Thought Leadership Blogs

How AR Glasses Could Benefit The Blind

When we think about AR glasses, we mostly think of them as smart glasses that can view our real-world environment and then super-impose data, information, and enhanced images about objects we are seeing in and around us. It allows a person to ask the device to read the specific text a person wants to hear- things like headlines, specific menu […]
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Digital transformation_hand reaching out

Getting Started with Digital Transformation

IoT, 5G, AI, VR. It seems like everyone is throwing around acronyms to describe technology and digital transformation, and it is hard to know what to focus on and what you can ignore. You suspect that your business may be falling behind in how you utilize emerging technologies. Yet, other companies use technology to attract, retain and grow their customer […]
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online customer communities

3 Customer Insights Using Online Customer Communities

By Barton Goldenberg Private Online Customer Communities are one of the most insight-rich sources of customer feedback. Whether interacting with each other, with associates from your organization or simply leaving product reviews or comments, the customer conversations are real and unguided. They provide tremendous insight on many aspects of your business from product design and quality to store layout. Secure […]
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digital customer communities

Customer Engagement Using Digital Customer Communities

By Barton Goldenberg Digital customer communities create a dynamic customer engagement solution. These communities give your customers a place to share insight, collaborate, advocate for your products or services, and even make purchases. A customer community will let your customers connect with those just like them, with similar interests. Use Case #1: Deepen Customer Engagement  Customers really enjoy being listened […]
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digital customer communities

5 Sales Use Cases For Using Digital Customer Communities

By Barton Goldenberg Digital Customer Communities are transforming the sales environment by having the capability to drive more sales for your business by connecting employees together from different branches, within your distributors, suppliers, or resellers. Digital Customer Communities have the capability to provide world-class services by connecting customers together and giving replies to each of their queries.  Further, they can […]
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digital hotel

Emerging Technologies Can Keep Your Digital Hotel Solidly Booked

Virtual gathering places for customers benefit from collaborative and immersive apps Our Forward-Thinking clients are leveraging private digital customer communities to foster engagement with their customers. These collaboration communities are built on software such as Telligent, Salesforce, Higher Logic, and others. They integrate tightly with your CRM system and data management platform. We like to think of these communities as […]
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To Thrive During COVID-19 Recovery, Shore Up Your CRM Foundation

Three process pillars must be in place to steady your system Given that CRM systems are no longer a small-budget item, companies suffering from CRM system user fatigue need to get proactive about driving their systems’ success as the economy moves through COVID-19 recovery. Remember, your customers’ needs have changed and will continue to change because of COVID-19; now more […]
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Virtual Reality

New Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Strategy & Implementation Practice

    Press Release (for immediate release) February 8, 2020 Bethesda, Maryland ISM Announces its New Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Strategy & Implementation Practice   Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) will be the most disruptive technology for the next decade.  Worldwide spending on VR/AR is forecasted to accelerate out of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing from $12 billion in […]
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digital customer community

Top 10 Reasons Why Companies are Turning To ISM To Build Their ‘Digital Customer Community’

Below the top 10 reasons why companies are turning to ISM to build their Digital Customer Community.   Digital Customer Communities typically are private online digital communities that: Nurture Leads & Grow Sales Achieve Superior Customer Support Deepen Customer Insight & Engagement Increase Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty #10:      Digital Customer Communities allow you to leverage any customer journey work you may have […]
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Shore Up Your CRM Foundation

GIVEN that CRM systems are no longer a small-budget item, companies suffering from CRM system user fatigue need to get proactive about driving their systems’ success as the economy moves through COVID-19 recovery. Remember, your customers’ needs have changed and will continue to change because of COVID-19; now more than ever, you need to engage with them in their new digital comfort zone. For […]
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3 Ways to Enhance Customer and Employee Collaboration Post-COVID-19

It is no longer business as usual, as companies around the world are having to learn to adjust to the new normal resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Customer knowledge and enhanced customer collaboration are at the core of this new normal. Here are the top three ways companies are adjusting: LEVERAGING HOLISTIC CUSTOMER PROFILES WITHIN CRM TO DRIVE CUSTOMER OUTREACH […]
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Shore Up Your CRM Foundation

GIVEN that CRM systems are no longer a small-budget item, companies suffering from CRM system user fatigue need to get proactive about driving their systems’ success as the economy moves through COVID-19 recovery. Remember, your customers’ needs have changed and will continue to change because of COVID-19; now more than ever, you need to engage with them in their new digital comfort zone. For […]
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3 Ways to Enhance Customer and Employee Collaboration Post-COVID-19

Now is the time to harness all the tools of customer engagement It is no longer business as usual, as companies around the world are having to learn to adjust to the new normal resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Customer knowledge and enhanced customer collaboration are at the core of this new normal. Here are the top three ways companies […]
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digital transformation

CRM’s Critical Role in Successful Digital Transformation

Putting customers at the center of your digital efforts involves sound CRM processes It’s no surprise most companies struggle with their digital transformation efforts. Eighty-five percent of all digital transformation initiatives fail to deliver the expected results. Having completed many digital transformation assessments for ISM’s global clients, I’m confident of this: A sound CRM strategy and implementation must be at […]
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How Big Data and AI Will Work Together?

By John Chan Both Big Data and Artificial Intelligence applications (AI) have a mutually beneficial relationship. The success of AI applications is contingent on the big data input. AI is now assisting organizations towards utilizing their data as a means of influencing organizational decision-making with previously thought-to-be unfeasible methodologies. Glenn Gruber, a Senior Digital Strategist at Anexinet states “The more data […]
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Data Analytics Case Studies

“Pillars” of Customer Engagement

The customer journey has become both less linear and more complex as customers use an ever-increasing array of digital devices to engage brands across an almost limitless number of touch points. This has huge implications for initiating and maintaining engagement with customers and prospects as they move throughout the buying cycle. It is important for companies to build a solid […]
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Technology alone is not the answer…

There are many reasons why companies fail to transform customer data into value, ranging from lack of executive sponsorship to data privacy issues to incomplete data to not having the tools to unlock this value. But by far the most important reason is a failure of the executive team to appreciate that technology alone is not enough. More than three […]
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Contextual Relevance: Do’s and Don’ts – Part 2

Contextual relevance can also help you capture anonymous prospects who may visit your website or otherwise engage with your brand without identifying themselves. Using contextual relevance to gather new prospects Existing customers are always easiest to target. That is because we have the most information on them, which helps to create relevant messages and enables us to reach out to […]
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Contextual Relevance: Do’s and Don’ts – Part 1

Contextual relevance – the practice of delivering the right content through the right channel at the right time to customers at all stages of the buying journey – is the key to capturing and retaining customers in today’s omni-channel, digitally-connected marketplace. This particular blog post will offer some examples to illustrate its value. Contextual relevance and the customer lifecycle A […]
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A Solid Data Foundation

More data has been produced in the last two years than in all previous history. And thanks to the Internet and an ever-expanding variety of connected devices, the amount of customer data available to businesses and brands is growing exponentially and will continue to do so. Properly collected and analyzed, customer data can deliver increased business revenue, bigger wallet share, […]
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Contextual Relevance is critical to capturing customers

More than 70% of today’s customers make their buying decision before speaking with anyone from sales or customer service. To secure the sale, you must find them before they find you with timely messaging that’s relevant to wherever they happen to be in the buying cycle. This isn’t easy in today’s digital world, where customer journeys are non-linear and cross […]
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Contextual Relevance: The right message, in the right place, at the right time

Everyone agrees that more relevant marketing generates better results. But what does “more relevant marketing” mean in practice? It means delivering the right content through the right channel at the right time – with appropriate messaging, customized for individual prospects and optimized for wherever they happen to be in their buying journey. This is much more easily said than done, […]
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Transforming Customer Data into Value

Today, more than 11 billion Internet-connected devices produce more than 8 zettabytes of data per year. By 2025, forecasts call for 80 billion devices and 180 zettabytes of data, respectively.  The amount of data available to help you better understand your customers and their interactions with your brand(s) is greater than ever, and it will continue to grow exponentially. The […]
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Branded Digital Customer Communities – Why You Should Consider One and How to Get Started

By Kathy Barton A branded digital customer community is like a private Facebook community, where you own the content, define the rules of the road, and moderate and curate the content. These communities offer many benefits to companies looking to promote business goals while providing members with information, support, interaction, and camaraderie. Some of these benefits include: Increased brand engagement […]
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knowledge communities

Knowledge Communities – Expanding the Horizons of Knowledge Management

By Kathy Barton 80% of knowledge management projects underperform. Why? Information gets loaded into a database, but then quickly gets outdated. It’s hard to maintain, and it tends to be limited to what is known as explicit knowledge. This is information that’s easily written down, captured and stored in documents and databases. It’s really more like data than information, and […]
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Customer Engagement Has a New Destination: The Digital Customer Community

With disintermediation on the rise, and with more and more customers demanding digital access to companies, there is no better way to welcome your end customers than to invite them to your “digital customer community.” This concept is made possible by the social media community software available in today’s market, a powerful tool that allows you to easily segment content […]
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How AI is Impacting CRM (Already)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is red-hot and for good reason. Coca-Cola is an example of a company that leverages AI to squeeze every drop of insight it can from the customer data it collects. Ever wonder how Cherry Sprite came about? Coca-Cola created Cherry Sprite as a new flavor after monitoring data collected from “smart” self-service soft drink fountains that allow […]
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Digital Transformation Effort

5 Building Blocks for Digital Transformation

Sixty-nine percent of decision makers use social media for purchase decisions. Ninety percent of buyers trust peer recommendations. Ninety-four percent of B2B buyers conduct online research before making a purchase. Companies like Amazon and Alibaba continue to raise the bar, forcing every company to rethink its digital strategy. No wonder 89 percent of executives say digitization will disrupt their businesses […]
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Private Digital Customer Communities: Your Best Lead Nurturing Platform

By Barton Goldenberg How well does your company nurture its sales leads?  Prospects at all stages of the buying journey are interacting with your brand.  They’re visiting your website, attending your events and consuming your content. How do you keep them engaged and keep in touch with them as they progress down the sales funnel toward conversion?  Conventional, public social […]
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Digital Business Strategy

6 Steps for Creating and Leveraging a Digital Assessment

Here is the digital dilemma captured in two sets of statistics: Eighty-nine percent of executives believe digitization will disrupt their business in 2019, yet less than 33 percent of executives believe their digital strategy is correct; meanwhile, spending on digital transformation initiatives will exceed $2 trillion in 2019, yet fewer than 85 percent of digital transformation initiatives fail to deliver […]
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ISM Knowledge Communities

Support Communities: Transforming Customer Support

Everyone gets frustrated with customer support. Whichever support functions you use, you’ve probably found that they are limited in what they can do and what they offer. Traditional, siloed support solutions usually have a narrow intended audience, scope & function. They also are often constrained by time, geography or language. In response, many companies are moving to a solution that […]
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How Emerging Technologies Impact CRM: Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

By Barton Goldenberg Artificial Intelligence (AI) is red hot and for very good reasons. Coca Cola is a shining example of a company that leverages AI to squeeze every drop of insight it can from the customer data it collects. Ever wonder how Cherry Sprite came about? Coca Cola created Cherry Sprite as a new flavor after monitoring data collected […]
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sales process

Sales Process Excellence

by Barton Goldenberg Process improvement is critical to maintaining a dynamic, growing, customer-focused business. Customers, the economy, business conditions, technology, and social norms are constantly changing. Thus, the need for companies to continuously evolve their businesses and business processes to meet new conditions. Yet, process development can be complex, time-consuming and overwhelming to many organizations. ISM follows a rigorous 10-step […]
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The Impact of AI on CRM and Digital Transformation

By John Chan Artificial Intelligence (AI), defined as the intelligence demonstrated by machines is a key element of a Digital Transformation that will impact all aspects of businesses worldwide. At present, AI is providing a major influence in the marketplace as the Gartner Group stated that by the end of 2018, 20% of business content was created by machines. AI […]
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digital assessment

Digital Assessment – Sharing Best Practices

One of our long-time customers came to us recently requesting a Digital Assessment and guidance in the formulation of their digital strategy.  They had recently expanded their number of distributors and felt it was time to assess both their distributors’ marketing effectiveness and how distributors could increasingly leverage digital strategies to enhance their marketing efforts to increase sales. We were […]
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Digital Business Strategy

Assessing Digital Sales Strategy

While most global oil and gas industry companies are leaders in petroleum and related engineering, few oil and gas companies lead the pack in terms of customer strategy or the use of technology to drive customer engagement.  For one of ISM’s global, oil field services customers, we were tasked with assessing their current digital sales strategy and then coming up […]
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Request a Digital Assessment

6 Steps in Digital Assessment Process

The Digital Dilemma: 89% of executives believe digitization will disrupt their business in 2019, yet < 33% of executives believe their digital strategy is correct.  Spending on Digital Transformation initiatives will exceed $2 trillion in 2019, yet > 85% of digital transformation initiatives fail to deliver expected results. How to overcome the digital dilemma?  Best-in-class companies implement a Digital Assessment […]
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Achieving World-Class Status NPS: Digital Initiative Success

Less than 1/3 of these executives believe that their digital strategy is correct. Many organizations are overwhelmed with how to successfully implement their digital initiatives. The result is high failure rate. What if your staff had a clear digital initiative road map on how to break down the initiative into bite-size pieces and applies a proven, successful methodology that tightly […]
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Digital Customer Communities – The New Era Of Private Online Communities

Discover the new era in private online communities. By Barton Goldenberg With disintermediation on the rise, and with more and more customers demanding digital access to companies, there is no better way to welcome your end-customers than to invite them into your ‘digital customer communities’. This concept is made possible by the powerful social media community software available in today’s […]
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components of digital transformation

5 Components of Digital Transformation

by Barton Goldenberg According to an IDC estimate, the spending on digital transformation initiatives will exceed $2 trillion in 2019. With this level of investment, it is concerning that less than 1/3 of these executives believe that their digital strategy is correct, and only 21% believe the right people are setting their digital strategy. What is causing this disconnect, and […]
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Digital Transformation Building Blocks – Part 2

by Barton Goldenberg This continues our two-part series on ISM’s framework for digital transformation examining the digital transformation building blocks for digital success. The Five Digital Transformation Building Blocks In our experience, companies that have been successful in their digital transformation efforts employ an integrated framework, where data produced and used in various customer strategy projects is integrated and shared […]
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Ways to Increase Customer Engagement

Proven Ways to Increase Customer Engagement

By Nick Rojas For this week, ISM will feature a Guest Blog Post from Nick Rojas concerning proven methods of increasing customer engagement Customer engagement is very important to a business’s overall success. As a business owner, it is paramount to have your customers engaged with your brand as much as possible. This is because the more engaged that they […]
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A Digital Transformation Framework – Part 1

In our experience, companies that have been successful in their digital transformation efforts employ an integrated framework, where data produced and used in various customer-facing projects is integrated and shared seamlessly between activities. Companies that have struggled to tackle digital transformation typically fall short with respect to one or more of five key building blocks. CRM Data & Analytics Digital Customer Communities […]
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components of digital transformation

Digital Transformation: Getting it Right!

