thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
Zoho Marketing Plus – How to Change the Marketing Game

Zoho Marketing Plus – How to Change the Marketing Game

 The News On May 10, 2022, Zoho released Zoho Marketing Plus, its suite of marketing solutions. You can read the complete press release here. The suite combines multiple Zoho applications including Campaigns, Social, Webinar, Analytics, Marketing Automation, Workdrive, PageSense, Survey, and Backstage. It shall provide digital marketers with a unified platform of integrated capabilities that help them achieve their objectives more easily through a combination of simplification, integration and embedded collaboration capabilities. Zoho Marketing Plus brings together marketing activities throughout the whole campaign life cycle from ideation through creation, execution to measurement. This allows to manage campaigns and provides the whole marketing organization with a single shared view of information. “Consumers and digital marketing continue to evolve at warp-speed, and marketers are struggling to keep up. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to properly manage multiple campaigns, channels, customer profiles, data, and ROI,” said Mani Vembu, Chief Operating Officer at Zoho. “The complexity of data and personalization at-scale only raises pressure on marketers and CMOs to deliver effective campaigns and revenue. By eliminating redundancies and confusion arising from multiple siloed solutions, Zoho Marketing Plus maximizes productivity and teamwork, allowing marketers to stay nimble and collaborative amid evolving customer needs. When marketers aren’t bogged down by operations, they can deliver creative campaigns that promote meaningful relationships between the brand and customers.“ With Zoho Marketing Plus, Zoho addresses mid-market companies with around 250 to 1,000 employees and a structured marketing organization with a progressively thinking leadership. Early customers show themselves impressed with the breadth of the functionality as well as the support for the end-to-end support that is offered by the platform. Says...
Zoho Creator – the next wave of collaborative no-code/low-code development

Zoho Creator – the next wave of collaborative no-code/low-code development

The News On March 3, 2022 Zoho released the new version of its Creator no-code/low-code platform. It offers a unified development platform to empower both IT teams and business users.  The new release is targeted at building end-to-end solutions in an easy way. It combines integration, process automation and analytics/business intelligence with the ability to build applications and offers application management capabilities needed to manage security, compliance and governance. Along with the built-in collaboration features it allows for a tight collaboration between business- and IT users. The bigger picture About a year ago I wrote a first article on no-code and low-code platforms, based upon the realization that the ongoing digitalization and necessity for business agility in fast changing environments require more than traditional developer support. At that time I cautioned that business users should not just be allowed to do everything without governance in order to avoid another “Lotus Notes moment”. Since then the world moved on.  No-code and low-code have become an indispensable part of the business applications world. They are critical to the fast adaptation of business applications and process automation across business applications. This is a task that is traditionally handled by IT departments. These, however, are regularly understaffed to be able to fulfil all the operations and enhancements demands that are on their desks.  To achieve this, no code and low code platforms need to support both, IT departments as well as the business departments. This means that they need to straddle a considerable gap. Typically, no-code and low-code platforms concentrated on either business users or IT departments. The latter are not really useful for IT departments as they...
Medallia and Thunderhead for great CX

Medallia and Thunderhead for great CX

The News On January 20, 2022 Medallia announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Thunderhead, the leader in customer journey orchestration, or like the press release states it, leader in every-channel journey orchestration. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of this fiscal year. The stated benefit for customers is that “with the combination of customer experience insights and journey orchestration, organizations can have a single view of the customer journey and use real-time interactions to improve experiences and loyalty.” Thunderhead is expected to “strengthen Medallia’s ability to power individualized journeys and conversations at scale, across all online and offline channels, helping Medallias’s thousands of customers continue to increase their brand loyalty, sales and growth.” Thunderhead founder and CEO Glen Manchester says that “the acquisition heralds the next era of customer experience. We pioneered the idea of the customer operating system, with our closed-loop customer engagement platform powered by continuous listening, feedback and learning, all actioned through our unique fusion of journey orchestration and real-time interaction management (RTIM). With Thunderhead, Medallia can ensure that every single aspect of the customer lifecycle – marketing, commerce, sales and service – will be a seamless, relevant, and frictionless experience.” Tl;dr Watch my snap analysis – or read on.  The bigger Picture The name of the game is CX (platform). As with any platform game, it is crucial to have enough scale. On top of this, the markets for CDP, segmentation, personalization, real-time interaction management and customer journey orchestration are converging. A CDP provides the persistent and transactional data foundation that allows the delivery of the additional value that insight...
Is Microsoft bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone?

