Our Online Customer Interaction model serves as the foundation for services offered by the Shimshock Group. Customers are at the center of all business activities, and we focus on helping clients maximize their customer relationships.
We accomplish this by providing marketing, sales, and technology solutions in the six key areas of Online Customer Interaction: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Content Management (ECM), Mobile Solutions, eCommerce, Digital Marketing & Analytics, and Social Media.
You might be familiar with the term CRM, or Customer Relationship Management. CRM has become quite commonplace in business environments, and includes concepts such as lead management, opportunity management, product management, and marketing analytics. In our client work, we like to extend the concept of CRM even further. Our goal is to always incorporate the customer relationship aspects which make our client's business unique. For example, libraries and performing arts centers have patrons, non-profit associations have members, government agencies have constituents, and retail stores have consumers. Each group has specific needs for their customers, and our objective is to tailor relationship management solutions to meet those expectations.
To focus our attention on the advanced concepts unique to the business models of our clients, we have created the term "xRM." xRM refers to Relationship Management as a whole, where "x" represents the wide range of relationships that exist across industries and segments -- from traditional customer management, to highly-focused patron management. We will work with you to define rules, requirements, and technology to maximize your lead generation and lead management, optimize sales activities, identify social media, email, and digital marketing opportunities, and effectively manage products and services. Solutions such as Salesforce, CiviCRM, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, and Zoho are often at the center of our xRM implementations.
We will also help you maximize your technology investments by identifying opportunties to leverage data between platforms. For example, we regularly create solutions to deliver prospect and lead information from a Content Management System (CMS) (such as Drupal or WordPress) into Salesforce CRM, or extract CiviCRM contact data into a third-party marketing analytics toolset. These system integrations will help your company gain a much deeper understanding of ways to further enhance customer value.
Content management solutions are often the foundation of many of our projects, ranging from basic publishing sites and large online communities, to enterprise-wide document and media management systems. The type of solution required for your business will depend on your industry, customers, internal staff, and organizational goals.
Some companies prefer an open framework approach, while others like off-the-shelf content management systems (CMS). We have significant experience with both, and will provide deep insight to ensure a choice is made that is right for your business. Whether you select a framework such as Symfony, Ruby on Rails, Django, or Node.js, or a CMS such as Drupal or WordPress, you will know that the decision has been made leveraging the significant best practices knowledge and expertise of the Shimshock Group.
For organizations requiring large-scale document management, scanning, storage, and retrieval solutions, or more advanced media management tools, we recommend enterprise content management (ECM) systems. ECMs include packages such as Alfresco, OpenText, SharePoint, and EMC. We work with your organization to define the system's features and functionality, and identify a product that will best meet the needs of your customers and internal staff.
There are also many opportunities to integrate ECM and CMS platforms to increase information sharing. For example, an Alfresco solution implemented for an insurance firm or government agency can be integrated with Drupal to allow customers to directly gain access to scanned documents from their online account safely and securely.
Any content stored in the central repository of an ECM solution can be accessed and presented via a CMS tool like Drupal. The reverse is also true -- content or documents captured through and end-user interface in a content management system can be pushed into an ECM solution for storage and enterprise access. The options are limitless, and we can certainly explore the choices that will provide the greatest benefit to your organization.
Reaching potential customers through mobile devices is essential to business success. Tablets and smartphones are everywhere, with wearable computing devices soon on the horizon. The challenge this presents for organizations is multi-faceted. How do companies ensure all their websites are easily accessible on different platforms? Should a custom app be developed to more accurately meets the needs of a typical consumer? How should the mobile experience be integrated with broader marketing, advertising, and sales initiatives?
The Shimshock Group has deep experience in all of these areas. We have developed responsive design solutions for many websites. Responsive design ensures our clients only have to build a site once to meet the needs of any device, rather than creating separate sites for different computing environments. We have also implemented unique mobile applications using innovative development tools such as Appcelerator, PhoneGap, and MoSync. Our team has both the creative skill and technical savvy to build mobile apps that are compelling, engaging, and easy to use.
As well, the Shimshock Group understands the connection between mobile solutions and digital marketing. We are always thinking about ways to integrate unique advertising messages into mobile apps, and also leverage marketing opportunities available on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to reach varying targeted demographics. Through market research and detailed analysis, our consultants have identified creative marketing and sales campaigns that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
The world of mobile solutions will continue to evolve and grow, including much greater usage of streaming video and wearable devices. The Shimshock Group understands what makes a mobile solution successful, and has the knowledge and expertise to help our clients leverage a "mobile first" strategy that will have broad-reaching impacts for an organization's sales, marketing, and customer service initiatives.
