com/view/14784

For more information on vendor selection criteria, research products (Our 2010 research study Operationalizing Voice of the Customer: Maturity Models, Benchmarks & Best Practices) or scheduling an analyst briefing, contact: ZGR@HypatiaResearch.com or Research@HypatiaResearch.com.

December 1, 2010: Is Your Organization Experiencing - Analysis Paralysis?

In performing advisory work with clients, Hypatia often focuses on developing business processes and techniques for understanding how to take action on operational reports and customer analytics.  Most organizations we advise are drowning in data & operational reports and yet remain in what we term “analysis paralysis”. These companies are unable to systematically create and take action on the intelligence provided by their own analysis.

So, for anyone in a similar situation, ask yourselves:

  • Why are we producing reports and which role or business team actually reads them?
  • Is there an internal team tasked with creating insight from enterprise or department level reports?
  • Which role(s) are responsible for turning insight into pragmatic action?
  • Will this insight be acted upon in a timely manner–i.e. in time to take corrective or proactive action?
  • How do we ensure that our action items are aligned with our company’s corporate strategy and objectives?
  • Are employees KPI’s and incentives aligned with corporate objectives?
  • How should we prioritize our resources–both internal and external?
  • Who is ultimately accountable for taking action on analytics?

We invite our readers to contact us for vendor / service provider briefings, to share best practices and to leverage our expertise.

Nov.4, 2010: Copyright Infringement, Lack of Innovative Ideas or Compliment?

On Nov 4, 2010 in a Forrester Research publication entitled: “Customer Intelligence Trends To Watch In 2011: CI Professionals Are Fighting Wars On Multiple Fronts In Order To Evolve” (authored by Dave Frankland, Fatemeh Khatibloo, Joe Stanhope, Zach Hofer-Shall with Suresh Vittal, Emily Murphy, & Michael J. Grant)m  Forrester used (without prior permission) Hypatia’s copyrighted 2001 definition of Customer Intelligence:

“Customer Intelligence is defined as the process of capturing, managing, analyzing & applying customer insight to enhance performance & to accelerate growth.” –copyright 2001 Hypatia Research, LLC.

As exemplified in an excerpt from Forrester’s executive summary: “As Customer Intelligence (CI) matures, CI professionals must adapt how they capture, integrate and manage, analyze, and apply knowledge about their customers.”

The noticeable difference between the two is the addition of the word “integrate”–a subcategory of manage as in to prepare the captured information for analysis.

Copyright infringement, lack of innovative ideas on the part of Forrester or a compliment for Hypatia Research? Perhaps this exemplifies that great analysis and unique visions come in small, budget-friendly, industry-analyst boutique packages?

–Team HypatiaResearch, LLC

Henry Stewart Professional Development Event: Marketing Analytics

When:

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010 From 8:00 am until 5:30 pm

Where:

Map this event » John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center 40 Trinity Place Boston, Massachusetts  02116

Contact:

Julie Kerry (juliek@henrystewart.co.uk)

About the Program

This conference is designed for all those in Marketing, Customer Insight, Customer Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Market Research and Database Analysis interested in knowing how to understand better what the data are telling them and how that knowledge will impact ROI.

Conference Chairs:

  • Hannah Smalltree (Editorial Director of SearchAnalytics, SearchCRM and SearchDataManagement),
  • Leslie Ament (VP Customer Intelligence Research at Hypatia Research)

Join us for presentations and conversations on this topic with internationally acclaimed speakers:

  • Jonathan Copulsky (CMO of Deloitte)
  • Jean-Paul Isson (VP, Global BI & Predictive Analytics of Monster)
  • Dr Rex Davis (Director at Dunnhumby)
  • Marianne Slight (VP, Product Management & Product Marketing at Picis)
  • Nauzar Vimadalal (Manager of Marketing Operations at Staples)
  • Dr Steve Gallant (Director of Data Mining Services for KXEN)
  • David Hastings (Director, Advanced Business Analytics COE, Retail, Hospitality, Travel & Transportation, at Teradata)
  • Alberto Roldan (Enterprise Analytics Practice – North America at Cognizant Technologies)
  • Amit Boob, (Practice Leader, Analytics Advisory Services: Retail, CPG, Transportation & Government for Wipro Technologies).

