Friday, December 26, 2014

Customer Loyalty Again?

The popular topic of the century! Firstly, we gain customers and then try to make them happy as it’s the only way to boast having loyal customers. Loyalty in itself is much more than having best customers, it’s like having success in ones hands. Loyal customers will defeat your competitors in such a way that a company cannot. They will never let the product down.

Once again remembered “Apple loyals”, they can fight with you for hours if you say something negative about any Apple product. I have a colleague, who is a bright example of the mentioned; I call him an “Apple addict”. I don’t like this much of addiction, but at the same time I do realize the Apple “power” and I’m sure that most of Apple buyers become loyal to their products.

Loyalty in its turn can have different degrees. It can be light, it can be extreme. I myself never become so much addicted to any product or service. I may like it or dislike.

There are lots of “Starbucks” and “McDonald's” lovers. It’s said that loyal customers represent no more than 20 percent of the customer base.

Is loyalty emotional, or maybe intellectual?

Loyalty comes in different flavors. Sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes intellectual. The widely spread type is the emotional component. So creating strong emotional connection between the company and the customer is the key element in company’s success. 

Beyond Philosophy states that customer loyalty is “the result of consistently positive emotional experience, physical attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services.”

Customer Loyalty Measurement

One thing is having loyal customers and the other is loyalty measurement.  And how to do this? The easiest, but not the only way, is a short customer survey. Remember short! I like the “KISS” (Keep It Short, Stupid!)

In this busy world no one can afford answering endless questions. But when they see a few questions, they do it with pleasure.  It could look like this: 
  • How satisfied are you with the product?
  • How likely are you to continue using the product? 
  • How likely are you to recommend the product to others?

You can also offer enticements to your customers to take your survey. In fact, it works and it’s worth doing. Loyal customers are promoters of your product or service and the more you do for them, the more they will recommend you to others.

Friday, December 5, 2014

November Featured Acquisitions

The year of 2014 is coming to its end, but acquisitions don’t lessen. November was not the best deal month, though we can see some featured acquisitions from the world’s giants, such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo.

It was a successful month for video, photo, analytics and more, but not a social month at all. Very soon I’ll bring to your attention the “acquisition winner” of 2014. I already guess who it can be, but let’s wait one more month.

And here we go with November deals:

AppDirect announced to acquire Leftronic, a data visualization startup that launched four years ago. Leftronic allows businesses to build custom dashboards visualizing important data. AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks told me that by integrating Leftronic’s visualizations, AppDirect can give its customers a dashboard for monitoring the status of their apps.

Yahoo announced a deal to acquire BrightRoll, a programmatic video-advertising platform, for $640 million in cash. The deal will combine Yahoo’s desktop and mobile video advertising inventory with BrightRoll’s platform and publisher relationships. BrightRoll’s net revenue is expected to exceed $100 million this year, and Yahoo said it expects the transaction to enhance its profitability. - the Russian internet giant with 100 million users of its mail, social networking and other web-based services - has made an acquisition that will start to bring navigation and location-based services into the mix. It has acquired Maps.Me, a maker of map apps and other navigation services based on OpenStreetMap data and with the ability to work offline.The company will be integrating Maps.Me into its platform.

Microsoft acquired Aorato, an Israel-based maker of security solutions co-founded by veterans of the Israeli defense forces, which only exited from stealth earlier this year. Aorato’s focus is on enterprise services in the cloud and in hybrid on-premise and cloud environments, using machine learning to detect suspicious patterns.

Groupon announced that it has acquired Swarm Mobile, a startup that helps businesses connect with and track their customers while in stores. This continues Groupon’s pattern of expanding its offerings for local businesses beyond daily deals. Earlier this year, for example, it launched individual business pages and announced an iPad-based point-of-sale service.

Customer relationship management company Merkle announced that it has acquired startup 500friends. The startup’s LoyaltyPlus platform allows businesses to run customer loyalty programs in stores, online, and on mobile. It also allows them to identify the customers that are likely to have the highest lifetime value.

Google has acquired RelativeWave, the team responsible for the popular iOS app prototyping software Form. Form is available for Mac and iOS, and allows designers and developers to create rich interactive app prototypes and run them on their iPhone or iPad. As part of the acquisition, RelativeWave has made Form available for free on the Mac App Store.

Yahoo acquired Cooliris – a photo app-maker, in order to build inspiring products, grow engagement, and ultimately revenue. Cooliris was founded back in 2006 and was initially known for creating a “3D wall” for navigating photos and other media content.

VigLink just announced that it is acquiring Boulder, Colo-based startup LinkSmart. The details of how the two products will be integrated is still being worked out, and for now, LinkSmart will continue to operate as a standalone service.