69% of decision makers use social media for purchase decisions. 90% of buyers trust peer recommendations. 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research before making purchase. Companies including Amazon and Alibaba continue to raise the bar forcing every company to rethink their digital strategy. Companies such as Airbnb and VRBO continue to wreak havoc in the hotel industry and threaten […]
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Data and Analytics Maturity: The Foundation for Getting Digital Transformation Right!

By Barton Goldenberg and Mike Bender The amount of data an organization has available to understand their customer is immense. Some organizations are mastering their data and others are overwhelmed by the volume. Today, more than 11 billion connected devices are producing eight zettabytes of data per year. The amount of data only grows with billions of phones, sensors, payment […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Data Analytics Is Better, Easier, and More Critical Than Ever

Successful companies have made data analytics a part of their DNA for a reason. To succeed, business decisions must now be made based on an enhanced understanding of customers’ preferences and behavior in the new digital environment. Read this article as I examine three case studies on using data analytics to deepen customer engagement. View the full article here.
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ISM, One of the 10 Most Promising Digital Experience Consulting Companies in 2018

  Jan. 8, 2019 Press Releases BETHESDA, MD, Jan. 8, 2019 — ISM has been recognized as one of the 10 Most Promising Digital Experience Consulting Companies in 2018. ISM was awarded by CIOReview Magazine, for their contributions to in customer digital engagement strategy. For more than three decades, ISM has pioneered the design and implementation of customer-centric strategies in the […]
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3 Data Analytics Trends Impacting 2019

By Mike Bender Today, more than 11 billion connected devices are producing eight zettabytes of data per year.  The data only grows with billions of phones, sensors, payment systems, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices added every day.  By 2025, forecasts call for 80 billion devices producing a staggering 180 zettabytes of data.  The industry leaders like Amazon, Google, American Express, […]
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CIO Review Magazine – Digital Transformation Of Your Business Strategy

ISM is honored to be recognized as one of the 10 Most Promising Digital Experience Consulting Companies in 2018, awarded by CIO Review Magazine.  In the January issue of CIO Review Magazine, ISM is recognized and featured in an article where ISM’s President Barton Goldenberg is interviewed by CIO Review Magazine.  Attached is the featured article. Click to learn more […]
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Data and Analytics is Disrupting Industries and Building New Ecosystems

By Mike Bender Best-in-class companies have made data analytics a part of their DNA for a reason. In today’s digital marketplace, the nature of the game has changed.  To succeed, business decisions must now be made based on an enhanced understanding of customers’ preferences and behavior in both online and offline environments. A strong data and analytics program is the […]
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Data Analytics: Case Studies of Success

by Barton Goldenberg Today there are more than 11 billion connected devices producing more than 8 zetabytes of data per year. In the next five years, the number of connected devices will increase eightfold, while the amount of data they produce will increase a staggering 22 times. This trend will only accelerate over time. Organizations that expect to thrive in […]
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Data Analytics Case Studies

Using Data Analytics to Deepen Customer Engagement

by Barton Goldenberg Best-in-class companies have made data analytics a part of their DNA for a reason.  In today’s digital marketplace, the nature of the game has changed. The traditional sales model of cold calls, followed by lead qualification and product demos, is now complemented by social networks, online engagement, and education. It is the same for marketing and customer […]
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Branded Digital Customer Communities – Why You Should Consider One and How to Get Started

By Kathy Barton A branded social media community is like a private Facebook community, where you own the content, define the rules of the road, and moderate and curate the content. These communities offer many benefits to companies looking to promote business goals while providing members with information, support, interaction, and comradery. Some of these benefits include: Increased brand engagement […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – 5 Reasons Why Branded Communities are Your Best Lead-Nurturing Platform

You can invite who you want, and you control the information these communities yield When it comes to engaging with your customers or other constituents, many observers deem private or “branded” communities as superior to public ones like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, for one simple reason: A private community is purposely not open to the public. A company invites only […]
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Identity resolution

The 4 Key Components of Identity Resolution

by Barton Goldenberg Knowing The Customer Is The Key To All Marketing Today’s customers and prospects engage with brands across many devices and touchpoints.  Sometimes these individuals are well-identified, such as when they make a purchase, contact a call center or complete an online form.  At other times, contacts are anonymous, as when browsing a website or participating in a […]
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Identity Resolution – The Key to Knowing Your Customers in the Digital Age

by Barton Goldenberg Today, customers have almost limitless ways engage brands, using all kinds of devices across hundreds of touch points. This is the new normal, and the amount and complexity of digital information will only grow in the future. At the same time, potentially-available customer data already exceeds the ability of most organizations to harvest and process it. The […]
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Private Digital Customer Communities: Your Best Lead Nurturing Platform

By Barton Goldenberg How well does your company nurture its sales leads?  Prospects at all stages of the buying journey are interacting with your brand.  They’re visiting your website, attending your events and consuming your content. How do you keep them engaged and keep in touch with them as they progress down the sales funnel toward conversion?  Conventional, public social […]
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Private Digital Customer Communities – Support Will Never Be the Same

By Kathy Barton Everyone gets frustrated with customer support. Whichever support functions you use, you’ve probably found that they are limited in what they can do and what they offer. Traditional, siloed support solutions usually have a narrow intended audience, scope & function. They also are often constrained by time, geography or language. In response, many companies are moving to […]
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Knowledge Communities – Expanding the Horizons of Knowledge Management

By Kathy Barton 80% of knowledge management projects underperform. Why? Information gets loaded into a database, but then quickly gets outdated. It’s hard to maintain, and it tends to be limited to what is known as explicit knowledge. This is information that’s easily written down, captured and stored in documents and databases. It’s really more like data than information, and […]
Read More
IoT Hospitality

The Positive and Negative Effects of IoT in Hospitality

by Kelly Potter For this week, ISM will feature another Guest Blog Post from Kelly Potter concerning the positive and negative effects of IoT in Hospitality. Imagine our everyday objects interacting with each other via the internet. That’s the Internet of Things (IoT) in its simplest form. According to Forbes, “The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects embedded with electronics, […]
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Digital Ecosystems

Digital Ecosystems Will Recast the Global Economy

By John Chan With the immense changes brought about by digital ecosystems, the marketplace will reward the organizations that understand the importance of digital ecosystems in the marketplace. Organizational management can create new foundations of value via the use of digital ecosystems and consequently change the power dynamics of global business. eBusiness professionals should recognize that: Big Data will become […]
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Digital Transformation Effort

A Recommended Approach for a Digital Transformation Effort

By John Chan A successful organizational digital transformation effort will necessitate numerous changes in an organization’s operating model. When beginning a digital transformation effort, many organizations will take a piecemeal approach.  They will simply making changes to just one business division or a product line as an experiment to fine tune its tactics for digital innovation and its digital capabilities. […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Customer Success Takes Engagement to the Next Level

It should come as no surprise that there is confusion over what is meant by “customer success” and how exactly to apply this new approach to your day-to-day business. Like other paradigm shifts, it will take time for customer success to become mainstream. Let’s take a brief look at these paradigm shifts. View the full article here.
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4 Big Barriers to an Integrated Customer-Centric Strategy

by Barton Goldenberg The key, as always, is data—and how you use it I attended an alumni course at my alma mater, the Wharton School, titled “Customer Centricity.” We played a simulation game where each group implemented a variety of sales, marketing, and service activities with the goal of maximizing customer value over time. When the game ended, I asked […]
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Digital Customer Experience

Designing Digital Customer Experience Initiative Strategies

By John Chan With digital technologies transforming the marketplace, organization management must design digital customer experiences to deliver customer value as a means of prospering in the future. However, management cannot simply deliver customer value by fine-tuning their customer touchpoints. Rather, management must set up a connected Web of services and business functionalities to acclimate to their client’s transforming expectations. […]
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Digital Business Strategy

The Advantages of Digital Business Strategies

By John Chan Digital technologies are now significantly affecting the global marketplace. A recent Forrester survey found that 89% of business executives surveyed foresee that digital technologies will have a tremendous impact on their business within the near future. Digital technologies have already had a huge effect on some industries as illustrated by the examples of Blockbuster Video and Borders […]
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The Evolution of Customer Success – From Churn to Customer Value

By Barton Goldenberg The concept of Customer Success originated with companies actively targeting ‘at-risk’ accounts with teams designed to increase retention by helping customers derive more value from their products and services. These companies soon discovered that their efforts, initially targeted at “stopping the bleeding,” could be extended to their entire customer base. This proactive approach helped transform Customer Success […]
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digital transformation

The Digital Transformation of Business

By John Chan The business world is changing rapidly in the today’s marketplace. A key force behind this change is the impact of digital technology. Digital technology is altering the undercurrents of the marketplace and the rapidity of how organizations to respond to changes in the market. Simultaneously, digital technologies have changed how people research, engage with and purchase an […]
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Marketing Campaign Template

Templates vs Custom Layouts – What Should I Use For My Marketing Campaign?

By Jim Rulison For this week, ISM will feature another Guest Blog Post from Jim Rulison concerning the option of using templates vs. custom layouts for marketing campaigns. To have a successful marketing campaign, there are plenty of important decisions to make along the way. From narrowing down and defining a target audience, deciding how to research the audience and […]
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Customer Success

Customer Success: A Company-wide Commitment to the Customer

By Barton Goldenberg Nowadays it seems like everyone is jumping on the Customer Success bandwagon. Yet in our observation, many companies are unclear where this leads. It involves much more than creating a new team of Customer Success Managers, giving them access to existing data and processes, calling them accountable and calling it a day. Effective Customer Success programs require […]
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Target Audience Effort

Six Secrets to Wooing Your Target Audience

By Jim Rulison For this week, ISM will feature a Guest Blog Post from Jim Rulison concerning six secrets to wooing your target audience. Many marketers consider the target audience to be the most important component of a marketing campaign. Whether it is traditional or digital advertising, no marketing method, including direct mail marketing will be effective if it doesn’t […]
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Customer Success Strategies: From Churn to Customer Value

by Barton Goldenberg The concept of Customer Success originated with companies actively targeting ‘at-risk’ accounts with teams designed to increase retention by helping customers derive more value from their products and services. These companies soon discovered that their efforts, initially targeted at “stopping the bleeding,” could be extended to their entire customer base. This proactive approach helped transform Customer Success […]
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Customer Success: A Company-wide Commitment

by Barton Goldenberg Effective Customer Success Nowadays it seems like everyone is jumping on the Customer Success bandwagon. Yet in our observation, many companies are unclear where this leads. It involves much more than creating a new team of Customer Success Managers, giving them access to existing data and processes, calling them accountable and calling it a day. Effective Customer […]
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Customer Success – Sustainable Proven Value

by Barton Goldenberg Gone are the days when you can simply ‘push’ your product or service onto a customer. Product-driven marketing – messaging focused on features and benefits and promotional offers aimed at driving sales – is no longer effective. Features are easy to copy and offers are easy to match. Many companies have realized that it is also critical […]
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Customer Success

Customer Success – Customer and Company Sustainable Proven Value

by Barton Goldenberg Gone are the days when you can simply ‘push’ your product or service onto a customer. Product-driven marketing – messaging focused on features and benefits and promotional offers aimed at driving sales – is no longer effective. Features are easy to copy and offers are easy to match. Many companies know it is critical to listen to […]
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Customer Engagment

CXM: Give Your Customers the Experiences They Want

By Barton Goldenberg Customer experience management needs to be at the vanguard of your strategy In this space over the past year or so, I’ve focused on the necessity of having an integrated customer-centric strategy to survive in the digital age. Such a strategy is built upon various pillars of engagement, including traditional media, social media, e-commerce, and emerging technologies, […]
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Taking Customer Engagement to the Next Level: ‘Customer Success’

Overheard from 5 participants attending a recent high-tech conference in Silicon Valley: Participant #1:            “You’ve got to get onto the Customer Success bandwagon; it is what all great companies subscribe to.” Participant #2:            “What exactly is meant by Customer Success?” Participant #3:            “I think it is a new term that one of the valley’s high-tech companies came up with to […]
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Benefits of CRM

The Benefits of CRM

By John Chan CRM has become a necessity for today’s organization. It is a technology and a process for obtaining and appealing to new customers, along with strengthening relationships with current customers. With CRM analytics, organizational management can document and assess customer/prospect actions for future marketing campaigns. A customer lifecycle can be determined from the analysis of the past customer […]
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Internet of Things Retail Options

Internet of Things Options for Retailers

By Barton Goldenberg Concerning the Internet of Things options for retailers: At present, there is no one company that can create a single comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solution for retailers.  IoT equipment manufacturers can put the IoT sensors together, while the IoT integrators must integrate the IoT equipment into a huge IoT ecosystem.  Organizations must choose either Option 1 […]
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internet of things retail benefits

Retail Internet of Things Benefits & Risks

By Barton Goldenberg There are various retail Internet of Things (IoT) benefits and risks that retailers will encounter before, during and after implementation. The IoT is not a one-size fits all solution as all retailers need to segment their customer base carefully and be differential whenever a high-touch approach is required and when low-touch approach is sufficient. Here are the […]
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Contextual Relevance: Do’s and Don’ts – Part 2

In part 1 of this article, we focused on how contextual relevance – the practice of delivering the right content through the right channel at the right time to customers at all stages of buying journey – can help increase loyalty and sales among identifiable existing customers. Although it’s a greater challenge, contextual relevance can also help you capture anonymous prospects who may visit […]
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Internet of Things Retail Observations

