Every now and then I accumulate enough paper to sink the state I live in. That would be Virginia. Mostly, that happens because I read some seriously good research, reports, or articles and use them for anything ranging from validation to jumping off points for ideas. I'd like to share some of them with you that are worth reading if you're into CRM or social technologies or the ethnography of it all.
They are in no particular order except that of my fevered mind.
- Beyond Loyalty: Meeting the Challenge of Customer Engagement - Economist Intelligence Unit (sponsored by Adobe) - this is an insightful study that shows that executives at significantly sized companies are finding that their key strategic challenge is customer engagement at a high level. What makes this particularly valuable is that they identify important tools of engagement including 24/7 customer availability; variety of two-way communications channels offered; listen and learn, etc.
- CRM 2.0 - Executive Summary by Econsultancy and Speed-Trap - this study is a little perplexing but worth getting for the data which is very useful. Their definition of CRM 2.0 is missing the idea of customer engagement and tends to treat CRM 2.0 as a "...bringing online and offline channels together and maximising the value of the information that these channels present about your customers." Not where I'd go. But the data they uncover is very interesting. For example, 34% of the companies (500) put customers at the heart of their decision-making (or claim to) and 49% more make that statement "somewhat true." But because engagement isn't at the core of this report they found that only 26% are committed to creating customer conversations and 25% treat their customers as "individuals" regardless of online or offline. Still worth a download though perplexing to me. I need the full report, I suppose. Though the definition is the definition.
- How consumer conversation will transform business - PricewaterhouseCoopers - Other than their disconcerting use of lower case letters in everything from the title to their brand name, this is a MUST read of a report. This identifies how in fact the conversations that are going on in the cyberether about companies can be harvested, measured and used as tools for engagement. Its a big one - 74 pages - but worth it. Particularly interesting is "listening to the whispers."
- Edelman Trust Barometer 2009 - Only the executive summary is out with the full report freely available in mid-January but as always it is incredibly revealing and, unlike many other reports of the type, incredibly important. It is the one that finds the trends in how people in their many personas - customers, community members, social club members, political activists, etc. - trust. The shift in 2004 to a 51% trust ranking of "someone like me" from 23% the year before was seismic. Read the summary for this year and get the report the minute it comes out.
- The New Desktop - I'd be remiss if I forgot myself. After all, self interest rules, doesn't it? This is a white paper I wrote over a year ago for salesforce.com that is now up on their site. The new desktop means that we are looking at not the desktop defined by an operating system, a computer and personal productivity, but a unified communications and collaboration hub that can be accessed anytime, anywhere - thus not only improving the speed of communications but the personal productivity of the individual. I'd be curious as to your take on it.
This is a good group of lesser known papers that are well worth reading. Get 'em, read 'em and tell me what you thought.