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Using Case Studies to Grow Business Awareness

January 15, 2018

Any small business in Australia who is seeking to grow their market share knows that you can attract more customers either by telling everyone you’re the best or prove it with a winning case study. And a well-crafted case study positions you as an authority in your field. Not only do you perform when you say you’re going to perform, but you have the proof, statistics, and facts to support your actions.

But what makes a winning case study? It should represent the types of customers you hope to attract. For instance, a marketing company that wants to gather more banking clients should choose to write a case study about a bank. Writing about a similar field and company that you hope to attract shows that you’re comfortable performing for those types of companies. You know the industry’s obstacles and needs, and you know how to give stellar results. Your job is to showcase those results with your case study.

The most effective case studies are also those that tell an engaging story. For example, Bank A started out in a city saturated with other banks. However, the owner had a vision and persisted, and today the bank is one of the most successful in the area. That’s a true underdog story that people can relate to, and a story like that will be mighty attractive to other bank owners just starting out, and who want the same impressive results.

To tell the story effectively, focus on the customer and what makes them unique. Then analyse the customer’s goals and needs, as well as obstacles and weaknesses, before delving into how your company satisfied those needs and helped to overcome those obstacles to achieve success. To do this effectively, break your study into sections like: background, goals, challenges, the solution you offered and project results.

A powerful case study includes facts, figures, numbers, and statistics. You want your case study to be ultra-clear and accurate. Show how you got the figures and cite your sources wherever possible to enhance your credibility.

When showing an image or graph, use arrows and text boxes to indicate what readers should be looking at and why. Make your case study even more interesting by including anecdotes, such as “They changed the opt-in offer from a newsletter to an eBook and that one change led to a 375% increase in web traffic!”

Describing the results you were able to achieve for the customer is good, but it’s better to explain how those results were generated. What did your company do specifically that’s different from all the competition that allowed the client to benefit in such grand fashion? Those are the details that will make your case studies memorable, and effective at earning new business.

Never forget that a client’s own words are especially effective at establishing independent third-party credibility. In the context of your case study, you might include a quote that speaks of the client’s pain points at the beginning of the project, and then another at the end that speaks of the client’s gratification around the solution you offered.

A properly developed case study can greatly enhance the new business lead generation activities of most small businesses. The material helps to demonstrate your businesses capabilities and industry expertise and show what results are possible through collaboration. Or, put more simply, case studies are especially effective as you won’t have to tell prospects you’re the best, because you’ll have a case study that proves it.

Wayne Jasek, Director-APAC, Kentico.

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Hotels and Customer Data: A Right to be Forgotten

January 10, 2018

By WayneJasek

The amount of personal data collected by businesses, including Australian Hoteliers, is astounding.

Just think about your own smartphone usage; when signing-up for an app like Uber, you might use your Facebook login for ease, which means has Uber access information such as contact details, friends, location and more.

In return, Facebook can access details on a customer’s travel patterns. However, with the implantation of restrictive data protection laws such as the EU’s GDPR rules, and updates to the Australian government’s own Privacy Act 1988, this kind of unchecked spread of consumer is set to change and offer people a right to be forgotten.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is an acronym for General Data Protection Regulation. It is an EU regulation that will come into effect on May 25, 2018 and generate the biggest changes in data protection in the EU since 1995. GDPR was created to bring as much uniformity into data protection as possible and is a regulation far better suited to the challenges today’s digital world poses.

In many cases GDPR will apply to businesses, including local accommodation providers, not actually based in the EU as well. For example, even if you are operating an upscale eco-lodge resort based out of Queensland, but are monitoring the behaviour of guests that takes place within the EU, such as booking trends out of France, you must comply with the requirements of GDPR. It even applies to website visits from users that are in the EU, regardless of whether they are EU citizens or not.

What is a right to be forgotten?

New data protection laws, such as GDPR, pose significant challenges for local hoteliers as they include provisions around a guest’s ‘right to be forgotten’. In practical terms, a right to be forgotten means that any person your hotel holds information on (be that an email address for a newsletter, or customer details for a loyalty / rewards program) can ask you, at any time, to forget everything you know about them. Forever.

On receiving a right to be forgotten request, a hotel must then take all steps necessary to remove all customer data they are holding. While there are some exceptions, such as if the data if the data is needed for a legal claim, most of the right to be forgotten requests a start-up receives will have to be actioned.

What does it mean for Australian hoteliers?

On the face of it, a person requesting that your accommodation business deletes all of their personal data may seem like a simple request— just delete a record when asked. However, the reality is very different. In many hotel groups data is not always held in one system so ‘removing that record’ swiftly becomes ‘removing multiple records’, especially for hotel groups with multiple properties around the country and different systems. To complicate this further, the process itself could be initiated through a range of channels such as website, direct email or mobile application. Regardless of where the request comes from, it’s important that the process remains the same across the business.

When your hotel is looking to build its own ‘right to be forgotten’ process, you need to consider four specific items: The mechanisms that the customer can interact with to initiate the process; the mechanisms for removing the customer’s data; the audit trail; and the reporting mechanism to the customer (e.g. email notifications of the deletion process).

Further complicating matters is the fact that Australian hoteliers often work with outside agencies to help market their properties and services to existing and potential guests. In these instances, customer data may not only be in multiple systems and locations within a business, but data may be held by other external organisations as well.

To ensure that you know exactly where customer data is when working with third parties, it is important that all hotels follow proper process. The process starts with identifying the systems and channels that the external partner is working with for you, such as marketing software. Hotels should also be able to understand who is gathering guest data, at what point, for what purpose and where it is stored so that any gaps can be identified and resolved.

Meeting the challenge

In an interconnected world where every online interaction is collected, recorded, analysed, and companies often know more about people than they know about themselves; governments are developing regulations that restrict how, when and where all businesses collect data. Ensuring that your hotel has the right processes in place to assist customer requests around their data, including the right to be forgotten, is a challenge all local accommodation businesses must address.

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5 Web Content Management Trends for 2018

December 21, 2017

By Venus Tamturk

GDPR Capabilities Will Help Non-Compliant Companies

In my opinion, after a headless CMS approach, one of the hottest topics that have generated so many discussions was the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect. As we are getting closer to the European GDPR deadline of May 25, 2018, vendors are releasing new capabilities to help non-compliant companies be ready. A breach of the GDPR can result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater). That being said, Gartner predicts that by the end of 2018, more than 50 percent of companies affected by the GDPR will not be in full compliance with its requirements.

When it comes to American companies, collecting an IP address of an EU resident, which is not even considered as personally identifying information in the US., will be enough to trigger the GDPR. As WCM vendors admit that they should share the responsibility of educating their customers on GDPR compliance, this year, we have seen almost every vendor adding baked-in GDPR capabilities to their platforms. Here are some of them that WCM platforms should provide in 2018 before the regulation goes into effect:

Personal data flow documentation

Consent management

Access all the data processed about a specific data subject

An ability to export personal data in commonly used, structured, and machine-readable format

An ability to delete collected personal data

Kentico, for instance, is one the vendors which have recently rolled out a number of capabilities that will help businesses comply with the EU’s upcoming GDPR. Karol Jarkovsky, Director of Product at Kentico, told in a CMS-Connected interview: “What we see as our role as a CMS vendor is to basically help organizations with their efforts to comply with the GDPR, there is never going to be a magic button that you can press and that’s it but as a vendor we can help those businesses fulfill the rights of the data subjects, to help businesses prove to authorities that they took all the necessary steps to comply with the GDPR.”

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