Key Internet of Things Retail Observations

By Barton Goldenberg As the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomena becomes more prevalent in the marketplace, major retailer brands are adopting various IoT applications. From my analysis of the IoT retail marketplace, here are my key observations concerning IoT for retail: The need for best-in-class retailers to survive in the current digital deluge environment and to be on top of […]
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Contextual Relevance: Do’s and Don’ts – Part 1

Contextual relevance – the practice of delivering the right content through the right channel at the right time to customers at all stages of the buying journey – is the key to capturing and retaining customers in today’s omni-channel, digitally-connected marketplace. Contextual relevance and the customer life-cycle A core component of successful customer relationship management is effective post-purchase follow-up.   This […]
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internet of things retail benefits

Internet of Things Retail Case Studies

By Barton Goldenberg As the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomena becomes more prevalent in the marketplace, major retailer brands are adopting various IoT applications.  From ISM’s analysis of the IoT retail marketplace, here are four key retail IoT case studies that demonstrate major retailers’ efforts to thrive in the new IoT business environment: Rebecca Minkoff (a prominent brand targeted to […]
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internet of things retail benefits

Key Retail Internet of Things Applications of the Future

By Barton Goldenberg As the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomena becomes more prevalent in the marketplace, major retailer brands are adopting various IoT applications.  From ISM’s analysis of the retail IoT market, here are the four key retail IoT applications that will be critical for retailers in their efforts to thrive in the changing business environment: Predictive equipment maintenance will […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Your Customer Data Is Limitless and So Is Its Value

Your company can either navigate the digital deluge, or be swamped by it.  Having a sturdy data foundation now is critical to successful customer engagement in the future.  Properly collected and analyzed, customer data can deliver increased business revenue, bigger wallet share, and happier and more loyal customers willing to advocate for your company’s brand(s). View the full article here.
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CRM System

How to Make the Most Out of Your CRM System

By Nick Rojas CRMs have tremendous potential, but many of the businesses that own CRM software use only a few of the features it offers. Not only can this reduce the value of a business’ investment in CRM software—it can also result in that company being less versatile than its competitors. If you want to make the best possible use […]
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“Find Me, Know Me, Delight Me”: Why ‘Contextual Relevance’ Is Critical

By Barton Goldenberg MORE THAN 70 percent of today’s customers make their buying decision without speaking to anyone from a company’s sales or customer service departments. So securing a sale increasingly means serving up relevant information to the right person at the right time—their way, not yours—during their buying window. It’s no easy task in our digital world, where a […]
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internet of things retail benefits

The Impact of the Internet of Things on the Global Retail Market

By Barton Goldenberg ISM predicts that the biggest impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be in the global retail market as according to the 2016 McKinsey Global Institute report, IoT is forecasted to have a total economic impact of between $3.9 and $11 trillion a year by 2025, including $410 billion to $1.2 trillion per year in retail […]
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2018 CRM Market

2018 Key CRM Marketplace Prospectives

By John Chan The CRM continues to evolve as new market forces are impacting the marketplace. Here is this blog post, I will discuss the current status of the CRM marketplace and a key CRM trend that will impact the industry. The Current Status of the CRM Marketplace At present, the CRM marketplace is one in which the main CRM […]
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Artificial Intelligence

Key 2018 CRM Trend: Artificial Intelligence

By John Chan As the old Greek saying goes “The Only Constant is Change”, so this saying is applicable to the CRM industry. The CRM industry continues to constantly evolve as new technologies are changing how the CRM users are functioning. In this blog post, ISM will discuss what we feel is the most significant of the 2018 CRM Trends: […]
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Customer Data

Transforming Customer Data into Value

By Barton Goldenberg More data has been produced in the last two years than in all previous history. And thanks to the Internet and an ever-expanding variety of connected devices, the amount of customer data available to businesses and brands is growing exponentially and will continue to do so. Properly collected and analyzed, customer data can deliver increased business revenue, […]
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Marketing Plan

What You Should Be Including in Your 2018 Marketing Plan

By Nick Rojas Your marketing plan is one of the most important strategic documents your company can have. It should help you reach your target audience effectively, engage them, and create a demand for your products or services. A successful entrepreneur should think about their marketing plan the same way a chess champion thinks about the board in front of […]
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Internet of Things People Process Technology

How to Address Internet of Things’ People, Process & Technology Issues?

By Barton Goldenberg When a new technology like the Internet of Things arrives on the scene, I find it helpful to ask this question: “What are the people, process and technology issues that need to be overcome in order to fully exploit this new technology?”  Below are my current observations. ‘People’ Issues Providing necessary training to corporate users who are […]
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Internet of Things Customer Service

The Internet of Thing’s Customer Service Challenges and Big Data impact

By Barton Goldenberg 1. What are the Internet of Thing’s resulting customer service challenges? The resulting customer service challenges include: New Contact Center support requirements: I foresee the Contact Centers of the future offering support across most if not all channels – including telephone, Web, SMS messaging, Social Media, Internet of Things – that feed into one dashboard that is […]
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Internet of Things

Key Questions Regarding the Future of the Internet of Things

By Barton Goldenberg As with any new technology, there are plenty of questions that need to be asked by the management of every organization considering implementing the innovative technology.  Here are three key questions concerning the Internet of Things and my initial responses to each question. 1) Is there a sustainable driving force behind the Internet of Things? The demand […]
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CRM Strategy & Implementation

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile CRM Strategy

By Nick Rojas Like everything in life, good business is strengthened by good relationships. Having as close a relationship with your customers as possible will only work to further improve sales. Taking the extra information, you know about them and their needs into account allows for success that might not have come otherwise. To aid them in their pursuit of […]
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Beacon Retail

Connecting Merchants with Customers

By Barton Goldenberg Here are two significant Internet of Things technologies that are impacting merchant–customer relationships: 1. A Beacon is a very small transmitting radio that sends relevant information to a desired location.  Beacons utilize Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data efficiently over short distances from fixed and mobile devices.  A person in […]
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eCommerce Brand

How Your eCommerce Brand Can Boost Your Customer Experience

By Ronald L. Dod For this week, ISM will feature a Guest Blog Post from Ronald L. Dod concerning how your eCommerce brand can boost your customer experience. Description: Discover ways to boost your eCommerce customer experience and have a more successful eCommerce store. We often hear about user experience (UX), but the term customer experience (CX) is many times left […]
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Cloud Computing

Top Five Cloud Computing Mistakes to Avoid or Risk Damaging Your Business

By Gloria Kopp For this week, ISM will feature a Guest Blog Post from Gloria Kopp concerning the Top 5 Cloud Computing Mistakes made by businesses. If you have streamlined your business to the cloud, you will already be seeing the outstanding benefits of being able to access everything from everywhere. It can be hugely beneficial for a business to […]
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Internet of Things

The Internet of Things

By Barton Goldenberg Closely related to the Internet of Everything is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), which can be defined as any natural or man-made object that is embedded with sensors that are assigned an Internet address and that transfers data coming from the sensors by connecting wirelessly via the Internet to servers located in the Cloud.  The IoT diagram […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Make Your Customer Engagement a Closed Loop

Choose channels, gather data, create profiles, analyze, deliver right message at the right time. Repeat… View the full article here.
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CRM button on keyboard

Beauty Companies CRM: Getting Close to Consumers

Barton Goldenberg discusses how beauty companies can do better at CRM… View the full article here.
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Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything

By Barton Goldenberg In the future, most if not all of an organization’s products and services will be connected to the Internet.  These connections form a key part of the Internet of Everything and its more important counterpart the Internet of Things.  But before I get ahead of myself, let’s start with the definition of the Internet of Everything. The […]
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Small Business CRM

Top Reasons You Should Invest in CRM for Your Small Business

By Nick Rojas Customer experience is one of the most important aspects of running a successful 21st century business, no matter what size it is. In fact, 22% of companies polled for eConsultancy in 2017 listed customer experience as their top digital marketing priority. However, it is especially necessary for small businesses who want to stand out from their many […]
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Social Media for Franchises

Best Practices For Franchises on Social Media

By Nick Rojas For this week, ISM will feature a another Guest Blog Post from Nick Rojas concerning Social Media practices for franchises. Some brands have become synonymous their product/service. Examples are saying you’re going to “Google” something instead of use a search engine, or grab some “Kleenex” instead of just tissue. Of course, this is not an easy task. […]
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Channel Optimization

Key Channel Optimization Challenges

By Barton Goldenberg Any organization wishing to be around in 10 years will have to execute a sound channel optimization strategy.  That strategy must answer at least these two questions: (1) Is the organization optimizing channel partner integration, the channels that their customers use, or both? and (2) How is the organization accommodating multi-channel optimization? Concerning formulating a response to […]
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Channel Optimization Processes

Optimizing Channels Via Integrated Processes and Technology

By Barton Goldenberg A second key component of channel optimization is optimizing each selected channel – see diagram above – through the use of integrated processes and technology. (The first key component is achieving a balance between fulfilling each customer’s desired channel preferences versus achieving the organization’s desire to secure the lowest cost-to-serve channel option for each customer.) I recently […]
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Channel Optimization Challenges

Organizational Channel Optimization Challenges

By Barton Goldenberg To succeed at channel optimization, organizational management must overcome the challenges of finding the right balance between delivering desired customer channel preferences while simultaneously driving customers to the lowest cost-to-serve channel that is acceptable to them. The key challenge for organizations is to find the right balance between delivering desired customer channel preferences while simultaneously driving customers […]
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Channel Preference Optimization Diagram

The Importance of Channel Optimization Towards Profitability

By Barton Goldenberg All organizations at one time or another have dealt with happy and unhappy customers, profitable and unprofitable customers as well as ‘high maintenance’ and ‘low maintenance’ customers.  What if an organization had a magic wand and could optimize the channel(s) that each of their customers uses such that each customer gets to use their preferred channel(s) while […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Contextual Relevance Is Critical to Capturing Customers

Customers want information relevant to them, served up their way… View the full article here.
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Quotable

5 Steps to a More Effective Channel Partner Relationship

Working with a channel sales partner is a unique relationship. Barton shares a few ways to stand out from the crowd, build your relationship, and sell more effectively with channel partners, in this article from Salesforce’s Quotable blog.
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Data Analytics

The Impact of Data Anaytics on Customer Strategies

By Barton Goldenberg The advent of data analytics and insight are already having a meaningfully impact on the way that organizations manage their customer relationships and customer engagements.  Best-in-class organizations have already concluded that to be successful, data analytics must be tightly integrated into their Social CRM application.  Concerning the impact of Data Analytics on customer strategies, this includes, for […]
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The Components of Effective, Data-Driven Decision-Making

By Barton Goldenberg While there is no shortage of Data analytics opportunities within an organization, succeeding at implementing Data analytics is no slam-dunk.  The following seven requirements need to be in place as the key components of effective data driven decision making: Data Analytics Strategy & Goals:  Why is the organization embarking on a Data analytics effort – what are […]
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Big Data

Applying Big Data Analysis Successfully within the Business Environment

By Barton Goldenberg Let’s briefly examine how a few organizations are applying Big Data analysis and insight to work. • A major insurance company’s automobile division determined some time ago that to accurately assess the risk associated with insuring an individual’s car, they needed more than the traditional demographic variables like age, sex, location of the vehicle, etc. This is […]
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Big Data

The Growth of Big Data Analytics & Insight

By Barton Goldenberg The term “Big Data” refers to ‘data-driven, tactical decision-making derived from large data volumes coming from a variety of sources (e.g., transactional, Social Media, mobile devices, electronic transactions, etc.).’ The growth in Big Data over the past few years has been explosive.  At the end of 2016, this growth of Big Data was estimated to reach $53.4 […]
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Gamification

The Overall Impact of Gamification on Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg Gamification is all about organizations applying social technology to time-tested, motivational methods.   Millennials love to play games – they grew up playing them.  Gamification within a business setting can help motivate Millennial employees and customers to perform certain activities within their Social CRM system. Here is a primary list of exemplary ways that Gamification impacts Social CRM.  […]
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Customer Retention

Could Customer Retention Be Your Biggest Opportunity This Year?

By Monika Götzmann For this week, ISM will feature a Guest Blog Post from Monika Götzmann concerning Customer Retention. When it comes to improving the performance of a business, the priority is often to increase the number of sales made and when attempting to do so, many companies place a focus on branching out and attracting new customers. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens […]
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Gamification Business Results

Game On!

