Our Ideas - Strategy
You’ve likely heard something like this statistic: 70–90% of your buyer’s journey is complete before they engage with sales.* That trend has tremendous implications for how we approach marketing, but few organizations—especially large, well-established companies—have figured out how to evolve their strategy in response. It definitely means focusing on the digital channels through which your potential buyers are doing their research. But it actually starts with rethinking what has always been the most fundamental piece of your marketing efforts: your... Read More
After each of my four surgeries at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I was told that walking was one of the best ways to ensure a good recovery and that 14 loops around the floor was one mile. Besides enjoying compliments about my unicorn slippers, I was motivated to get home. The 14 laps became my Everest as I diligently shuffled my way back to health. The nurse’s station is in the center of the loop, and on every pass I noticed... Read More

Getting Started with Personalization

The potential of customizing experiences and products for your buyers is tremendous. On average, marketers who provide and measure personalized web experiences see an increase of nearly 20% in sales (Econsultancy). But many marketers—especially at large organizations—still struggle with getting started. Broadly defined, personalization isn’t new. Tactics to deliver tailored experiences have been around for years (think user profiles and email segmentation). But recent technological advancements are enabling more and more companies to personalize better and faster—sometimes even on a... Read More

5 Keys to Brand-Agency Collaboration

We are often asked by prospective clients, “How do we get the most out of our engagement with you?” The reality is that no two engagements are the same—especially in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital—but what we ask of all our clients is simple: Share your concerns, vision, and goals with us Trust that we will craft strategies and solutions to address them Work with us to ensure our mutual success The first two are fairly straight-forward (although not always... Read More

The Digital Innovation Playbook: A Resource For Infinite Business Creativity

Innovating your business can be risky and difficult at the best of times. And in the fast-moving digital age, it can be downright terrifying. How do you best focus your resources in a world where everything is changing and anything seems possible? It's easier than you might think. The secret is to stay focused on your customers, rather than technology. This white paper will show you how to reliably and consistently increase profits and better serve your customers online by... Read More

Why you’re not thinking big enough about mobile

It seems incredible, but just a few months ago “mobile-first” was considered an edgy business concept. Now it’s just reality. Have you made it your reality? The mobile vision gap The mobile future became the mobile present so quickly that leaders are struggling desperately to keep up, and a major gap has emerged between rising consumer expectations of mobile and the experiences they’re having with brands every day on their phones and tablets. The bewildering pace of change is one... Read More

6 Digital Priorities for 2015

In a business environment where most of us have more opportunities to invest in than the ability to see them through, prioritization is everything. Econsultancy and Adobe just published the priorities of more than 6,000 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals from around the world in their new ‘Digital Trends 2015’ report. According to the report, companies are placing their competitive bets on customer experience, personalization, mobile, big data and multichannel consistency. This is excellent news for consumers, and for those... Read More

The invisible competitors who might be killing you

If you’re like most leaders, you pay close attention to your competitors and how your customers perceive them. But there are other – less obvious – standards your customers are judging you by every day, and you overlook them at your peril. It’s 2014. Do you know where your competition is? It’s everywhere. In today’s experience economy we compete not only with other companies and products, but with every moment and revelation consumers have as they go about their lives,... Read More

The Most Important Characteristic of Intranet Users

The Nielson Norman Group recently posted a fantastic article on the value of suggested search for employee intranets. While the article is filled with compelling stats and suggestions, perhaps the most important finding was implicit: intranet users are humans. That’s right. Read it again: intranet users are humans. They use Web sites like Google and Amazon. They stream videos from Netflix. They surf and text on their mobile phones. For years, organizations have considered intranet users some other type of... Read More

Analytics for the Business Leader: A Survival Guide

What’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap Malcolm Gladwell’s hair in a single bound? It’s today’s data-savvy business leader. If you’re a decision-maker who’s still not comfortable with the language of data and measurement, it’s time to hit the books or risk becoming a statistic. You can do it Much has been written about the acute shortage of qualified data analysts and scientists as companies ramp up to compete in the age... Read More

Your whole business is a website now

Today the game is about customers, content and data. It’s hard to say when it happened, but sometime recently organizations started realizing they are no longer brands with websites, but instead their whole brand is a website. Three powerful trends are converging to bring this about: The ongoing digitization of everything. The rise of new technology platforms that allow us to automate, personalize and deliver these digital assets with ever-greater flexibility and scale. The explosion of channels, devices and technologies... Read More

Pulling the Trigger: 3 Steps for Automated Email Success

Go ahead, pull the trigger! And by that we mean stop sending standard email newsletters and start providing your audience with more contextual and relevant emails based on their behaviors. You’ve got the data and insight on your customers already; now it’s time to put them to good use with triggered emails. A recent ExpertSender study found that the open rate of triggered emails is far higher than newsletters — four times higher,. We know true engagement and conversion aren’t all... Read More

The M-Commerce Revolution: 3 Things Retailers Must Get Right

Forget e-commerce. We’re now officially in the age of m-commerce. The recently released Shop.org/comScore 2013 Social & Mobile Commerce Report reveals that smartphones and tablets are now the go-to devices for consumers to interact with online retailers. Based on their numbers from June 2013, more than half (55%) of time spent with online retail occurred on a mobile device, with only 45% occurring on a desktop or laptop. The implications of this are huge for both brick-and-mortar stores and online... Read More

