By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Abattoir Blues for a cheery pick-me-up this morning:
Salesforce.com has announced that The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company has chosen Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform.
By providing "a centralized source for all real estate, franchisor, staff and prospect information," Salesforce.com officials say, Haagen-Dazs can "identify opportunities and open franchises, as well as track staff training and ensure store quality."
"We have been in an aggressive growth mode in the last couple years and needed a way to more effectively market our franchises to entrepreneurs," said Julie Michelutti, marketing manager at The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company. Using Salesforce.com, "everyone in our organization has everything they need to quickly match location opportunities with potential franchisors. As a result, we've significantly shortened the time it takes to open stores."
After being purchased by Dreyer's in 2004, Haagen-Dazs was tasked with marketing not only to consumers but to entrepreneurs interested in opening a franchise. Previously, Haagen-Dazs officials said, franchise leads were maintained in an Excel document that "gave no insight into the lead process, including being able to calculate ROI."
The ice cream vendor used Salesforce CRM to create a completely custom application -- FranchiseForce. The FranchiseForce application allows Haagen-Dazs to manage all franchise activities, including tracking store openings, remodel dates and inspection results, as well as client training status.
Haagen-Dazs also downloaded applications from the Force.com AppExchange to further enhance its Salesforce CRM with additional functionality.
RightNow Technologies has announced a new book, Eight to Great: Eight Steps to Delivering an Exceptional Customer Experience, authored by RightNow CEO and founder Greg Gianforte.
Company officials say the book outlines "how companies can deliver a better customer experience while simultaneously reducing operating costs."
Eight to Great "details eight straightforward steps any organization can take to create and deliver world-class customer experiences. Based on best practices of industry leaders across a range of markets, the book includes examples from organizations that have mastered the Eight to Great approach and transformed the customer experiences they offer," company officials says.
"Providing an excellent customer experience can be the single best way for a company to set itself apart from competitors, it can be a critical, strategic advantage," said Gianforte. "My hope and reason for writing Eight to Great is that other organizations can use
the same methods to improve the experiences they provide to customers."
New market research released by industry analysts Redshift Research, on behalf of Oxygen8 Communications, has found that "major UK brands are (still) failing to monetize their digital media strategies."
Study officials found that campaigns are "often in direct competition with traditional print or TV advertising campaigns."
The research finds that while consumers are interested in accessing more services from organizations on their mobile phones, "corporations and media companies are failing to make the most of digital opportunities."
Two thirds of organizations recognize that consumers are less receptive to traditional advertising, 76 per cent of corporations feel that Internet advertising is more effective than both TV and print.
This sentiment is echoed by media companies, where 83 per cent felt that "SMS and e-mail is more effective than the traditional channels." In fact, only 13 per cent of media companies and 23 per cent of corporations believe that traditional media "is still more important" than digital media.
Budget (40 percent) and lack of skill and experience (28 percent) are quoted as the main barriers to using digital media more frequently. The study also found that while 60 per cent of companies think it would be "very" or "extremely" useful to have one single CRM system or database combining traditional and digital media campaigns, "65 per cent collect and analyze campaign data in separate systems, thus rendering them unable to gain a full view into any cross media campaigns' performance."
Oxygen8 Communications is an interactive communications company formed following a management buy-out. Company officials say their mission is to help both media companies and corporations "realize the revenue potential of new digital media technologies such as mobile, video, 3G and IPTV."
Bruchsal, Germany-based GfK GeoMarketing has released 25 new digital maps for Turkey. The map set includes what company officials say is a "comprehensive digital map of the country's five-digit postcodes."
These maps offer companies a basis for geomarketing -- analyzing of the Turkish market with respect to region-specific criteria.
GfK GeoMarketing recently updated and expanded its digital map set for Turkey. The revised map set includes a map with coverage of the country's 3,273 five-digit postcode districts as well as a map featuring 6,754 urban and rural neighborhoods.
Digital postcode maps are supposed to give companies a basis for sales territory and expansion planning. In conjunction with a geomarketing software application, "the maps allow businesses to visualize their company and market data through the use of the postcodes associated with this information," company officials say.
Companies can determine customer distribution, branch turnover volume and market potential using the digital maps.
The production of highly accurate digital maps of Turkey poses significant challenges, mostly due to the fact that reliable sources of information "are hard to come by," officials say. And as an Istanbul resident First Coffee can attest to the truth of that statement. Those that do exist are often incomplete or contain contradictory information. In fact, accurate digital maps of Turkey are rare.
The maps have been cross-checked with maps from TeleAtlas, a GfK GeoMarketing partner. The maps are compatible with any standard geographic information system, CRM system and other digital environments, company officials say.
With Apple's integration of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and its new iPhone 3G, 123Together.com is now offering Hosted Exchange Server customers and iPhone users what company officials call "anywhere, anytime access to their business e-mail with two-way wireless synchronization."
E-mail, calendars and contacts are wirelessly "pushed" from123Together.com's hosted Exchange Server to the users' iPhone, giving them access to workplace resources.
In addition, IT staff members can remotely "wipe" a user's device if lost or stolen so that the user's corporate and personal data cannot fall into the wrong hands.
Support for Apple's iPhone 3G is the latest addition to 123Together.com Hosted Exchange Mobile Services offering. Along with ActiveSync, it provides synchronization support for mobile devices compatible with Blackberry Enterprise Server and Good Messaging Server.
"Mobile employees who currently use their iPhone to watch videos, take photos, listen to music and check stock prices can now also use Microsoft Exchange server as a hosted service to keep them connected with their office 24/7," said Ravi Agarwal, founder and senior executive officer of 123Together.com, a mindSHIFT company.
Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, www.123Together.com sells enterprise-class messaging and collaboration products including hosted Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows SharePoint Services and Dynamics CRM.