By Barton Goldenberg Gamification applications are receiving a lot of attention in the current marketplace, and I am 100% certain that they will continue to grow significantly in the future.  In 2010, there were 500 results for Google searches for “Gamification.”  Today there are 7.6 million results.  In 2013, businesses spent $242 million on Gamification applications; that figure was estimated […]
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Artificial Intelligence Proliferation

How to Use Artificial Intelligence To Improve Customer Acquisition

By Nick Rojas For this week, ISM will feature a another Guest Blog Post from Nick Rojas concerning Artificial Intelligence. Digital marketing has revolutionized customer acquisition in several ways. On the one hand, it has provided a wealth of new tools to help marketers engage prospective buyers and drive them into their purchasing funnels. On the other hand, it’s also […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Four Big Barriers to an Integrated Customer-Centric Strategy

Learn how to identify the top four challenges for a path of an integrated customer-centric strategy… View the full article here.
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Customer Experience Management: Give Your Customers the Experiences They Want

Customer experience management needs to be at the vanguard of your strategy… View the full article here.
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Gamification

Gamification Organizational Benefits

By Barton Goldenberg In my previous Gamification – related blog post, I discussed how Gamification can benefit an organization for its Social CRM efforts. Now, I will describe two additional examples of how Gamification can benefit an organization towards employee satisfaction and customer relations. Lower Contact Center agent turnover In general, Contact Centers are staffed with agents in low-paying positions […]
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Servitization

Close Relations – Servitization

Barton Goldenberg discusses three critical customer relationship agendas for manufacturers embracing servitization… View the full article here.
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Artificial Intelligence

The Importance of Artificial Intelligence for a Digital Marketing Strategy

By Nick Rojas For this week, ISM will feature a Guest Blog Post from Nick Rojas. If you’re serious about upgrading your digital marketing strategy for the foreseeable future, you’re going to want to take advantage of one very important asset: Artificial Intelligence (AI) might have been a theory in the 20th century, but in 2017 it’s a viable tool […]
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gamification

The Benefits of Gamification for Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg Gamification is defined as: The use of applying game-like elements to non-game environments to influence behavior. The integration of game mechanics into a Website, Social Media community, campaign or application in order to drive engagement. Gamification allows an organization to benefit from the adoption of psychology techniques to motivate people to perform certain actions.  Here are two […]
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impact of mobile social crm

The Impact of Mobility on Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg The key impact of mobility on Social CRM will be the ability of businesses and customers to use mobile devices to engage with Social CRM applications. As millennials become an increasingly important part of the workforce, their ‘always on, always connected’ approach to everything they do will require Social CRM information to be accessible on their mobile […]
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mobile social crm

The Increasing Market Adoption of Mobile Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg What is the most important business application that one can have on a mobile device?  By 2018, I believe this application will be Mobile Social CRM. (Social CRM functionality accessed on a mobile device) Four key reasons are driving increasing market adoption of mobile Social CRM: Reason #1: Mobile Devices The almost-universal adoption of mobile devices among […]
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Millennials

The Impact of Millennials on the Mobile Marketplace

By Barton Goldenberg Anyone with teenagers knows that the world’s 3 billion Millennials (born since 1985 and also known as ‘Generation Y’) are obsessed with being ‘always on, always connected’ to the Internet and to their friends.  The Millennial generation currently accounts for 45% of world population. 50% of Millennials perform research via the Web and more than 90% purchase […]
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Social Graph Tools

Leveraging Social Graph Tools – Case Study

By Barton Goldenberg In my previous post, I discussed how a hypothetical hotel chain effectively used Social CRM to accurately target a so-called “customer of the future,” Debbie Jones, and her friends. Now let’s take our leveraging Social Graph Tools Case Study a step further, as the chain, which we’re calling Happy Hotels, purchases a Social Graph tool. Using this […]
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social CRM Case Study

What Social CRM Looks Like – A Case Study

By Barton Goldenberg As consumers increasingly adopt Social Media as part of their lifestyle, organizations must ask, “Can we afford not to connect with potential customers in the way that they expect to be communicated with?”  The answer seems clear: Social Media will meaningfully change the way that organizations market, sell and service their customers.  Opening a two-way dialogue with […]
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Developing a Social CRM Security Policy

By Barton Goldenberg In previous posts, I outlined various security risks associated with Social CRM installations, all pointing to the importance of developing an appropriate Social CRM security policy. Since no one technology or process can provide total security, the aim is to develop a defense through an in-depth Social CRM security policy. Securing a network can ensure the following […]
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Happy Holidays - ISM

Happy Holidays From ISM!

By Barton Goldenberg I hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends, family and co-workers alike. During 2016, ISM pioneered the important new concept of Integrated Customer-Centric Strategy, and I had the pleasure of presenting it at several conferences and company events around the country. Throughout the year, we have helped clients thrive in the digital marketplace by leveraging CRM, […]
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social crm

Social CRM Systems and Software Security Risks

By Barton Goldenberg A major risk to the Social CRM enterprise resides on an organization’s employees’ PCs, laptops and mobile devices.  Malicious code can take many forms: a computer virus, a “Trojan”, or active content like Java and ActiveX programs. Excellent anti-virus protection tools exist and should be implemented by all organizations, but they must be coupled with prudent end-user […]
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Human Factors in Social CRM Security

By Barton Goldenberg At least from a security perspective, the people in an organization are its weakest link.  Anyone, from customer service representatives in the contact center to sales executives equipped with laptops, can inadvertently—or intentionally—create a security breach.  And one aspect of human behavior is a given: with enough effort, it is easy to find someone who will believe […]
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social crm

Assessing Security Risks in Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg The growth of Social CRM is exposing organizations to more risk than ever before. Social Media communities open the organization to all kinds of new exposure. Threats can come from hardware, software, operating systems, middleware, networks and elsewhere. Minimizing security risk for Social CRM is just as important as for other applications that leverage the Internet, and […]
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negotiate with clients

Guest Blog: How to Negotiate With Clients You Can’t Afford To Lose

By Nick Rojas Every company has those few clients that we treat as high value accounts. You know you can’t lose them, and they know it too. Clients that know their value often ask for lower prices. They feel, and sometimes rightly so, that they have exceptional negotiating power. In fact, we’ll even say that high value accounts can play […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – Data Onboarding

A new technology links customers’ online and offline data, giving you a single, comprehensive view… View the full article here.
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Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement: A Key Technology Challenge

By Barton Goldenberg A key aspect of Customer Engagement involves leveraging social insights stored in the customer profile and elsewhere within a Social CRM application to engage with customers or prospects via their preferred channel(s).  For example, if a customer engages with your organization via Twitter, you will want to reply to the customer the same way.  Likewise, if the […]
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social crm

Key Technology Challenges in Social CRM Initiatives

By Barton Goldenberg As I mentioned in my previous post, the technology issues involved in Social CRM initiatives are extremely complex. This is, in part, due to the ever-expanding number of technical options in the marketplace. I also described two distinct software vendor camps competing for Social CRM business: 1) dedicated Social Media platform vendors that produce the tools used […]
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CRM Magazine Articles by Barton

CRM Magazine – 4 Digital Strategy Journeys

A digital strategy – with CRM as the core–is mandatory for all companies wishing to survive the digital future… View the full article here.
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social crm

Dealing with Social CRM Vendors

By Barton Goldenberg Within any technology implementation, people and process issues will have the greatest impact on the ultimate success of the project. Still, at some point, one or more new pieces of technology will need to be purchased and installed. The issues around this are highly complex, given the ever-expanding number of options in the marketplace, the need to […]
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Social Media Initiative

Motivation & Passion: Key to Any Social Media Initiative

By Barton Goldenberg Thriving Digital Customer Communities are driven by the active and engaged participation of their members. For private, branded communities tied to a particular organization, this necessarily involves participation from the organization’s employees. Such communities function best when in-house participants are motivated and passionate about the organization, its brand(s) and its products. I will discuss the key elements […]
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social media communities

Digital Customer Communities Take Time

By Barton Goldenberg Nearly all organizations underestimate the time and effort required to execute successful Digital Customer Communities.  For example: Setting up a content calendar for the community takes a lot of time and commitment from others.  Do they have this time?  Will they make this commitment? Experienced bloggers will confirm that it always takes longer to write a post […]
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social media policy

Social Media Policy Recommendations

By Barton Goldenberg Last time I wrote about the importance of creating Social Media policies to govern employee activities on Social Media. I will now discuss my Social Media policy recommendations. Here are three Social Media policy best practices that every organization should keep in mind: Legislate: Effective Social Media policies make clear to employees why the organization needs these […]
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social media policy

Social Media Best Practices – Creating and Adhering to Social Media Policies

By Barton Goldenberg Given the importance of getting the Social Media component right in a Social CRM initiative, I want to focus this post on best ‘people’ practices for an organization’s Social Media effort.  Thus includes Creating and Adhering to Social Media Policies. Any organization that is active in Social Media should put in place policies that ensure employees participate […]
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Comprehensive Systems Administration

Comprehensive Systems Administration

By Barton Goldenberg In my previous blog posts, I discussed effective training and a responsive help desk, the first two out of the three components that will assist in determining the long-term success of any Social CRM implementation. Here I will discuss the third component: Comprehensive Systems Administration. In most organizations, a systems administrator is required to manage the Social […]
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social crm help desk

A Responsive Social CRM Help Desk

By Barton Goldenberg In my previous blog post, I discussed effective training, the first of the three components that will assist in determining the long-term success of any Social CRM implementation. Here I will discuss the crucial element of a help desk for a Social CRM initiative. A Responsive Help Desk Every Social CRM system user should have access from […]
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social crm training

Effective Training For Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg To ensure high user adoption of Social CRM systems, as well as happy and engaged users, the following three components are required: Effective Social CRM training A Responsive Help Desk Comprehensive systems administration These three components often determine the long-term success of any Social CRM implementation.  In this blog post, we will discuss Effective Training. Effective Social […]
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social crm

How to Secure People Success for a Social CRM Initiative?

By Barton Goldenberg Here are five ways to that will help every organization address and hopefully overcome the inevitable Social CRM – related people issues that challenge every Social CRM initiative. Announce Social CRM Efforts Internally The launch of a Social CRM initiative should be done with great pride and care.  Many people in the organization will be curious to […]
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social crm

Social CRM “People” Component Success Case Studies

By Barton Goldenberg In my previous blog post, I provided an example of a Social CRM implementation in which people issues led to the derailment of the implementation. Here, I will provide two examples of a Social CRM implementation in which the people issues were handled well and helped secure very successful implementations. Publishing Industry Success Story An international publishing […]
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social crm

Oil Industry ‘People’ Component Failure Case Study

By Barton Goldenberg Of the three components in the people, process, technology mix I consider mastering the ‘people’ component of a Social CRM implementation as the most difficult challenge for any organization given the sensitivity of users to change.  The following case study is an example of a Social CRM implementation that I have been involved with in which the […]
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Applying the Calibrate Stage ‘Process’ For a Social Media Strategy

By Barton Goldenberg As promised in my previous blog post, I will be describing the third and final stage of my proven three-stage process in designing a Social Media strategy for creating successful Social Media communities: “Calibrate”. To calibrate an organization’s Social Media strategy, one must set and measure community metrics, outline execution and ongoing support activities. One also must have […]
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Applying the Navigate Stage ‘Process’ For a Social Media Strategy

By Barton Goldenberg As promised in my previous blog post, I will be describing the second stage of my proven three-stage process in designing a Social Media strategy for creating successful Social Media communities: “Navigate”. In the navigate stage of a Social Media strategy, the organization must: Select the Appropriate Social Media Software Vendor Tools It is important to consider […]
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Applying the Contemplate Stage ‘Process’ For a Social Media Strategy

By Barton Goldenberg In this blog post, I will describe the first stage of my proven three-stage process in designing a Social Media strategy for creating successful Social Media communities: “Contemplate”. The key steps within the Contemplate stage are: Assess current situation. Understand the community’s linkage to the overall business strategy. Define the audience. Determine the organization’s Social Media goals. […]
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social CRM Case Study

Business Process Improvements Must Precede Technology Implementation

By Barton Goldenberg A crucial element to customer-centric strategy implementation success is that business process improvement precedes technology.  On a recent vacation in Italy, I had the pleasure of watching Germany win a major soccer tournament.  I was impressed by how well the Germans and Argentinian players in the tournament had played, but more importantly, I was struck by how […]
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10 Steps for Effective Business Process Review

By Barton Goldenberg Processes are those natural business activities that produce value, serve customers and generate income.  All organizations have business processes. Related: Sales Process Excellence – Thought Leadership Paper How are you performing against “gold standard” industry benchmarks? What follows is ISM’s 10-step methodology for reviewing and enhancing business processes. These steps will help ensure process excellence as part […]
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Realizing Effective Process Change

By Barton Goldenberg Business process change is a delicate mater, for automating a broken business process will only make matters worse and negatively impact the success of the customer-centric system implementation.  Possible customer strategies may include but are not limited to: Digital Transformation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Digital Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Data & Analytics, & Emerging Technologies.  Also, while […]
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Social CRM: Achieving the Right Mix of Process, People and Technology

By Barton Goldenberg An effective Social CRM implementation requires a critical mix of three key components: people, processes and technology.  This mix must be adjusted throughout the initiative to ensure sustainable success. Inadequately addressing any one component can result in program failure. Of the three, the ‘people’ component can present the greatest challenge given the sensitivity of users to change. […]
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Social CRM Strategy

Ten Steps to Effective Social CRM Implementation

By Barton Goldenberg The potential of Social CRM still remains untapped by many organizations because executives are intimidated by the issues associated with automating Social CRM tasks and implementing appropriate systems. ISM has developed a 10-step approach to help organizations implement Social CRM. My experience over the past 30 years suggests that when executives follow these steps, they greatly improve […]
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Social CRM

Tips for Negotiating with Social CRM Vendors

By Barton Goldenberg In my last post I discussed 12 key questions to ask potential vendors to help identify the most suitable Social CRM software for your organization. Once you’ve chosen your vendor, here are some tips for negotiating the optimum product/service agreement and price. According to Gartner, up to 80% of consumers’ discretionary spending is influenced by Social Media, and this […]
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Geolocation - CRM Market Trend

Geolocation: A Major CRM Trend

By: John Chan, Director, ISM Software Lab Director ISM rigorously tests and reviews all major CRM software applications so we can provide up-to-date guidance to our clients.  During our most recent evaluations, we discovered a significant trend: The Increased Availability of Geolocation Functionality.  Geolocation is a set of tools that provides visualization and mapping insights to help sales and marketing […]
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Social CRM

12 Key Questions to Ask Social CRM Software Providers

By Barton Goldenberg In my last post I discussed three significant phases in the Social CRM software selection process: writing the system specifications, vendor RFP response review and the Social CRM demo.  Now, here are some key questions to ask each potential vendor to help you select the most suitable software for your organization. Having a structured process for selecting any software […]
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ISM Digital Strategy

Digital Strategy – Reflections from our most recent Webinar

By Barton Goldenberg On March 16th, ISM and Creative Strategies presented “Survive and Thrive in the Digital Deluge”, a webinar on Digital Strategy. As always, many interesting insights emerged from the discussion. During the session, we submitted the following polling question to the attendees: “My organization currently has a Digital Strategy in place.” (Yes, No, or On the Drawing Board) […]
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social crm

Three Important Phases in Selecting Social CRM Software

By Barton Goldenberg In my last post I discussed the key technical aspects of Social CRM software selection.  Now I will discuss three significant phases in the software selection process: writing the system specifications, vendor RFP response review and the Social CRM demo. Writing the System Specifications Upon completion of the system needs analysis, prioritized business functional requirements and technical features evaluation, […]
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Social CRM

Social CRM Software Selection: Technical Requirements

By Barton Goldenberg In my last post I began a discussion about selecting Social CRM software by outlining a 10-step methodology for determining and prioritizing the business requirements that need to be met by the project. Here I continue with respect to the technical aspects of Social CRM software implementation. During the Social CRM software selection process, the project team […]
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social crm

Social CRM Software Selection

By Barton Goldenberg In my last blog post, I discussed Steps 7 – 12 of the correct process for creating any organization’s Social CRM strategy. Now I will discuss the 10-step methodology to select the right Social CRM software for your organization’s needs. How to Select Social CRM Software     Once an organization has completed its Social CRM Strategy, it […]
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Social CRM Strategy

