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NEWS

Is it wise to rob CX to pay for growth?

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When it comes to the future of B2B and CX, a trend for 2020 is coming into focus, and it’s not looking good.

Looking back, Forrester’s Predictions 2018 considered 2018 a “year of reckoning” for digital transformation. This was to be the tipping point when inaction on transformation would start putting firms at risk. One of the surprising insights was that this risk wasn’t necessarily from an inability to attract new customers. It was from churn – from existing customers leaving for better experiences.

Skip forward a year to the 2019 edition, and Forrester is telling a similar, slightly tweaked story: 2019 is the year digital transformation “goes pragmatic.” If 2018 was all about recognizing the risks of failing to digitally transform, 2019 has been about mitigating those risks by putting plans into action.

These trends will have major implications in 2020. For firms that are trailing behind on CX, going pragmatic seems like a no-brainer. But how does the customer fit into this approach? Not very well, unfortunately. The same report states that 20 percent of brands will abandon their customer experience initiatives in 2019, opting for more traditional strategies, like price reductions, to achieve short-term objectives.

As marketers, we’re obsessed with the pain points customers face making their purchasing decisions. However, in our drive to reduce friction in that buyer’s journey, it’s easy to lose sight of the post-purchase experience. Like the CEOs, CIOs, and CMOs turning to pragmatic pre-purchase strategies to capture market share, transformation of the actual product or service experience becomes an afterthought.

Unsurprisingly, these risks are not a B2C-only concern. A 2019 Episerver survey revealed that nine out of ten B2B decision-makers identify increasing digital expectations from their customers or partners as their top external threat. Even worse, 50 percent of those same decision-makers say they lack funding to execute digital transformation programs in their organizations, echoing the Forrester predictions that more pragmatic tactics such as price will be the go-to strategy to spur growth.

What gets lost in this reactive mindset is the key to keeping (and expanding) market share: existing customers.

In B2B, where purchases are both complicated and time-consuming, this post-purchase customer service landscape can be particularly barren. End-users often have their product and/or service decisions made for them by senior managers, and the customer experience itself often reflects that power imbalance. This isn’t an unknown, of course. But if everyone agrees it’s is an issue, why isn’t it a priority? Currently, 59 percent of B2Bs point to legacy or in-house software as the primary reason for not being more digitally agile. That, combined with the lack of capital expenditure, maps out a grim path to declining customer loyalty.

Expensive and complicated purchasing decisions, typically made by senior managers, leave the end-user out of the equation, which in turn means that a user’s only interaction with a brand may be in the vacuum of the post-purchase experience. For many organizations, the product and/or service experience is the brand. And if the experience is poor, the brand perception will follow suit, no matter how low the purchase price might have been.

Perhaps the subconscious hope is that users will relent to a sort of digital Stockholm syndrome, where they develop an alliance with the tools they’re forced to use. More likely, though, the lack of attention to user needs will manifest as a bottom-up revolt, cultivating resentment and ill-will toward the brand responsible for their ongoing poor experience. And when those users become decision-makers, it’s not a leap to see how this can negatively impact business relationships and long-term profitability.

Clinical research has shown that emotions impact logical reasoning. And reasoning suffers the most when emotions are negative. At its base, a brand relationship is an emotional one, formed – and continuously informed – by the customer experience. When that experience is negative, it clouds every aspect of decision-making. Your product and/or service will look unappealing no matter how compelling its feature set or stated benefits.

So, B2B brands have a choice to make: Focus on the short-term gains that traditional price and features may garner, or invest in the long term, creating emotional engagement through meaningful brand interactions that speak to the needs of not only the purchasing decision-makers but also the end-users. Because the latter won’t always be just users—one day they’ll make the decisions.

And with 2020 on the horizon, here’s where B2B companies can take another lesson from B2C: An emotional connection is much stronger than a pragmatic one.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Theresa is the President of McMillan, an independent creative agency headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices in NYC that specializes in the brand experience for a global clientele. She’s responsible for plotting the pragmatic course of action through business development, strategic services offerings and industry partnerships that define the agency’s growth and corporate strategies. Theresa’s been a B2C and B2B marketing professional for more than 25 years, honing her craft in the consumer-packaged goods, software and advocacy sectors and is a strategist-by-trade, which has amplified her life-long passion for pulling things apart to see how they work. She brought that insatiable curiosity to McMillan in 2007, building the agency’s strategic services practice from a one-woman operation into the guiding force behind successful projects for Intuit, LexisNexis and Trend Micro, and becoming President in 2018.

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GOOGLE

This Week in Search News: Simple and Easy-to-Read Update

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This Week in Search News: Simple and Easy-to-Read Update

Here’s what happened in the world of Google and search engines this week:

1. Google’s June 2024 Spam Update

Google finished rolling out its June 2024 spam update over a period of seven days. This update aims to reduce spammy content in search results.

2. Changes to Google Search Interface

Google has removed the continuous scroll feature for search results. Instead, it’s back to the old system of pages.

3. New Features and Tests

  • Link Cards: Google is testing link cards at the top of AI-generated overviews.
  • Health Overviews: There are more AI-generated health overviews showing up in search results.
  • Local Panels: Google is testing AI overviews in local information panels.

4. Search Rankings and Quality

  • Improving Rankings: Google said it can improve its search ranking system but will only do so on a large scale.
  • Measuring Quality: Google’s Elizabeth Tucker shared how they measure search quality.

