Data Driven Customer Retention Strategies

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A lot of companies implement strategies to retain customers based on what their competitors are doing. A far better way to navigate the customer service landscape is to take an analytical approach by looking at what customers really want. 50 percent of customers reported they would purchase from a brand more frequently after a positive experience which led to 87 percent of large companies indicating their customer experience efforts have had a positive impact on their business.

It’s widely known that it is far less expensive to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. When these satisfied customers give a word-of-mouth testimony to a prospective customer, you have just transcended customer retention and moved into customer acquisition. It’s no surprise that many of the companies focusing on providing amazing customer service have experienced exponential organic growth through this word-of-mouth marketing.

If you want to improve your customer retention efforts, implement some of the strategies outlined in this visual from GetVoIP:

20 data driven customer retention strategies

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Embracing technology to drive change — By Sarah Ming Hsi, Chief Information Officer at United Way of Greater Atlanta

Sarah Ming HsiSarah Ming Hsi is the chief information officer with the United Way of Atlanta. Sarah focuses on innovative executive and program management with solid experience managing all aspects of IT organization including infrastructure, applications, projects, security and governance. Driven to manage costs and effectively align with key business initiatives. Build and retain high performance teams by hiring, developing and motivating skilled professionals.

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What is at Stake? What is at Risk? Is Anything in Jeopardy?

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What is at stake?What is at stake?

Stake, tr. Verb. To risk; at stake. In jeopardy.

What is at stake? I have been thinking about this as we frame our future. What is it that allows for us to produce extraordinary results? While there are many contributing factors, perhaps the most important is the way we listen. Which leads to breakthrough thinking. Which leads to extraordinary action. Which leads to amazing results for our company.

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Introducing CX Sparks: Customer Experience Discussion Guides 

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If you are interested in moving the conversation (and action) ahead at your company on Customer Experience, here is some great news from the Temkin Group. They are Introducing CX Sparks: Customer Experience Discussion Guides – Customer Experience Matters®

“We’ve heard from many of our readers that they often use our blog content, especially our videos, as part of their team meetings. They find that the information we share can initiate powerful discussions. Continue reading

Building A Strong Voice of The Customer Program (Infographic) 

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Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are a critical component for many customer experience efforts. This infographic examines those efforts. The Temkin Group has a great VoC/NPS Resource Page for more help in building your VoC program.

Source: Building A Strong Voice of The Customer Program (Infographic) – Customer Experience Matters® Continue reading

“Realize that the GDPR is a net positive for people with something to say, something to sell or something to change.” ~Seth Godin

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Great insight from Seth Godin. Marketing is not a race to the bottom. Marketing should always be permission based.

On the twentieth anniversary of Permission Marketing, the EU has decided to write the basic principles of that book into law.

There are two ways to look at this.

Lawyers and yield-maximizers can find ways to use fine print and digital maneuvers to get the same sort of low-grade tolerance and low-impact marketing they’ve always gotten. Industrialise interactions!  The marketing machine at their organization has an insatiable appetite for attention, for data and for clicks, and they will skirt the edges to get more than their fair share.

Realize that the GDPR is a net positive for people with something to say, something to sell or something to change. Because the noise will go down and trust will go up. Embrace this insight and you can avoid the hit and run low-yield spam that marketers have backed themselves into.

Talk to people who want to be talked to.

Market to people who want to be marketed to.

Because anticipated, personal and relevant messages will always outperform spam.

And spam is in the eye of the recipient.

In two simple words: Ask First.

There’s a parallel here in environmental regulation. A hundred years ago, when governments first started paying attention to the effluent and poisons that corporations were dumping on their communities, some companies decided to stay where they were, to keep lobbying for ‘relief’ and to spend a lot of time and money fighting the change. Others decided to race to the top, intentionally becoming more efficient. It turns out that being clean pays for itself. The efficient path has proven, again and again, to be the smart one.

The EU is responding to consumers who feel ripped off. They’re tired of having their data stripmined and their attention stolen. (Here’s an episode of my podcast I did on this issue).

Marketers don’t have to race to the bottom. It’s better at the top.

Source: Seth’s Blog: GDPR and the marketer’s dilemma

 

Do you have an innovators heart for your nonprofit mission? Where is the sense of urgency about the donor experience?

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Image result for digital nonprofitThere is a gap that is growing in your nonprofit. It is the gap between the connected donor, their expectations and the programs, products and services you are offering. 80% of the U. S. adult population uses the internet. Most of them have smart phones or will soon. Most of our donors are constantly connected from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. As nonprofits, our reality is a digital world. And so, do you have a sense of urgency to bridge the gap?

What does it take to compete for the hearts of your connected donors? Do you have a plan? Is that plan funded? Continue reading

Drawing the Line with Donor Data During CRM Migration – by Matthew Mielcarek, Vice President, Analytics & Insights Strategy at Pursuant

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Matthew MielcarekMatthew Mielcarek is Vice President, Analytics & Insights Strategy at Pursuant. Matthew works with nonprofit organizations to support short and long term strategic campaign planning. The focus is to deliver donor file assessments, strategic segmentation strategy and market opportunity analyses to drive fundraising and donor growth. Matthew’s team applies business intelligence and industry best practices to create, execute, and analyze breakthrough action plans that increase brand awareness, drive retention and loyalty.

Drawing the Line with Donor Data During CRM Migration

A new donor database CRM unlocks the potential for nonprofits to deliver exceptional experiences to their donors.  Modern features enable fundraisers to track all aspects of relationship building through the design and execution of sophisticated donor engagement plans. However, for those in the Development Office, a fundraising technology switch can also draw out as much anxiety as promise.

The Challenging Data Dilemma: What Stays? What Goes?

One of the biggest questions that organizations face during a CRM migration is where to draw the line when taking data to the new platform.  Is a constituent in or out?  What criteria should be used to qualify worthiness?  And most importantly, will the decision by Development be made based on constituent value – or more arbitrarily based on record date or most recent activity?

The performance of your new CRM should fly and legacy data certainly has the potential to bog it down.  However, many organizations often have decades worth of constituent, transaction, and solicitation records within their legacy systems. All of these donor records contain value, but performance and data storage cost savings must be balanced with the ability to have all data readily at hand.

Data archiving serves to keep CRM platforms nimble prioritizing only the “most relevant data” — but involves myriad technology solutions, each with varied long-term implications for accessibility to that data.  Without guidance from Development, these performance-optimizing strategies can leave less engaged constituents – including lapsed donors – orphaned from a new system.

Three Tips to Support Development-Driven CRM Migrations

So how can Development leaders who are part of a CRM migration ensure that their input is considered as part of decision-making?  The answer lies in knowing your constituents and approaching a CRM migration with deep insights on your donor file. From there, Development can participate in decision-making without disruption to a fundraising program that remains in flight.

Here are three ways Development professionals can ensure the data transition to a new CRM doesn’t disrupt any donor relationships:

  1. Take a current-state snapshot of your donor file. Identify current active donors and revenue for every level of your donor pyramid. Identify lapsed or unengaged constituents by last activity date.
  2. Seek to understand donor migration dynamics. Gain a complete picture of donor trends and your coverage ratio as donors enter your file, upgrade or lapse. This deep analysis ensures that multi-year fundraising trends and insights are captured while data is available in one place – and identifies growth trends that should receive attention to continue.
  3. Explore data hygiene.  Research contact-ability of each of your donors through postal mail and digital means. Determine contact record completeness and make a duplicate record assessment.

Each of these steps are designed to empower nonprofit Development leaders to make informed CRM migration decisions.

Get to Know the Donors Behind Your Data

There is never a bad time to leverage the data you have to learn more about your donors. At Pursuant, our Analytics, Insights, and Experience team focuses specifically on helping our clients gain more actionable insights from your data.

Whether you’re planning to migrate to a new CRM or trying to evaluate the effectiveness of your current fundraising program, our 3D Assessment file analysis was created to help you learn more about you donors and get a comprehensive perspective on the overall health of your fundraising program.

Click here to learn more about Pursuant’s 3D Assessment today.>>

 

How to innovate the donor experience for mission relevance and financial growth

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Image result for innovationEarning relevance with your donors requires much more than the adoption of the latest technology or being on the social media flavor of the month. All of that can be for naught if the experience wasn’t enjoyable, didn’t meet the donor’s needs or was too complex. All of your innovation should about the user experience and simple design. All of your innovation should be about understanding what donors need and then solving them in a simple, enjoyable way. Continue reading

Cybersecurity is a field of growing demand, it hit 0% unemployment in 2016

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Great insight via Codebook – April 26, 2018 – Axios  “The cybersecurity skills shortage is dire — one commonly cited estimate predicts 3.5 million unfilled jobs worldwide by 2021. Kevin Simzer, chief operating officer of cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, believes the most economical solution might be to train way more employees than his company needs —knowing that most will go to competitors. Continue reading

For the Love of our Donors – Creating Amazing Donor Experiences : Why being donor obsessed can transform your nonprofit into a digital business

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Michael’s latest book is available on Amazon.

For the Love of our Donors - Creating Amazing Donor Experiences : Why being donor obsessed can transform your nonprofit into a digital business. by [Wilson, Michael]

Donor experience transformation is about making fundamental changes in how business is conducted at our nonprofit in order to help cope with a shift in environment. The shift has occurred for constituents and donors. The shift is becoming a digital nonprofit to have amazing experiences for our donors. The approach should be about transformation of the entire donor experience.