Getting Your Social CRM Strategy Right: Steps 7 – 12

By Barton Goldenberg Think of the ISM 12-step process for creating any organization’s Social CRM strategy as a checklist of requirements to create a successful Social CRM strategy implementation road map. Here are steps 7 – 12: Step 7: Determine Customer Desires and Impact on Customers Follow these steps to gather valuable customer input throughout the Social CRM initiative: Work […]
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Social CRM Strategy

Getting Your Social CRM Strategy Right: Steps 1 – 6

By Barton Goldenberg Organizations often embark upon a Social CRM initiative without having a clear vision of where they want to go and how they intend to get there. Needless to say, these organizations are the ones that end up reporting that their Social CRM implementation results are below user expectations. Is this any surprise for organizations without a Social […]
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social crm

Overcoming Social CRM Skepticism to Exploit Its Benefits

By Barton Goldenberg In the past few blog posts, I have described a Social CRM framework, have looked into the value-add and requirements of external and internal-facing Social Media communities, and have made the strong linkage between Social Media communities and Social CRM.  In this blog post, I would like to why with you why I feel some executives are […]
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Customer Experience Management

Creating Customer Experience Management Excellence Webinar Reflections

By Barton Goldenberg On November 10, 2015, ISM and Infor held its “Creating Customer Experience Management Excellence: Secrets from the Pros” Webinar. We had a large attendance for this Webinar.  Many of the Webinar attendees expressed interest during and after the Webinar to learn more about customer experience management. During our Webinar, we submitted this polling question to Webinar attendees: […]
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Branded Social Communities

Social Media Branded Communities & Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg In this blog post, I will explore how an organization can monitor and filter relevant insight generated from Social Media communities.  An organization can integrate social insight into their Social CRM application.  Afterward, their staff can leverage this information to better engage with customers. Social Media tools do an excellent job of capturing information from business colleagues […]
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CRM Market Trends

2015 – 2016 CRM Market Trends

By: John Chan, Director, ISM Software Lab Director In 2015, the ISM Lab staff and I conducted reviews of numerous CRM applications to examine the depth and comprehensiveness of their functionality. Out of the dozens of CRM software applications were reviewed ISM selected a group of Top 15 CRM software applications in the Enterprise and Small-to Mid-Sized Market (SMB) (based […]
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Gamification

Gamification

By Nick Rojas The fact that, according to accounting firm PwC, the U.S. video game industry will grow 30 percent from $15 billion in 2014 to $19.6 billion in 2019 has not gone unnoticed by advertisers here and around the world. In the increasingly digital environment of the 21st century, a new generation is growing up surrounded by gadgets like […]
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Customer Experience Management

Customer Experience Management: A Two-Way Street

Customer Experience Management: A Two-Way Street By Barton Goldenberg, ISM Founder/President Today’s ‘customers’ are sophisticated…  and wary. Lose them, and most likely they are your competitors’ gain. Customer Experience Management is a much discussed topic.  Many customers “complain” about the marketing, selling and servicing process of many organizations with whom they interact. Customer experience management (CEM) focuses on understanding the […]
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Social CRM

Leverage Social Media Information to Advance Your Social CRM Efforts

By Barton Goldenberg The Social Media phenomenon is forcing organizations to build a more customer-centered focus.  The use of Social Media tools is driving organizations to leverage Social Media information.  Social Media information is being used extensively for organizations’ CRM efforts. Below is a Social CRM framework that I will be referring to frequently in future blog posts: Social CRM […]
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Branded Social Communities

Branded Social Communities Webinar Reflections

By Barton Goldenberg On October 14, 2015, ISM held its “How Your Organization Can Benefit from “Branded” Social Communities” Webinar. We had many Webinar attendees and there were many questions posted about “branded” social communities. During our Webinar, we submitted this polling question to Webinar attendees: “My organization is actively pursuing one or more branded community projects at this time.” […]
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Branded Social Communities

How Your Organization Can Benefit From Branded Social Communities

By Barton Goldenberg Using Social Media communities to interact online is a venue for people to talk with one another.  The need to interact with others is an important way for people to share ideas.  Behind the success of Social Media is online communities.  These online communities allow people to get information, opinions, solutions and ratings.  Such online content is […]
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Social CRM

Social CRM Webinar Reflections

By Barton Goldenberg On Sept 15, 2015, ISM held its “How to Leverage Social CRM to Your Organization’s Advantage” Webinar. We had tremendous attendance with a large amount of interest generated by the number of questions concerning Social CRM by the Webinar attendees. During our Webinar, we submitted this polling question to the Webinar attendees: “Social CRM strategy will become […]
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Social Media pilot

An Important Social Media Pilot Case Study

By Barton Goldenberg I have implemented a large Social Media initiative for one of my company’s (ISM) customers.  This customer, referred to as Front Runner, is a well-known brand that provides products and services to consumers worldwide.  During this journey, ISM planned, designed and implemented a global Social Media pilot. Front Runner saw Social Media as a new way to […]
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ISM Review of CRM People/Process/Technology issues

The CRM Industry Needs to Stop & Think!

By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM I participated last week at the excellent CRM Evolution Conference and Exhibition in NYC, sponsored by CRM Magazine/Information Today.  I attended one session by Kate Leggett from Forrester titled: “Forrester’s Top Predictions for CRM.”  While the presentation was excellent, I found the content very disturbing. Here’s why: Forrester’s research showed that buyers of […]
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Social CRM

Smart Ways to Incorporate Social Media into Your Organization

By Barton Goldenberg The value of Social Media is interacting with people to obtain valuable information for potential marketing purposes.  Social Media is an excellent way to communicate with customers/prospects. Social Media also enables the gaining of insight into their behavior. While networking has gone on as long as societies have existed, the unparalleled potential of the Internet to promote […]
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Social CRM

The Growing Impact of Social Media on Customer Relationships

By Barton Goldenberg The desire to interact online via social communities has proven to be another way for people to enjoy talking to one another.  This need to interact with others has become an increasingly important way for people to share ideas.  The key behind the success of Social Media is driven by online communities that allow people to get […]
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Social CRM

Understanding the Intersection of CRM, Social Media and Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg As many are aware, the growth of Social Media is having a tremendous impact on business throughout the world.  Social Media is changing the rules of the marketplace, just as the Internet did a decade ago. A key impact of Social Media is on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) marketplace. The increasing interplay of Social Media with […]
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Social CRM

Social CRM in Action

Businesses discover the value of social communities. by Barton Goldenberg Why would an organization engage with a customer with only limited knowledge of that customer? In the age of social CRM, such engagement makes a business look completely out of date. As many of us know by now, social CRM is the intersection between social media and CRM. It consists […]
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Social CRM

Q & A with Barton Goldenberg on Social CRM Implementation

1) What are some of the biggest mistakes organizations are making regarding social CRM? Incomplete understanding of what Social CRM is and its potential impact on an organization: Despite Social CRM being around for the past 5 years, organizations still fall short understanding how to leverage Social CRM to enhance customer engagement to grow sales, to market more effectively, and […]
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Social CRM

Social CRM: The Next Wave in CRM

Social CRM is the next wave in CRM: a breakthrough that drives value through deeper customer relationships and better customer engagement. In my new book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM (Pearson, 2015), I share with the reader how to systematically integrate Social Media into CRM, harvest intensely valuable ‘social insight’ coming from Social Media communities, and strengthen engagement with […]
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Internet of Everything

How the “Internet of Everything…and Things” Impacts Your Business (April 14, 2015)

WEBINAR PRESENTERS In just six years we are expected to grow from 10 to 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. The Internet of Everything (IOE) … and Things (IOT) holds so much potential to change how we live and do business that it is considered a major paradigm shift in our worldwide economy and culture. – Barton Goldenberg, Founder […]
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The Definitive Guide to Social CRM book

Barton Goldenberg’s New Book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, Provides Roadmap to Success

Social CRM Dramatically Expands Customer Insight in $9 Billion Marketplace: Barton Goldenberg’s New Book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, Provides Roadmap to Success. “Social CRM is already propelling customer engagement to new heights and allowing companies to provide personalized customer service, marketing messages and sales offers,” said Goldenberg. Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) March 18, 2015 “The integration of Social Media […]
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millennial generation

Our New Generation!

By Barton Goldenberg, President & Founder, ISM, Inc. Yikes – my third book is now officially published titled” The Definitive Guide to Social CRM! While I have been very pleased with initial praise for the book (https://ismguide.com/social-crm-book-endorsements/), I did get a good chuckle when I one of my good customers sent me the following email thread reminding me of where […]
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Social CRM

The Power of Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg, President & Founder, ISM, Inc. Social CRM is the next breakthrough in driving value through deeper customer relationships and better customer interactions. All this and more can be found in my new book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, which Pearson Press will release on March 16. Visit our website for options on ordering the book. During […]
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Channel Optimization

Channel Optimization: Two Rules

By Barton Goldenberg When is the right time for an organization to encourage its customers to utilize the Contact Center channel to receive support versus encouraging them to use the Social Media channel, the web channel, the bricks and mortar channel, etc.? Should an organization segment its customers and pro-actively decide which support options to offer to which customers, e.g., […]
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Channel Optimization

…. the most important area affecting an organization’s profitability By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM Do you know your customers’ preferences in communication channels? Do you know the cost of serving customers via each preferred channel? If the answer is  no to either question, you are invited to get the answers by attending the February 10 webinar titled: Channel […]
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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays and a Look Back …and Forward

By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder/President, ISM As we near 2015 – ISM’s 30th anniversary – I admit to reflecting back. When I founded ISM in early 1985 to offer guidance to organizations seeking effective ways to strategically manage their customer relationships, “sales force automation” software was offered as the one-stop solution. ISM was a lonely voice when I proposed a portfolio […]
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Road

Where did the year go and where is it going?

A personal perspective…. By: Jean Young, Vice President, ISM Good grief, another year is almost over. I love my online calendar. Posting work and personal related meetings, to do’s, and just stuff is a lifesaver for my busy business and personal life. But, what it doesn’t “handle” are my future aspirations, personal and professional. And, yes, I participated in planning […]
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ISM Review of CRM People/Process/Technology issues

Customer Experience Management Webinar: November 12

A hot topic gets hotter in today’s crowded marketplace By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM Wednesday, November 12th, ISM and Infor, a leading provider of business application software, co-sponsor a webinar – Customer Experience Management – a HOT topic that gets even hotter as customers “complain” about the marketing, selling and servicing process of many organizations with whom they […]
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Multi-channel marketing

Reaping the Rewards of a High Performance Multi-Channel Contact Center

By Barton Goldenberg, ISM Founder & President The millennials are the “Always on, Always connected” generation who basically feel that it is an organization’s responsibility to communicate with them via the right channels and with the right responses through a variety of channels in a Contact Center. All organizations will have to figure out a way to meet this expectation […]
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ISM Knowledge Communities

The Value of Knowledge Communities

By Kathy Barton Senior VP, Digital Marketing/Social Media If you’re like me, you’ve been involved in at least one knowledge management project.  It starts out with high hopes and stretch goals, and is usually in response to: The crazy amount of time it takes to find out how certain issues or tasks were handled in the past, particularly for a […]
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ISM Customer Experience

Social Media Community Constituent Selection & Technographic Profiling

Find out more at ISM/Mzinga Knowledge Communities Webinar, Tuesday, Oct. 14 By John Chan ISM Software Lab Director Social Media is a new way for organizations to communicate with employees, consumers, partners and other stakeholders. For organizations to succeed in their Social Media initiatives, they need to be careful to understand their community’s target audience. Here are two important questions […]
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ISM Knowledge Communities

The Key Trend of Social CRM

By John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director As ISM’s Software Lab Director, I have noticed a key trend in CRM marketplace – an increasing interplay of Social Media with CRM. This has created an entirely new marketplace phenomenon, Social CRM, which is forecasted by Markets and Markets to grow to a $9 billion+ worldwide market by the end of 2018. […]
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ISM Blog Article Image

ISM’s Software Lab: The Home of Top 15 CRM Software Awards

Impartial testing with strenuous selection criteria sets the standard since 1990. By John Chan, ISM’s Software Lab Director As the ISM Software Lab Director, the Lab staff and I have reviewed numerous CRM applications to examine the depth and comprehensiveness of their functionality. Each software review is based on an objective and unbiased methodology to ensure that the CRM vendor […]
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ISM Blog Article Image

The Internet of Everything: A Paradigm Shift in the Technology Industry

June 3 Webinar Tackles the Challenges By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM It is rare that one has an opportunity to play a lead role in influencing the outcome of a major paradigm shift in the technology industry. The Internet of Everything (IOE) and the Internet of Things (IOT) provides one such opportunity. Cisco estimates that there are 10 […]
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ISM Blog Article Image

Gamification: Bringing “Fun” and Productivity to CRM

Gamification: Bringing “Fun” and Productivity to CRM ISM & Bunchball Host May 13 Webinar By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM Work is better when it is like a game. Gamification allows an organization to add a game component to sales, marketing and service software applications such that performing that task becomes more fun. For example, adding gamification to a Contact Center […]
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ISM blog article

The Key Trend of Mobile CRM

The Key Trend of Mobile CRM By John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director April 21, 2014 As ISM’s Software Lab Director, I have noticed a key trend in CRM marketplace – the growth of mobile CRM functionality within CRM applications. A 2013 Forrester survey found over 50% of respondents stated that supporting mobile devices for their employees is a key […]
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ISM blog article

Channel management in both B2B and B2C industries is evolving quickly

Channel management in both B2B and B2C industries is evolving quickly By Barton Goldenberg, President of ISM, Inc. April 4, 2014 Who could have forecasted the explosive growth of companies like Amazon, Apple, iTunes, Sysco, or Zappos?  Many of these companies are now multi-billion dollar leaders within their respective industries.  Consider the dramatic changes that have taken place at bookstores, […]
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ISM blog article

The Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything By Barton Goldenberg, President of ISM March 26, 2014 I recently had a very interesting conversation with my good friend, Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies based in San Jose, CA, and a renowned technology analyst. Tim is very keen on the new trend called the “Internet of Everything”, which was in full display at this […]
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ISM blog article

Big Data Analytics & Insight

By Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM Big Data is going through a similar phase that CRM went through in its heyday in the late 1990s when it meant different things to different people. Big Data has been described as everything from “as powerful as a tsunami, but a deluge that can be controlled” to “just another name for the […]
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ISM Review of CRM People/Process/Technology issues

Do You Capture the “Voice of Your Customer?

