Customer Obsession – A Valentine’s Day Special

CMOs are tasked with creating cultural and operational aspects within their companies that build a customer obsession. This is central to business success in highly competitive marketing environments. We have evolved beyond customer-oriented and customer-centric goals to “customer obsession.” In honor of Valentine’s Day, I offer a few of my favorite tips to make it all about the customer.

Pick cultural fits

If given the choice, everyone wants to work with people they like. Working with people that you genuinely enjoy being around creates a foundation for trust. Create your own Match.com framework for customers. What are your must haves and must avoids?

Match the brand to the customer journey

If you want a long-term relationship, then the customer experience must match the brand. Once a customer buys and becomes a customer, design a customer journey that is focused on customer retention. Find out what they want and create a journey that exceeds their expectations with innovative, unique touches. Focusing resources on keeping customers is a better business investment than focusing on getting them.

Don’t talk trash

We have an incredible client portfolio with amazing client teams. This makes it easy to live by our rule at VisiTech PR that we don’t get in an us vs. them mentality. If you are upset with a client, you have three choices. 1) You can change it 2) You can accept it 3) You can leave the client relationship. Spreading negativity about clients is not an option. It does not help, and is usually a cop out to accepting responsibility.

Turn a mistake into an opportunity

No one is perfect. Every reasonable person understands this. A mistake is an opportunity to overcome the issue and continue with the customer in an even stronger position. Remember, it is not usually the mistake that loses a customer, it is how you deal with it.

Be on their team

Do you root for your customers? Of course, some business models dictate that you serve competitors and you maintain a Switzerland approach. Regardless, it is imperative to have your customer’s best interest at heart and show it consistently.

Share good energy

Who doesn’t want to have a good day at work? Be positive and enthusiastic. Make the customer feel good. Have some empathy for their human experience.

I wish you, and your very happy customers, a successful customer engagement.

An Industry-first Enterprise Archive Migration Solution

Historically, many enterprises have hit significant roadblocks when moving to a cloud-based system, such as Office 365. This is because moving archive folders from on-premise solutions was a painful process. The sheer quantity of data made the process difficult, expensive and time-consuming, sucking up resources many companies did not have.

Today, this roadblock has been eliminated. IT change automation expert BitTitan and enterprise archive extraction leader Nuix announced a partnership for the industry’s first and only solution to automate the entire enterprise archive migration process and make the move to the cloud easy.

By joining forces, BitTitan and Nuix make what once took months only take a matter of weeks. The entire process can be done offline, requiring little computing power or impact to existing systems. On top of that, it comes at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more about the partnership here.

BitTitan Logo

BitTitan Partners with Nuix to Automate and Revolutionize Enterprise Archive Migration

Partnership enables enterprise archive migration at a fraction of the cost and time

KIRKLAND, Wash. – February 11, 2015BitTitan, the IT change automation expert for cloud-based migration and onboarding, today announces a partnership with Nuix, a technology company that enables people to make fact-based decisions from unstructured data. This partnership combines the strengths of world leaders in enterprise archive extraction and cloud-based email and data migration to provide companies with enterprise archive migration. It enables companies and partners to easily move large amounts of data to the cloud, significantly reducing project time and overall costs.

Until now, migrating enterprise archives was primarily done on premise, which made it expensive, time-consuming, required a significant amount of hardware resources and in many cases, was limited by a company’s bandwidth constraints. By integrating Nuix’s archive extraction technology into BitTitan’s automated, dynamic cloud-based platform, MigrationWiz™, the process is now cost-effective and can be done in a fraction of the time, reducing the project time from months to weeks. The processing is done offline and in the cloud with almost unlimited computing power and zero impact to the existing systems. This new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering supports all major on-premise enterprise sources and cloud-based destinations.

“Current on-premise enterprise archive solutions are often a roadblock to moving a customer to a cloud-based system, such as Microsoft® Office 365™. By partnering with Nuix, we are tearing down the roadblocks and enabling new revenues for partners and for Microsoft,” said Vincent Fournier, CIO of BitTitan. “The new offering is completely automated, saving costs and time. Partners can migrate archives with little to no training, using the same, easy-to-use technology with which they are already familiar. It’s another example of how we are making IT change automation possible.”

