Customer Experience

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Connecting The Digital Dots Of The Customer Experience

Does your content marketing connect the digital dots with your customer experience?

My great grandmother, Michaelena, used to give me connect-the-dots books to keep me busy when I was a toddler. Many times the dots I created did not match the intention of the books’ authors. My ‘masterpieces’ often resulted with my grandmother just shaking her head!

Connecting the digital dots - Gerry Moran

If you are not thinking about the client’s experience and how data, digital and content impact, then you will likely not connect those dots either.

Here are a few data points to consider the effects of content and the buyer experience on your business success.

10 Customer Experience And Content Marketing Insights

65% of CIOs have changed their strategies to enhance customer experience — suggesting a trend in delighting the audience with digital and customized content! Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit

86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience — indicating buyers and shoppers want to finalize their purchase in the quickest, easiest and most personalized way! Source: Christine Crandell

80% of retail transactions will use social technology by 2020 — so retailers and other businesses need to embrace social to cash in on sales. Source: IBM

Over 40% of banks didn’t collect demographic information about their customers in 2014 — urging us to think about how to turn readily available information into a customized experience  Source: Oxford Economics

Only 14% of CIOs focus on customer experience — which should make us all wonder what the other 86% are thinking about … saving money? Source: Cognizant Center For The Future Of Work and Oxford Economics

97% of brands feel they can enhance their buyer experience. However, hope is not a strategy when it comes to customer connnection — digital and content marketing strategy is. Source: Cognizant Center For The Future Of Work and Oxford Economics

84% of brands already use native advertising to drive buyer awareness — furthering the strategy of providing the right message at the right time to the right customer on the right channel. Source: eMarketer

99.9% of digital display ads go unclicked — confirming the need to customize content to deliver a better ROI! Source: Google

5,500 ads bombard the average US customer every quarter — confirming clutter is the biggest barrier to the content connection! Source: Cognizant

Brands receive 60 monthly messages per 1000 Twitter followers — an encouraging response to how content can be used to connect with the customer. Source: Sprout

Do you have additional insights from these ten powerful statistics? If so, please share them below. Or reach out to me directly at or on Twitter or LinkedIn.

100 Facts & Insights You Need To Ask About Your Digital Business

There are many other digital business facts you might want to consider. Take a look at ninety more:

100 Questions To Ask About Your DIGITAL BUSINESS from Cognizant

If You Enjoyed This Customer Experience and Content Marketing Post …

Here are a few other customer experience-related posts you might find interesting

A collection of unconnected digital dots can create a random picture — sometimes scary and other times profitable. Data, metrics, and insight are an excellent way to get started on a positive return on customer experience! If anything, you’ll make my great grandmother Michaelena proud! — by connecting those dots the right way!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 2 Comments

Cut To The Customer Experience Chase With QR Codes

QR Code Signage | SAPQR codes connect a customer opportunity with social-local-mobile (SoLoMo) experience to help you build a relationship or make a sale. QR codes are 2-dimensional (2D) encoded bar code images that resemble maze-like square. Getting their start in Japan a few years back, they continue to gain traction and are the most popular of today’s 2D options.This SoLoMo marketing strategy makes it easy for (some) consumers to quick access content and information on their terms … a win-win situation. While not for everyone is adopting this tactic, as eMarketer reports that only 19% of U.S. adults have scanned a QR code, they are sought after and used by a growing amount of consumer. This growth is especially occurring with smartphone proliferation!

With my work at SAP, we have tested, and integrated QR codes to maximize this SoLoMo event experience to deliver content to attendees quickly. Most recently we used a QR code at our FKOM event’s Social Media Genius Bar. Over 2,300 attendees were exposed to this signage that called out sales teams to download the event’s social selling materials from the event. Also, for our past Tech Ed, World Tour and SAP Forum events, we used these codes to provide video content to add to the on-site experience. Using a QR code and its “hyperlink power” tees up many creative ideas that are native behavior of customers and prospects. It’s always best to connect a brand message with a customer’s native behavior, that is what they are used to doing, to be successful. For example, native behavior might be viewing a mobile video, updating a Twitter status, “Like” the SAP North America Facebook page, and more! QR codes can make everyone’s marketing run better!

