Are We Too Connected?
Despite the highly connected world we live in, some well-known companies are bucking the trend and becoming decidedly more disconnected from their customers.
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We live in a hyper-connected society. It's becoming more commonplace in my household—and likely yours, too—to watch television while simultaneously surfing the Web on a laptop or smartphone. Many television advertisers know this is a growing consumer trend. They also know it's a problem for them, as they now have to compete with the Internet for viewers' attention.

This is why progressive television advertisers are considering new ways to get in front of them. That is by meeting them on their mobile devices—or "second screens"—with messages synced with television programming. As tempting as this might sound to advertisers, there is a caveat: Consumers look away from their television screens when they are not interested in the content on the television. In this situation, putting the same content on a different medium is not going to change their opinion of the content. And it might actually do more harm than good if they feel the messaging is intrusive. However, there are some clever ways to leverage mobile devices for viewers who are interested in their television content. This is where second-screen advertising can be most effective.

To learn about some of these effective strategies, read our cover story, "A First Look at Second Screens”," by Associate Editor Judith Aquino.

Mobile devices not only make us more connected at home, but at work too. Thanks to smartphones, tablets, and supporting technology, not only are we able to find and share more information, but we're also able to do more than we could with conventional computers. As more enterprise professionals trade in their laptops for tablets, they can take advantage of another user interface—touch. Because of touch screens on tablets, people are able to sign legally binding electronic documents, which will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the way people work: Imagine salespeople emailing a contract to a tablet-toting client who can immediately sign the electronic document and email it back. This would cut the average sales cycle down by several days, simply because salespeople wouldn't have to wait for a hard-copy signature via regular mail. To find out more about the value of digital signatures in the enterprise, read the feature "Sign, Seal, and Deliver with E-Signatures," by Associate Editor Kelly Liyakasa.

Despite the highly connected world we live in, some well-known companies are bucking the trend and becoming decidedly more disconnected from their customers. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are among those that do not field phone support calls. Phone support, while losing popularity among consumers, is still their most preferred interaction channel, according to published reports. So why are these companies, which helped shape our power-of-now, instant gratification society, behaving in a way that is not consistent with what customers want? Read what experts are saying about this decision in our feature story "Should Your Company Abandon Phone Support?" by News Editor Leonard Klie.

Consumers' connectivity choices are having a significant impact on how we work and play. But the actions of Google, Facebook, and Twitter raise an interesting question: Are we too connected? The simple answer is that organizations should be as connected as their customers want them to be. Additionally, it's not enough to meet customers on their preferred interaction channels. How your company chooses to engage them will, in many cases, dictate your success. Read this month's issue for helpful customer engagement ideas.

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