Learn How at Feb. 11 ISM/Infor Webinar: Customer Experience Management By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM How easy is it to conduct business with your company? How good is the experience when people visit your website, call your contact center, request information, or have a face-to-face with your sales reps? How well do you capture the ‘Voice of the […]
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ISM blog article

CRM Market Perspective From ISM Software Lab Director

By: John Chan, Director, ISM Software Lab John Chan, who joined ISM in 1999 as the Software Lab Director, is responsible for software testing and defining the evaluation criteria for The Guide to Mobile and Social CRM and the CRM software offered on ISM’s Reviews Online service. He oversees the implementation of ISM’s Top 15 CRM Software Awards selection program. […]
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ISM - Customer Engagement Consulting Approach

Data: Go Big or Go Home

Panel at Marketing & Tech Partnership Summit Jan. 28 By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM The world of marketing has changed so significantly this past decade that Kotler’s 4 Ps – which stood for many decades as the pillars of successful marketing – are now being challenged. The old adage that marketing is half art and half science is […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Integrating Social Media Is a Strategy for Success

Expand your insights with a hub and spoke model. By Barton Goldenberg – Posted Jan 1, 2014 At the CRM Evolution conference this summer, I taught a three-hour Social CRM Executive Boot Camp.  I never completed my presentation, since participants had so many good questions regarding a key topic we covered: what I call an integrated social CRM strategy.  It’s […]
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ISM whitepapers and webinars

Webinar Tackles Knowledge Communities with Focus on “The Value-Add of Private Social Communities”

ISM & Mzinga Present Nov. 12 Webinar By Jean Young, VP, ISM Ask many executives if the company has a private social community and the answer may be: “yes, our clients can login and check the status of orders” or “we have our own Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts”. Neither answer is correct. ISM Founder/President Barton Goldenberg says, “There is confusion […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

ISM & Mzinga Present Nov. 12 Webinar

Webinar Tackles Knowledge Communities with Focus on “The Value-Add of Private Social Communities” By Jean Young, VP, ISM. sk many executives if the company has a private social community and the answer may be: “yes, our clients can login and check the status of orders” or “we have our own Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts”. Neither answer is correct. ISM Founder/President […]
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ISM blog article

Upcoming ISM Webinar – September 24 – Addresses the “Customer of the Future: How to Prepare for Success”

Social Media, Mobility and Gamification are part of a customer-focused two-way dialogue By: Jean Young, Vice President, ISM For today’s “always-on, always-connected” customers operating in a world where commerce is “two-way and in real time”, well, sorta, there is a level of frustration that two-way often is one-way with the customer on the losing end. And, pumping up the “Likes” […]
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CRM Evolution Conference Focuses on Recognizing & Resolving Social CRM Issues

By Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM I attended and spoke at the 2013 CRM Evolution Conference in NYC last week. Thought this was the best CRM Evolution Conference since its founding in the mid-2000s. What made this year’s conference so interesting was its focus on Social CRM and willingness to discuss the challenges moving the industry in this direction. […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Happy Agents, Happy Customers

Increased agent productivity leads to increased satisfaction By: Barton Goldenberg Recently, we measured the impact of happy customer service agents on customer experience at several of our clients’ contact centers. The results were no surprise: Happy agents drive happy experiences. (They also drive down attrition rates, a costly challenge within most con- tact centers.) According to recent research, 90 percent […]
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ISM Announces the 2013 Top 15 CRM Software Award Winners

On May 21, 2013, ISM announced the Winners of the 2013 Top 15 CRM Software Awards for Enterprise and Small & Medium Business Solutions.  The winners of the 2013 Top 15 CRM Software Awards have continued to raise the bar for the CRM community with significant advancements in both functionality and connectibility. Mobile access, Social CRM, Big Data Analytics & […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

The Future Is Now for Data Analytics

Turn data insights into customer excellence. By Barton Goldenberg The buzz in the CRM industry is about big data. This data may come from your back- office ERP systems, your CRM system, social insights, or third-party sources. At the end of the day, all that counts is your ability to use this data to make more informed decisions. But between […]
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The New Trend of of Gamification in the CRM Marketplace Webinar Highlights

Summarized by John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director On March 12, 2013, Barton Goldenberg, president of ISM, along with Giles House (VP of Marketing Communications and Products at CallidusCloud) and Barry Givens (Director of Product Management at Avanade) presented a Webinar titled “The New Trend of Gamification in the CRM ”. Highlights of the Webinar follow: The Gartner Group predicts […]
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ISM whitepapers and webinars

The Current Social Media Phenomena: Why Is It Important to You?

Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible publishing technologies. In its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It is a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people […]
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“The Customer of the Future” Webinar Highlights

Summarized by John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director On February 20, 2013, Barton Goldenberg, president of ISM, presented a Webinar titled “The Customer of the Future: How to Prepare for Success”. Highlights of the Webinar follow: The keys to succeed in selling and marketing to the Customer of the Future (Generation Y) are: • Every organization needs to have in […]
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“Why a CRM Assessment is a Necessity?” Webinar Highlights

Summarized by John Chan, ISM Software Lab Director On January 15, 2013, Barton Goldenberg, president of ISM, presented a Webinar titled “Why a CRM Assessment is a Necessity?” Highlights of the Webinar follow: ‘ In starting a CRM Assessment, critique your organization’s existing CRM initiative and answer these questions: • Is CRM still in lock-step with your organization’s strategic directions? […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

The Emerging Integration of CEM and CRM

Mapping out a customer journey is a two-sided process. By Barton Goldenberg As a 27-year veteran of the CRM industry, I want to address the emerging integration of customer experience management (CEM) and CRM. While some of my colleagues suggest that CEM is making a play to capture the next CRM wave, I believe it is instead a critically important […]
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ISM Adds New Clients for Its Customer-Centric Strategic Services

Digital Customer Driving CRM Upgrades and Social Media Offerings By Jean Young, Vice President, ISM Good news travels fast. When the ISM team, led by Barton Goldenberg, realized 10 new clients had signed up in six months, it was a confirmation of ISM’s track record and of its drive to look ahead. “Best-in-class companies of all sizes, both B2Cand B2B, […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

The E-Commerce Effect

This key pillar of social CRM is changing the business landscape By: Barton Goldenberg While my last few columns have focused on the role of social CRM, I want to shift direction and share how e-commerce is changing the CRM landscape. Broadly defined, e-commerce is the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems, including pre and post-sales […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Going Global

Doing business in multiple countries adds new challenges to social implementations By Barton Goldenberg Since ISM was founded in 1985, we have helped dozens of global corporations develop CRM, social CRM, and social media initiatives. We are currently working with an aluminum industry supplier, an oil manufacturer, and a hotel chain on their global CRM imple- mentations, and I want […]
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Mzinga and ISM Announce a New Initiative to Jointly Deliver Social Customer Experience Solutions

Mzinga® (www.mzinga.com), a pioneer in social intelligence solutions, services, and analytics for business, and ISM (www.ismguide.com), the premier strategic advisor to organizations planning and implementing CRM and Social CRM initiatives, today announced a new initiative to jointly deliver Social Customer Experience solutions. The shared technology and services will bring together Mzinga’s market-leading OmniSocial® platform and ISM’s Social CRM solutions for […]
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Media Coverage of the New Initiative by Mzinga and ISM to Jointly Deliver Social Customer Experience Solutions

1. Mzinga Partners with ISM for Customer Experience Solutions To read the entire article, please click here 2. Mzinga and ISM Partner for Listening Service To read the entire article, please click here 3. Mzinga and ISM Partner in Providing Social CRM Solutions To read the entire article, please click here
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Mobile CRM: Nice to Have or a Business Essential?

Don’t risk becoming a digital dinosaur By: Barton Goldenberg Since 2009, the mobile subscriber base has experienced an annual growth rate greater than that of the Internet. The number of worldwide mobile workers will reach 1.2 billion by the end of 2013. Behind this growth are “digital clients,” led by Generation Y, or Millennials, who number 7.5 million in the […]
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Social CRM Technologies for 2012

2012 will be a turning point in helping to clearly define Social CRM, during which time we will see three technology enhancements: Leading CRM vendors (e.g., Salesforce.com, Oracle, Pivotal) will offer new technology that more tightly integrates social media community insights from both public (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and private company communities with customer profile functionality held within their CRM […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

The Real Value of Social CRM

Leverage public social media and niche sites to drive traffic to your community By: Barton Goldenberg I’ VE JUST RETURNED from this year’s CRM Evolution event in New York City, where I presented a three-hour CRM executive boot camp. The event gave me additional insight into why there is still so much industry confusion surrounding social CRM. While I have […]
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ISM Launches Social Media Policy Services for Increasingly Complex Online World

Increasing its emphasis on the growing social media marketplace, ISM today announced Social Media Policy Services as the latest addition to its Social Media and Social CRM offerings. Helping organizations navigate an increasingly complex “socially-charged” online world, ISM’s new Social Media Policy Services enable companies to implement best-in-class social media employee guidelines that foster employee goodwill and mitigate risk. 
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Social Media Policy as a Recruiting Tool

Cisco released the first part of their three-part Connected World Report for 2011 on September 21st, 2011.  The focus of this year’s report is college students and the recently employed (ages 18-29). The 1412 young employees were from 14 countries, not working for the IT department, and not working for non-profits or market research firms.  (I mention this because often […]
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Trend: Increasing CRM Focus on the Small- to Mid-Sized Business Segment

More small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs)—companies with less than $500 million in annual revenues, or companies employing less than 1,000 people—are adopting CRM software.  In 2008, AMR Research predicted that the SMB market will reach $44.1 billion in CRM sales by the end of 2011, which appears to be taking effect.  Another study by Access Markets International Partners found that […]
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Age of Social & The Customer Profile – How Organizations Should Gather Customer Info

Since 1986, I have argued that at the core of every successful CRM initiative is a robust customer profile that provides insight into your customer’s needs and wants.  Think of the profile as a daisy, with the customer in the center of the daisy and the petals symbolizing different information about that customer (e.g., name, address, email, activities, products/services purchased, financial value to […]
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Fun and Games with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

A while ago I wrote that companies such as Virgin Atlantic, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Brixx restaurant fired employees for Facebook posts about the company or customers;  and, a Georgia teacher and New England Patriots cheerleader were fired for personal behavior posted on Facebook.  I opined that it’s critical to have a Social Media Policy that makes it clear what […]
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Trend: Increased M&A Among CRM Vendors to Drive Next-Gen Social CRM

Responding to customer pressure to provide comprehensive applications, CRM vendor consolidation among major players is likely to increase. However, some small CRM vendors, particularly those in well-defined niche markets, will survive on their own. According to Gartner, the CRM vendor landscape will shrink in years to come.  Per the research firm, the five largest CRM vendors controlled 60 percent of […]
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Preview of CRM Evolution 2011 Bootcamp

My 3-part CRM Executive Bootcamp at CRM Evolution 2011 (August 8-10, NYC) will review how CRM, Social CRM and Social Media are changing the way that companies successfully realize their customer-centric strategies.  The bootcamp breaks the discussion into core success components including: ·         Process: We dig into key process areas including how to secure the effective use of sales pipeline […]
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Social CRM: One Step Closer to the Holy Grail of 1-to-1 Marketing

Targeted marketing campaigns have been around since merchants began selling goods.  Over the past 40 years, they have become increasingly sophisticated, moving from targeting new brides, moms, or teenagers to demographically/psychographically targeting 50-something golfers who live in a certain zip code, make over 100k and drive a luxury car. With the advent of the web, companies have begun personalizing emails, […]
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Trend: Customer Assistance Options Meets Social CRM

Today, companies are relying on Social Media to assist their CRM users and as budgets get tighter, many companies using CRM solutions are embracing Social Media as a cost-effective method to improve their customer assistance options with their clients rather than increasing sales resources. According to Salesforce.com’s VP of product marketing for its Service Cloud Unit Fergus Griffin, the CRM […]
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Social CRM – Tapping into the Emotional Side of the Customer

Recently, I spoke as the closing keynote at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston. Throughout the conference and even at past conferences I have attended and/or presented, the question still remains – Does Social CRM really apply to sales? Or is it a marketing and customer service tool that doesn’t really benefit sales? The answer is simple. Social CRM is […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Overcoming Skepticism to Exploit Social CRM

Many executives fear a healthy two-way conversation with customers By Barton Goldenberg I’ve been a part of the CRM industry since 1985 and never before have I seen such confusion and skepticism regarding when and how best to adopt Social CRM processes and tools. Yet the companies that stopped questioning and charged forward with Social CRM are beginning to pull […]
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How do you define success with Social Media?

Global brand strategist Jonathan Salem Baskin wrote a great iMedia Connection article on defining social media success (or failure). He reviews recent memorable social media campaigns by Pepsi, Ford and Old Spice that created tons of buzz, but in the end didn’t translate to more revenue or a better market position, because they didn’t have anything of value to say […]
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Social CRM Begins to Penetrate the CRM Marketplace

CRM’s integration with social media is creating a new social element in traditional CRM processes: Social CRM.  Social CRM enables a business to connect customer conversations and relationships from social networks to the CRM process. Social CRM will augment traditional CRM, but it will not replace it.  ISM sees Social CRM becoming integrated in CRM platforms and systems for a […]
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The New Digital Reality – Are We Ready?