What is happening in many cases is that we are adding racing stripes to a 20-year-old Chevy and think we now have a race car. We don’t have a racecar. We still have a 20-year-old Chevy that looks fast but isn’t.

The first thing is to recognize is that there is a “burning platform”. This is a decision by the CEO and the C-Suite that the nonprofit must be different to survive. Without that fundamental vision at the highest level, complete donor experience transformation can’t occur. Incremental gains can be made by others, but true transformation must be owned by the most senior of senior management.

What we need to do is to envision the digital future of our nonprofit. Without a compelling vision of where you are going and why it is imperative, we will probably be painting race stripes on a 20-year-old Chevy. What assets will be valuable in a digitally-transformed nonprofit? How can we transform the donor experience? What about improving internal operations to support the donor experience? How good is our nonprofit model? How can local chapters work differently – and work together differently – in a more connected way?

Michael’s latest book is available on Amazon.

Look at the media industry. It has been completely transformed by digital technology. It is now happening, at various speeds, to the rest of our commercial, nonprofit and government world. Everyone is experimenting. Everyone is tinkering. Some are putting their toes in the water. A few have jumped in and find they aren’t drowning. They are reaping huge results.

A central question to answer as a digital executive is “Is my nonprofit ready to be disrupted?”

Critical to this question is the premise that we are going to be disrupted radically if you don’t get ready. Do you personally believe a “radical change” is happening with donors now? Of course, if you don’t believe that, no need to ask the question.
If you do believe it could happen, it is well worth getting away from the office to consider what to do very soon to avert it. Taking the time to have a serious answer might make all the difference in success or failure three years from now.

The next question is this. If you or your nonprofit isn’t ready, what should you do about it? It is important to think through what you personally should do as opposed to what “the nonprofit” should do. You can control your plan. You can only influence the corporate approach.

The answer will set your agenda for the next six months.

Let the transformation begin.

Michael’s latest book is available on Amazon.

How Jeff Bezos leads

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In Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos‘ annual letter to shareholders, he shares seven “essentials of what we’ve learned (so far) about high standards inside an organization” in this age of “customer empowerment.”

His first rule: Intrinsic or Teachable? … People “are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure. High standards are contagious.”

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How important is being agile to the donor experience?

Image result for agile planningConsidering how dynamic the current business environment is, we need to focus intensively on the short-term—tracking donor experience performance and key initiatives and metrics for each month, quarter and year. The rate of change of a key metric (positive or negative) will indicate where we need to modify our initiatives or create new ones. It is easier to do this in a timely manner with a very short plan and an “agile” planning process. Continue reading

Facebook’s next big headache: Europe

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Excellent insight from Axios. Facebook has bigger problems looming in the EU.

“Now that Facebook survived its congressional onslaught, it’s focusing its attention towards a much more powerful threat: the EU.

“Why it matters: The risk to Facebook’s business coming out of last week’s Mark Zuckerberg hearings is minimal. The threat to its business in the EU, where aggressive regulation has already passed, is massive.

“The latest: The European Parliament has issued a second invitation to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear at a joint committee heating. EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová had a phone exchange with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg urging Zuckerberg to pay the Parliament a visit, according to the Associated Press.

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Why even bother to think about strategy?

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I am a big fan of planning and the approach Seth God advocates. This is an concise overview of an effective approach.

Image result for goals strategies tactics

“There’s confusion between tactics and strategy. It’s easy to get tied up in semantic knots as you work to figure out the distinction. It’s worth it, though, because strategy can save you when tactics fail. Continue reading

Temkin Experience Ratings Software Snapshot

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Temkin recently released the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR) that ranks the customer experience of 318 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. TxR is based on consumers evaluating their experiences across three dimensions: successeffort, and emotion. See their FAQs about the Temkin Experience Ratings. Continue reading

Thought Leadership – Key Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits Too! … by Vin Hoey, Managing Director of Strategic4sight, Inc. (Guest Article)

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During the last few years, many businesses have recognized the value of thought leadership to build awareness, develop customer leads, enhance their brands, and spur revenue. But can thought leadership also be worth the effort for nonprofits? YES!

 What’s thought leadership? It’s a person or organization “that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.” (Forbes, 03-16-12). Is your nonprofit the local expert in ending child abuse, building supportive housing, providing educational opportunities for refugees, preserving a wildlife habitat, combatting a disease? If so, it’s time to consider thought leadership as a key marketing strategy. Here are the benefits and how to’s.

What’s in it for you? Key nonprofit benefits can include:

  • Strategically build your community awareness and powerfully communicate your cause
  • Position your nonprofit as authoritative and influential among clients, donors, volunteers, decision makers, and local communities
  • Differentiate your organization from others

How to develop Thought Leadership? Go beyond routine communications about your cause to build a thought leadership campaign:

  • Assess your areas of expertise and identify your big ideas
  • Analyze what your constituents and target audiences are asking
  • Answer these questions with fresh insights and actionable suggestions, serve up research in gripping ways, make complex issues understandable, share first-hand experience, identify important trends, serve up both sides of a critical issue, demonstrate solutions by highlighting your impact
  • Become the go-to group for news media, local governments, and community leaders on an important topic
  • Be quotable, responsive, trustworthy
  • Engage your staff and board talent and experience
  • Orchestrate your thought leadership content in multiple media, consider: news media interviews, blog posts, case studies, speaking engagements, events, infographics, and effective social media use

Stay the course on your thought leadership marketing campaign. Passion, creativity, and persistence can pay off!  Use it to powerfully help achieve your mission.

Vin Hoey 

Vin HoeyAs managing director of Strategic4sight, Vin Hoey leads state-of-the-art strategic planning and marketing consulting services for nonprofit organizations.  A senior executive with extensive nonprofit and business leadership experience, Vin leads the CNM Connect Nonprofit Marketing Certificate course in Dallas/Fort Worth and has taught at SMU and UNT.

Throughout his career, Vin has provided significant volunteer leadership to 20 different local, national, and international nonprofit organizations in various cities.

Do social networks influence perception?

Brian Solis, futurist and principal analyst of Altimeter Group spoke to TechRepublic’s Tonya Hall and explains, “We study emerging technology … and then we explore its impact on business. We’re a research-tank and think-tank, and … we share our research around the world and help organizations know how to compete for the future.”

This is a time to talk about our relationship with technology. This has nothing to do with my work. I finished a year-long research project for a global beauty-brand that’s pretty much a household name, and they wanted to understand how social media and smartphones were affecting self-esteem, their personal definitions of beauty, and how they saw themselves in the world. After finishing that research, I walked away a changed person.

I interviewed people from 13-years-old to 61-years-old, and there’s a direct correlation between all of this stuff, and how we live life. Not just our self-esteem, but it turns out that the deeper I got, it was almost like this investigative report. The deeper I got, the more I learned about how technology was designed to be addictive and manipulative, and really the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn more.

And I walked away feeling like, “Why isn’t this being talked about? Why isn’t this research out there? Why aren’t there massive studies that are helping parents and teachers and employers and colleagues and peers and role models?” And I realized, wow, this is a time where no wonder why politics are what they are on Facebook and in social media and why there are Russian bots. It’s because it’s just all happening so fast that no one taught us to be ready. No one taught us how to use these things and how to stay true and strong throughout it, and this is a real important time that I think we have to take a step back in order to move forward.

We’re really at a crossroads between digital and humanity. I wanted to share all of the insights that I got from that research and also, more so, to just talk to real people in the audience to say, “Gosh, we’re here. We’ve all got our phones. We’re all sharing every moment of what’s happening here and before and after. Maybe it’s time that we take tech back; that we take control over tech instead of letting tech control us.”

More here.

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“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” ~Chip Bell

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In the Gallup Customer Engagement Survey, the final question asked is “I can’t imagine a world without XYZ.” The rating scale was 1 to 5. Only the 5’s were counted as “top box” scores.

This is what others call emotional connection. The Temkin Group has done a lot of research on this. They tapped into their consumer benchmark study to examine the connection between how consumers rate the emotional component of their interactions and their loyalty across 20 industries. They discovered when they examined the average across all 20 industries that compared with consumers who had negative emotional experience, consumers who had positive emotional experiences are:

  • 15.1 times more likely to recommend the company
  • 8.4 times more likely to trust the company
  • 7.8 times more likely to try new products and services
  • 7.1 times more likely to purchase more from company
  • 6.6 times more likely to forgive company after a mistake

Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell

 

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Who’s job is cyber security in 2018?

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Whose job is cyber security at your job or at home? No matter where we are these days, no matter what is going on, we are using digital technologies non stop. A plummer came out to fix a faucet for me the other day. He was managing everything, start to finish, on his i-Pad mini.

His schedule came to him that way. His inventory was updated on his truck. His time was captured. His quote for the job came that way. He took my credit card info, completed the transaction and sent me an invoice/receipt to my email.

So …

That is normal now.

What is our role in all of this when it comes to cyber security? We all have one and we should be active in it.

Here are some questions to think about.