15 Ways To Use QR Codes For Your Next Event SoLoMo Strategy

I’ve listed 15 ideas on how to use QR codes, mostly inspired by driving a measurable cut-to-the-chase SoLoMo user experience.

  • Place QR codes on the walk-in screen at the beginning and end of a seminar. While attendees are walking into a conference session, use the screen to display a QR code to drive users to a mobile download center to use your presentation materials immediately!
  • Drive to social channel opt-ins with QR Codes. Place codes in printed guides, posters, and event materials to drive users to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or follow you on LinkedIn immediately. Pay off the Like or Follow with a chance to win a prize or get access to valued content such as an infographic. Make sure you deliver on the back-end value proposition of providing great content!
  • Use a QR code to gamify the event experience. Engage seminar or event attendees with a game, like a scavenger-like hunt, to drive session attendance or vendor booth visits.
  • Place QR Codes on event banners and signs. A quick QR scan furnishes real-time information on what’s happening at an event like SAPPHIRE NOW or SAP TECH ED.
  • Integrate QR codes into your event’s product and service posters and advertising materials. Integrate codes at this customer touch point to connect your  customer to your services via immediate video demonstrations on a smart phone! You could also include links to other support materials and registration-based assets!
  • Deliver a QR code on an event mailer. Send each recipient to their own personalized URL (PURL) to make a personal pitch to your event.
  • Extend a video kiosks experience with a QR code. Attach a QR code on the kiosk or in the video with a call to action to scan it!
  • Opt-in email newsletter signups with a QR code call to action. Build up your in-house email list at each event with a QR code. Clearly explanation what the subscriber will receive by scanning and signing up for email.
  • Make your event’s eating experience a little more social with a QR code. I’ve seen many cookies, napkins and beer bottles QR-coded to make a delicious brand connection.
  • Use a QR code on anything that references a customer story. Provide quick access to a customer video interview or case study that goes a little deeper than the printed material.
  • Leverage session signage with QR codes to add to provide key information. Place a QR code next to the name of the upcoming sessions in each room to link to a full description, speaker bios.
  • Include a QR code on conference name tags. Stop trading business cards and use QR codes to connect with other with business card-like activities.
  • Use a QR code to inspire people to sign an event-relevant petition or social statement. For example, SAP could use such a code to “Vote here to show your business runs better with SAP!”
  • Use a QR code scan instead of collecting business cards in a fish bowl. Use this technique to give away prizes and immediately enter information into your database for immediate post-event follow-up.
  • Collect event or session feedback from a QR code. Instead of handing out surveys, immediately collect and record feedback with a QR code feedback process

A piece of critical advice is to send the QR code to a selection inside and outside of your company to make sure they can access whatever it is you are connecting them to. Too many times I have seen a QR linked to content behind a corporate firewall, rendering the SoLoMo experience useless.

Please share any additional ways you have used QR codes at your event or marketing campaign. Or contact me directly at or on Twitter @GerryMoran.

Here are some other ideas to help your marketing events be more successful:

  1. How to use your team as social media ambassadors at your next events
  2. How to continue the customer conversation after the event
  3. Crafty ways to use social media at your next event

So, cut to the chase with our event and marketing strategy and connect your customer with the next step in the user experience with a QR code.

PS. Please share this blog post with others you think could benefit from know more about QR codes, SoLoMo strategy and event strategy!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 2 Comments

Be Nice, Not Naughty, With Your Customer Service This Season!

Can you believe it? People are already putting up their holiday decorations this year! Thanksgiving is early, so THIS is the weekend that the shopping really starts! I am hoping that that red-suited guy stops by MY house this year, I thought about his list and hoping that I am making it loud and clear since he is going to be checking it twice!

santa online shopping

If you are a business of any size, you need to make sure that you are on the good list of your customers since there is likely no forgiveness this holiday season, given the showrooming, mobile apps and sales that seem to have already started!

So take heed of this list to stay on top of your customers’ minds. Check it TWICE so you will hear that retail sleigh bell ring!