“The power of the two proven, trusted and mature technologies brings brand new opportunities to the enterprise market,” said Rocco Seyboth, SVP & GM, Intelligent Migration at Nuix. “For the first time, a single technology platform is able to deliver mailbox and archive migrations in an integrated way.”

Enterprise Archive Migration through BitTitan’s MigrationWiz is a two-phase process. Part one entails processing the raw data at a per-100GB price. Part two converts the migration to the target format within a user-based model. This approach enables companies to pay for only the users and data they need and want to move to the cloud. The discovery license will be available for $599 per 100GB, plus 11.99 per user up to 10GB. Volume pricing will also be available. Enterprise Archive Migration will be generally available this quarter.

For more information visit

https://www.bittitan.com/products/migrationwiz/enterprise-archive-migration.

About Nuix
Nuix enables people to make fact-based decisions from unstructured data. The patented Nuix Engine makes small work of large and complex human-generated data sets. Organizations around the world turn to Nuix software when they need fast, accurate answers for digital investigation, cybersecurity, eDiscovery, information governance, email migration, privacy and more. http://www.nuix.com/

About BitTitan:
BitTitan is the IT change automation expert that delivers end-to-end solutions for migration and onboarding challenges. Unlike competitive solutions, BitTitan removes barriers to change, including complexity, risk, cost and time constraints. With IT change automation, users can be current, have a choice, maintain control and eliminate chaos. Its globally recognized products, MigrationWiz™, UserActivation™ and SmtpLogic™, deliver tailored solutions for today’s challenges, such as Office 365 onboarding and email migration. The credible, safe and trusted choice for both direct and partner channels, BitTitan has migrated more than 2 million mailboxes to the cloud in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.BitTitan.com.

Microsoft and Office 365 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

The Value Statement Test – Four Questions to Weed out the Liars

One of the main reasons I love owning my own business is the freedom it gives me to conduct my business life in congruence with my value system. For example, honestly is a core value I live by and, in turn, a value that is expected within my company.

If a value is true for a company, it is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, claims of certain values are often not true. Because there is truth in all humor, this video clip from the movie Knocked Up, where Kristin Wiig’s character says, “This is Hollywood, we don’t like liars” is so hilarious.

Many companies share, or at least claim, a short list of common values. What is uniquely true to your company? I created a list of the most common words I see in companies value statements below. Although all honorable, it would be difficult for a company to truly live consistently by all these values.

On your values discovery mission, it is important to narrow down the two or three factors that define the core of your company’s values system. You have to choose. Review the list below and consider, what am I willing to sacrifice?

What do we deliver?

  • Examples: Quality, Accountability, Results, Profits, Growth, Efficiency

How do we treat the customers?

  • Examples: Relationships, Listening, Humble, Service, Support, Listening, Empathy

How do we operate as a team?

  • Examples: Learning, Growth, Diversity, Respect

What is our mode of operation?

  • Examples: Discipline, Passion, Energy, Diligence, Perseverance, Integrity, Honesty

How are we changing the world?

  • Examples: Innovation, Creativity

How do we give back?

  • Examples: Giving, World Impact, Community Service

What kind of culture do we nurture?

  • Examples: Fun, Serious, Positive, Family, Open, Hard working

Now that you have an idea of what your core values are, I offer four questions we ask our clients in our branding sessions. These questions force some deep thinking and sacrifice the me-too and not-true values.

  1. Does this value mean so much to you that you would temporarily lose money before you would sacrifice it?
  2. Would you fire someone for violating the value?
  3. Do people that do not embody this value hate working for your company?
  4. Do people that embody this value feel loyalty to the company based on this common value?

Take your company’s current values statement and run this four-question test. How does your values statement hold up to reality? As you consider your values remember that nobody likes a liar.