Conference details: http://www.hsconferences.com/page10431954.aspx

October 11, 2010: MovieTickets.com Case Study: How to Lose Customers & Revenues through Poor Customer Support!

Typically when Hypatia provides followers with business case study evaluations, they exemplify best practices, customer success strategies or extremely positive examples of business return on investment. However, my graduate professor of research methodologies was fond of admonishing his students with “A negative outcome is as much a key finding or take-away as a positive outcome.”  So, MovieTickets.com, consider this a teachable moment!

Company:

Founded in 2000, MovieTickets.com, considers itself the worldwide leader in advance movie ticketing, where you can buy movie tickets and search movie showtimes for your favorite movie theaters. According to the company’s description, visitors/customers can also rate and review movies, view movie trailers, read critics reviews, keep up on the latest movie and entertainment news, view photos and much more. Approximately 57% of the company’s employees have more than 10 years of business experience.The company’s composition by role/function comprises:

  • ~40% R&D
  • ~40% Administrative
  • ~12% Sales & Marketing
  • ~8% Executive Leadership

Interestingly, not even 1% of MovieTickets.com employees have role/functions described as customer service, customer support, chief customer officer, customer experience manager etc…and that may be at the root cause for this case study evaluation?

Challenge:

Technical issues with the website created frustration for customers wishing to purchase tickets on 10/10/10–a fortuitous day for marriage–but not it seems for MovieTickets.com.  The online order entry system was unable to recognize passwords, allow new accounts to be created, or to accept purchases for selected seats offered as available through its online seating chart.  Frustrated customers repeatedly contacted customer support numerous times and were provided with lame canned responses that did nothing to address the root cause of the technical failure.  More importantly, customer service did not provide appropriate alternative options for resolving the issue of customers wanting to purchase tickets.  Three examples of poor customer support on the part of MovieTickets.com are provided below:

Inquiry:

Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 To: Movietickets Customer Service Subject: Website Customer Service Form Submission

Topic: Technical Problem

Comments: Password problem.  Tried all passwords, but system would not take. Nor would system allow me to create new account.  You lost sales due to technical problems!!!!!

Email or call customer service to resolve any issues. Refer to your order by the tracking number.

Tracking # 1337347854-72177323  /   customerservice@movietickets.com   /   1-888-440-8457 Movie

The Metropolitan Opera: Capriccio

Response:

Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 Subject: FW: Website Customer Service Form Submission

Movietickets.com and Moviewatcher.com are two separate websites and as such require two separate logins

Open a new browser.  Go to www.movietickets.com to access your account.  Sign in to your account via the My account  or edit Account link located within the top navigation area, enter your email address and your password is password.  Once you have access to your account, please change your password.

E-mail: amqm-chm@hotmail.com

Updated Password: xxxxxxxxx

Once logged in, underneath the Account Information column; click on change and you can edit your information by simply changing what is currently in the “email address” field or the “password field” and “verify password” field. Click on the “Update Account” button and your new information will be saved.

To complete a purchase or use MovieTickets.com search functionality, javascript must be enabled in your browser. JavaScript is used in several instances, such as when a search is performed, when a search is performed, when you open a trailer window, error checking, or to display certain banner advertisements. Cookies are used to manage the MovieTickets.com login

Amber Wolff

Movietickets.com Customer Service Representative

mailto:customerservice@movietickets.com

http://www.movietickets.com

Please include all messages with future correspondence.

Inquiry:

Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 To: Movietickets Customer Service Subject: RE: Website Customer Service Form Submission

Now another problem…I was planning to purchase 8 tickets! See screenshot of seating chart!