  • In sales, can you reassure customers of an organization’s security posture?
  • In corporate communications, what is your assessment in the context of business reputation and brand trust?
  • Does the legal team should ensure that the right security clauses are built into supplier and customer contracts?
  • Is HR and/or security, know what’s needed for better security awareness and training?
  • Do product managers should advise on good security features?
  • In engineering development, have you developed proper secure code?
  • Are security professionals performing reviews and quality assurance tests for functional and security verification?
  • Has corporate management ensured that a good security incident response plan is in place to address any vulnerabilities?

On Leadership Interview: John Garrison

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As part of their On Leadership series, the Center for Creative Leadership, Senior Vice President Bill Pasmore had a conversation with John Garrison, the CEO of Terex in Westport, CT.

John L. Garrison, Jr. has been Chief Executive Officer and President of Terex Corporation since November 2, 2015. Mr. Garrison served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Bell Helicopter segment at Textron Inc since August 2009 until October 2015.

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The GDPR is coming, are you ready? 

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. When the GDPR takes effect, it will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC).

It becomes enforceable from May 25, 2018, after a two-year transition period. Unlike a directive, it does not require national governments to pass any enabling legislation and so it is directly binding and applicable.

As the deadline (May 25th, 2018) for GDPR approaches, companies should not only be thinking about compliance but also be looking at the regulation as an opportunity to better engage with customers and build trust. Learn more about the GDPR.

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Facebook is in the crosshairs on privacy but is not changing their business model … yet!

Facebook has a problem that only now, some of us are beginning to catch up to. Facebook, like others, has a customer. It is not me and it is not you. Collectively, the had 2.2 billion monthly active users are the product. It is advertisers who are the customers. They pay for access to the product. They make billions off of this model. They don’t have to but that is the road they went down. Live by the sword and you may die by the sword.

What is the product Facebook is selling? I, like you. are the product they are making billions off of. My interests, in this model, are not represented. Facebook only wants as much data about me (and you) as they can get their hands on to make more money. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Would I pay for it? I pay plenty (and you do too) for technology that is useful. Amazon sells me products. Apple does as well. Microsoft has made billions this way. The list goes on and on. Facebook, I will assert, is not really concerned about my privacy beyond not seeing it’s product (you and I) flee in droves. No product, no money.

So … Facebook does not have a privacy problem as much as they have a business model problem. It would help if they would figure that out.

Below is from : Axios

Facebook said Wednesday it will be updating its terms of service to make its commitment to user privacy more explicit. Starting today, it’s also overhauling its data policy to better define what data it collects and how they use it, as well as making the privacy tools easier to find.

What’s changing:

  • The settings menu on mobile will be redesigned from top to bottom to make things easier to find. (Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place.)
  • It’s cleaning up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.
  • It’s creating a new Privacy Shortcuts menu to make info about privacy, security and ads easier to find. Users can add layers of protection to their accounts (like two-factor authentication), review what they’ve shared and delete if they want, and manage who sees their posts and profile information all within the new menu.

Why it matters: While Facebook says the privacy updates have been in the works for a while, the past two weeks of reckoning around data privacy have put an emphasis on the things Facebook should be doing to make privacy options more transparent and easier for users to understand.

Go deeper: Sara Fischer has more here.

Meanwhile:

  • Bloomberg reports that Facebook is delaying its planned introduction of an always-listening smart speaker due to the swirl of privacy concerns. (That’s probably a wise read of the current environment.)
  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg is likely to appear before one or more committees on Capitol Hill.

Source: Login – Axios

The Importance of Experience Design and the Future of Brand

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Following his keynote presentation at Adobe Summit, Brian Solis and CMO.com’s Giselle Abramovich went back stage to discuss the importance of experience design and the future of brand in a digital economy. Brian shared the inspiration behind his best-seller, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design.

In this in-depth interview, Brian shares insights from his research, work and ideas about how every company should re-imagine brand for an era of digital Darwinism.

The questions and answers cover a broad range and will get your mind running and hopefully inspire you to blaze new trails for others to follow.

  • How does digital transformation and experiential marketing intersect?
  • What does it take to be an experience-driven business?
  • What is the role of data in crafting these experiences for consumers?
  • Every brand claims they are experience-led. How do you get everyone on board?
  • Which consumer trends should marketers pay close attention to?
  • How should brands think about experience?
  • What else are marketers prioritizing?
  • How did you become a digital anthropologist?

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Donor experience questions to start with before beginning with projects and initiatives

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Portfolio and Project management is very important to improve the donor experience. It is frequently overlooked. We all start out very enthusiastically. We brought in some consultants. They gave us a great report. We have a roadmap for the next few years.  We launch into some of the initiatives.

But beyond budgets, milestones, scope documents and all the PM process we get overwhelmed with, there are some important issues to think about before we get into the details.

We need to think differently. Here are 2 donor experience questions to start with.

  1. How will these initiative enhance the Donor Experience in a way that’s so ‘dramatically different’ that we capture new donors and retain old donors and grow our share of the business with them?
  2. And, will it markedly boost the ‘top line’? What will the impact on our mission look like?

How can we do what has never been done before we think? We can.

We need to think differently. That will lead us to act differently.

Consider this from 1923.

“There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” ~~Robert Milikan, Nobel Prize in physics, 1923

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Donor Experience Scoreboard and Dashboards

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Donor experience scoreboards help you establish if you are winning or not. When you have clear goals (lagging indicators) and strategies (leading indicators), scoreboards and dashboards let the players (not the coaches) easily know where they are. Winning or losing. What down is it? Where on the field are we? How much time is left? The data isn’t complicated. It is easily read and easily interpreted.

Start with your donor experience leading indicators as the KPI’s for scoreboards. It is easy to get distracted with dashboards. They are easy to create and we have plenty of data. We actually have too much data. Much of it is interesting but useless. It may tell us the score but it won’t tell us what yard the ball is on. Great dashboards focus on leading indicators. They are easy to read and predict great outcomes. If they don’t, get some new ones.

Begin measuring what you can today. It is way too easy to develop very complicated dashboards. We may think we don’t have the right data and need to wait until we can measure it at some distant point in the future. By beginning to measure what we can today, we will start down the road to knowing if we are on track or not.

Encourage speed and agility in measuring sooner rather than later. Speed is important. Simplicity rules the day. Complexity in dashboarding kills the spirit. Let’s build it now should be the mantra. The digital executive who is focused on the donor experience will be impatient in this area. We need to move now and we need to move fast. That is all there is to it.

The important thing is that without a true sense of urgency, true change is nigh impossible. Performance measurement shouldn’t be seen as bureaucratic administrivia, nor as a bandwagon fad. It needs to be appreciated in the broader context of continual improvement, capability growth and problem solving. And that’s one of the reasons why a sense of urgency is a critical ingredient.

 Source: KPI Library

Scoreboards and dashboards help you know if you are on track or not. We all know that simply knowing the score is not a predictor of who will win the game. How many times have we seen a game where one team is ahead but loses? Way too often. In addition to great scoreboards, we need dashboards that tell the players are we on tract to win or lose regardless of the current score.

The employees who are accountable for the leading indicator should develop and report with their scoreboard. When I report my own results, I tend to own them. When someone else does it for me (or to me), it is easy to quibble about the data. That leads to a lot of wasted time and effort. If I play baseball and a key indicator is how many times I get on base (compared to home runs hit), I can easily measure and report how I am doing. 4 at bats and no times on base tells me I need to improve. From this point of view, scoreboards and dashboards should be closest to the point of action as possible.

Scoreboards and dashboards should not cost a lot to implement. The data should be easily available and not difficult to analyze. Costly, time consuming systems will spell the death of any initiative. Digital executives know they need to start simple and improve over time through a continuous improvement process.

Here are the key ideas:

  1. Scoreboards help you establish if you are winning or not.
  2. Start with your leading indicators as the KPI’s for scoreboards.
  3. Begin measuring what you can today.
  4. Encourage speed and agility in measuring sooner rather than later.
  5. Scoreboards and dashboards help you know if you are on track or not.
  6. The employees who are accountable for the leading indicator should develop and report with their scoreboard.
  7. Scoreboards and dashboards should be closest to the point of action as possible.
  8. Scoreboards and dashboards should not cost a lot to implement. The data should be easily available and not difficult to analyze.

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“You don’t need a peer-reviewed study to know that when people surf the web on their smartphones, they’re not going as deep.” ~Seth Godin

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Seth Godin makes a great case for the fact that many of us are developing “mobile blindness”. As someone who does research and lots of writing (4 different blogs), I see this and have adjusted my approach. Sometimes I do short content and others I do long content. Sometimes I take it all and bundle it into a book.

My sense is that there is a danger to just focusing on “short content” and clickable headlines singularly. But then again, we are also moving from reading to video. It is curious however, that someone who has become extremely popular on YouTube (http://highexistence.com/jordan-peterson-rules-living/) has videos that generally exceed 1 hour in length.

You don’t need a peer-reviewed study to know that when people surf the web on their smartphones, they’re not going as deep.

We swipe instead of click.

We scan instead of read. Even our personal email…

We get exposure to far more at the surface, but rarely dig in.

As a result, the fine print gets ignored. We go for headlines, not nuance. It’s a deluge of gossip and thin promises, not the relatively more immersive experience of the desktop web.

