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GE's Linda Boff: Content Created to Help Is What Sells

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelLinda Boff is a digital explorer, Mad Men enthusiast and modern art lover. She's also executive director of global brand marketing at Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric, where she's responsible for GE's global advertising and digital marketing along with the company's brand and design strategy.

Boff said she focused on "embedding meaningful marketing strategy and instigating change" throughout the global conglomerate.

Previously, Boff was CMO of iVillage Properties, part of the NBC Universal (which was previously part of GE). Boff joined GE in early 2004 with 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and communications including senior roles at Citigroup, the American Museum of Natural History and Porter Novelli.

In 2012, she was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year. A frequent speaker at digital and social media industry events, she lives with her husband and two children in suburban New York City.

Experience Matters in Omnichannel Commerce

Experience matters in omnichannel commerce — both the customer experience and the software ecosystem that supports a buyer’s journey from initial discovery to customer advocate. Just as shoppers see products on display in physical stores, digital experiences have to provide relevant content and compelling interactions to convert browsing to buying. Connected consumers expect convenience and flexibility across channels, whether brick and mortar, catalog, print, in-store kiosks, web, mobile and social platforms. Nothing frustrates customers more than dead-end, can’t get there from here experiences. And second chances are rare.

6 C's for More Efficient IT In 2015 [Infographic]

There’s no getting away from the inevitable round of IT predictions that mark the end of every year. Just about every research company and IT vendor has its own list — and 451 Research is no exception.

This time it comes in the shape of 6 C’s for 2015 that cover a range of issues from content management to containers to cloud and crowd working. Combined, they envisage a year that will see workers using more agile IT, largely through cloud and converged platforms. These same workers will also be more mobile and disassociated from the enterprise.

Unlocking the Value of Content Management

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The value of content management systems (CMS) can be difficult to quantify and measure. And even if your company can find quantifiable metrics, it can still be difficult to align and contextualize these metrics to actual business value. To assist in this process, our company developed a framework to align the key drivers for CMS investments and upgrades with the business values attained as a result. Based on the deep, multi-stakeholder analysis and our ongoing end user inquiries and interviews for content management in the contexts of legal, big data, and enterprise collaboration, this framework is meant to provide end users with a basic starting point for developing the value proposition for content management.

Merging the Yin-Yang of Content-Commerce

2014-12-December-Kitties.jpgSince the early days of e-commerce in the mid to late 90's, businesses had a vision to merge content and commerce into a seamless experience. What people discovered pretty quickly in the 90's was that merging content and commerce was really challenging. Little has changed since then, because while people would like to join the two, they really are more yin and yang — contrary forces, yet complementary.

News Bites: Predictive Insights, Brainshark, Avaya, Google, More

Insights, shark-sights, CS on and off-site, hiring right – it’s all outasight …

The latest in viewing, accelerating, collaborating, joining and accessing from the Pilgrim State, the Mission City and the City that Knows How.

Adobe Buys Fotolia to Build One Stop Shop for Creatives

If you want to know how to keep a secret, bury it in a quarterly earnings report. That’s how much of the world learned that Adobe has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia, a leading marketplace for stock content, for approximately $800 million. 

Dropbox + Office = Sticky

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Hey CIO — you know your employees are using Dropbox at work. And, yes, they know you don’t want them to, and that there are other tools available and all of that … but here’s the deal: they just want Dropbox. Anything else is like getting hot fudge covered chix stix when you want chicken fingers …interesting, maybe, but every day, no thanks.

Hortonworks IPO: Why It Has to Happen Tomorrow

2014-11-December-Wall-Street.jpgYou can bet that the folks at Hortonworks’ won’t sleep much tonight, instead they’ll likely be replaying and rethinking every move they’ve made as a private company and every aspect of their strategy. As the youngest of the three primary, independent, commercial Hadoop distribution providers, they’ve gone from saying that they wouldn’t be talking about an IPO anytime soon, to suggesting that it might happen in 2015, to secretly filing in August, to unveiling the filing last month, to setting the date for the actual offering — it’s tomorrow.

What’s the sudden hurry?

As Gartner analyst Merv Adrian puts it, “There might not be a better time.”

And, at least in the near term, he may have a point. Unless it’s possible to go back in time, that is.

TYPO3 Updates Open Source Web CMS Neos

Open source web content management (WCM) provider TYPO3 released a new version of Neos that officials there say improves the user experience for digital marketers in a "smoother" and more "time-saving" way. 

The Baar, Switzerland, open source vendor today releases Neos 1.2 that "offers many convenient new functions and significant improvements that make the everyday work of editors and developers much easier" for a more intuitive workflow.

The update comes a year after version 1.0 was released.

Microsoft Soups Up Office Online with Contextual Search

2014-11-December-Tall-Bicycle.jpgNo one likes dumb anything, least of all technology companies. In a move to smarten-up Hangouts, Google added "smart" suggestions yesterday. Microsoft is on the case as well, making its Office Online app a lot smarter with the addition of contextualized Bing search into documents.

If that sounds complicated, it’s not. The new feature, called Insights for Office, lets users search for information from an inline search box inside a document. The answers include information scraped from Bing Snapshot, Bing Image Search and Wikipedia, among others.

