Lithium Takes a Stand on Customer Experience Hype

The echo chamber on customer experience is so loud it almost drowns out any creative thought you might have floating in your head. It’s coming from all corners with everyone jumping on the bandwagon.  As companies grapple with what it means, if it’s relevant for them and how the heck to get started, B2B technology vendors are circling like beasts eyeing a herd on the savannah..... Read the full article on Forbes.

Change or Die

We’re waking up from a daze that started when marketing results became increasingly unreliable and change whacked us in the head and flipped decades of established marketing and sales practices upside-down. Lori Wizdo also noted that buyers expect a personal touch yet sales departments are still pushing products instead of building relationships. As a result 50 percent of sales don’t meet their quotas and only three percent of customers feel their interactions with sales are meaningful.... Read the complete post on Forbes.

Is Your 2013 Planning a Budget Battle? Try Something New – Preference Marketing

It’s budget season for most companies and a key part of the process is balancing revenue targets with investment levels. We all know how the story plays out; it’s always a fight leaving all involved bruised and sore with a good amount of lost trust. Oddly, people wonder why Sales and Marketing don’t get along? The irony is that both Sales and Marketing are wrong..... Read the complete post on Forbes.

Dump Your Social Media Strategy. It’s Not Customer Service

Social media is not a destination; it is an enabler of business strategy. In and of itself, social media will not drive customer satisfaction, robust collaboration, or revenue. It’s like putting a toy sailboat in a pond and huffing and puffing into the sail to make it go. It will go but randomly for it lacks a rudder..... Read the complete post on Forbes.

Big Thinkers, Wine, Lithium and the Perils of Social Change

The catalyst was a book launch of Lithium's  chief scientist Dr. Michael Wu.   The location was the Prospect Restaurant in San Francisco's trendy south of Market.  Invited was a veritable 'whos who' of social media bloggers and big thinkers. Walking to dinner after flying in from Austin, TX and being up since 2am, I thought this could be a great experience or one very long night if the room was full of people talking about social marketing tactics. I was hoping for the former as I wanted to share my experiences around the Buyers' Journey with others.  

How to Start Your Own “Arab Spring” ;)

The need for change is in the air; it comes up in every conversation.  Marc Benioff, Salesforce’sChairman and CEO passionately espoused change at Dreamforce.  His call to the world was that companies need to change or be left behind.   He went one step further and gave a dire warning to CEOs – change thyself or fall from grace. His rallying cry was for enterprises to start their own business “Arab Spring”.  

The ROI of Booth Babes?

Last week’s Dreamforce conference was one of those ‘must be there’ events.  Boasting a recording breaking audience, it was a who’s who of speakers, celebrities, attendees, and exhibitors.  The thrill of seeing MC Hammer and Will.i.am up close and personal was only trumpeted by Neil Young's live interview about how his new company is using Saleforce.com’s software to bring innovative new music products to market. The Cloud Expo exhibit floor housed over 375 exhibitors ranging from innovative start-ups like Optify to behemoths like Accenture and IBM.   With an attendee to exhibitor ratio of 120 to 1, exhibitors varied in their creativity to get you to stop and hear their pitch.  IBM offered sparkly balls and nifty Watson t-shirts, someone was giving out lighted red-rimmed “sunglasses”, chocolate (my primary food group) abounded, and enough pens where handed out to ensure there will be no shortage of writing instruments for the next millennium.  All was for the taking if you agreed to have your badge scanned.  Based on the constant crowd in the exhibit hall, the takers abound.  

Salesforce.com CEO Calls for a Business ‘Arab Spring’

Salesforce.com’s DreamForce conference lived up to its reputation. It was bigger, better, and the place to be this week. This wasn’t a conference, it was a cult convention. The atmosphere in the convention center before each morning’s keynote reminds me of the energy you feel before a rock concert or a San Francisco Giants game. Pre-show entertainment included roving interviews with customers like Autodesk, Nissan, NBC Universal, and celebrities like Neil Young against a backdrop of heavy bass music from a DJ mix. You know the music; the kind you hear at a baseball or football game. Folks lined up hours early to get a seat in front to be that much closer to Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO and Chairman. The pre-game tailgate party was donuts and coffee in the brisk fog of San Francisco. The energy was palpable. Bloggers in the ‘Pound’ flexed their fingers warming up in order to tweet and blog as fast as they could in order to be the first one with the quote, announcement or insight.