Dare We Call It Social Security? - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎02-11-2010 09:24 AM - edited ‎02-11-2010 09:26 AM (3,413 Views)

In the event y’all don’t read ZDNet, I’d like to direct you to a report by security firm Sophos about the rise of malware on social networks. Basically speaking, the state of computer security in the social world is 70 percent worse than it was a year ago. Read more...

I ran across an amusing little incident (via MetaFilter) that happened recently in San Francisco, and I felt I needed to share. Members of the Fred Phelps-led Westboro Baptist Church gathered recently for a protest outside the offices of Twitter. Read more...

What Financial Services Ads Don’t Say

by ‎01-28-2010 01:43 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:06 AM (3,982 Views)

We’ve been in this recession for a long time. What is it now, two years? (Answer: Yes. The National Bureau of Economic Research says it started in December 2007.) Businesses in all sectors have been hard pressed, especially financial services. That’s not really so surprising; the great sage Homer Simpson once said that beer was “the cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems,” and that sentiment applies fairly accurately to the stock market. Read more...

Does Anybody Still Think Social’s a Fad?

by ‎01-22-2010 09:56 AM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:08 AM (2,892 Views)

Social technology has made it easier than ever before to spread word when disaster strikes, and to coordinate immediate relief efforts. Where it once might have taken weeks to arrange donations of money and essentials, motivated people and groups got it done in a matter of days—sometimes hours. Time saved equals lives saved when something as devastating as the Haiti quake hits. Read more...

(Un)Welcome to Our Site - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎01-20-2010 10:52 AM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:23 AM (4,136 Views)

Back in the late 1990s, when I was a consumer electronics and home office gear journalist, one of our favorite games was Secret Shopper. It always made for a good story, examining how retailers served (or misled) customers seeking a particular product or piece of advice. Read more...

Welcome to 2010 - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎01-04-2010 03:37 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:13 AM (4,020 Views)

Walk-in customers and their online equivalent represent a great opportunity to earn new business, but only if the customer experience you provide is up to the challenge. Read more...

Letting My Mind Wander - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by on ‎12-28-2009 10:27 AM - last edited on ‎03-18-2010 11:17 AM by (9,677 Views)

Marshall Lager is the founder and managing principal of Third Idea Consulting, LLC. We've hired Marshall to provide his perspective on the CRM industry, Sage news, and the state of customer/company dialogue in general.

I was thinking today about the similarities between bad CRM practices and owning cats. I realize that telling you this and then writing about it may hurt my credibility, but (1) it’s true that I was thinking this and (2) I am really tapped for better ideas today, so here goes.


The dialogue, if you can call it that, between cats and their owners is mostly in one direction. I buy a new toy or type of food for the cats, and then try to interpret their interest—marketing. We don’t speak the same language, just as businesses often don’t think of a successful product in the same way a customer would.


Once I’ve started the marketing campaign, the next step in KRM (Kitty Relationship Management) is trying to close the deal, turning up the pressure in order to sell the cats (their names are Cookie and Dr. Harbl, in case you were wondering) on the wonders of these new rawhide mice, or frozen raw venison burgers, or whatever. Again, the success or failure of my efforts is dependent on factors I can neither predict nor understand. In time I might develop some insight to what these particular cats prefer, but I can’t necessarily communicate that information to somebody else, nor can I apply it to other cats.


Kitty customer service? Again, failure to communicate is the order of the day. I am prepared to respond to certain requests from my cats, so every time they provide input I try to interpret it in light of those expected requests: feed me, pet me, or clean the litter box. It took a while to learn that last request, mainly because my own data told me I was doing an adequate job. If I’m not doing what the cats want, they have limited means for setting me on the right track, and if they don’t lodge some kind of protest, I continue with what I’ve been doing.

Good CRM, especially the social kind, is like speaking cat language. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, but trust me—it’s huge. If you’ve ever had a cat deposit its “customer feedback” on your laundry bag, you’ll agree.


Message Edited by tmergel on 03-18-2010 11:17 AM

The Social Part of Social CRM #scrm - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎12-21-2009 12:57 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:19 AM (5,392 Views)

Businesses are starting to understand the value and importance of a social media approach to CRM, if the calls I’ve been taking are any indication. That’s good, but sometimes I feel that for some people, the terms we use—social media, social CRM, Enterprise 2.0 and the rest—are just words hung onto a concept, their meanings ignored. Read more...

Only Bad Customer Service Is a Cost Sink - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎12-10-2009 03:52 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:30 AM (4,830 Views)

When budgets are tight, businesses tend to focus on cutting costs and reducing expenses. This usually leads to reticence on the part of executives to spend for new or upgraded business technology. Sadly, this is a case of being penny wise but pound foolish, if the figures reported in a recent study are to be believed. Read more...

You’ve Impressed the Right People - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎12-07-2009 12:43 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:34 AM (4,445 Views)

I’ve been involved in writing a chapter for an upcoming book to be published by Information Today, my former employer. The subtitle is How Digital Natives Are Transforming the Way Business Is Done Today Read more...

Comcast Cares—for NBC - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎12-04-2009 10:41 AM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:36 AM (5,105 Views)

If you’ve been following the news, you’ll have seen the bombshell: Cable system giant Comcast has just acquired a controlling interest in NBC Universal from the network’s parent, General Electric. If the deal passes regulatory scrutiny, Comcast will add a major network and a ton of content to its current offerings. Read more...

Guest Blog: Marshall Lager - Black Friday, Cyber Monday

by ‎11-30-2009 03:42 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:37 AM (5,034 Views)

Apparently, Black Friday is the Groundhog Day of retail, as one can predict the success or failure of the holiday shopping season by looking at the results. Read more...

Here We Go: Before the opening address of Sage Summit - Guest Blog by Marshall Lager

by ‎11-11-2009 11:18 AM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:39 AM (4,950 Views)

Sage Summit is a customer event, y'see, so it's fitting that Sage started by recognizing some of its more notable ones. In other words, it was the Sage Customer Awards Program luncheon. Read more...

Welcome to my Guest Blog for ACT! by Sage - by Marshall Lager

by ‎11-10-2009 04:20 PM - edited ‎03-18-2010 11:40 AM (2,608 Views)

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be providing you with my perspective on the CRM industry, Sage news, and the state of customer/company dialogue in general. Read more...