Is Microsoft bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone?

The News On January 18, 2022, Microsoft announced the intention to acquire Activision Blizzard with the vision of bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone, for $95 per share, which equals a transaction value of $68.7 bn. This is a bit more than eight times of the revenue that Activision Blizzards expect to have in the fiscal year 2022. With this acquisition, Microsoft can add 400 million monthly active users to the already existing 25 million Game Pass holders. Until the acquisition closes, the companies will run independently. After completion of the transaction, Activision Blizzard wil report to Phil Spencer, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft Gaming. This acquisition makes Microsoft the third largest gaming company by revenue, after Tencent and Sony. The stock markets reacted with a sharp increase of Activision Blizzard shares to about $87, while Microsoft stock largely followed its pre-existing slight downward trajectory. Here my analysis in a brief video. The bigger Picture We have currently around 3 billion people and growing, who are actively gaming. Millennials and younger do not even know a world without social media and smart phones. They often play using mobile devices. Microsoft, on the other hand, is available on basically every device and offers quite some hardware, too, either directly or via partners. Additionally, Microsoft already before was a known entity in the gaming market, e.g. owning gaming platforms like Minecraft and Doom. Still, according to Shacknews, Microsoft seems to have missed the own growth targets, even though an increase of Game Pass holders from 18 million to 25 million in the year 2021 is quite significant.  Apart from the...
CRMKonvos – The all time hot 5 including  some surprises

CRMKonvos – The all time hot 5 including some surprises

The new year just started, so it is the perfect time to look at some data. To keep you curious: There are some interesting data points. I looked at and reviewed the success of our CRMKonvos. We are streaming live on various channels, including my LinkedIn profile, several Facebook channels including mine, the one of Ralf Korb, Korb & Kollegen as well as Tante Emma 4.0 and occasionally Kompetenztraining Ralf Korb. Of course, we are on Twitter using @twieberneit and @loneRangerCRM. Last, but not least we stream to our YouTube channel CRMKonvos. We are live every Tuesday at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET / 7 pm CET. Why do I say that? Because we are serving an international audience and timing matters for live shows. On all of these channels the videos remain available for viewers who could not make it to the live episodes. Shameless plug: Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Streaming to Twitch doesn’t seem to be that successful for us. I think, this is due to being live once a week is not often enough to build an audience. And then Twitch is full of gamers, who might be less interested in the latest and greatest of CRM and CX, delivered via good discussions with our expert guests. A hard part is that we haven’t found a solution that gives us detailed statistics, like views over time, duration of the view, engagement, etc. across platforms. Means, getting this data it is all manual work. If there is anyone who has a solution for this: I am all game, let me know via the comments or ping me via my LinkedIn or Twitter profiles. So, I did the data collection and am now able to tell you the 5...
How to walk a Fresh way towards CX and EX

How to walk a Fresh way towards CX and EX

The News On November 11, 2021 Freshworks held its annual Freshworks Refresh event. This year, the event had a hybrid format with around 250 customers, partners and analysts participating on site while around 17k people have registered for online participation. There was a social pre-event and an after-event for entertainment and networking purposes.  The event itself was themed around “delight made easy”. Naturally, it had different agendas for customers and partners on one side and analysts on the other side. The morning was dedicated to a 4-hour sequence of keynote sessions for everyone. The event was kicked off with a keynote by Neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author David Eagleman, who spoke about the “Science of Delight”. The closing keynote was delivered by Amy Purdy, who shared her inspiring story of how she used creativity, a positive outlook and a never-give-up attitude to turn her life from nearly dying, finding herself with a double lower leg amputation and failing organs into becoming a 3 times Paralympic medalist. Between these two speakers, who set the scene, Freshworks offered product and customer information. Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham gave a product update that linked into Eagleman’s message and a distributed customer panel spoke about their experiences with Freshworks, how they implemented Freshworks solutions and how these help the respective businesses. Rounding this off, Freshworks awarded several prizes to customers who offer exceptional EX or CX and showcased the winners of an internal hackathon. The latter is relevant because these winning solutions made it into or will make it into Freshworks products. The afternoon was filled with customer related information in the customer and partner track and product and strategy sessions for the analysts. The...