And of course, the web was a surface treatment of a day spent with books and in Areuninterrupted flow on a single topic.

It’s not an accident that blog posts and tweets are getting shorter. We rarely stick around for the long version.

Photokeratitis (snow blindness) happens when there’s too much ultraviolet–when the fuel for our eyes comes in too strong and we can’t absorb it all. Something similar is happening to each of us, to our entire culture, as a result of the tsunami of noise vying for our attention.

It’s possible you can find an edge by going even faster and focusing even more on breadth at the surface. But it’s far more satisfying and highly leveraged to go the other way instead. Even if it’s just for a few hours a day.

If you care about something, consider taking a moment to slow down and understand it. And if you don’t care, no need to even bother with the surface.

Source: Seth’s Blog: Mobile blindness

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“Digital is not just a thing that you can you can buy and plug into the organization.” ~Thomas H. Davenport and George Westerman (Harvard Business Review)

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Digital is not just a thing that you can you can buy and plug into the organization. It is multi-faceted and diffuse, and doesn’t just involve technology. Digital transformation is an ongoing process of changing the way you do business.  It requires foundational investments in skills, projects, infrastructure, and, often, in cleaning up IT systems. It requires mixing people, machines, and business processes, with all of the messiness that entails.  It also requires continuous monitoring and intervention, from the top, to ensure that both digital leaders and non-digital leaders are making good decisions about their transformation efforts.”

By Thomas H. Davenport and George Westerman Harvard Business Review: Why So Many High-Profile Digital Transformations Fail

Whatever it takes … by Cyndi Zagieboylo, CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Cynthia ZagieboyloNational Multiple Sclerosis Society President and CEO Cyndi Zagieboylo knows all about MS. It has been her life’s work. But what she and everyone in the MS community don’t know yet is the cause of this unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, and the cure for it. But, they are getting closer, thanks to an attitude of “whatever it takes”.

Whatever it takes

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“Whatever it takes.” That’s a big statement.

“Whatever it takes” means we are all in. It means we are laser focused on common goals and we are moving toward those goals with dogged determination. It means we will do whatever it takes to reach a solution — no matter how hard, how complex, or how long it takes.

National MS Society founder Sylvia Lawry did whatever it took for her brother Bernard who was diagnosed with MS.  From the moment she placed a classified ad in the New York Times back in 1945 — looking for anyone who had recovered from MS, she was all in. This led to the launch of an international movement to end MS, work I consider an honor and privilege to continue.

My first job at the National MS Society back in the mid 1980’s was to connect people with information, resources and each other, to reduce the terrible isolation that can occur the moment a person is told “you have MS”. Back then, more than three decades ago, we tackled challenges the same way we do today—bring together people with as many perspectives as possible and shine a light on what people with MS are experiencing and what they need. This is how solutions are found. We are all about pulling together everyone who wants to find solutions for people with MS.

We aim to engage people in the MS movement in meaningful ways — meaningful for each person.  Personally, I am passionate about the concept of resilience and I’m inspired by people’s abilities to be resilient. We have found through our Everyday Matters Program that when people develop skills in resilience, when they are able to adapt to the challenges and changes MS brings, they are better able to move forward and focus on living their best lives. Everyday Matters helps people find their own resilience and apply it to the challenges and opportunities they face.  Overcoming challenges, achieving what’s important, doing what brings meaning in life, being happy.

Through Everyday Matters and connecting with others, people learn to take steps toward happiness, achieving a life goal—whatever it takes.

We also know the importance of connections. MS is a disease that breaks the connections within the central nervous system, interrupting the flow of information from the brain to the body.  But, sometimes, for people living with MS, the challenge is the connection outside the body.  Being connected to the right person, at the right time, with the right resources is key, even life-changing.

Take the case of Jackie.  When she first contacted the National MS Society, her power had been turned off, the food in her refrigerator had gone bad. She hadn’t showered in more than a week because she had no hot water.

Her Medicaid benefits had been discontinued, cutting off her home care services as well as access to catheters and other incontinence supplies she desperately needed.

Jackie was running low on her medications, including the one that managed pain so she could get into her wheelchair and to the bathroom. She had resorted to rationing her medication — taking some once a day instead of twice, and others every other day.

Jackie was homebound, with no means of transportation. She was struggling to take care of these issues on her own, and her limited support system wasn’t enough.

When Jackie called the Society, she was connected to an MS Navigator who recognized the seriousness of her situation immediately and requested a wellness check from the local police department.

About 10 minutes into the conversation, Jackie recalls the MS Navigator instructing her to put down the phone and unlock the front door because she had someone on the way over. A police officer arrived. He told Jackie he was there to help. He stayed for 3 hours and even had the paramedics come to check her out. Jackie remembers the officer giving her a hug, she said it was the first time she had been hugged in years.

The Society assigned Jackie a case manager to help get her benefits reinstated and to ensure she had appropriate care and medicine. The case manager helped Jackie apply for a home delivery food service for people with medical needs that provides nutritious meals each week.

She was also connected to the Weatherization program and Home Builders Foundation, who are building her a ramp and fixing her patio door so she has full access to her home, can get outside by herself, and has an option in case of an emergency.

Jackie attributes her survival to several “angels” – people doing “whatever it takes” to help her turn her life around.

Sometimes, “whatever it takes” – might take you to places you never thought you’d go – like the U.S. Capitol.

The Society recently wrapped up its annual Public Policy Conference in Washington D.C., where 300 MS activists stood up to MS and boldly communicated what they need to live their best lives.

It can be hard to speak up and tell your personal story – your truth — about what MS has taken from you and your family. And it takes courage to ask for what you need, to tell Congress what they need to do to help you and everyone else living with MS.

These activists had the courage, strength and resiliency to do just that, they did “whatever it takes” to have a voice, make it heard, and make change happen for people living with MS.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people take part in our fundraising events, walking the miles, cycling up and down hills, trudging through mud obstacle courses – whatever it takes – to raise the money to fund programs and services like MS Navigators, and to fund the research to find a cure for MS.

Seeing this commitment always takes me back to the beginning of my journey with the Society and a dear friend. My mentor, my colleague, my volunteer partner, my very good friend, Eli was a tremendous leader in the MS movement.  He started serving at the tender age of 6 when his father was diagnosed with MS. Through the decades that followed, Eli worked to end MS in loving memory of his father and his uncle and his sister—all who had progressive MS.

Eli died last month, before he could realize a world free of multiple sclerosis.  I miss him dearly. Eli so wanted a world free of MS and so do I.

And that is what we will achieve – whatever it takes.

Cyndi Zagieboylo

Cyndi Zagieboylo became president and CEO of the Society in October, 2011. She began her National MS Society career in 1985 and has worked with every CEO of the organization including founder, Sylvia Lawry.  Achieving the National MS Society mission is her life’s work.

Cyndi serves on the Society’s National Board of Directors as CEO and president, on the National Health Council Board of Directors where she currently serves as past Chair, and on the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation CEO Advisory Group and Board of Directors. She is a founding member of the International Progressive MS Alliance which was launched in 2013, and she provides leadership as chair of the executive committee.  The Alliance was formed to expedite the development of therapies for progressive MS through connecting resources and experts around the world.

Cyndi’s priorities include:

Maximize global participation in and contributions to research priorities including the Progressive MS Alliance

Effectively resource strategies that ensure people affected by MS live their best lives today—this includes the implementation of a comprehensive MS Navigator service and Edward M. Dowd Personal Advocate Program to provide case management to people with the most challenging circumstances caused by MS.

Born in Norfolk, Massachusetts, Cyndi received her bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and psychology from Springfield College, followed by a master’s degree in social psychology from the University of Connecticut.  She lives in Honeoye Falls, NY.

 

“Most digital transformation is in reality a bolt-on to the current business model.” ~Nigel Fenwick | Forrester Research

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Most digital transformation is in reality a bolt-on to the current business model. Very few organisations are seeking to transform/change their revenue/business model around new digital capabilities.” ~Nigel Fenwick | Forrester Research

So what factors do organisations need to address before embarking on the digital transformation process? According to Fenwick, they should:

  • Begin with a clear understanding of the level of transformation required (bolt-on vs disruptive)
  • Ensure the CEO has bought into and helped shape the vision of the company as a digital business
  • Establish cross-functional leadership of the digital transformation agenda under a digital champion empowered by the CEO
  • Identify strategic business partners/vendors to help the company along on its transformation, bring them into the confidence of the executive team and share the business objectives
  • Digitise the business strategy, don’t create a separate digital strategy
  • Establish a digital-first culture that supports rapid experimentation and innovation

These points might appear eminently sensible, but that doesn’t mean companies have absorbed them prior to launching their DT plans.

Source: Hate to add to the wanky jargon – but your digital transformation is actually a bolt-on • The Register

What do leading indicators mean to the donor experience?

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SMART goals are very important. They set the direction and tone. How they will be achieved (strategy) is equally, if not more, important. The best way to think of strategy is to focus on the leading indicators that produce the results you want to achieve with the donor experience. Otherwise, any strategy will do.

