Alain Thys

3D Printing and Retail

February 28, I had the opportunity of being the closing speaker at the FutuRetail conference which took place at the brand new Google headquarters in London.  The day was filled with a host of interesting speakers.   But having been challenged by the organisers to close the day on a truly "thought provoking" topic, I ventured into a thought experiment on the impact of 3D printing on the retail industry.

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Why Marketers Should Care about Transmedia. 3 Questions with Andrea Phillips

In 1999, I attempted to launch a content production venture called Transmedia Productions. Its vision was to develop and market narratives, which would span various media (yes even internet!). It also aimed to somehow engage audiences in “co”-telling the story.

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Five SMARK Questions for Stefan Kolle

In the build-up to his presentation at the Marketing 360 conference in Bucharest, SMARK - Romania’s leading community for marketing professionals - interviewed my colleague and business partner Stefan Kolle on the topics of NPS, customer experience and advocacy.

As the interview contains some interesting points which you might not be able to pick up from the Romanian edition, we thought we’d reprint the Q&A with the journalist:

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Barriers to Customer Centricity (Presentation)

Earlier this month I had the honour of being affectionately introduced as the "warm-up act" for Fred Reichheld during an NPS masterclass he gave together in the Netherlands.   As Fred mainly focused on introducing the Net Promoter System and describing the dangers of bad profits, I decided to go for the more organisational aspects of customer-centricity.  I did this by focusing my talk on what I consider to be three of the main barriers to customer-centricity in many organisations:

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A Quick Note on Using NPS in Social Media

Lately, there's been a lot of talk about the ways Net Promoter is relevant to those in social media.  But while the intuitive link is clear to me, a lot of the thinking I've read to date doesn't really resonate on a level that is both practical and strategic.  So I decided to take a stab at a more comprehensive framework myself, admittedly helped by a number of practical challenges a CEE client faced who wanted to develop a more customer-centric approach across it's various distribution and communication channels.

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Customer Experience: It’s in the Little Things

I recently completed a project for Philips Lighting on the ways hotels should reshape themselves to be successful in the future. As part of the research I came across this brilliant video by futurist Patrick Dixon on the way many business hotels seem to "get it wrong" when it comes to delivering a quality experience for their customers. If you think about it, most of the things he talks about are "rather obvious". Also, as any frequent traveler can testify, they have been around for ages. 

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Would Your People Recommend Your Products?

Ever more executives want to create marketing magic by turning their consumers into "brand promoters". But with all the customer advocacy programmes flying around, many of them seem to miss the elephant in the room: their own employees might not be "that" inclined to recommendation themselves.

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Ten Ways To Take Your Net Promoter® Programme To the Next Level

Ever since I've first learned to work with it in 2007, I had a thing for NPS.  There are many who tell me it isn't the most scientific of measures, but in our 80/20 world it is still the most effective and actionable customer system I've ever seen. 

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So You Want To Be Customer-Centric? (video)

I spend a large part of my professional life telling companies that if they truly take their customer's interests to heart, these customers will reward them with their business, their recommendations and their support. But even though I preach this gospel, I have to admit that I never really understood the impact of super-promoters until I experienced it around my book "So You Want to Be Customer-Centric?".

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Welcome to 2012 … Will You Make It Matter?

According to the some, 2012 is the year in which we all call it day. As the Mayans never really said such a thing, the chances of this happening are quite slim. But just imagine for a moment that all the doomsday prophets are right and that in less than a year the South Pole decides to take a holiday somewhere near the Equator. 

Apart from the obvious death, despair and heartbreak that would go with such an event, it would also make the 2012 plan you're working on right now the last you'll ever work on. Your legacy. The sum of what you stand for.

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