Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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M-commerce and omni-channel marketing solutions for the digital business – part 3

shopping cartWe’ve been talking at some length so far about M-commerce and Omni-channel solutions as part and parcel of a new paradigm for doing business. Really, what we’re getting at here is a set of best practices for how to make your customers central to your business. The idea of putting customers first, and letting their needs drive the business seems obvious enough. And yet at the same time, it can be so elusive and difficult to implement! Like people, businesses are the product of shared traditions and conditioning. Built in methods of doing things, long-cherished practices, and siloed manners of thinking can certainly make it challenging, if not impossible, for businesses to overhaul and update outdated paradigms.














We’ve also made the argument so far that the new conception of business today is one that is deliberately “digital” and “social” – digital because businesses need to make technology a central part of their value proposition – and “social” because an exclusive technology focus doesn’t work unless its aligned with the latest trends in work, society, and culture to produce the best outcomes.   Within this overriding framework, we have already begun to outline some guidelines for making M-commerce a central part of your digital and social business. But whether you call your business digital or social or whatever, you must keep in mind that your overriding purpose is to make happy customers. To make their experience first rate, keep them coming back as well as referring others along the way, there are some core Omni-channel best practices every business leader should consider out of the box.












  • Consistent branding: This doesn’t mean a “one size fits all” approach, but rather ensures that color, logos, language and visual cues all match wherever your brand appears.


  • Connected offline & online experience: Ensure that you make it seamless for the customer to connect an in-store experience to the digital and mobile one.


  • Build up an intuitive CRM. Are you collecting the right data across the in-store, digital, and social spaces in a manner that will help you to truly know your customer?


  • Understand your customer landscape: Ask yourself who your customers are, what are their needs, and who are your competitors? It’s critical to understand  how your buyers discover, learn, compare, buy and interact post-purchase.


  • Develop 360 degree customer-centricity: Learn as much as you can about your customer’s online behaviors in order to personalize their shopping experience and bring them back. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs.


  • Build consumer engagement: Adding consumer interactions like sharing, ratings and reviews, and comments will provide insights into their social profiles and likes and dislikes and help personalize the overall customer experience.


  • Win big with Big Data: By identifying the unique online behaviors of your customers you can create data mash-ups and predict future patterns to better anticipate their needs. Tracking consumers and their social and brand identities across multiple channels requires the ability to manage significant amounts of structured and unstructured data in a cloud-based environment.


  • Provide mobile driven customer service: Customers will increasingly need to engage in a real-time conversation with customer service on their mobile devices. Zappos has started to leverage the benefits of a mobile centric customer service approach via Twitter


  • Contextual alerts: Retailers are increasingly providing specialized offers to their most loyal customers based on factors like style, time, day, location, and other preferences. This can provide considerable value for your bottom-line


  • Develop employee engagement: Make sure your people are web and mobile savvy with appropriate training to become ambassadors for the new channels.


The ingenuity of the Omni-channel approach is that it starts with the customer benefit. The prevailing mindset is usually; “How can we get the customer to do X,” rather than “What does the customer want from us?” In light of what it means to be a digital and social business, the paradigm shifts to the following framework: “What must I do to reach my customer through all channels on all devices at all times?”














In order to successfully compete in today’s global market, businesses must embrace the paradigm of a digital business, or one that makes technology the hallmark of its practices, as well as a social business, which leverages the latest trends in technology, work, and society to optimize business outcomes. Once organizations have mastered these emerging conceptions of doing business – and have implemented the proper M-commerce and Omni-channel marketing solutions to support those models – then the path becomes much easier and everyone will be happy: you, your customers, and the people they refer to visit your brand.


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Ralph Eck

About Ralph Eck

Ralph is an international businessman with a wealth of experience in developing; telecommunications, data transmission, CATV and internet companies. His experience and expertise positions him uniquely in being able to; analyze, evaluate and critique technology and how it fits into a business’ operational needs while supporting its’ success.