Leading indicators change quickly and are generally seen as a precursor to the direction something is going. For example, changes in building permits may affect the housing market, an increase in new business orders could lead to increased production, interest rate changes will impact spending and investments, a diminishing of demands for natural resources will often indicate work slowdowns, and aging baby boomers may indicate future stresses on the healthcare system. Because leading indicators come before a trend, they are considered business drivers. Identifying specific, focused leading indicators should be a part of each business’s strategic planning.

Source: Projectimes.com

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Best Practices Are Hurting Your Fundraising … by Tim Kachuriak, CEO of NextAfter

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Best Practices Are Hurting Your Fundraising by Tim Kachuriak

Sometimes we think an idea will work well based on past experiences or certain laws of design we’ve learned along the way. However, over the course of 1000 experiments, we’ve discovered that best practices are not enough. We need to test our ideas using a rigorous scientific methodology in order to know what truly works to improve donor experiences and grow revenue online.

In my time as a marketer, I’ve been obsessed with a concept that is often used as the primary analogy for marketing: the donor funnel. The donor funnel is the crux of my existence. The idea is that we put different forms of traffic into our website, and try to move our potential donors from interest to involvement to investment.

This funnel analogy is useful because all marketing should influence a decision. It should move people to take action.

The problem with this funnel analogy is that it distorts reality. People aren’t falling into the funnel. In fact, most people aren’t traveling through the funnel at all. People are falling out!

We know this because the average donor conversion rate is between 1 and 4%. This means that we fail to get people to donate at least 96% of the time.

The funnel implies that gravity is pulling our leads downward, propelling potential donors through the giving process. But that’s not the reality.

Instead, the donation pathway is more like a mountain.

It’s not a Donor Funnel. It’s a Donor Mountain.

Our goal as fundraisers is to get our donors to the top of the mountain. The top of the mountain represents the macro decision making a donation, which is the ultimate goal of our fundraising experience.

The Donor MountainThe problem we face is that the donor starts at the bottom of the mountain, at base camp. In order to get them to the mountain peak – where they can actually see the impact their gift has – there’s a series of cliffs that they have to traverse.

These small cliffs are the micro decisions the donor encounters on the way to the macro decision of donating.

For example, if I send you an email with the goal of getting someone to make an online donation, what is the first micro decision you need to make?

First, you have to ask, “Should I open?”

After opening, you have to decide, “Should I read?”

Then, “Should I click?”

Every step along this journey has the potential for a donor to say “yes” or “no.” If they say yes, they move one step closer to conversion. If the donor says “no” at any point, you’ve lost them.

So let’s look at how small changes can lead to greater conversion – more people making it to the top of the mountain.

How One Small Change Lifted Click-through and Revenue

Before the George W. Bush Presidential Center officially opened, we ran an acquisition campaign to try to recruit founding members. Part of this effort involved the use of rented email lists with an offer to make a charitable donation. The results were decent, but we wanted to find a way to attract additional traffic and convert additional donors.

We decided to run an experiment to try and increase the exclusivity of the offer in the mind of the reader.

Control

George Bush Email – ControlTreatment

George Bush Experiment- Treatment

Can you tell what changed? All we altered was one sentence at the bottom of the email.

The call-to-actions we tested were:

“Stand with President and Mrs. Bush by making a tax-deductible online contribution now.”

VS

“Become a Charter Member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.”

This small change presented an appealing and exclusive value proposition to the reader. A donor could give to any nonprofit organization and get a tax-deduction. But this was an exclusive opportunity to become a charter member of something that appealed to them.

The treatment produced a 139% increase in click through rate and a 42% increase in revenue.

You can view all the details of this experiment here.

Why Don’t Best Practices work?

If we followed “best-practice” guidelines, we would have never seen this kind of lift. Most best-practices say that only 18% of people read to the end of an email. If this was a universal truth, this test shouldn’t have had any impact.

So what can we conclude from this?

Testing and optimization is the only way to truly know what works in online fundraising.

We don’t have to be the experts. In fact, we can’t be the experts. The only people who can tell us exactly what works are our donors. In order to listen to them, we have to take our best hypotheses, put them to the test, and look at real data to inform our decision making.

Where do you start?

One of the hardest parts of optimization is simply determining where to start. Do I test the button colors on my donation page? Do I try testing a new headline? Do I blow my whole email up and start from scratch?

There are two significant factors that I’d recommend testing around first: value proposition and friction. Value proposition is one of the most influential factors in helping a donor understand why they should give to your organization or make a purchase. And friction is everything that stands in your donor’s way, slowing them down, and distracting them from the ultimate goal.

We’ve got a quick PDF guide to help you determine where to start optimizing called The Nonprofit Optimization Guide. You’ll see just how big a of a difference small improvements to your value proposition can make. And you’ll see several examples of how to reduce friction on your pages to increase donations and revenue.

And if you’re really serious about learning to test, optimize, innovate, and grow your online fundraising – consider joining the next Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit.

Happy optimizing!

About Tim

Tim Headshot - Square - 400x400.jpgTim Kachuriak is the founder and Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a research and consulting firm that works with nonprofits to help them grow their online fundraising.

During his career, Tim has consulted major nonprofits including Wycliffe Bible Translators, Focus on the Family, Moody Radio, Family Life, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and more. He frequently speaks at conferences including Social Media for Nonprofits, Association of Fundraising Professionals, DMA Nonprofit Federation, and more.

Tim is also the co-founder of Human Coalition and sits on the board of Open Doors, the Halcyon Movement, and SMU Digital Accelerator.

 Social Media

 Tim’s Twitter – @DigitalDonor

NextAfter Twitter – @NextAfter_

NextAfter Website – www.nextafter.com

How can we be accountable for improving the donor experience?

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The most important issue for any planning and execution system for the digital executive focused on improving the donor experience is accountability. Without accountability, not much will get done. Now it helps to have measurable goals and achievable strategies. Holding oneself accountable starts with weekly honoring and reporting of commitments.

The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.

Source: Business Dictionary

Start creating a culture of accountability around all donor experience initiatives. Senior management’s responsibility is to set the agenda and provide leadership. A donor experience culture isn’t created overnight but it is important. It can’t be delegated.

Begin a few, heavily weighted priorities. There is a temptation to start with too many priorities around every great idea that senior management has. The list can seem endless some days. Without priorities that are clear, accountability will be difficult to achieve. Donor experience priorities should be clear and goals should be achievable.

Encourage team accountability. In addition to individual accountability, team accountability for shared donor experience initiatives can help move the rock. This can help where many are required to effect the goal. On the other side of the issue, having individuals sign onto initiatives that they can’t have an impact is as dangerous as no accountability.

Set the tone from the top. The CEO and the C-Suite must hold themselves accountable and make sure they don’t make excuses when goals are not achieved. The Board must also be willing to hold the CEO accountable as well. That is one of their primary responsibilities.

Everyone should be involved. There are many tasks to be achieved to be successful. Everyone plays a role and everyone must be willing to step up the plate to be responsible.

Here are the key ideas:

  1. The most important issue for any planning and execution system for the digital executive is accountability.
  2. Start creating a culture of accountability around all initiatives.
  3. Begin a few, heavily weighted priorities.
  4. Encourage team accountability.
  5. Set the tone from the top.
  6. Everyone should be involved.
  7. Priorities should be clear and goals should be achievable.

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Community Building … by Jennifer Sampson, CEO at United Way of Dallas

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As McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Jennifer Sampson knows the value of building communities. The over 90-year-old agency is the largest non-governmental funder of programs to improve education, income and health in Dallas. Sampson describes it as a complex community. “It is one of the nation’s wealthiest and most generous cities, but thirty-eight percent of our children live in poverty; only a third of our high school students gradate college-ready; three-quarters of a million people in our service area do not have health insurance.” Sampson has brought together corporate, foundation, and nonprofit forces to drive change. During her 6-year tenure as CEO, the United Way team has seen a record-breaking 30% revenue growth and the number of volunteer hours has more than tripled.

Community-building is a key component in long-term success for business and for the business of philanthropy. During her time at United Way Dallas, she has built a list of necessary actions, what she calls “Sampson’s Seven” for building healthy modern-day community.

  1. We before me.

“That’s a principle most of us learn in kindergarten when our teachers are trying to get us to think beyond a typical child’s selfishness,” Sampson says. “But it applies at the organizational level. When we work in silos we waste resources, create redundancies, and trip over one another.” It is also true for community partnerships, which amplify resources and solutions when it’s ‘we before me.’

Sampson describes a 2008 plan for major changes to United Way Dallas’s work and organization. “We identified long-term measurable community impact goals. Our volunteers created the need for uncomfortable change within the organization and beyond. ‘We before me’ made those changes not just necessary, but exhilarating. Planning and priorities set by “we” superseded those set by “me.” Of course that also means that when things go wrong, “I” tend to take a little more share of the blame… and a little less share of the credit when things go right.”

  1. Change the way things are.

“A community is a living organism,” Sampson argues. “It’s either declining or improving; there’s no steady-state in a community.” Leaders must understand that in a world of rapid change, those who don’t take action risk failure or irrelevancy. Small changes are great but sometimes it is necessary to rattle the foundations, or awaken sleeping giants.

