USER-GENERATED CONTENT: BUILDING CONNECTION, CONTEXT AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH CUSTOMERS WHO SHARE

When you’re trying to learn the real story about a product or service as a consumer, do you turn to the people who market that product or the people who actually use it? Do you build a connection with a brand because of the way that a product is pitched to you, or because of the benefits that product provides when it is in your hands? Sometimes, the most important questions from prospective customers are best answered by other customers, and the longest-lasting relationships are seeded by personal experience. User-generated content is one of the most effective ways to tap into that consumer-to-consumer mindset, and earn some social proof in the process.

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FACEBOOK IS NOT A DIGITAL STRATEGY… AND SNAPCHAT BETTER GROW UP FAST

by John Andrews and Ted Rubin

Ad giant WPP recently reduced its full-year earnings for the second time this year with CEO Sir Martin Sorrell citing a myriad of challenges… from consumer goods company spending cutbacks, to Trumponomics (disappointed by this reference to say the least). Sorrell’s comments over the past couple years, and in the Cheddar interview here, highlight the challenges facing the ad industry and its clients as media consumption increasingly migrates to digital channels and on-demand consumption and the “me” media evolution. Sir Martin also points to the fact that Google, and now Facebook, have become the largest investment pools WPP is deploying for their clients. Maybe the problem lies in the fact that Facebook and Google are tactical vs. strategic decisions but are being treated as overarching, and all encompassing, approaches. Many media decisions currently being made in digital seem to be retreads of traditional media tactics where bigger is better… and interruption is still rules the day (a strategy fast facing extinction).

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WHY EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT CORRELATES WITH POOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Have you ever had a job that you simply couldn’t stand, due to a poor relationship between the decision-makers and the employees responsible for carrying out those decisions? It feels like no matter how strong an effort you make or how much you like serving the customers despite the poor work environment, it’s hard to perform at your best with so much negativity in the air. As a business owner, apathetic, disengaged employees can spell real disaster for the quality of your customer service, and the data consistently show how disengagement correlates with poor customer service. This is an age-old problem that has always been a hurdle for business.

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SUCCESSFUL INTEGRATION OF AI INTO CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE REQUIRES A HUMAN TOUCH

Business AI isn’t just coming, it’s here. Einstein AI is now integrated into Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM, IBM’s Watson has gone commercial, and we’re only scratching the surface of how artificial intelligence will impact the business world. Like any other advance, it will be a mixed bag. Our current generation of AI is already helping businesses solve problems, but like any new solution, AI generates as many questions as it does answers.

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