The Mobile Strategy Guide: New Rules of the Road

[one_fourth] [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last] The sudden and massive shift of consumer attention to mobile has caught many traditional brands off guard and struggling to keep up. Written in plain English for business and marketing professionals, The new Mobile Strategy Guide offers five simple rules to help leaders cut through the noise and position their organization for success in a world where life and business are increasingly mobile. Download the White Paper(PDF 1.7MB) [/three_fourth_last] Read More

Designing a World-Class Intranet: 7 Key Strategies

[one_fourth] [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last] A well-designed intranet does more than store documents and publish company news. It galvanizes your organization, enhances profitability and provides you with a powerful competitive advantage. The companies that have achieved the greatest success with their intranet say the secret lies in proper approach and planning. These seven strategies, distilled from award-winning intranet projects, will help get you started on the right foot. Download the White Paper(PDF 0.4MB) [/three_fourth_last] Read More

Successful Web Analytics: 10 Essential Practices

[one_fourth] [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last] Web analytics has quickly progressed from the realm of simple site measurements — visits, page views and orders — to become a core and indispensable part of online business success. Today, companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on web analytics software, support and staff, yet only a small percentage of these investments are translating into positive returns. Whether you're new to web analytics or looking to improve your current program, the 10 best practices outlined... Read More

Simplicity: The next competitive battleground

Consumers crave it. The most successful brands are doing it. You probably need more of it. We're talking about the practice of simplicity in your online customer experiences. Always a virtue, simplicity is fast becoming a necessity in our increasingly mobile, multi-screen and distracted world. Let's take a look at the numbers: 90% of all US media consumption now takes place across a combination of phone, tablet, computer and TV screens [Source: Google] Tablet PCs will outsell desktop PCs next... Read More

Mobile gold rush: the small screen, big business and you

If you're still wondering if it's the year of mobile, you've already missed it. AdAge According to a growing number of studies, we're about to enter a world where there are more tablets and smartphones than PCs, and most people access the web with their mobile devices. Already at this year's London Olympic Games, 60% of online visits came from mobile devices and apps. How prepared is your organization to prosper in this new world? Mobile is now firmly in... Read More

Interview – Graham Ericksen on real innovation

This issue we sat down to talk with Graham Ericksen, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Modus Associates and director of Modus Labs, our new think-tank and weapons lab for the Internet arms race. Most people think innovation means something breathtakingly new and different, when in fact it's frequently common sense. Graham has spent the last 12 years thinking, writing and teaching about digital innovation, and helping companies like Disney, American Express, Fidelity, Schwab and ADP to creatively grow their... Read More

5 popular web strategies that don’t work

At your next moment of change and opportunity, what kind of leader will you be? This question arose again recently as we kicked off a major web project with a client. The goals of the project were typical enough: improve usability; differentiate the firm; close the gap with competitors. The solution: Aim to be remarkable. Remarkable sells. Remarkable gets and holds attention. Remarkable is memorable, unique and inspiring. But that was the problem. These goals have become the stock objectives... Read More

It’s time to get moving with mobile

The mobile web is poised to be big. Really big. Morgan Stanley estimated it's going to be at least twice the size of the desktop/laptop Internet within five years. Gartner went further, predicting that mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web-access devices worldwide by 2013. With almost 5 billion handsets in use worldwide and capabilities improving daily, mobile may well be the greatest business opportunity of all time. Innovative brands such as Apple and Zipcar are already... Read More

Why customer retention is the new acquisition

There's nothing like the high of winning a new customer. Marketers live for it, and the vast majority of marketing dollars are spent on it every year. Is it conceivable, then, that our addiction to customer acquisition might actually be holding us back? Customer acquisition without retention is like fishing with a wide net full of holes.Joseph Jaffe, Flip the Funnel That's what marketing consultant Joseph Jaffe asserts in his new book Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers... Read More

If I could do it again: Confessions of digital business executives

In every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time. Robert Collier For this issue, we asked four of the smartest, most successful business leaders we've worked with to share their greatest e-business mistakes and what they learned from them, so that others might become more expert in the telling. While each of their stories was unique, the truths that emerged are universal. "You can't be all things to all people." Martin Clifford is a... Read More

Email is still king. Let’s show some respect.

Despite all the attention given to social media and Web 2.0 these days, that old workhorse email remains the most effective online marketing channel for generating conversions and influencing brand perception. According to Econsultancy's Email Marketing Industry Census 2010: For respondents that are aware of the figures for their email marketing efforts, 61% said that email delivers ROI of 300% or more, while 30% reported ROI of more than 500%. The vast majority of respondents (75%) rated email as either... Read More

Is the website becoming irrelevant?

Remember the day a few years ago when you reviewed your website traffic and discovered that most of your visitors were no longer entering through the homepage? Instead, they were landing on lower-level content or product pages, usually from a search engine like Google. People today want everything at their fingertips. If companies don't find ways to provide this, they will soon see a drop-off in customers. Diana Ransom, SmartMoney.com From that day on, your homepage was no longer the... Read More

Innovation is hard. Let your customers help

Contrary to popular mythology, real business innovation isn't about the new and the novel, but the relevant and the useful. And the best way to be relevant to your customers is to intimately understand them. Real innovation isn't about the new. It's about the relevant and useful. Unfortunately, while most business leaders like to think they know their customers, many are really just guessing. This newsletter is about finding practical ways to tap into your customers so you can increase... Read More