Crowdsourcing, Analytics, and More: This Week’s Great Reads

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As we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the news, articles, and blog posts that caught our eye over the last few days. 

GeniusRocket CEO on the importance of crowdsourcing:

Peter LaMotte announced this week he is stepping down as CEO of GeniusRocket to take over Digital Practice for communication firm Levick. LaMotte, widely regarded as crowdsourcing leader, says he learned plenty about crowdsourcing during his time with GeniusRocket. In particular, “there are far more industries that can benefit from [it] than those that can’t.”

LaMotte cautions businesses against saturating a project with so many voices that the signal-to-noise ratio becomes unhelpful:

“I will be the first to say I am biased. But this idea using crowdsourcing as the infinite monkey theorem is wrong. You don’t need a hundred monkeys on typewriters, you need a dozen really smart monkeys that have been trained to use typewriters. Ok, maybe I’m getting a little too fancy for my own good. The point is, don’t waste your time with participants that don’t understand or have the capacity to solve a problem, find people to work on a crowdsourcing project that have some measurable level of skill. It saves everyone time and effort. This was the basis of curated crowdsourcing and I still stand by its value.”

 

Overlook analytics at your own peril:

We talk a lot about the importance of crowdsourcing and multi-channel engagement, but let’s not forget the role analytics play in a good customer experience. Don Keane, VP of marketing and product strategy for Angel, says crunching customer-interaction stats is a critical component of a good help system:

“In 2012, businesses began to realize the value of real-time, actionable reporting and analytics to better understand their customer interactions and understand where and how customers are choosing to connect to their business. In 2013, I expect more and more businesses will want to see the data behind their interactions with customers in order to measure results and make improvements.”

One great thing about emerging customer-engagement technologies is how much easier it is to get into the minds of the people using your product or service. If you’re trying to think of ways to access analytics and gain a competitive edge in your industry, we have a few ideas.

 

Banking on social engagement:

We’ve noted previously how forward-thinking companies are beginning to understand how deploying social help systems reduce customer churn and increase revenue with existing customers. In that vein, MindTouch client Intuit had a busy week. It acquired social payment startup Payvment and detailed plans for more than 20 new products launching in the coming months. Company CTO Brad Smith told Techcrunch:

“Social is huge for us,” said Smith. “We are looking at trends and how they will shift in the next 10 years and how companies will operate. And what we’ve found is that we no longer want to be consumers. We want to be participants: we choose what we want so we have to make our products configurable from actions to interactions. When you have 60 million customers who can share their wisdom, it can help power people as individuals.”

Intuit is a great example of a company that used to social engagement to become a leader in the personal finance industry. It will be interesting to watch where they head in the coming years as spending and investment habits change with the economy.

 

Social business is alive and kicking:

Enterprise software analyst  Michael Fauscette ponders the timely question, “Is Social Business Dead?” and concludes that nothing could be farther from the truth:

“Why is social business so compelling and why is there an irresistible force pushing businesses down this path? There are several forces at work that create pressure to change. Fundamentally though, the Internet, or more specifically the hyper-connectivity it provides, is at the bottom of all of this. The Internet opens up new economic / business models, it changes the pace of competition, it globalizes the local, it redefines the term “relationship”, it provides an open, democratized publishing platform, it offers a new way of consuming technology (cloud / everything as a service) and redefines influence. Layer on top of that the proliferation of smart mobile devices that creates an always on / always connected society with the capability to leapfrog infrastructure and remove technology barriers, even in emerging economies. Finally add in the explosion of data and the growth of systems of decision that can take that data and make sense out of it, in support of real time, rapid business decision making.”

Fauscette nails exactly why social business has exploded and why it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Be sure to check out the rest of his terrific post to learn what strategies companies need to be thinking about if they plan to make the most of this exciting proliferation of opportunities.

Image: Chapendra

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