“Just be prepared to show the giants your plan and path and invite them along on a new journey,” she warns. “United Way had to make big changes to big things because we had trend lines moving the wrong direction. Our goals have now become expectations–and they’re big and bold. We want to prepare at least 60 percent of all students to graduate and have success in college and careers. We are building pathways out of poverty PERMANENTLY for 250,000 individuals. And we’re paving the way to better health through programs that empower people.”

United Way Dallas is changing the way they do this, investing in social enterprise; using digital tools and technology; experimenting with unique and unexpected new events, platforms and campaigns; and thinking like the biggest fundraising organizations.

  1. Fail fast; fail forward.

Social problems can seem unsolvable, as the solutions are often complex and multi-faceted. Sampson argues, “There is no silver bullet for any societal problem facing our world today. So we need to try lots of solutions, and some will fail. Fail in the direction of more information. Fail in the direction of informing the community.  Fail fast enough to re-group, adjust and try something different because you’re measuring and evaluating and sharing results with each other. Fail with all the players in the room to hammer out the next solution. And own the mistake. Own what went wrong so that the conversation about failure and adjusting is normalized.”

  1. Embrace discomfort. The impossible is possible.

Sampson expects her team to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. “Upsetting colleagues and community groups is uncomfortable,” she acknowledges. “We live in a world of winners and losers. A lot of people keep score, and when powerful groups lose (funding, for example), forward progress feels impossible.” But building community means throwing out that kind of scorecard and doing the impossible–that is, convincing unhappy constituents that you have their interests at heart, that there is a better way, and sticking with it.

For example, Sampson points out many United Way chapters don’t work with donor advised funds. “But one of our most faithful supporters and donors, Troy Aikman, asked us to consider working with him to establish a donor advised fund. Making that possible put us in a position to build a relationship with Troy and leverage his incredibly influential voice for our cause. But, it also made some of our peer organizations uncomfortable.”

  1. “To thine own self be true.”

What does Hamlet have to do with community-building? Sampson explains: “We are all complex, multi-layered, and part of something bigger. I am a CEO, but I am also a wife, mother, and celebrator. I try to show up with my authentic self. Because when I don’t let my values and my roles and my responses truly reflect me, my internal team knows it, and the larger community sees the inconsistency. I’m a hugger, not a hand-shaker, so I hug.

At our office, we dress not for our corporate donors but for the communities we serve. We join them in the opening of neighborhood clinics. We bring babies to the office. We leave for school plays. We build community by being in the community.”

  1. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

“You’ve heard this one,” she laughs, “Lucky breaks happen when people come together, identify problems together, posit solutions together–and work like crazy to be ready for the opportunity that may come. It works for individuals. It works for communities.  When Toyota announced the move of the corporate headquarters and a significant part of its manufacturing to the Dallas area, we were ready to support their transition to their new home. We provided comprehensive information about community needs and resources. As a result, we’ve formed a partnership to launch their inaugural One Million Dollar Impact Grant in 2017.”

  1. Embrace a larger purpose.

Sampson has found this last point the most important in personal and professional life. “It’s also the one that is at the heart of defining a 21st century community,” she insists. “You read in the news about some of the world’s superrich buying remote islands and equipping their planes for flight from the apocalypse. I just laugh. That’s a failed community on the largest scale. But it’s also the possible end game of decades of indifference to the child who reached adulthood unable to read, or the elderly woman who hasn’t enough to eat two blocks from a grocery store, or the family who cannot hand off to its next generation a better life than the one they have. I don’t want to live in the world with those warning signs as societal markers. So my larger purpose–and the effective 21st community–looks to a larger purpose–and makes it happen.”

About Jennifer Sampson

Jennifer Sampson is chief executive officer and president of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the largest non-governmental funder of programs to improve education, income and health in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. Jennifer received her BBA from Baylor University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas. She has completed executive education courses through the Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She started her professional career at Arthur Andersen in 1991 and ten years later joined United Way as senior vice president and chief financial officer. In 2004, she was promoted to chief operating officer.

Since being appointed as CEO and president in September 2011, Jennifer has built community confidence in the United Way’s mission and impact priorities, and achieved unprecedented results in resource development.  These results were accomplished through revenue diversification, new and more innovative investment tools and strategies, and broader forms of collective community impact than the United Way has ever considered before.

Jennifer is a founding member of the United Way’s Women of Tocqueville Society and serves on the United Way Worldwide National Professional Council, Fortune 500 Task Force and Select Cities.  She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Dallas, and was a member of the Cattle Baron’s Ball Committee from 2001 to 2008. She has been a member of the Crystal Charity Ball Committee since 2009 and has served on the Baylor University Alumni Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, the Business and Community Advisory Council of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Board, and the Dallas Assembly. She was named the Women’s Council of Dallas County’s 2012 Woman of the Year, and in 2013 was recognized as one of the youngest recipients of the Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award.

Jennifer and her husband, Edward, have one son, Hilton.

 

 

Exclusive: Alexa is coming to the office

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Exclusive: Alexa is coming to the office – Axios  This could be a very big deal. Personally, i am still getting used to the technology.

“Amazon is announcing today it’s bringing its voice assistant into a range of business settings, big and small, like hotels and co-working spaces.

“Why it matters: While people always think of Amazon as a consumer company, it has shown itself time and again to have larger ambitions. This move could help it expand tis business services beyond its already popular Amazon Web services.

“In an interview, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said that exposure to the workplace will improve Alexa by exposing it to new types of conversations. 
“The kind of language we use in our offices is sometimes radically different from the more conversational things we do in our(homes),” he told Axios. Alexa “will greatly improve by being exposed to different kinds of statements or conversations.”

 

“Business benefit: Vogels said many businesses are still stuck with the technology consumers used in the 1990s. Adding support for voice to automate tasks could leapfrog several missed generations of consumer technology.

“Alexa for Business consists of several parts, including getting enterprise software to integrate with Alexa and allowing individual businesses to write their own skills.

“Early work on all fronts has begun, with Concur and Salesforce among those bringing elements of their software to Alexa and WeWork, CapitalOne and Wynn hotels among the early businesses using voice in their workplaces.

“What about Cortana? Vogels insists this doesn’t impact Amazon’s previously announced big partnership with Microsoft to integrate with Cortana. However, the partnership has yet to bear fruit and now Amazon is headed into Cortana’s home turf. Vogels had no update on when to expect progress with Microsoft.

“Other hurdles: Proving to be a valued employee is only part of what Alexa will have to achieve to earn a full-time job. Many consumers are already skeptical of inviting a smart microphone into their homes and trust is likely to be an even bigger issue with businesses.”

Source: Exclusive: Alexa is coming to the office – Axios

Six Best Practices from the NGO Technology Report — Well worth the read

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There are many reports that get published every year. You can get overwhelmed with too much information. What should a nonprofit be focused on right now? What will move your digital nonprofit ahead?

I strongly suggest reading this report. It is good!

The 2018 Global NGO Technology Report provides insight on the online and mobile communication tools NGOs around the world use to promote general awareness, communicate with core audiences and raise funds from donors, as well as an analysis of those online tools and comparisons of regional usage.”

Source: Six Best Practices from the NGO Technology Report | npENGAGE

Building your digital business while avoiding the “transformation” hype

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Digital Transformation has become a pretty good business buzz word. That’s not all bad but there is some hype that we may need to avoid.

A focus on the customer experience is to be carefully paid attention to as a key competitive differentiator. A continuous and agile customer experience improvement process makes a difference.

Becoming more of a digital business is certainly not all about the technology although there is a tendency to buy into that myth. There is much hype around tech success stories like Amazon, Airbnb or Uber. While they are very disruptive, it doesn’t mean you will be disrupted by them.

They certainly get a lot of media attention and that can create more hype. They are examples of how to be a pure digital business but you may never be and that is okay.

There are businesses in every industry that are making significant and speedy progress at being more of a digital business. They may be competitors and you may be unaware of their foundational investments that will pay off for them soon. Yes, newcomers can be disruptive but those others that are evolving fast may have the financial resources to win the day.

I guess the word to the wise is to “look in both directions” so as to not get run over.

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Reinventing Impact Measurements: Biology or Blockchain? … by Julia Cannon at roundCorner (Guest Article)

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Julia Cannon Women in TechJulia Cannon is the Senior Product Manager for foundationConnect at roundCorner. Julia guides product requirements and development to help foundations transform the way they manage grants.

 

 

Reinventing Impact Measurements: Biology or Blockchain?

Impact Measurement roundCorner

Any nonprofit or philanthropic professional is familiar with the challenges of impact measurement.

Impacts are vital to nonprofits because they prove the theory that their programs work. They provide evidence that they are creating positive impacts in the community, environment, healthcare system, or any other mission area.

Funders use impacts to identify nonprofits that have historically delivered results with their programs and projects. Therefore, their investment will have the best chance of delivering results in a future program or project. Certainly, this is sound logic. Boards and individual funders can feel confident that a nonprofit will put their money to productive use. This also gives foundations a standard for comparing proposals that may be as different as apples and oranges.

Impact Measurement: It’s Complicated!

However, funders know that impact measurements are not the silver bullet they may appear to be. When you get into the details of what to measure, how to measure, and how to weigh one measurement against another, it gets very complicated very quickly.

Part of the challenge comes from the nebulous nature of impacts. It is virtually impossible to isolate the impact of a particular project on a particular individual. In order to accurately compare funding proposals, impact measurement has to be uniform across nonprofits. And for nonprofits, this is only feasible when impact measurement is uniform across funders.