If Gartner’s analysis is accurate, “by 2014, 1.86 billion people will be online and 6.7 billion devices will be connected to the Internet.”  This includes mainstream mobile devices like netbooks and mini-notebooks, smart phones, pocket PCs and tablets.  I believe it also will include traditional devices like televisions, cameras and video recorders that form an active part of the Gen […]
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The Future of Mobile CRM

We already know that mobile workers are the primary force in driving Mobile CRM.  The number of worldwide mobile workers will reach 1.1 billion at the end of 2011 according to IDC. This growth in mobile workers and subscribers is largely caused by the increase in the population of ‘Digital Clients’ or Generation Y (Millennials). But where are we heading […]
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ISM Reveals Top 5 Pragmatic Best Practices for Social CRM

Providing much needed clarity for B2B organizations looking to integrate CRM and social media for increased customer engagement, ISM Inc. shares the top five pragmatic best practices for Social CRM, based on significant in-the-trenches consulting with dozens of Fortune 1000 global organizations.  To learn more about ISM’s Top 5 Pragmatic Best Practices for Social CRM, please click here.
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ISM blog article

Social Media for B2B – Stand Up and Take Notice

I’ve been fascinated by some statistics around B2B use of social media vs. B2C.   According to White Horse Digital Marketing Agency: •       32% of B2B marketers are active within social media daily, as opposed to 52% of B2C marketers. •       46% of B2B marketers say internal decision-makers view social media as irrelevant, compared to only 12% of B2C marketers. •       […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

CRM Vendors Today – Three Cheers for the Honest Ones

By: Barton Goldenberg Having spent 26 years in the CRM industry, I’ve seen my share of vendor shenanigans ranging from exaggerating software capabilities and embellishing execution complexity to overpromising and under delivering implementations. While most vendors are honest, hard-working companies, I remain concerned about a resurgence of dishonest practices to drive sales from several of the newer vendors. Without revealing […]
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More CRM Vendors Embrace Social Media

Increasingly, CRM vendors are now providing access to various social media networks via their CRM solutions. Today, technology has shifted from a means of one-way static communication to platforms for interaction and community building.  According to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey, many companies expect that social media methods and tools will eventually be the single biggest factor in changing […]
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Social CRM – People, Process, Technology – What’s Your Opinion?

In the first quarter, ISM hosted a three-part webinar series – “Best Practices in Social CRM – People, Process and Technology.”  The turnout and stay-through rate was tremendous for each webinar, so we know we are onto effective learning.  The top three takeaways from the series include: -People: (1) Legislate – have a well-stated social media policy, (2) Communicate – […]
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Social Media – the Medium is not the Message

It’s hard not to feel like you are always just a beat behind when it comes to social media.  There seems to be a new entrant into the social medial vendor landscape every day.  Social media tools are even now supporting revolution and regime change in the Middle East.  The number of videos watched on YouTube every single day (two […]
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The Growing Impact of Social Media

Social Media is undoubtedly exploding. And it is helping to create new ways for organizations to communicate, share ideas and relate to employees, consumers, partners and other stakeholders.  The key concept behind Social Media is creating on-line communities that allow people to get information, opinions, solutions and ratings directly from each other rather than from organizations.  Social Media is a […]
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CRM Growth Forecasted in the Current Economic Downturn

In today’s current economic downturn, companies currently using or considering implementing a CRM solution have an excellent opportunity to utilize the benefits of CRM as a means of growing their business and maximizing strong relationships with their clients and prospects. According to research conducted by business professors at Penn State and the University of Texas, well-run companies should not, cut […]
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Take Stock of CRM Optimization Opportunities for Big Impact

With a new year upon us and an economy that is slowly improving, it is time to review your customer centric strategies to ensure that marketing+sales basics and the technology to leverage those basics are in place. While target marketing and sales follow up are key, the CRM optimization advances over the past few years have made it possible to […]
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ISM Introduces Social CRM Practice

After three years of highly lauded social CRM projects with more than two dozen Fortune 1000 organizations including AAA, Vopak, and Kraft Foods, ISM Inc. is formally introducing its Social CRM practice. The new practice will help guide global organizations to reap additional generous returns from their CRM investment via social media services.  ISM applies a unique approach that allows organizations […]
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Lookback at 2010 – Peek at 2011

As we begin a new year, ISM remains cautiously optimistic about the state of the CRM marketplace for 2011. The long-term prospects of the CRM marketplace continue to be bright as Gartner predicts that the CRM market will continue to have a positive growth rate, considering the slowing economy.  The CRM market is poised for a “healthy growth” rate through […]
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Why You Need a Social Media Policy

Facebook just surpassed Google as the most visited site on the web and your employees are on it – and Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, Linkedin, blogs and others.  Virgin Atlantic, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Brixx restaurant fired employees for negative Facebook posts about the company or customers. A Georgia teacher and New England Patriots cheerleader were fired for personal behavior posted […]
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ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Marketing + Sales + CRM = BIG Impact

By: Barton Goldenberg As we emerge from the challenging 2008-2009 recession, ISM’s best-in-class customers are beginning to spend time and money reviewing their customer-centric strategies. Their goal is ensure that proper customer-facing business processes and technology are in place to drive new sales and secure long-term customer loyalty. There are two areas these customers are focusing on: ensuring that marketing […]
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Increased Integration of Business Intelligence Analytical Tools in CRM Solutions

Here is my discussion on a key movement within the CRM marketplace: Increased Integration of Business Intelligence Analytical Tools in CRM Solutions     Business Intelligence Analytical tools, or predictive modeling, now can predict the monetary value and profitability of a particular customer: from profiling customers based on their behavior to segmenting markets, from predicting customer purchases based on past purchase information and psychographic/demographic […]
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Trend of CRM Integration with Social Media Applications

Here is my explanation on a key trend that within the CRM marketplace: CRM software Integration with Social Media applications With the tremendous growth in Social Media spending in today’s marketplace, a number of prominent CRM vendors now offer direct integration with major Social Media applications and platforms, rather than taking the time to develop such functionality internally.  The reasoning behind the […]
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Highlights of My CRM User Adoption Webinar

On Tuesday, Nov 16, I held an hourly Webinar on the topic: CRM User Adoption: Securing this Critical Success Factor Once and For All!  It was a very successful Webinar as we had several hundred attendees and lots of questions posted by the Webinar attendees.  Due to high demand, here are the highlights of the CRM User Adoption Webinar. The […]
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The Emergence of the Cloud and SaaS Applications into the Market Mainstream

Here is a discussion on a key trend that within the CRM marketplace: Cloud computing and SaaS applications are rapidly moving into the enterprise-wide CRM marketplace.  CRM software vendors are increasingly offering CRM software solutions via the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which is also referred to as Application Service Provider (ASP), on-demand solution or the cloud ”(Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and […]
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The Emergence of Social CRM in the Current Marketplace

Here is a key trend that I have been noticing: the CRM integration with Social Media applications to create a new social element in the CRM marketplace: Social CRM.  Here are my thoughts on the reasons behind the emergence of Social CRM. CRM vendors are now beginning to offer integration with third party comprehensive Social Media applications.  Social media is […]
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My Thoughts on the Current State of Mobile CRM

To all my readers, I have some discussions recently with other CRM experts on the current state of mobile CRM.  Here are my thoughts: CRM vendors are continuing to develop and release CRM application modules, especially those that are bundled with or work on a large variety of handheld and/or wireless devices. These include PDAs (with various operating systems), and […]
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Social Media Readiness Assessment Engagement Summary

By: Barton Goldenberg A viable action plan in three phases The Social Media Readiness Assessment is accomplished in three phases; Education and Current State Evaluation, Business Case, and Integration of the Contact Channel into the Social Media Strategy. As the primary customer touch point for most organizations, the contact center should be intimately involved with formulating and executing an enterprise’s […]
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Consolidation in the CRM Marketplace

Responding to customer pressure to provide comprehensive applications, CRM vendor consolidation by major players is likely to increase. The Oracle acquisitions of PeopleSoft and Siebel in 2005, along with the emergence of SaaS have encouraged further consolidation among CRM software companies as multimillion-dollar CRM enterprises saw other acquisitions as necessary to survive in an increasingly competitive CRM market.  CRM functionality […]
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The Importance of Data Integrity In a CRM Project

One of my clients that I am working for asked me for clarification concerning the importance of data integrity in a CRM project.  So, here is my discussion on the importance of data integrity within a CRM project. Data integrity consists of two processes: data cleansing and data management. Data cleansing/data management is a core component of every successful CRM […]
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Negotiating a Good Price for Your CRM System

I have been asked by one of ISM”s clients for negotiating tips for a CRM system.  So, consequently, here are 10 negotiating tips that work in the current buyers’ market. You’ll either need to do some homework to determine the competitive CRM software pricing, or ask a consulting company to help. Be sure to understand the need for each optional […]
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A Key Trend: Increased Growth in Business Analytics

Business Intelligence Analytical tools, or predictive modeling, now can predict the monetary value and profitability of a particular customer: from profiling customers based on their behavior to segmenting markets, from predicting customer purchases based on past purchase information and psychographic/demographic data and from determining cross-selling opportunities.  Marketers are finding out that analytics programs are beneficial for tailoring marketing messages without […]
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Internet-Based Applications Are Becoming the Predominant Model in Software

My research as ISM’s President has found that increasingly users will be accessing their software applications over the Internet rather than using on-premise applications within the near future.  Here is evidence of my conclusion about applications accessed over the Internet (Software as a Service (SaaS)) and particularly via the cloud model: A recent survey by Elon University researchers of around 900 […]
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Competition in the SaaS CRM Marketplace Heats Up

Competition in the CRM SaaS marketplace is heating up as indicated by the recent announcement that Microsoft has cut the price of its SaaS to compete with Oracle CRM and Salesforce.com: http://tinyurl.com/28hfukt According to ABI Research, the global market for hosted services will exceed $34 billion in 2012, of which $11.6 billion will be from the North American market, primarily from […]
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Pepsico’s Social Media Campaign Results

Last year, I noticed that Pepsico was making an enormous investment in their Social Media campaign.  Rather than spending their usual marketing efforts on a Superbowl commercial, they opted to spend $20 million dollars on their Pepsi Refresh Project: a $20 million social media campaign that enabled people to submit and campaign for ideas (proposals to “refresh” their communities), and […]
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The Impact of Social Media on Emerging Markets

I have been asked recently about the impact of Social Media in emerging markets.  Here is a discussion of Social Media and my thoughts: Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. […]
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The Importance of Data Integrity – Additional Thoughts

I have thought more about the importance of data integrity in a CRM implementation.  Here are my additional thoughts: Data cleansing tools, such as the Business Objects products, cleanse, standardize, and consolidate customer-centric data anywhere that data is touched, stored, or moved. The tool helps to consolidate multiple identities of the same customer across several legacy systems data sources to […]
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A Quarter-Century in CRM

An industry veteran looks back at the lessons learned over the course of 25 years By: Barton Goldenberg I REMEMBER WELL my first encounter with the CRM industry, at a sales and marketing conference in New York in 1985. Clients had been asking me which sales force automation (SFA) software was best—and what preparations effective SFA required. At that 1985 […]
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The Importance of Data Integrity

I was recently asked by an ISM client about the importance of data integrity in a CRM implementation.  Here are my thoughts: Data integrity consists of two processes: data cleansing and data management. Data cleansing/data management is a core component of every successful CRM program, and it should be developed at the outset of any CRM program. Data integrity should […]
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Ten Steps to Business Process Review

I have been recently asked for the ISM Ten Steps for Business Process Review.  Here are the recommended ISM Ten Steps: The following is a brief description of my firm’s 10-step business process review procedure. These steps provide general guidelines for the activities that need to take place for a better understanding of the current and desired business processes related […]
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Key Questions To Ask About the Business Process Elements

Here is my follow-up to my previous post on Business Process elements for a full Business Process Review: In determining functionality, key questions to ask about the business process elements that are evaluated include the following: Ownership—Is there clear responsibility, authority, and accountability for the success of the process invested within a functional group or groups? Integrity—Is the process consistent […]
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A Full Business Process Review

I have been asked recently on which circumstances a full business process review should be conducted? Here is my answer: A full business process review is typically used in the following circumstances: The findings of the CRM business process assessment previously described warrant a more in-depth evaluation or redesign of business processes. Current business processes are dysfunctional enough to warrant […]
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Global Manufacturing Company Implements CRM Process

Here is an example of a Global Manufacturing Company, which underscores the impact of implementing new CRM processes on an organization’s operations. A global manufacturing company proposed to streamline its sales process using CRM automation software and mapped the existing sales process via a Visio flow-chart.  By mapping the sales process, this manufacturing company determined that the process currently had […]
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Global Life Sciences Company Implementing Process Example

Here is an example of a Global Life Sciences Company, which underscores the impact of implementing new CRM processes on an organization’s operations. In 2009,  one of our global life sciences customers  decided to revamp its lead management business process before implementing an overarching CRM initiative. Why? Prior to the new process, sales leads would come in from a variety […]
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ISM Blog News

ISM Announces Winners of First Annual Social CRM Software Awards

Social CRM Functionality Becoming More Prevalent in CRM Applications Contact: ISM 301.656-8448 BETHESDA, August 2, 2010 – As the maturing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) industry is making a major shift into Social CRM functionality, ISM announces the first annual Social CRM Awards recipients. Social CRM can be defined as “the tools and processes that encourage better, more effective customer interaction […]
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ISM Announces the Winners of Its First Annual Social CRM Software Awards

On August 2, 2010, ISM announced the winners of the First Annual Social CRM Software Awards at the CRM Evolution Conference in New York City.  Social CRM can be defined as “the tools and processes that encourage better, more effective customer interaction and leverage the collective intelligence of the customer community with the result of increasing intimacy between an organization and its […]
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CRM Evolution Speech

To all my blog readers: I will be speaking at the CRM Evolution Conference in NYC on August 2: Here are the details: CRM Evolution Conference August 2, 2010 New York, NY NY Marriott Marquis Hotel Executive Boot Camp, Part 1 & 2 Barton Goldenberg, President, ISM Inc. This non-technical boot camp targets the busy executive who needs to get […]
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An Example of a Consumer Goods Company Implementing CRM Processes

Here is an example of a Consumer Goods Company, which underscores the impact of implementing new CRM processes on an organization’s operations. In 2007, one of our  global consumer goods customers  embarked upon a CRM initiative that included the creation and automation of a “key account” management process, yet the company encountered problems right out of the gate. Rather than […]
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CRM Process Component

Here is my discussion on the role of the CRM Process Component, a crucial element for the key to CRM success The process component of CRM is considered the most delicate because any inappropriate automation of CRM business processes will eventually lead to numerous errors in the CRM implementation and lead to the creation of inappropriate processes in the organization […]
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The Role of The System Administrator for a CRM System

Here is my discussion on the role of the System Administrator for CRM Systems, a crucial element for the key to CRM success In most companies, a systems administrator is required to manage the CRM system. A good systems administrator works closely with the help desk and the external software vendor(s) or internal IT department, while maintaining a close working […]
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Social Media Video