5. Advice for Content Creators

  • Brand Names in Reviews: Google advises not to avoid mentioning brand names in review content.
  • Fixing 404 Pages: Google explained when it’s important to fix 404 error pages.

6. New Search Features in Google Chrome

Google Chrome for mobile devices has added several new search features to enhance user experience.

7. New Tests and Features in Google Search

  • Credit Card Widget: Google is testing a new widget for credit card information in search results.
  • Sliding Search Results: When making a new search query, the results might slide to the right.

8. Bing’s New Feature

Bing is now using AI to write “People Also Ask” questions in search results.

9. Local Search Ranking Factors

Menu items and popular times might be factors that influence local search rankings on Google.

10. Google Ads Updates

  • Query Matching and Brand Controls: Google Ads updated its query matching and brand controls, and advertisers are happy with these changes.
  • Lead Credits: Google will automate lead credits for Local Service Ads. Google says this is a good change, but some advertisers are worried.
  • tROAS Insights Box: Google Ads is testing a new insights box for tROAS (Target Return on Ad Spend) in Performance Max and Standard Shopping campaigns.
  • WordPress Tag Code: There is a new conversion code for Google Ads on WordPress sites.

These updates highlight how Google and other search engines are continuously evolving to improve user experience and provide better advertising tools.

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FACEBOOK

Facebook Faces Yet Another Outage: Platform Encounters Technical Issues Again

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Facebook Problem Again

Uppdated: It seems that today’s issues with Facebook haven’t affected as many users as the last time. A smaller group of people appears to be impacted this time around, which is a relief compared to the larger incident before. Nevertheless, it’s still frustrating for those affected, and hopefully, the issues will be resolved soon by the Facebook team.

Facebook had another problem today (March 20, 2024). According to Downdetector, a website that shows when other websites are not working, many people had trouble using Facebook.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has had issues. Just a little while ago, there was another problem that stopped people from using the site. Today, when people tried to use Facebook, it didn’t work like it should. People couldn’t see their friends’ posts, and sometimes the website wouldn’t even load.

Downdetector, which watches out for problems on websites, showed that lots of people were having trouble with Facebook. People from all over the world said they couldn’t use the site, and they were not happy about it.

When websites like Facebook have problems, it affects a lot of people. It’s not just about not being able to see posts or chat with friends. It can also impact businesses that use Facebook to reach customers.

Since Facebook owns Messenger and Instagram, the problems with Facebook also meant that people had trouble using these apps. It made the situation even more frustrating for many users, who rely on these apps to stay connected with others.

During this recent problem, one thing is obvious: the internet is always changing, and even big websites like Facebook can have problems. While people wait for Facebook to fix the issue, it shows us how easily things online can go wrong. It’s a good reminder that we should have backup plans for staying connected online, just in case something like this happens again.

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NEWS

We asked ChatGPT what will be Google (GOOG) stock price for 2030

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We asked ChatGPT what will be Google (GOOG) stock price for 2030

Investors who have invested in Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) stock have reaped significant benefits from the company’s robust financial performance over the last five years. Google’s dominance in the online advertising market has been a key driver of the company’s consistent revenue growth and impressive profit margins.

In addition, Google has expanded its operations into related fields such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence. These areas show great promise as future growth drivers, making them increasingly attractive to investors. Notably, Alphabet’s stock price has been rising due to investor interest in the company’s recent initiatives in the fast-developing field of artificial intelligence (AI), adding generative AI features to Gmail and Google Docs.

However, when it comes to predicting the future pricing of a corporation like Google, there are many factors to consider. With this in mind, Finbold turned to the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT to suggest a likely pricing range for GOOG stock by 2030. Although the tool was unable to give a definitive price range, it did note the following:

“Over the long term, Google has a track record of strong financial performance and has shown an ability to adapt to changing market conditions. As such, it’s reasonable to expect that Google’s stock price may continue to appreciate over time.”

GOOG stock price prediction

While attempting to estimate the price range of future transactions, it is essential to consider a variety of measures in addition to the AI chat tool, which includes deep learning algorithms and stock market experts.

Finbold collected forecasts provided by CoinPriceForecast, a finance prediction tool that utilizes machine self-learning technology, to anticipate Google stock price by the end of 2030 to compare with ChatGPT’s projection.

According to the most recent long-term estimate, which Finbold obtained on March 20, the price of Google will rise beyond $200 in 2030 and touch $247 by the end of the year, which would indicate a 141% gain from today to the end of the year.

2030 GOOG price prediction: Source: CoinPriceForecast

Google has been assigned a recommendation of ‘strong buy’ by the majority of analysts working on Wall Street for a more near-term time frame. Significantly, 36 analysts of the 48 have recommended a “strong buy,” while seven people have advocated a “buy.” The remaining five analysts had given a ‘hold’ rating.

1679313229 737 We asked ChatGPT what will be Google GOOG stock price
Wall Street GOOG 12-month price prediction: Source: TradingView

The average price projection for Alphabet stock over the last three months has been $125.32; this objective represents a 22.31% upside from its current price. It’s interesting to note that the maximum price forecast for the next year is $160, representing a gain of 56.16% from the stock’s current price of $102.46.

While the outlook for Google stock may be positive, it’s important to keep in mind that some potential challenges and risks could impact its performance, including competition from ChatGPT itself, which could affect Google’s price.


Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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