There is a multitude of methods to tackle this challenge, but I will highlight a couple of the most recent and interesting.

Breaking Impacts Down to their DNA

The theory at play is that impact, like DNA, can be broken down into four main elements. You can find these elements in all outcome data.

Take for instance, that the DNA of dogs and cats contains the same building blocks despite the difference in species. In the same vein, Environment programs contain the same impact elements as Arts programs, despite the difference in program manifestation and objectives.

The main example of this approach is embodied by the Impact Genome Project, who first established this concept with the Music Genome Project that powers Pandora’s logic. By breaking down outcomes into categorical elements, funders and researchers can more easily aggregate and compare data across a wide variety of programs and data points.

This approach has the potential to address the issue of non-uniformity across data collection and data requested by funders. In the case of the Impact Genome Project, independent researchers and experts handle the data analysis. As a result, participation does not add any additional effort to nonprofit staff.

Treating Impacts as Currency with Blockchain Technology

This idea builds on the emergence of impact investment, but takes it a step further by making the impacts themselves the measure of value as opposed to traditional currencies.

Using blockchain technology to create and track impact ledgers, this concept is the basis of a project by the Ixo Foundation in collaboration with UNICEF. (By the way, if you want to brush up on what blockchain is and how it works, I like this article.)

In this model, the impacts become a cryptocurrency to exchange for other currencies and use for funding. The market determines the value of any particular impact. This market is influenced by project funders, project implementation organizations, organizational reputation, and impact quality, among other factors.

The promise of this method is similar to the promise of blockchain–data is secure, transparent, and decentralized. No single organization controls or influences impact information. It also has a democratizing effect on the impact economy, allowing organizations to influence the value of the impacts they create.

Potential Limitations to Impacts as Currency

Naturally, this new system of “impacts as currency” has untested potential drawbacks to consider as well.

As an example, we can look at the process laid out by the Ixo Foundation in their step-by-step practical guide. Following their guide (pg. 14), nonprofits and project suppliers will need to first create the impacts before they can receive tokens for exchange into other currencies. However, many nonprofit organizations seek funding because they do not yet have the capital to begin or expand a program that they expect to deliver the promised impacts.

Still, this is not an insurmountable challenge. In physical currency, loans and venture capital help new business endeavors. Perhaps we’ll see similar methods put into practice with impact cryptocurrency.

The Best is Yet to Come

There is currently no perfect solution for defining, tracking, and valuing impacts. But recent innovation has centered around specific requirements: the solution must be data-driven, collaborative, and accommodating to the administrative work of nonprofits.

As foundations continue to evolve and refine the way they invest in their missions, I’m excited to see what new trends and methods emerge.

 

Digital Transformation Required (Innovate or perish) … by Dwight Moore (Guest Article)

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Dwight D. MooreDwight Moore is an information technology executive with a career spanning more than 25 years. With large consulting and CIO leadership experience, he bridges both technology and business P&L experience. His multi-industry exposure implementing IT strategy, data centers, architecture, operations, application development, and project management provides a unique point of view in solving today’s challenges.  He is life-long learner who enjoys innovation, learning about new technology, and creating strong, cohesive teams to drive change.

Digital Transformation Required (Innovate or perish)

Merriam-Webster defines “innovation” as

1) the introduction of something new

2) a new idea, method, or device

Derived from the Latin “innovat” meaning renewed, altered.

There were more than 80 million millennials born in the U.S. between 1982 and 2001.  By 2020, they will represent 40% of the U.S. consumers. These are the customers of the future, and they are digital natives. Growing up with technology, they are savvy and comfortable online – mobile or web. They expect speed, connectivity, access anywhere, transparency, and data security. Organizations must meet expectations, or they will go elsewhere. Digital transformation required.

Digital transformation isn’t about the technology, it’s about business innovation. It’s about the customer. It’s called “digital transformation” due to technology being an integral component of a growing digital world. Yet the important aspect of transformation is thinking differently.  Digital transformation is about leveraging technology to improve the business as well as the vision to look beyond today. In my view, this is the essence and distinction of “innovation” and “Innovation”.

I like to call “Innovation” (big “I”) as those who redefine. It is creation.  It’s inspiration. It’s about forgetting what you currently do and re-think the business.  It’s looking at a customer or market in a completely new way. It’s not uncommon that it is an invention. This was the essence of Uber disrupting traditional taxi/limo business. AirBnB disrupted traditional vacation rentals/time-shares and arguably hotels. Apple’s iPod/iTues disrupted the music industry. RedBox disrupted Blockbuster (and is now a digital company). Amazon’s Kindle disrupted books/stores/distribution. They redefined the traditional business, and market.  It wasn’t that these services were new, but they rejected the way it has always been done. This is a topic for another time.

What I call “innovation” (small “I”) is the need for businesses to invest and adapt over time. Teams introduce new, incremental changes to improve sales, products, performance, or service.  Much of digital transformation is changing processes by leveraging the fast-moving technology landscape. We witness our digital journey opportunities through:

  • Reaching new markets, e.g. millennials, new geographies, digital products
  • Inserting automation e.g. CRM/ERP, AI, IoT, cloud infrastructure/virtual machines/containers
  • Improving responsiveness e.g. customer service/support processes, cloud infrastructure, “agile” business (all the organization, not just IT)
  • Increase quality e.g. IoT, digital user experience (and closely aligned with automation)
  • Creating disintermediation and transparency, e.g. blockchain, digital products/distribution

Startups are simpler. Their primary focus is finding the product or service and getting to positive cash flow. Second, they focus on scaling the business. Few processes, less overhead, simpler technological needs.  I’m not saying it is easy, just less complex initially.

For established businesses, they have existing customers, processes, infrastructure. The larger the organization, the more challenging. For many business areas, not just technology, the more integral to operations the greater the risk. The scale of customers are orders of magnitude higher. There are more products or services. Processes have been created to create quality, responsiveness, repeatability, and reliability.

Organizational entropy grows over time. Inconsistency or increased complexity in processes. Loss of corporate tribal knowledge. Growing lists of priorities that create potential for different departments to work against each other.  Multiple, overlapping technologies with increasing cost. Increasing ecosystem complexity as the number of external partners or services grows. Technologies reach end-of-life (unsupported) becoming obsolete. The higher the entropy, the greater the effort, larger the cost, and higher the risk to remediate.

When there is more at risk, executives become increasingly risk adverse. The irony is avoidance to change increases overall risk. Transformation can span multiple years, and often runs into complexities because people can see the broader picture, and yet no one sees all the areas of impact in detail.

However, every complex problem starts by identifying the problem, and then breaking it down to solvable parts. Organizational leaders can start with challenging the established belief systems, and processes. Large change requires communicating the vision and gaining employee support.  The basic steps involved are:

  • Create cross-functional teams, led or supported by senior leadership.
  • Define a strategy and create a vision of the future.
  • Identify the areas where there are opportunities for process improvement, automation, or technological negligence, or new product/service opportunities. Often the line level employees can shed light on where there are challenges.
  • Prioritize by need and importance. This is often one of the hardest tasks. People often have varying ways to define this, and all politics are local in the office.
  • Create a team mindset. To be successful, this is one of the most important tasks. The transformation succeeds or fails together as a team. Leave the egos at the door. Create dialog, and constructive conflict.
  • Demonstrate leadership and courage by looking for opportunities to sunset where the value is declining. This is threatening when someone loses scope or responsibility. However, as one door closes, another opens.
  • Create a plan and execute rigorously. Hold people accountable and be an agile organization focusing on simplicity (no more or less than what is needed).

Customer Experience Maturity Model

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There are all kind of maturity models. The Temkin Group has developed a great one for the customer experience. It is free to complete and you get a report back!

Organizations don’t become customer-centric overnight. Temkin Group’s research shows that they evolve through six different stages of customer experience maturity as they gradually master the Four CX Core Competencies. To gauge your organization’s CX competencies and maturity, complete the Temkin Group CX Competency and Maturity Assessment. Continue reading

There is Light at the End of the Tunnel – and it’s a Freight Train … by Jamey Heinze (Guest Article)

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Jamey Heinze

As CMO at iGrafx, Jamey is responsible for enriching the brand, amplifying market awareness and creating additional demand for what he believes is the best solution in the market.  Prior to joining iGrafx, Jamey was the Vice President of Marketing for Austin-based Hostway, the CMO In-Residence for Predictive Science, as well as the CMO for Hearst-owned CDS Global. In his career as a marketing leader, Heinze has been instrumental in branding, demand generation, product development, launch and strategy. Continue reading

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

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 “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

Amazon knows a lot about the brave new digital business world. They’ve invested billions in improving the customer experience.

Amazon is the new corporate model for how to do it right. Just look at Amazon Go and its ability to eliminate the most frustrating customer experience in retail, the check out process. It will be completely gone now. Poof! Completely gone in their world.

Digital businesses are built on amazing customer experiences. That is it. End of story.

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Consumers Want Devices To Talk Back

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US and European online adults with a voice assistant speaker want to start using the device to inform their lifestyle choices and purchase decisions. The use of voice assisted devices is only going to accelerate.