Response:

We are experiencing technical difficulties with The Showcase, we will send this issue over to our helpdesk for resolution.  Please try your transaction again later or select the best available option, we are sorry for any inconveniences this may have 

Amber Wolff

Movietickets.com Customer Service Representative

mailto:customerservice@movietickets.com

http://www.movietickets.com

Please include all messages with future correspondence.

Inquiry:

To: Movietickets Customer Service Subject:RE: Website Customer Service Form Submission Importance:High

This is extremely POOR customer service.  I tried 6X more last nite and today, and am now told this opera – Capriccio by Strauss is SOLD OUT for the lux seating.   Why should I continue to waste my time when MovieTickets.com doesn’t care about customer loyalty???  Your customer churn costs will eat up your profit margins and then you will wish you had responded to  3 separate customer service emails. I will blog about this.

Email or call customer service to resolve any issues. Refer to your order by the tracking number.Tracking # 1337347854-72177323  /   customerservice@movietickets.com   /  1-888-440-8457

The Metropolitan Opera: Capriccio

Theater:

Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place

  • Tickets: 2 Lux Level 21+

Total: $71.00 USD

Printable Ticket: You have chosen to print your tickets at home

Tracking #:1337347854-72177323

Order Date:10/11/2010 1:13:26 PM

Order StatusPURCHASE FAILED

Response: 24 hours later

Our records indicate that performance was locked and no longer available for online ticket sales. We only sell a certain number of tickets online the theater sell the remaining balance.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Tracking Number:  1337347854-72177323

Order Time (Eastern):  10/11/2010 1:13:26 PM

——————————————————————————–

Order was not processed successfully:

Performance locked – no longer available for sale – card not charged, tickets not reserved. 

——————————————————————————–

Theater: Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place

Movie: Metropolitan Opera: Capriccio, The

Show Date: 4/23/2011

Show Time: 13:00

——————————————————————————– 

Ticket Type Qty Price

Lux Level 21+ 2 $34.50

——————————————————————————–

Ikama P

Movietickets.com Customer Service

mailto:customerservice@movietickets.com

http://www.movietickets.com

Please include all messages with future correspondence

Result:

Instead of retaining their segment of high value customersthose that regularly purchase LUX seats at $35 per seatupwards of 8 times per year rather than the standard $20 seats for the same movie presentation, MovieTickets.com chose not to offer appropriate support that would have earned these profitable customers’ loyalty.

Additionally, instead of offering to reserve two tickets until the online order functionality was fixed or offering to take the customer’s order and credit card information over the phone, MovieTickets.com chose to not addressthe root cause of 3 separate emailsabout customer service and support issues from a single customer. 

Moreover, once the show is question was sold out, MovieTickets.com could have offered dissatisfied customers [those who tried to purchase online but were unable to do so for technical reasons on the part of MTC] a discount or preferred seating on their second choice for LUX seats at a future movie presentation. But evidently, MovieTickets.com doesn’t seem to care about customer loyalty or satisfaction…and soon, MTC may not need to care about customers at all…because they may not have enough to remain in business.

P.S. We found a fantastic version of this opera with a stellar cast on NetFlix.  So not only will MovieTickets.com lose our $72 for tickets…we can sip our own bottle of wine with a home-cooked dinner at less than 1/4 the cost of the LUX restaurant food/drinks offered…and even invite a few friends over as well.

Capriccio / Strauss

In 18th-century France, a poet (Simon Keenlyside) and a composer (David Kuebler) debate which of their artistic contributions is more important while a widowed countess (Kiri Te Kanawa) listens to their arguments and considers which one to choose as her lover. Staged by the San Francisco Opera, this lavish one-act conversation piece was the final opera penned by German composer Richard Strauss. Maestro Donald Runnicles conducts the orchestra.

Cast: Tatiana Troyanos, Kiri Te Kanawa, David Kuebler, Simon Keenlyside, Donald Runnicles

Director: Peter Maniura

Genres: Music & Musicals, Opera & Operetta, Classical Music

Format: DVD

September 27, 2010: Vendor Rankings for Voice of the Customer Solutions

We are pleased to announce our new vendor evaluation & rankings methodology–Hypatia’s GalaxyTM. Hypatia, a professor of astronomy, philosophy and mathematics, would have been gratified to learn that our team decided to trademark our evaluation methodology after her.