  • Smart Shoppers. Make it easy for your customers to make them a smart shopper. Find a way to tell them through social media or a blog!
  • Thank You! Say thank you everywhere you can; in person, on social media and with a phone call now and then. Thank you is a big brand equalizer. Reward. Find a way to acknowledge and reward those that are loyal to your brand
  • Be Relevant. Validate your credibility and relevancy in your brand or business by being a part of the social conversation. Your customers are there, so you should be too.
  • Good News. Be the curator of good news and let your customers know when there is something worth sharing that is related to your relationship with them!
  • Review. Give your customers a place to provide reviews! And if you don’t, carve out a space, make sure you are paying attention to Yelp and Foursquare because your customers are there!
  • Help! Always find interesting ways to ask if you can help!
  • Mea Culpa. If you messed up, acknowledge your mistakes, especially if you found out about it on social media!
  • Add Value. Consider using each possible in-store and social media channel to inform your customers about your company’s value proposition. This is GREAT customer service!
  • First Timers. Make sure to connect with first-time customers and let them know of all the ways that you can help them by phone, email or social media!

If you don’t pay attention to this list, Santa won’t be the one that will be scalding you this holiday season! It will be you saying “Duh, I should have done something different sooner!”

Well, it’s never too late! Have a question or need an idea? Connect with me at @GerryMoran or

Good luck with the sales this holiday season! Ho ho ho ….



by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 15 Comments

Craft Beer and Social Media … The Perfect Pairing.

A recent beer pairing dinner I attended reminded my about a recent social media channel strategy I developed! What does a nice cold beer paired with an entree have to do with social media channel strategy? I asked myself that same question in between the 3rd and 4th course at a pairing dinner at one of my favorite craft-beer joints, Pinocchio’s Beer Garden in Media, PA! You see, in between each incredible course at Pinocchio’s, Belgian and German beers were paired with German-inspired baked goods and tasty locally made cheese by Susan Miller of Birchrun Hill Farms,there was a clear explanation about the role that each beer played with the food! Our hosts explained:

  • How each meal or baked good was prepared
  • How each cheese was made
  • Why each beer was the perfect pairing for the cheese and baked good

There was a certain expectation of each beer, whether it is sour, crisp or heavy, in the way that it complemented the food. Nice! I am not a sour beer fan, but, when paired with the food, I was sold! Now I know how to drink more sensibly within each ‘food group’! Pairing social media channels to do certain marketing jobs also makes sense, like the beer pairing does; whether you are a big brand or small business! This approach is important for you to know because:

  • Strengths. Using social media channels to their strengths will help you reach the most customers and engage with them in the best way to buy from you
  • Content. Determining channel roles ensures you are developing the best content tailored for the best channel. Remember, you cannot use the same content on Twitter as you do on Facebook, even if it is the same customer!
  • Results. You will be able to truly measure the impact of a marketing campaign if you are “using the right tool for the job”.

When serving up a marketing campaign, I tend to pair social media channels with these business goals:

Course #1 – Twitter is paired with the need to broadcast the message. In fact, a recent Vocus study reports that 29% small businesses who felt that social media “helped a great deal” not that it allows them to promote products to people that they have not been able to reach; especially when there have been last-minute deals and events that other marketing outlets could help connect.

  • Create buzz around an event or sale. Twitter is a great way to create buzz and extend awareness since messages can be found whether or not customers follow you, as long as you use the right words.

Dairy Queen promoting a great deal for $5!

  • Connect with bloggers (e.g., Mommy bloggers) and influencers to help amplify a promotional message. Bloggers, thought leaders and influencers are a great springboard for your buzz and awareness, since they can reach customers with which you are not currently connecting!

@MomCentral being retweeted for a Glad Twitter event to win valuable coupons!

  • Promote content on blogs. Blogs are a great collection of content to point to with your tweeting, since it’s a nice soft sell that first serves the needs of the customers and then the needs of your business!

Lower Providence Patch promotes Collegeville’s Phamous Phils Barbeque!

Course #2 – Facebook  is paired with sharing company and community news. Building an engaged community on Facebook is often times tough since Facebook only lets about 20% of your newsfeed to organically break through. So you need some creative and strategic ideas to make your Facebook marketing work for you.

  • Run contests. Contests are a great way to build buzz and gain incremental followers!

Schuylkill Valley Sports promoting a contest that ties into breast cancer awareness

  • Customer service. All brands, large and small, use Facebook as a customer service tool to answer questions. However, many times it the customer who chooses to use this channel as a way to look for customer service, while the business has no intention to pay attention and have a conversation. Bad move!