What does this mean for your digital business? Is voice interfaces and artificial intelligence a part of your future? Now is the time to begin thinking it through. Why not organize a quick hit innovation team to advise you on what you and the executive team can do to get ready?

Source: The Data Digest: Consumers Want Devices To Talk Back

More cars than phones were added to U.S. cellular networks in 2017

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Connected devices are beginning to dominate our lives. There is money to be made here. Is it a part of your digital business plan?

When we think of wireless networks, we think of smartphones. But in 2017, for the first time, more cars than phones were added to U.S. cellular networks, according to a new report from industry consultant Chetan Sharma.

“AT&T dominates the connected car segment,” Sharma said, noting that the company has added 1 million or more cars to its network for each of the past 11 quarters.

The bottom line: While there were more cars added, the money is still in smartphones, which have higher monthly service fees and generate the bulk of carrier revenue and profits. Still, as smartphone sales level off, other types of devices will become increasingly important.

Other findings:

  • Data consumption in the U.S. reached 6 GB/month in the U.S. (The U.S. is third behind Finland and Korea on that metric and tops countries with a population of more than 60 million.)
  • U.S. smartphone penetration reached 93%.
  • T-Mobile is still outgrowing the competition, accounting for more than three quarters of the net growth in phones.

Source: Login – Axios

Disruption Alert: Amazon plans to open as many as six more cashierless Amazon Go stores this year – Recode

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This is now. This is not the future. This is real. This is example number 1 of how your business can (perhaps will be) disrupted by a digital marauder. If you have no eCommerce capabilities and now you can’t deliver a stunning customer experience in the store with digital technologies, you are probably toast.

Retail isn’t going away completely. It will be disrupted significantly by digital solutions that make the customer experience radically different. No one likes to stand in line to check out. Period. It is digital that is changing this. Still not ready to play in this bold new world? Yikes is all I can say.

With 3,000,000 cashiers in the United States, think of your career choice. It won’t stop with cashiers however. Digital businesses are rapidly changing the future of the career marketplace.

“Amazon’s much-heralded convenience store of the future, Amazon Go, may seem like a crazy experiment. But the company plans to open as many as six more of these storefronts this year, multiple people familiar with the company’s plans have told Recode.

“Some of the new high-tech stores are likely to open in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, where the first location is based, as well as Los Angeles, these people said. It’s not clear if Amazon will open up Go stores in any other cities this year. 

“And in Seattle, Amazon had identified at least three locations for additional Go stores as of last year, according to one source.”

Source: Amazon plans to open as many as six more cashierless Amazon Go stores this year – Recode

So what is Amazon Go?

“Amazon spent four years crafting a system — dubbed Just Walk Out Technology — that allows shoppers to scan their phone upon entrance, grab desired items off a shelf, and automatically get charged the right amount after exiting without the need to stop at a cash register to pay. (Here’s a photo tour of the first Amazon Go store.)

“Amazon is hoping that by making convenience store trips even faster, it will raise the bar for brick-and-mortar shopping in much the same way that Amazon Prime did for online shopping and delivery.”

Source: Amazon plans to open as many as six more cashierless Amazon Go stores this year – Recode

So will Amazon just use this technology to crush your in-store experience? Will they lease it to you and crush your margin?

Now is the the time to think it through.

What causes disruption to your evolving digital business?

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There are a number of disruptions that create havoc and chaos to your evolving digital business. Either individually and in combination, they could inflict a death spiral. Despite the way it sounds, this is not hyperbole. This is not a myth. This is serious.

Here are a few to think about. There are others.

  • Technological innovations (technology-induced), which are more impactful than ever before. However, again, it’s not the technology that drives the disruption. It’s how it is used and adopted by customers, partners, competitors and various stakeholders. Technologies with clear disruption potential include IoT, artificial intelligence, edge computing, virtual and augmented reality and blockchain. However, the most disruptive potential occurs when they get combined and enable new applications as we see in the convergence of AI, IoT and big data analytics. In industrial change the convergence of IT and OT is also a game changer.
  • Customer behavior and demands. Customers can be pesky creatures creating so-called customer-induced disruption that is not necessarily related to technology. Technology often enables or, as just mentioned, causes it, when adopted and turned into business challenges. An example of a force that drives digital change and is not caused by technology but merely strengthened by it in combination with other factors: the demand of customers for ease of use and simplicity in dealing with businesses is far older than today. It goes back to times when even the Internet didn’t exist. In that sense, digital change can be simply catching up too because businesses don’t have another option anymore (it’s not as if they didn’t know the importance of making interactions and support for customers easy and frictionless decades ago).
  • Innovation- and invention-induced. Entirely novel approaches to human and business challenges, as well as innovations and inventions that create a new reality, whether it’s in science, business, technology or even a non-technological context of true innovation can be disruptive. The invention of medicines that change healthcare and society (as has happened several times in the past), the printing press, the train, what can be next? Your best bet is probably in life sciences and the application of technology within the human body and mind.
  • Ecosystem-induced. Economical changes, demands from partners who want you to adapt, evolutions towards collaborations in business ecosystems, regulatory changes (consider the impact of the GDPR, for example), geo-political changes, the list is endless. Regulators are not just looking at the impact of digital technologies from a personal data protection perspective as they do with the GDPR in the EU of course. The world is full of new regulations and they do require approaches on the level of people, processes, strategies AND technologies as anyone who has been serious about GDPR compliance can tell you. There are calls to regulate the IoT in the US and other countries, calls to regulate blockchain, the usage of IoT is already being limited in the upcoming EU ePrivacy Regulation (and GDPR), all across the globe energy efficiency and ecology are driving the agenda in smart buildings and smart cities (e.g. the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in the EU that demands the usage of smart technologies and additional support for electrical cars), banking regulations are changing, the list is really endless.

Digital disruption overlapAnd this ecosystem aspect brings us again to this essential aspect of digital business change: the interdependency and interconnectedness of everything.

It all overlaps and is connected; from disruption, business processes and models to business activities and each single activity of the organization and the broader ecosystem in which it operates. The butterfly effect in action. Think about how virtually all business processes de facto are linked, the interconnectedness of business activities from the customer perspective, the way information runs across all digital transformations and much more.

If my company invests in the customer experience, will it work?

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Customer Experience LeadersIt is reasonable to ask, if my company invests in the customer experience, will it work?

This question drove Watermark Consulting to evaluate the macro impact of customer experience excellence. They’ve accomplished this over the years by studying the total returns for two model stock portfolios comprised of the Top 10 (“Leaders”) and Bottom 10 (“Laggards”) publicly traded companies in Forrester Research’s annual Customer Experience Index ranking. The results are stunning.

For the 6-year period from 2007 to 2012, the Customer Experience Leaders in their study outperformed the broader market, generating a total return that was three times higher on average than the S&P 500 Index. Furthermore, while the Customer Experience Leaders handily beat the S&P 500, the Laggards trailed it by a wide margin.

Keep in mind, this analysis reflects more than half a decade of performance results.  It spans an entire economic cycle, from the pre-recession market peak in 2007 to the post-recession recovery that continues today. The Customer Experience Leaders in this study are clearly enjoying the many benefits that happy, loyal customers deliver:  better retention, greater wallet share, lower acquisition costs and more cost-efficient service.

And the Laggards?  They are being crushed under the weight of high customer turnover, escalating acquisition costs and an uncompetitive cost structure that is inflated by each customer complaint and avoidable inquiry.

As a digital executive, do you want to be a leader or a laggard? You can be a hero and lead the way to an amazing ROI. Your customers will love you for it.

Here are the key ideas:

  1. Start by beginning to measure your customer experience by using the Customer Experience Index.
  2. Begin by reporting results, focus on gaps and continuously improve the experience.
  3. Encourage a culture focused on building loyalty at every point of the customer journey.
  4. Agree on how to measure improvement.
  5. Tie loyalty to “bottom line” results.
  6. Involve customer experience ambassadors at every level of the organization.
  7. Identify budget constraints in investment decisions.

SMART transformation goals for the donor experience are time-bound

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The fifth criterion for SMART goals stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps a donor experience team focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the SMART goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency and give realistic time frames need to produce the results desired.

A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:

  1. When can this be accomplished?
  2. What can I do six months from now?
  3. What can I do six weeks from now?
  4. What can I do today and next week?

For the digital executive focused on the donor experience, it is important to know that most business goals are lagging indicators as well. Lagging indicators confirm long-term trends, but they do not predict them. In the economic world, some examples are unemployment, corporate profits and labor cost per unit of output. Interest rates are another good lagging economic indicator; rates change after severe market changes. Goals tend to focus on results after the fact. Well written strategies focus on rhe donor experience that produces the results and are leading indicators.

Lagging indicators are typically “output” oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence while leading indicators are typically input oriented, hard to measure and easy to influence.

Source: KPI Library

Here are the key ideas:

  1. Start with how long it will realistically take to produce the results in the donor experience you want.
  2. Begin with the end in mind.
  3. Encourage narrowing the time frame down into shorter not longer increments.
  4. Know what the bigger goal is, if there is one.
  5. Communicate clearly why the goal is important. Never assume that people understand why.
  6. All employees affected by the goal should buy into it and should be willing to be held accountable for producing the results in the timeframe agreed upon.

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