A Look Ahead: Community Manager Appreciation Day 2015

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What runs for 24 consecutive hours in late January?

No, it’s not the Super Bowl pre-game show — although that certainly comes close. It's Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), which will take place Jan. 26, 2015.

In a blog post that established the first CMAD in 2010, industry analyst and founder of CrowdCompanies Jeremiah Owyang called for the event to take place on the fourth Monday of January. The purpose, according to Owyang’s post, is “to pause, recognize and celebrate the efforts [of] community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.”

IDC Predicts Hard Times Ahead for CMOs

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According to Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Nevertheless, every year since 2007, the forecasters of IDC gaze into their crystal ball (which contains research, surveys, interviews, etc.) and reveal their predictions, along with recommendations for how best to navigate through the probabilities they present. In its recent FutureScape, “CMO Advisory 2015 Predictions,” Framingham, Mass.-based IDC (International Data Corporation) gave a glimpse of what the future may hold for the Chief Marketing Officers of tech firms.

RIP Google Authorship: What It Means and What's Next

2014-11-December-Typewriter.jpgBack in 2012, AuthorRank was a hot topic among the SEO and inbound marketing sect.

Similar to PageRank, which aims to establish authority for domains and pages on those domains, AuthorRank was thought to be the key to measuring individual authority. Although Google never officially referred to it by that name, they patented techniques to use individual reputation as a search ranking suggested as much. Once awareness of the patent went public, the SEO industry quickly began talking about it as individual authority.

Author Authority would have made it much easier to rank people in different areas of expertise. It would reduce spam and scammy behavior, and push reputable content creators up the SERPs. What could possibly be wrong with that end result?

The excitement was nipped in the bud on Aug. 28, 2014 when, in a surprise move, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced via Google Plus that the Google Authorship program was coming to an abrupt ending.

EMC Syncplicity Flexes Brains, Brawn and Enterprise Freemium

2014-10-December-Boxer-Training.jpgIf you’ve checked out EMC Syncplicity’s Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) app you know it’s pretty snazzy. Gartner calls its UI “engaging” in its most recent Magic Quadrant for EFSS. Analyst firm Ovum says its mobility features are amongst the best in class and Forrester, in its most recent Wave, cites Syncplicity’s security, deployment flexibility and extensive viewer support for common file types as standouts.

But an immersive UI, an app that caters to the modern worker, and an iron-clad back end aren’t enough to win the overcrowded (100 plus vendors according to Gartner) EFSS marketplace. Not only are there mega-vendors like Microsoft and Google to contend with, but also smart well-funded start-ups like Dropbox (for Business) and Box who created the space to begin with.

While all of that may (and likely will) cause some EFSS providers to reexamine their plays, pitch themselves to other vendors or just plain throw in the towel, EMC’s Syncplicity just keeps improving on an already good offering, differentiating itself from its competitors via its hybrid model and raising its game. 

And today it's got a new rabbit in its hat, plus a few carrots. 

Google Hangouts Just Got Smart (Suggestions) #LeWeb

Google Hangouts for Android are about to get smarter. Google announced an upgrade to the app earlier today which will include smart suggestions, 16 sticker packs, video calling filters and notifications of who is available to chat.

A Fresh Pair of Eyes Keeps Customer Experience From Going Flat

2014-10-December-Flat.jpg“Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.” — Thomas W. Higginson

We all know the importance of a fresh pair of eyes. They can catch mistakes and spark inspiration when you're too close to your work. While the term usually refers to visuals, it can also apply to a more universal sentiment: the power of perspective.

Perspective impacts what we produce when it comes to customer experience. While we work to deliver top-notch experiences, most are designed with a certain time, audience and goal in mind. But if we approach this with a single unexamined perspective it will quickly become outdated. Just as the thrill of a new car fades over time, when a company does little to innovate or inspire, its customer experience can become stale and flat.

A Future for Commercial Search

2014-10-December-Monopoly.jpgMany business managers — mostly in IT — try to develop an investment case for enterprise search. This is impossible. Search is only one element in the decision-making chain. The question to ask is whether all relevant information has been found to ensure that the decision (based partially or totally on this information) is in the best interests of the organization.

There's another aspect of ROI. 2014 has been marked by a significant level of financial investment in open source search. Venture funds are not charities, they expect a good return on their investment. While some of the businesses they back will not make an acceptable return, this means that others in the portfolio have to over-deliver to ensure that the investments pay off.

Will Microsoft Land the Federal Market with Azure Government?

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Remember when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced his Cloud First Mobile First strategy? He really wasn’t joking.

On Monday, he announced a new hybrid cloud initiative with Accenture. Last night, he announced that Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud is now generally available, and that Dynamics CRM Online for government will be available next month.

This follows hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Office 365 for Government has been awarded some major security certifications and that the Feds are now happy to work with it.  

Q4/Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (10-Dec-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: Website Redesign - Strategy First, Tactics Second

Join CMSWire and Ektron on December 16th for a one-hour webinar on defining your brand and retaining customers through your web presence.


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