Capones Restaurant followers asking questions (but not getting any answer!)

  • Business details (e.g., hours, news, etc.). Since many brands have abandoned web sites for Facebooks and many customers never check out a web site for details (remember, social media is on the CUSTOMER’S terms), you need to include hours and when you are open. By the look of this page, Rita’s says that they are open, even though I rode by the other day and saw that they were closed for the season!

Rita’s Italian Ice in Collegeville, PA providing key business details of hours of operation and contact information!

Course #3 – LinkedIn is paired with validating team and ownership expertise. Whatever way you look at it, over 60% of small businesses are using LinkedIn to establish their credibility, find customers and generate sales (2012 Vocus study).

  • Make sure you and your team’s profiles are perfect and professional for those that check you out. The first place that many contacts go after meeting you is LinkedIn, so make sure your profile is spectacular!

Gerry Moran’s (me!) profile on LinkedIn. If you check me out, this is as professional as it gets!

  • Take advantage of the great LinkedIn applications. Depending on your business make sure to take advantage of the great applications like Slideshare, WordPress and to list supporting marketing materials that will help further establish your credibility.

WordPress MarketingThink blog that Gerry Moran (me) promotes on LinkedIn to help position him as a thought leader.

  • Be an expert! Establish yourself as an expert in a relevant LinkedIn Group and on LinkedIn’s Answers.

Gerry Moran asking a question on LinkedIn Answers to help establish a thought leadership position.

Course #4 – YouTube is paired with customer support. With 41% of small businesses using YouTube and is the fourth-rated social media channel for usefulness. Next to Google, YouTube is the second most popular search engine. Your small business should be leveraging it to drive engagement and provide customer support! To show what this “how-to” effect works for big brands, Zappos increased their sales conversion between 6-30% based on this type of video customer support

  • Educate Customers. Educate with an instructional video on how to use a product. See how Ace Hardware extends their in-store brand image to the web for that 2AM customer support!

Ace Hardware shows how to caulk a tub!

  • Demonstrate how a product works. When in doubt on how to prepare some of the great food I buy at Wegmans, I go to their YouTube channel! However, not a visit to my favorite Collegeville Deli that I think, gosh, they should create their own videos to show people to how to create awesome Italian dishes with their deep selection or products.
  • Entertain. YouTube is a great channel to help humanize your brand, in addition to providing how-to help and customer service! Done correctly, an entertaining clip can help drive traffic your YouTube channel and then help inform customers how to use your products or services!

Sly Fox Brewery certainly entertains with this video of their annual goat race!

Course #5 – Blogging is paired with casting a wide net to be help found. Blogs, when used correctly with relevant keywords and optimal formatting, can help you be found by those searching for a solution to a pain point.  The recent Vocus study also states that the 77% of the small businesses that said social media helped “somewhat” and a “great deal” noted that it allowed them to address the needs and concerns of customers. Blogging addresses this ability to have that conversation with customers!

  • Articulate instructions and ideas for your products and services. Wegmans, although it is a big brand, is one of my favorite stores and does a tremendous job at using their blog to make everyone’s life easier by showing how to do things. Simple things like cook a turkey (is it really THAT simple?) is some great advice to pass on around the holidays.

Wegman’s does a nice job of helping you prepare for the holidays!

  • Help you understand when you cannot do things yourself. Sometimes instead of a blog that shows you how to do something yourself (e.g., the Wegman’s blog) the best point that you can demonstrate is that you cannot and should not do something. That content can also be worth its weight in gold!

This automotive blog explains things (at least to me) that I cannot do this job myself. However, he misses a big opportunity to include a contact number of a local shop!

If you need questions answered about additional “courses” and what social media channel pairs well with it, please connect with me @Gerry Moran or moran.gerry@gmail. I’d love to help!

Now, like any good beer (at least in my book),  a wonderful libation can go with any meal. So, social media channels can do double- or triple-duty, or in some cases, do completely out-of-character-duty. However, if you approach your social media strategy by assigning key and primary roles for individual channels then you can develop relevant content to do a specific job. This social media channel role assignment will set you up for success for your small-, mid- AND large-sized business!