Vendors have been evaluated according to 10 weighted criteria, inclusive of number of customers, and product strategy or vision. 7 out of 22 vendors evaluated have made it into Hypatia’s orbit. One third of the remaining vendors are closing in on Hypatia’s GalaxyTM, while another third have quite a few light years yet to travel. Can you identify the leaders?

Best,

Team Hypatia Research, LLC

Research@HypatiaResearch.com 

P.S. Hypatia of Alexandria (c.370-415 AD), invented several scientific devices–the astrolabe, plane-sphere, and hydro-scope (hydrometer). These instruments were used to calculate the distance between planets, the position of visible stars at any time of the year, and the gravity of liquids respectively. 

September 20, 2010: Voice of the Customer Practices Lack Maturity at Most Organizations!

Investigating how companies develop and execute voice of the customer (VOC) initiatives was a real eye-opener for us!

We initially thought mature organizations would have more sophisticated processes, measurement or analysis criteria, and a proactive course of action for various scenarios encountered. In short, our hypothesis was that in mature organizations and/or large enterprises (>$1b), VOC initiatives would be “operationalized” across the enterprise.

Operationalizing Voice of the Customer: Maturity Models, Best Practices & Benchmarks for Turning VOC into Customer Insight

However, in creating our maturity model, benchmarks and best practices, we found a wide range of procedures, organizational structures and techniques in use among the 400+ companies interviewed and surveyed. Nonetheless, we identified four main maturity categories that fit a majority of organizations.

  • Level One: Nascent VOC Processes
  • Level Two: Limited VOC Processes
  • Level Three: Operational VOC Processes
  • Level Four: Visionary VOC Processes

More importantly, our study provides actionable recommendations on how companies currently benchmarked at Levels 1 through 3 can improve their return on VOC investment by migrating to the next maturity level.

We invite our subscribers and vendor community to contact Jeff Baker: ( jeffb@HypatiaResearch.com) to order your copy of our benchmarks, best practices, and vendor evaluation research study.

August 31, 2010: NEW RESEARCH!

Operationalizing Voice of the Customer (VOC): Benchmarks & Best Practices

Challenge: An organizations’ stakeholders often communicate with companies through mechanisms such as blogs, call centers, consumer generated media, verbatim service technician notes and survey write-in fields. In fact, many innovations in customer service, product enhancements and promotions have come through these ad hoc or contextual communications with customers. Moreover, public companies are beginning to leverage discovery & insight technologies for brand and reputation management initiatives. Companies value the anecdotal feedback gained through customer advisory boards or focus groups, but rarely create a systematic process for analyzing and acting on this valuable information.

Focus: How do high performing organizations “read the tea leaves” and operationalize valuable contextual customer insight?  Our research will benchmark performance across key marketing functions: brand & corporate reputation management, product marketing, customer service, media relations, and customer retention, acquisition and profitability.

Outcome: Our research will offer readers Hypatia’s GalaxyTM guide for selection of the right tools, services and enabling technologies as well as explore best practices currently in use by forward-thinking companies in capturing, analyzing and operationalizing voice of the customer intelligence.

DOWNLOAD THE ABSTRACT AND CONTACT JEFF BAKER AT JEFFB@HYPATIARESEARCH.COM FOR LICENSING OPTIONS.

August 3, 2010:Hypatia Tapped to Evaluate 2010 CRM Market Leader Awards

Clients & Colleagues:

For the third year in a row, Hypatia Research, LLC is honored to have been selected to evaluate leading IT consultancies, service providers and software vendors in the Customer Management, Business Intelligence/Analytics, Marketing Automation, and Sales Force Automation categories. Thank you all for sharing your time with Hypatia Research this year!  We hope to continue our interactive dialogues!