Ecommerce provides an ever-growing market for selling products, services, and premium content subscriptions through online channels. Clients seek our expertise to make sense of the complex technology landscape. Shimshock Group consultants have been building and developing eCommerce platforms for nearly 20 years. We have experienced the dramatic evolution from the earliest shopping cart solutions, to today's systems which provide real-time inventory updates, integrated shipping and payment gateways, and direct interaction with sales and marketing systems.
We are among the most knowledgeable and experienced consultants at integrating content management systems with eCommerce tools, and are the leader at providing subscription-based, premium content using Drupal technologies. Our team has implemented eCommerce sites with every version of Ubercart and Drupal Commerce, the two dominant platforms for Drupal.
The Shimshock Group has also integrated web sites with a wide range of third-party shopping cart technologies, including products such as Magento,Volusion, and osCommerce. Whether you are interested in selling physical products for shipment, downloadable software, ebooks, or podcasts, or wish to provide exclusive access to premium-level articles, we have the skills and knowledge to meet your needs.
An exciting new aspect of eCommerce is the development of social media and marketing campaign integration tools. Companies may have interesting products to sell, but if shoppers don't visit a business's eCommerce site, or don't know that the site exists, products won't be sold. Product marketing through platforms such as Google Shopping and Pinterest provide compelling opportunities for businesses to reach prospects.
Unique tools available through CRM platforms (and their integrated Digital Marketing applications) allow for product campaigns to be closely tracked and analyzed. With this data, and overall trends in online product purchases, key decisions can be made on developing product attributes most appealing to customers. We highly recommend considering tools such as Salesforce integrated with ExactTarget and Drupal to achieve these goals.
We help marketers make the most of their customer information: social, mobile, email, and website interactions. Our digital marketing and analytics solutions identify which programs and campaigns deliver the highest marketing return on investment (ROI), allow for the creation of ad-hoc reports based on metrics important to marketers, and provide clear visibility into performance, revenue, pipeline, and qualified leads and how various digital marketing tactics influence each.
Rather than spending hours performing analysis using homegrown spreadsheets and calculations, tools such as Marketo, ExactTarget, and Eloqua offer on-demand analytics directly integrated with marketing automation platforms. ExactTarget and Eloqua have the added bonus of being part of the Salesforce and Oracle CRM platforms, respectively, while Marketo offers very successful native integrations for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and certified partner integrations for Netsuite, Oracle, and SugarCRM.
Toolsets such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, and Moz provide rich information about inbound marketing opportunities, with data that integrates into areas such as online advertising, SEO, social media, and email marketing. We will work with you to maximize the use of such tools, and demonstrate how they can be efficiently connected into your current marketing workflow.
Social networks have created a tremendous growth in online interaction in recent years. Sites like Facebook have become a hub of activity for not only individuals and their friends and families, but for media personalities, businesses, and corporations looking to become more closely connected with customers and potential future patrons. Twitter has become the lead source for trending information, as media outlets often analyze tweets for early indications of breaking news. Also, businesses are looking toward Twitter for opportunities to promote new products, and to immediately engage those seeking customer service assistance. Companies are able to build brand goodwill by engaging customers quickly when problems occur.
LinkedIn is the premier hub for professionals to connect and network with other businesspeople, for job seekers to promote their skills, and for companies interested in identifying possible candidates to hire. The LinkedIn platform has also provided some unique social networking capabilities. Businesses and professionals are able to demonstrate thought leadership by sharing information, articles, and ideas with those within their personal connections. Also, LinkedIn members have the ability to highly rate the skills and expertise of others, thereby providing an implicit endorsement of the talents of others. Google+ has created a platform which shares some similar traits to Facebook and LinkedIn, combined with the power of all of Google's other functionality: Search, Maps, Shopping, AdSense, and AdWords, to name a few.
We recommend for most online businesses to at a miminum have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, and product-oriented companies to also have a social media footprint on Pinterest. Through our years of experience, we can offer best practices and techniques of how to maximize your social media investments, and also share how these tools can be integrated into more traditional practices such as public relations, email marketing campaigns, offline marketing, targeted content, and integration with CRM and Content Management solutions.
Corporations have also started to broach the subject of social media within their organizations. Products such as Yammer, Socialcast, and Jive are meant to be social media platforms for within the ecosystem of a business, providing a place for information sharing, knowledge capital, quick communications, notifications, breaking news, and collaboration. They also seek to develop stronger relationships between customers and partners, and increase satisfaction that people are receiving information that they need in a timely fashion. Social software for the workplace continues to be a new trend, and is guaranteed to evolve significantly in the coming years.
Social Network Management
Another key area of growth has been the concept of Social Network Management. Emerging technologies like HootSuite, Brandwatch, and Sprout Social seek to integrate social media interactions into a cohesive dashboard, providing marketers with unique insights into their brand mentions, traffic, and online communication. Each platform offers options such as direct social media engagement with customers, publishing features to coordinate social media communications, and analytics, monitoring, and CRM tools to determine how online campaigns provide tangible business results.