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When Your Mobile Meter Is Running, Google Will Pay the Tab
October 15, 2013
Google is planning to compensate users for letting it monitor their behavior via a mobile app currently in development. The project is part of Google's Screenwise market research program, which was launched about a year ago, said Google spokesperson Andrea Faville. "We conduct this research with small panels of volunteers to see how people are consuming media across screens," she said.
Nielsen Sets Its Sights on Tweets About TV
October 08, 2013
Nielsen on Monday rolled out Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, a service it says is the first-ever measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings measure not only "authors" -- or the number of people tweeting about TV programs -- but also the much larger audience of people who actually view those tweets.
Facebook to TV Nets: Take Our Data - Please!
October 03, 2013
Facebook reportedly will begin providing TV broadcasters with data about the chatter their shows are inspiring on the site. Facebook is in fierce competition with Twitter to become the primary destination for second-screen users to post their reactions and engage with others while watching TV series, sporting events, and special-occasion broadcasts like the Emmys.
Sales-Marketing Misalignment Hamstrings CRM
September 27, 2013
Talk to any sales or marketing consultant, and you'll probably get an earful about "sales-marketing misalignment" -- the single dumbest reason that otherwise worthy businesses struggle. While the two sides are warring over who's to blame for lackluster sales, there's little chance they'll cooperate around customer data that can benefit both sales and marketing.
Subscription Economics
September 11, 2013
It is an old truism of economics that supply drives its own demand. While this is true, it leaves a lot unsaid. For example, a boatload of hula hoops could conceivably inspire a new generation of kids to pick up the toy, and nostalgic adults of a certain age might be compelled to see if they could still "do it," but it's just as likely that the supply would not spark much interest.
Qualtrics Aims to Make Surveys Mobile-Friendlier
September 09, 2013
It's a fact of life in market research that the success of any survey will depend at least in part on its accessibility to the intended respondents. Toward that end, Qualtrics has released Qualtrics Mobile, a new app designed to help reach respondents on the go. Qualtrics Mobile works alongside the company's existing marketing survey Software as a Service application.
No End to the Headaches Endpoints Give System Defenders
September 03, 2013
If there's one attack surface that's attracting growing attention from digital marauders, it's a system's endpoints. With the proliferation of BYOD, securing connections can be a defender's nightmare. Endpoints have an allure for attackers because they offer multiple attack vectors, such as social engineering attacks, spearphishing, USB infection, and compromise of WiFi networks and routers.
The Customer Service Disaster Domino Theory
August 29, 2013
In examining airplane crashes, investigators often discover that it's not one thing that causes the disaster. It's a chain of interrelated things that go wrong: A mechanical failure or weather event can elicit the wrong reaction from the pilot, which worsens the initial problem and starts a sequence of events that can end very badly. The same is true of customer service meltdowns.
Stale CRM Data Can Stall Sales
August 09, 2013
Before they contact a prospect, smart salespeople check the CRM system to see what the customer record says. That's what CRM is there for, from a sales perspective: to give sales the background information it needs to have the best chance at closing a sale. However, the picture of the prospect painted by CRM data isn't perfect -- it's a reflection of the data collected from various sources.
Sales Get the Glory but Retention Gets the Gold
August 02, 2013
If you want glamour, status and prestige within your company, go out and get new customers. If you want to stay in business, specialize in keeping the ones you have happy and loyal. Customer retention isn't flashy, and it doesn't earn extra pats on the back from executives or big promotions -- which is a shame, because it's usually more profitable over the long term than hauling in new accounts.
Cirrus Insight Gives Salesforce Users DIY Flexibility
July 18, 2013
When Cirruspath wanted to update its Cirrus Insight Gmail extension for Salesforce.com, it asked clients to draw it a picture. The result is what it calls a complete redesign that integrates lead tracking through Salesforce.com seamlessly into Gmail. First and foremost among the features in the new Cirrus Insight upgrade is the ability for users to customize the extension.
Every Step You Take, Stores Are Watching You
July 15, 2013
Brick-and-mortar retailers are turning to a new tool to help them better monitor shoppers and maximize sales: shoppers' cell phones. Approaches include tracking shoppers as they move about the store using their phones' connection to the store's WiFi system and sensors that recognize returning customers' smartphones, according to one report.
Ask Customers (Online) and Ye Could Receive
July 11, 2013
If ever there was a case for conducting online customer surveys, Adam Lasky, global social media coordinator at Spreadshirt, has lived it. "A week after a customer makes a purchase on the Spreadshirt platform, we follow up with a customer review survey," Lasky said. That's how the company learned that its customers usually had clear expectations about shipping times.
Don't Look Now, but Mobile Privacy Regulations Are on the Way
July 09, 2013
The issue of mobile privacy has been simmering for years, and it's long been apparent that there will be some movement at the government level sooner or later. This week, sooner would probably be the better guess -- especially if the European Commission is included. In the last few days, more allegations about U.S. government spying activities have emerged.
Seizing the Big Data Opportunity
June 29, 2013
E-commerce companies rely on Big Data to glean valuable, real-time insights that drive smarter, more profitable business decisions. Problems can arise, however, when Big Data infrastructures become riddled with bottlenecks and don't perform optimally, causing critical intelligence to be delayed or unavailable. Some companies have attempted to "scale away" these inefficiencies by adding hardware.
Federal Trade Commissioner Tilts at Big Data Windmill
June 27, 2013
A U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner is urging consumers to take more control over their data. The call to action comes as revelations that the NSA is spying on Americans to an unprecedented degree continue to shake the country. Unease has been mounting over the amount of data companies are handing over to the agency. Commissioner Julie Brill has proposed a new program, dubbed "Reclaim Your Name."
Keeping Data Up to Date Is an All-Hands Evolution
June 27, 2013
Some things in life are fleeting -- the lifespan on the mayfly, the appearance of a rainbow, the pure white of the first snow of winter. Some things in your CRM system are fleeting too -- namely, the quality of your data. Did you know that every year, somewhere between 25 percent and 40 percent of your customer data ages out, goes out of date, or otherwise becomes obsolete?
Mobile Privacy Laws Are on the Horizon
June 25, 2013
This past May mobile app developers dodged a bullet when a California state court sided with Delta Airlines in a dispute over its mobile app. California's attorney general had sued Delta, alleging that the company violated the state's mobile privacy law, which requires a company to clearly state that users' personal information is being collected.
Old Possum's Book of Practical Big Data
June 19, 2013
OK, the title's a cheap riff on the T.S. Elliot book of poems that inspired Cats -- but stay with me, this goes places. A big group of cats is called a "clowder." What if we could access a clowder of big data? Big Data has been taking up a big part of my conscious life lately, what with all the analytics vendors out there and so many companies trying to figure it all out.
Ending the US' Cyberwar Against Its Citizens
June 17, 2013
I'm into fixing problems -- in fact, for much of my life I've been employed as someone who is brought in to fix a difficult problem. I don't see much point in just complaining -- either try to fix it, ignore it, or move someplace where it doesn't affect you. The current problem is that the U.S. appears to be conducting a cyberwar against its citizens.

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