Winners will be formally announced in CRM Magazine’s August 6th issue, but here are the highlights:

  • Consultancies – Winner: Deloitte Leaders: Accenture, Capgemini, IBM Global Business Services, Infosys Ones to Watch: Innoveer
  • Enterprise Suite CRM – Winner: Salesforce.com Leaders: Microsoft, Oracle, RightNow Technologies, SAP One to Watch: NetSuite

 

  • Midmarket Suite CRM – Winner: Salesforce.com Leaders: Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle, RightNow Technologies One to Watch: Sage
  • Small-Business Suite CRM – Winner: Salesforce.com Leaders: Maximizer Software, NetSuite, Oracle, SugarCRM One to Watch: Consona
  • Sales Force Automation – Winner: Salesforce.com Leaders: Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle, RightNow Technologies One to Watch: Sage
  • Incentive Management – Winner: Xactly Leaders: Callidus Software, Merced Systems, Synygy, Varicent Software One to Watch: Softscape
  • Marketing Solutions – Winner: Unica Leaders: Alterian, Aprimo, Eloqua, SAS Institute One to Watch: Oracle

 

  • Business Intelligence – Winner: IBM Leaders: Oracle, SAP BusinessObjects, SAS Institute, Tibco One to Watch: Microsoft

 

  • Data Quality – Winner: Informatica Leaders: DataFlux (SAS Institute), IBM, SAP, Trillium Software (Harte-Hanks) One to Watch: Talend

 

Please contact us [JeffB@HypatiaResearch.com] for permission in regards to quote reviews and other media /promotional outreach.

July 23, 2010: New Research in August!

Operationalizing Voice of the Customer: Best Practices & Benchmarks for Turning Enterprise Feedback Management into Customer Insight

Organizations’ stakeholders often communicate via blogs, call centers, consumer generated media, surveys and service call verbatims. In fact, many innovations in customer service, product enhancements or merchandising tips have come through these ‘ad hoc’ or social media communications directly with customers.

Companies value this ‘anecdotal feedback’ gained through advisory boards, focus groups or contextual communications, but rarely do they create a systematic process for analyzing and acting on this valuable intelligence. Learn how high performing companies “read the tea leaves” and operationalize valuable customer insight. This research features benchmarks, best practices and Hypatia’s GalaxyTM guide for selecting the right tools, services and enabling technologies.

Email JeffB@Hypatiaresearch.com to inquire about licensing options or advisory services.

July 5, 2010: Success Strategies in Information Management & Business Analytics

This 2010 awards program recognizes providers of Information Management & Business Analytics solutions, tools and management consulting services. Vendors may submit up to 3 customer entry forms for consideration. Alternatively, clients may also nominate vendors and professional service providers for Information Management & Business Analytics projects completed during 2009-2010.

Nomination forms will be accepted through July 30, 2010. Entries will be judged according to both soft and hard performance metrics.

     Award winning entries will be published in Hypatia’s upcoming “Success Strategies” study. Historically, less than 10% of all entries are selected for these awards.

Customer and vendor briefings are now being scheduled. Contact us to request a customer / vendor nomination form, share best practices, and to update us on product launches, success stories and lessons learned.

Email Research@Hypatiaresearch.com for a nomination form or download one to submit your entry!!!

July 4, 2010: Happy 4th to All

Please feel free to vote on in honor of fourth of July andinfluence our 2010-2012 research agenda.

Take our poll!