Top Four Sessions to Check Out at MWC 2015

Last week, we shared five things that will likely be announced at Mobile World Congress. As we get closer to March, we’re also excited about the topics that will be discussed at the show by industry leaders. Sure, there will be discussions on wearables, personalizing the consumer’s connected experience and mobile security, however we’re most looking forward to these hot topics:

  • Spectrum – Between the U.S. FCC spectrum auctions and the outcomes from WRC 15, we’re in for some interesting developments that will reshape the industry. Don’t miss “The Seismic Spectrum Shake-Up” on March 2 at 2 p.m. to learn more.
  • Mobile Retail – With the explosion of mobile payments in 2014, 2015 will be about driving customer loyalty through Online, mobile, in-store and offline experiences. The “Mobile Retail: Delivering Contextual Experiences to Drive Loyalty & Spend” session on March 3 at 4 p.m. will discuss this further.
  • 5G – We’ve heard about 5G for a while now, but where is it going and how will it be used? March 4 is the day to hear some thoughts on this during the “5G Requirements” session at 2 p.m. and the “5G Services” session at 3:15 p.m.

What sessions are you most excited to attend?

To Live With Integrity, Define It

You would be hard pressed to hear a person, or company, claim a lack of integrity. I am going to hypothesize that most people, and most companies, consider integrity a core value. So then, if integrity is such a given, why is it even discussed? Should it be a check box item for being a decent human being? Somewhere up there with not torturing animals? You don’t’ have to go around proclaiming that you don’t torture animals. Right?

It has been my experience that the definition of integrity may be quite different from one person to the next. Lets examine… Is integrity a value, or adherence to values or moral principles? I vote for the latter. This begs the question, “what moral principles and values?”

Given this thought process, I am going to throw out the idea that perhaps using the word integrity is not useful on its own. If we truly want to define our company’s core values, we need granular definitions in our values statements. Being a company of integrity means being a company that stands behind a core set of values. Define those values and you help your customers, prospects, employees and shareholders build a vision for what kind of experience they will have with your brand.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett makes a great effort to define the actions he defines as integrity. He even sends his senior managers a yearly letter reminding them of the company’s value-based behavior expectations. In his blog post, “3 Things Buffett Looks for in People,” he names the traits he looks for as “intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two….” In a CBS MoneyWatch post, “How Warren Buffett Defines Integrity,” he goes further and defines integrity as “the ability to say no.” That is pretty granular.

What does integrity mean to you?

The Continued Rise of the Streaming Media Device

Survey your friends and colleagues about their media viewing habits and you will likely find that they rely on video on demand and streaming media services for entertainment. To support this notion, Parks Associates recently announced that 26% of U.S. broadband households own a streaming media device and 34% own smart TVs.

As more streaming media service providers are adding 4K or free and premium services, we can expect to see the rate of adoption grow. The NPD Group expects 40% of U.S. homes to have a streaming media player by 2017.

That got us thinking – which streaming media devices were most popular in our homes in 2014? Here’s what we found:

How do you watch TV and movies? Let us know in our comments below or on Twitter.

B2B Brands – Research is Clear On Avoiding Mediocrity

When it comes to B2B brands, you can step out from the crowd or blend into the background. Due to fear, overly conservative thinking or maybe just a lack of direction, B2B brands can be the marketer’s contribution to curing insomnia. If you suffer from boring brand syndrome, or know someone who does, it’s time to wake up. Let’s look to the gurus and studies to show us the way.

Get to the point

You don’t have as much time as you think to make your sale. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking believes that customers use their unconscious in rapid cognitions, or instant conclusions, for most buying decisions.

Create an open dialogue

Content marketing and social media engagement may drive purchasing decisions more than company priorities may suggest. In a McKinsey & Company report titled, How B2B Companies Talk Past Their Customers, customers considered “honest and open dialogue” most important when ranking a list of themes. However, the 90 companies they studied did not emphasize this theme.

Dare to be different

Look at what your competitors are saying and say something different. The McKinsey & Company report also found that B2B brands “showed a surprising similarity among the brand themes that leading B2B companies emphasized, suggesting a tendency to follow the herd rather than create strongly differentiated brand messages.”

Forge emotional connections

Research shows that B2B purchase decisions are not purely rational. They are emotional. Maybe even more so than in B2C branding. The thinkwithGoogle post, From Emotion to Promotion, Connecting B2B Customers With Brands shares, “By getting personal, B2B marketers can get ahead — creating purchase intent, pricing power, brand advocacy and, most importantly, happy customers.”

It would be difficult to find a brand that commits to these four goals that is not standing out among competitors. What do you think will be your brand’s most important goal in the coming year given your industry dynamics?

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