Again, I reiterate from my June 1 blog entry: here is a video that everyone who is following my blog should see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkKD5Fu3Pkk  This video demonstrates that Social Media is emerging as perhaps the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution. It is produced by Erik Qualman, the author of “Socialnomics”. Like many other top consultants, I believe that Social Media […]
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How To Choose CRM Software Article

Last week, Inc.com published an article “How To Choose CRM Software” from Brenda Poster-Rockwell on the appropriate method of choosing CRM software to fulfill your company’s needs.  ISM President,  Barton Goldenberg, was quoted several times in this article. Here is an excerpt in the article in which Barton discusses the necessity of obtaining the support of staff in an CRM initiative, along with […]
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‘Help Desk Training’ For CRM Systems

Here is my discussion on ‘Help Desk Training’ For CRM Systems, one of the Six Types of CRM Training: Every  system user should have a comprehensive help function in the CRM software, which may or may not include system User Documentation online. A help desk should also be set up to support your CRM system. Users often contact the help desk […]
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‘Remedial Training’ For CRM Systems

Individuals trained on the system who use the system soon after are likely to retain much of their training. However, even the most seasoned learner can benefit from periodic remedial training updates, particularly if there are new systems releases that include new functions and features. Remedial training sessions should be scheduled within six months after the system has been implemented […]
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Connecting the Disconnected

Professional services firm Ceridian brings its independent salesforces under one CRM roof. By Lauren McKay – July 14, 2010 When talking about CRM implementations, managers and consultants tend to toss around software speak: scalability, adoption, visibility. But for Ceridian, a global provider of business services, those are more than just buzzwords. The company, which developed within Control Data Corp., branched […]
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Changing the Deal

Sigma Financial turns sales into something more than spreadsheets. By: Lauren McKay – July 14, 2010   In 2006, Sigma Financial was busting at the seams. In February 2002, the Ann Arbor, Mich.–based broker-dealer firm had embarked on a joint venture to manage its side of sales for Midland National Life Insurance, a company with nearly 900 sales reps. As […]
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Advising Consistency

Financial services firm Raymond James Financial gently offers its more than 5,000 advisors and associates a CRM interface they’re familiar with.   By: Lauren McKay – July 14, 2010 When it comes to large-scale CRM rollouts, few organizations can boast of higher user-adoption rates than those seen by financial services company Raymond James Financial (RJF). The secret to RJF’s success? […]
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Services

Driving Results

How AAA Mid-Atlantic turned database marketing into member retention. By:  Juan Martinez – July 14, 2010   Customers expect efficiency from all aspects of an enterprise—from the products they buy to the people they call to complain about those products. How better to serve customers than to anticipate their needs by gathering and employing all the data they’ve already provided? […]
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Reading the Text

McGraw-Hill learns to sell smarter. By: Juan Martinez – July 14, 2010   Book selling has always been about getting the product into the hands of customers. Sure, one can judge a book by its cover, but that judgment is worthless. Without a recommendation from a friend or a trustworthy review, a customer won’t know whether he wants to spend […]
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‘Systems Administrator Training’ For CRM Systems

Here is my discussion on ‘System Administrator Training’ For CRM Systems, one of the Six Types of CRM Training: If a vendor sold the software to your firm, this type of training takes place with the vendor and your assigned systems administrator(s). This individual(s) will be performing day-to-day system maintenance such as assigning passwords, customizing screens, and updating databases. Even if […]
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Tidbits From My Webinar Today: “How Do You Benefit From Mobile CRM?”

I just held another successful ISM Webinar titled: “How Do You Benefit From Mobile CRM”.  It was a very exciting Webinar with lots of attendees and interesting questions.  For those who missed it, here are the main tidbits from my Mobile CRM Webinar: According to the IDC, the number of worldwide mobile workers will reach 1 billion by the end […]
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‘Train The Trainer’ Training For CRM Systems

Here is my discussion on ‘Train The Trainer’ Training For CRM Systems, one of the Six Types of CRM Training Use this type of training when your company prefers to do its own training or in cases where there are so many system users that it becomes unrealistic to train them all at once. This session is designed for internal trainers […]
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Highlights of My Keynote For Pivotal’s Social CRM Webcast

Here are my highlights for my keynote presentation for Pivotal’s Social CRM webcast yesterday concerning “Get Social: The new Social CRM Module for Pivotal CRM”. This is the Definition of  ‘Social Media’: A set of highly interactive technology tools that leverage the fundamental human desire to interact with others A new way for organizations to communicate with and relate to employees, […]
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Pivotal CRM Webcast Keynote Today

I gave the  keynote to Pivotal’s Social CRM webcast today concerning “Get Social: The new Social CRM Module for Pivotal CRM”.  I was very impressed with what Pivotal has come up with regarding their new Social CRM offering.  It really is slick, and I believe Pivotal’s approach is the best way to integrate CRM and social media. I will post more […]
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The Next 25 Years: Customer-Centric Business Strategy

By: Barton Goldenberg July 2010 While this month’s “25 years in the CRM Industry” feature story is filled with interesting lessons learned from several best-in-class companies, let’s now journey down the next 25 years as the CRM industry shifts towards ‘customer-centric’ business strategies that incorporate increasingly sophisticated yet easy-to-use CRM, Social CRM and Social Media tools and techniques. The key […]
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ISM Gains Two New Clients

As another further sign that the economy recovery in the CRM market is taking place, my company, ISM, Inc.,  recently gained two new clients for CRM-related engagements. To see  a listing of ISM’s new client engagements, please click on the following Weblink: https://ismguide.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=82
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Initial User Training For CRM Systems

Here is my discussion on Initial User Training For CRM Systems, one of the Six Types of CRM Training Initial User Training. If you purchase off-the-shelf software, initial user training is often included or can be negotiated into the overall price of the software. This training may consist of sessions held at your facilities, at the vendor’s facilities, or at a […]
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25 Years in the CRM Industry

By: Barton Goldenberg July 2010 In 2010, ISM celebrates its 25th year in business.  I remember well my first encounter with the CRM industry at a sales and marketing conference in NYC in 1985.  Three sales force automation vendors worked hard to convince me that their software was the best application available. I had also begun to receive calls from our […]
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My comments on Gartner’s Report Concerning CRM’s Past, Present & Future

I agree with the Gartner analyst, Ed Thompson’s report on CRM’s Past, Present and Future with the Key Message – Change is happening fast! I have seen that companies are continuing to spend money on CRM projects even with the current economic downturn.  Mobile CRM, Social CRM, multi-channel service and business analytics are continuing to drive the CRM market forward.  I […]
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Necessity of Training in an CRM Initiative

Here are some comments concerning the necessity of Training in an CRM initiative: The combination of training, an effective help desk, and comprehensive systems administration all play key roles in ensuring that CRM system users are happy and determine the long-term success for the system.  Based on actual customer data that I have compiled over the past 24 years, I […]
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Third Example of the Importance of People Issues In CRM

Mastering the people component of any CRM implementation is often the most difficult challenge for any organization, given the sensitivity of users to change.  To reiterate again, ‘People’ issues are the most important aspect to the success of a CRM initiative.  In this third example, the ‘People’ component impacted CRM initiatives in a very positive way. Publishing Example An international publishing company […]
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Another Example of the Importance of People Issues In CRM

Mastering the people component of any CRM implementation is often the most difficult challenge for any organization, given the sensitivity of users to change.  To reiterate, ‘People’ issues are the most important aspect to the success of a CRM initiative.  In the following example, the ‘People’ component  severely impacted CRM initiatives negatively. Services Industry Example A leading service organization launched a […]
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An Example of the Importance of People Issues In CRM

As I have often stated in my public speaking presentations, mastering the people component of any CRM implementation is often the most difficult challenge for any organization, given the sensitivity of users to change. The following  example is one in which the people component derailed or severely impacted CRM initiatives. Telecom Example An international telecommunications company launched a global CRM initiative a […]
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Salesforce.com Webcast on “Chatter” Today

I just saw the Salesforce.com Webcast on their new Chatter application today, in which Salesforce.com CEO, Marc Benioff, gave a preview of Salesforce.com’s Chatter, a collaboration application for the enterprise to connect and share information securely with people at work in real-time.   What I saw was  a Facebook-like application that provides employees with the ability communicate with one another via Social Media.  […]
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Keep Your Eye on What Really Counts

In any business, the key to success is to maintain and grow your profitability.  In essence, cash flow is key and money is the “Blood” of your business.   Therefore, I would like to remind all of my Blog Readers that in any business initiative, be sure to keep your eye on what really counts: how it will affect the cash […]
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Sneak Preview of My July 2010 Reality Check Column

To my Blog Readers: Next July, CRM Magazine will be publishing my article:  The Next 25-Years: Customer Centric Business Strategy.  This article will discuss my vision on the CRM marketplace for the next 25 years as the CRM industry shifts toward ‘customer centric’  business strategies that use sophisticated, easy-to-use CRM, Social CRM and Social Media tools and techniques.  The key […]
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ISM Gains New Clients

As a further sign that the economy recovery in the CRM market is taking place, my company, ISM, Inc.,  recently gained some new clients for CRM-related engagements. To see  a listing of ISM’s new client engagements, please click on the following Weblink: https://ismguide.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=82
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Welcome to the World of Socialnomics

Here is a video that everyone who is following my blog should see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkKD5Fu3Pkk  This video demonstrates that Social Media is emerging as perhaps the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution. It is produced by Erik Qualman, the author of “Socialnomics”. Like many other top consultants, I believe that Social Media is a phenomena that will deeply influence the worldwide marketplace for […]
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Barton Goldenberg Speaks at the Food Services CRM Conference

Barton Goldenberg recently spoke at the Food Services CRM Conference in Chicago. On May 20, 2010,  Barton conducted a CRM Boot Camp for the participants who were interested in learning more or getting more out of their existing CRM applications. Here are two quotes from the organizers of the Food Services CRM Conference: “It was a pleasure to meet you […]
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Mobile CRM and Data Analytics – SAP’s Acquisition Strategy

I agree wholehearted with SAP’s current acquisition strategy. As many of you may know, I have been a key proponent of mobile CRM and believe that it will play a major impact on the CRM marketplace in the near future. Here are some key statistics on mobile devices in the US: Mobile penetration in the United States is over 80 […]
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Reasons for the Current CRM Market Recovery

I recently received a question on what trends are driving the CRM market recovery.  Here is my answer to this question: Some trends that are driving the CRM industry recovery include: 1. The rise in the Social CRM market: Three in four U.S. online adults now use social tools to connect with one another compared with just 56% in 2007, […]
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CRM Market Recovery

Takeaway:  The CRM market is evidently beginning to recover from the current economic downturn as discussed by the Gartner Group’s Vice President, Ed Thompson and additionally new business that ISM has obtained in the past few months: The Gartner Group’s recent report, “Three Steps to Create a CRM Strategy,” aims to help CRM project managers, executive sponsors, and operations executives […]
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iPhone Integration With CRM Applications Will Be The Next Trend in Mobile CRM

The growth in the market for the iPhone is increasing at a tremendous rate as discussed in this excerpt from Apple’s press release: Apple once again took Wall Street by surprise when it reported second quarter earnings that far exceeded any expectations of analysts and industry watchers. Revenues came in nearly $1.5 billion over what Wall Street forecast and earnings were 90 cents […]
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People Still Drive Your CRM Success

By: Barton Goldenberg April 2010 For the past 25 years, I’ve been suggesting that the right mix for a successful CRM initiative is based on people (50%), process (30%) and technology (20%).  Too often organizations fail to devote the necessary time and resources to address the inevitable people issues that come up in all CRM initiatives.  This short-coming can lead […]
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Are You Getting Your Biggest Bang-For-The-Buck From Your CRM Investment?

As the economy bumps along towards recovery, organizations are increasingly turning to the CRM Assessment as an effective way to secure their biggest bang-for-the-buck from their CRM investment in business process enhancements and enabling CRM tools. The objective of the CRM Assessment is to critique your organization’s existing CRM initiative to answer these key questions: Is CRM still in lock-step […]
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Driving Successful Social Media Results

In my previous two columns, we examined Front Runner, a pseudonymous consumer brand with a consumer media initiative. (See “First Steps Are Always Critical,” April 2009 and “The Next Step Matter, Too”, August 2009).  The first of four Front Runner social media communities went live last week.  While it’s too early to provide concrete results, below are some key observations […]
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CRM in Real Time – Empowering Customer Relationships

Book reviews Edited by Geoffrey P. Lantos Journal of Product and Brand Management Vo. 18, No. 4, 2009 CRM in Real Time – Empowering Customer Relationships Barton J. Goldenberg Information Today Medford, NJ 2008 368 pp. $39.95 (softcover) Keywords Customer relationship management, Customer centric, Business strategy, Information technology Review DOI: 10.1108/10610420910972846 Experience, preparation and teamwork – these are all the […]
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We’re At the Half-Way Mark Implementing Four Corporate Social Media Pilots

In my April 2009 Reality Check column, I invited you to join me in a three-part journey to implement a large social media initiative – CRM’s newest front – at one of our long-term customers. This customer, who I’m calling Front Runner, is a well know brand that provides services to consumers on a global basis. This column builds on […]
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The Current Social Media Phenomena: Why Is It Important to You?

Created by ISM for ISM’s Clients Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible publishing technologies. In its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It is a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is […]
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Come Join Me on the Journey to Implement Four Social Media Pilots

By: Barton Goldenberg April 2009 For a number of years I’ve been sharing with you how many ISM customers have utilized people, process and technology tools and techniques to drive successful CRM implementations.  No bother if you missed these columns; most have been compiled in my latest book, CRM in Real Time, published by Information Today (the parent of this magazine). […]
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Boomers zero in on social networks

By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY Kirk from Los Angeles would appear to be just another typical MySpace denizen. His page reveals that he’s a Sagittarius, loves movies and wants to meet Angelina Jolie. Get in line, kid. Or maybe not. “I suppose I could just call her dad (actor Jon Voight) and set that up,” says Kirk Douglas, […]
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2009 Success: Customer Focus + Cost-Efficiency Through Technology

By: Barton Goldenberg February 2009 When I wrote this column back in November 2008, I was convinced that the economy would have worsened by now, and that our new President would find himself between a rock and hard place because the 2008 economic downturn was multi-faceted and particularly complex. Yet despite all this doom and gloom, several ISM clients opted […]
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