June 20, 2010: Hypatia Tapped as Advisor to Analytics Conference

Hypatia Research, LLC is honored to have been selected as the industry analyst adviser to a Customer Intelligence-focused conference scheduled for November 10, 2010 in Boston,MA entitled:

Marketing Analytics: Gain the Knowledge to Control Performance

This Henry Stewart produced conference, uniquely designed for the business executive rather than IT professionals, will cover marketing analytics from Precision Marketing to Customer Intelligence during a one-day “Boot-Camp”. Speakers and panelists will present 30 minute interactive sessions on topics such as:

  • Customer Segmentation: Who Achieved What, When and How?
  • Web Analytics: Beyond the Hype!
  • Realizing Tangible Benefits from Marketing & Advanced Analytics: Customer Success Stories
  • Cross-Sell, Up-sell, and Influence: The Virtues of Affinity Analysis
  • Show & Tell with Predictive Modeling: Clients Speak!
  • Exploiting Customer Data with Advanced Marketing Analytics
  • How to Enhance Analytics using External Data: Presentation and Q&A
  • Advanced Marketing Analytics + Customer Intelligence = ROI: Lessons Learned in the Trenches: Panel Discussion

For information on sponsorships or registration, please contact Julie Kerry, Senior Producer, Henry Stewart Conferences at: Julie@hspublications.co.uk.

June 11, 2010: Jeffry T. Baker Joins Team Hypatia, Seasoned Business Executive Will Oversee Client Relationships & Business Development

Our new Vice President of business development brings over 15 years of expertise at technology companies such as Oracle, Business Objects, Sybase, Ingres and Aberdeen Group/Harte-Hanks. Previous sales management roles have ranged from Senior Account Director, Regional Sales Director and Director of Marketing to Director, Global Business Development.

Jeff holds a BS degree in Biology from SUNY Brockport, NY. A former New Yorker, (and closet Yankees fan), Jeff enjoys following Boston’s best teams and preparing family feasts in his spare time. Jeff can be reached at: JeffB@HypatiaResearch.com.

May 24, 2010: Agora - The Story of Hypatia Makes it to the Big Screen!

Agora, which opens in New York on Friday, is a big-budget two-hour Roman epic that features Ms. Weisz (Oscar Winner for “The Constant Gardener, 2005) as Hypatia, the Neo-Platonist philosopher and astronomer-mathematician credited with inventing the hydrometer and the plane astrolabe.

Agora, whose title refers to the public square and marketplace where ideas were debated in the ancient Greek world, is directed by the Spanish-Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Amenabar, who wrote the screenplay with Mateo Gil. He originally envisioned a movie about the history of astronomy from Aristotle to Einstein but changed direction when his research brought him to Hypatia and the period just before the start of the Dark Ages.

“She was an exceptional woman, a virginal intellectual who managed to impose herself as an important figure, a reference point in the philosophical and political life of Alexandria during a crucial epoch” Mr. Amenabar said. See full article by Larry Rohter of the NYT at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/movies/23agora.html

We can’t wait to see the story of our namesake…Team Hypatia

May 12, 2010: Tekrati Cites Hypatia Research, LLC as Business Intelligence & Analytics Influencer to Watch!

TechTarget acquires BeyeNETWORK, a channel for many BI influencers

Barbara French, Tekrati

Whenever you look for the purchase decision influencers in business intelligence (BI) and business analytics, you end up looking at the trade press. And there’s some noteworthy news on that front this week: media giant TechTarget announced that they’ve acquired the BeyeNETWORK properties and network of experts. TechTarget plans to leverage BeyeNETWORK experts to build out their footprint in BI via the new SearchBusinessAnalytics.com destination site.

Regardless how this M&A looks once the dust settles, it will have a definite impact on the influence wielded by the BeyeNETWORK experts.

Many of these experts are solo or small-group professionals with deep subject matter expertise. The group includes analysts, consultants, lecturers and authors. They tend to have closely held relationships with their clients and industry contacts. They influence purchases, implementation, and best practices around enterprise business intelligence, data warehousing and analytics software. They engage with the market, and formulate and promote their own opinions. They can also play important roles in the influencer ecosystem as intermediaries — bringing the viewpoints of more powerful influencers, such as vendors, directly to their own contacts.

If you’re in the BI market, monitor BeyeNETWORK and TechTarget over the next 3 to 6 months to see which experts get more play, which get less, which get lost, and any new experts attracted by the larger combined media site. Keep your focus on the individual influencers, not the BeyeNETWORK brand itself.

For example, some of the BeyeNETWORK experts I recommend putting on your watch list: Merv Adrian, Lou Agosta, Leslie Ament, Steve Dine, Neil Raden, Craig Shiff, James Taylor, and Colin White.

April 2, 2010: An Executive's Guide to Customer Data Analytics, Part II

Improve customer data analytics: Tips for using metrics, technologies

Implementing customer data analytics requires attention to methodologies, metrics and technologies.

Before trying to secure additional budget or resources, audit all customer-related performance metrics along with the methodologies or formulas used for each. For example, does your organization capture:

  •   Campaign metrics based on uplift?
  •   Trade promotion results based on single products or multiple product attachment rates?
  •   Percentage change in customer complaints?
  •   Percentage change in customer migration rates?
  •   Customer risk profile?
  •   Net promoter score?
  •   Customer recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) value metrics?
  •   Customer profitability per customer on a quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis?
  •   Customer lifetime value (CLV) metrics?

The holy grail of customer analytics is closely tied to a virtuous circle of closed-loop performance metrics — which is next to impossible to accomplish in a multi-channel consumer environment. However, it is highly possible to improve an organization’s customer analytics processes with a goal of enhancing the customers’ experience and corporate profitability. To do this, organizations must define and standardize performance metrics at the corporate level.

Corporate-level agreement on how metrics are defined and calculated is as necessary as enterprise standardization of data dimensions across data marts. Failure to do this renders any report analysis and insight derived wildly inaccurate. Do you want your senior executives making critical decisions based on highly inaccurate information?

Some examples from our research at Hypatia Research LLC include:

  • An office supply retailer utilized specific marketing metrics to calculate “uplift” from a trade promotion run on printer ink and internally announced the promotion as a rousing success. However, at the profitability level, the company actually lost revenues on the promotion as market-basket analysis revealed that the promotion did not influence shoppers to buy other products with higher profit margins. In short, they paid for expensive media advertising, store signage, direct marketing and reduced the price of printer ink below cost and realized a negative return on both trade promotion investment and product sales.
  • Another company utilized activity-based costing (ABC) as the preferred methodology for calculating product category profitability. However, Hypatia found that one team included the actual cost of both production and raw materials in their calculation while other departments added in an average cost of sales per product SKU.

Many industry associations, market research firms and industry analyst firms publish industry best practices and/or benchmarks that can be used for guidance. Understanding industry norms, maturity models[1] and best practices is a good starting point for organizations that want to improve their customer analytics capabilities. More…

[1] C.2009 Hypatia Research, LLC. “Decision Science & Customer Analytics: Competitive Advantage or Necessary to Compete?”

March 20, 2010: An Executive's Guide to Customer Data Analytics, Part 1

Exploiting the value of customer data with analytics

Attaining true “customer intelligence” is both art and science –requiring attention to technology, including customer data analytics, processes and organizational mindset.

Prior to the recent global melt-down of 2008-2009, many executives believed that marketing, branding, customer interactions and social media investments were mostly about creating buzz around an organization’s product or service offering — an intangible investment that didn’t require justification. The new post-recession paradigm calls for senior executives and marketers alike to create alignment between key performance indicators (KPIs), marketing performance metrics, corporate goals and shareholder earnings in order to prove value and remain relevant to multiple stakeholders. Hypatia Research LLC studies confirm that more than 50% of marketing departments, sales and business development professionals, and customer service and support teams continue to be tasked and measured in a non-integrated, often ad hoc, fashion. In short, companies actually committed to measuring marketing performance continue to rely on a patchwork of linear and non-integrated metrics. more…

Don’t miss the other installments in Hypatia’s customer data analytics guide

January / February 2010

Now that IBM has acquired both SPSS AND Initiate Systems software vendors with advanced analytical AND data integration/quality capabilities should re-evaluate their go2market strategies in order to compete more effectively.

In its recent decision to partner closely with Accenture, SAS has already determined that leveraging the comprehensive services of a management consulting firm will allow them to gain market share without incurring additional costs.

Hypatia believes that more software vendors will adopt a similar approach in 2010 and beyond.

December 1, 2009: Glad to see that Forrester Research is keeping up with independent boutique firms.

Hypatia Research, LLC, which focuses exclusively on Customer Intelligence Research, published and put forth this research finding [including that Marketing is both an Art + Science] back in 2006!

Nevertheless, we decided to share this very interesting point of view by Forrester’s Dave Frankland below.

Team Hypatia Research, LLC

Will the next generation of CMOs come from the customer intelligence discipline? 

Posted by Neil Davey on Mon, 23/11/2009 – 16:54

In the not-too-distant future, organisations looking to fill the post of chief marketing officer (CMO) may not peruse the marketing department for the perfect candidate. According to a study by Forrester Research, the next generation of CMOs will in fact hail from the customer intelligence discipline.

The report, “The Intelligent Approach to Customer Intelligence”, suggests that changes in consumer behaviour, and a subsequent struggle to understand customers, will force businesses to put greater stock in customer intelligence.

Author of the report, Dave Frankland, describes this as “injecting science into the art of marketing”. He points to comments by Andreas Weigend, Amazon’s former chief scientist, that individuals will generate more data this year than in the combined history of mankind. An incredible statement to make –but one that bears contemplation.

In his blog, Frankland says: “Customer Intelligence (CI) professionals sit at the nexus of this data explosion, while also dealing with tectonic shifts in customer behaviour, and an increased demand for marketing accountability.”

November 2, 2009

Hypatia Research, LLC was pleased to be asked to adjudicate the 2009 Vision Awards  sponsored by the BeyeNETWORK. This year’s winners include:

2009 Vision Award for Business Impact Winners

  •  Analytics: Kognitio for TRA, Inc.
  •  Business Intelligence: Hitachi Consulting for Schumacher Group
  •  Business Intelligence: Teradata Corporation for Freescale Semiconductor
  •  Data Access, Integration & Executability:Initiate Systems, Ochsner Health System
  •  Operational BI: MicroStrategy for Nygard International
  •  Performance Management: Actuate for St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital
  •  Software-as-a-Service BI: Adaptive Planning for Pep Boys

“Congratulations to all the recipients of this award,” states Ron Powell, cofounder of the BeyeNETWORK. “In this time of limited budgets and stretched IT resources, it is reassuring to know that successful companies are taking the necessary steps to improve the way their organizations derive business value from the wealth of data available to them.”

Special kudos to Teradata and Actuate who won this award in their respective categories for the second consecutive year.

October 6, 2009

Companies that use customer interaction tools such as CRM, Marketing Automation and online self-service often ask for guidance on how to develop rules, priorities and even dimensions for use in algorithms. Hypatia’s top three rules for development of customer interaction strategies are:

  1. Know Thy Customer: For Every Action, There is an Equal & Opposite Reaction[1]
  2. Determine Objectives & Goals First
  3. Ensure Your Information is Accurate Before Creating Interaction Rules & Techniques

Once the foundational work of customer data management has been completed (See Customer Data Management: How Leaders Attain Tangible ROI, c.2008 Hypatia Research, LLC), companies need to determine why, how and when customer insight should be exploited.

In short, develop a plan that takes into account current resource and technical capabilities versus future desired outcomes based upon enabling technologies available. Certain analytical tools lend themselves to specific real-time customer interactions such as reduction of customer migration or fraud, while others are better suited for long-range customer issues such loyalty and lifecycle management.

Remember, for every customer interaction, there is an equal & opposite reaction!

For example, GMAC Insurance, a subsidiary of GMAC Financial Services, provides auto insurance policies through multiple channels — direct to customer, web self service, and through automotive dealerships.  The company became an early adopter of online customer interaction tactics.

Read our case study to learn more! Best, Team Hypatia Research, LLC 

[1] Sir Isaac Newton, Third Law of  Motion