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Customers Don't Care About Your Processes

2014-15-July-Milk-Processing.jpgIn January of last year, Macy's became the first major retailer to name a Chief Omnichannel Officer. In May of this year, Target announced the formation of a new Digital Advisory Committee to focus specifically on brainstorming omnichannel strategies.

Clearly the need to deliver true omnichannel experiences is something that retailers and their marketing teams are taking very, very seriously.

The Myth of Cooperation Between Marketers and IT Pros

digital marketing, Marketers Working with IT Professionals: Total Myth?

Wait, what? Only about one out of four marketers describe marketing and IT as strategic partners.

We thought we were in the "Marketing and IT, Sitting in a Tree…" era? All we seem to hear is how marketing and IT must work together, break down silos and even report to one another.

What happened to all that? But the statistics are hard to deny. A full 74 percent of marketers dismisses the wishful thinking about marketers and techies living happily together, according to the Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey 2013.

So what to do? Teradata thinks it can help.

The analytic data platforms, marketing applications and services company in partnership with Forbes Insights today released a new research study for CMOs and other senior marketing decision makers worldwide titled, “Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.”

Why Zimbra's Collaboration Platform Jumped on Mezeo's Cloud

social business, Why Zimbra's Collaboration Platform Added Mezeo's Cloud

It's been about a year since since Telligent acquired Zimbra in the social enterprise software space. Telligent rebranded to Zimbra's platform.

Zimbra is confident in its platform, no doubt. It's a regular in the Magic Quadrants and Waves for social software and communities, and in March it released its latest update of its community software solution: Zimbra Community 8.0, featuring customer support and private social networking for remote and mobile workers. 

Today Zimbra brings a level of security to its platform its CEO said is unmatched. It acquired Mezeo Software, which provides file sharing and cloud storage capabilities for service providers, governments and other companies.

This allows Zimbra to use Mezeo’s technology portfolio that includes patents that cover aspects of storage efficiency and file security, and it adds file sync and share for secure and private collaboration.

Crying for Help? MindTouch is Listening

How can you get into the mind of your customers? MindTouch, the company that's trying to redefine the help center, has released two updates for better understanding of customers.

The company, founded by two ex-members of Microsoft's Advanced Systems Research Team, describes the occasion when customers reach out for help – when they obviously want to use your product, but just don't know how – as an opportunity.

What's the Most Popular Social Login on B2B Sites?

What's the most popular social login on B2B sites? We know … and we will share the findings, based on a new report from social login provider Janrain.

The report, "Social Login Trends Across the Web for Q2 2014," also found that Facebook is bouncing back after six straight quarters of falling market share in the realm of social logins on all sites. The report notes that over half of new users employ social login, because it eliminates the need to "remember yet another username-password combination."

Information Management Will Never Be Easy

2014-14-July-Obstacle-Course.jpgI get the opportunity to speak with hundreds of folks a year about managing information at organizations, and probably the most common requirement I hear is, information management needs to be easy and user friendly — if users have to do anything more difficult than what they do now, it will fail.

It’s difficult to formulate a response to this request (or even keep a straight face). The idea that somehow you could go from managing corporate information horribly to managing it well and have it be perceived by end users as easy is pretty astounding.

Before all the UI/UX folks out there break out the pitchforks and torches, let me explain what I mean and why.

Can You Name the Top 10 IoT Companies?

2014-7-14 Appinions iot products.jpg

The companies that are leading the Internet of Things (IoT) — now and in the future — are beginning to make themselves known. Appinions, in a recently published report, identified the most influential companies and what is driving them.

It probably comes as no surprise that Apple is at the top of the list, followed by Nest and Google. But there are a number of less expected companies in the mix, including — wait for it — BlackBerry.

Find the Opportunity in Showrooming

2014-14-July-Shopping-Mall.jpgHave you ever gone into a store, found a product you wanted to buy and then pulled out your smartphone to check reviews or search for a better price online? It might feel like you’re cheating the system, but you’re not alone. This is the way people shop today — and it’s called showrooming. 

Google published research in May 2013 on how mobile is transforming the shopping experience in stores. It found that “84 percent of shoppers use their phones while in a physical store.”

What Matters (and What Doesn't) for Flexible, Agile Solutions

2014-14-July-Many-Languages-Love.jpgEnterprises don't lack for choices. In one of his final blog posts before leaving Forrester as an analyst, David Aponovich summed up the importance of web content management to creating digital customer experiences.

He wrote that “WCM has become an essential foundation for enabling successful digital experience efforts. And by doing so, it’s supporting one of the last things that corporations and brands can use to differentiate themselves.”

Cloudwords Offers New Solution for Global Marketers

Marc Benioff-backed Cloudwords is continuing its quest to help global marketers manage multi-lingual content. The cloud-based translation management application today announced Campaign Manager, an enterprise-ready solution designed to help marketers "plan, execute and track" the localization and translation of marketing content for global campaigns.

Benioff, the CEO of salesforce.com, was one of the original investors in the San Francisco-based company. 

Cloudwords was founded in 2010 by "individuals who gave birth to cloud computing," including Scott Yancey, a key architect on the salesforce.com platform, and Michael Meinhardt, a consultant who advised numerous enterprise customers on their global translation strategy, including Cisco Systems, Hitachi Data Systems, Apple and Symantec.

Discussion Point: What's the ROI on B2B Social Media Marketing?

Thumbnail image for discussion-point

I always tell the story of the day a supervisor at a former company told me, "We should get on Twitter."

Get on Twitter. Why? Because others are doing it, of course. 

There was no game plan. How much should we tweet? When should we tweet? What should we tweet? Are our clients on Twitter? Nope, not even that question was considered. 

Today, of course, social media seems to be all we can talk about when it comes to marketing. Even B2B marketers have caught on. Having a presence in social circles is a must.

The Customer Feedback Revolution

The web is one of the most perfect feedback environments, where the creator and the consumer become intertwined in the network. 

Constant Contact Becoming a Platform Vendor

2014-14-July-vendors-selling-toolkits.jpg

Known mainly as a provider of cloud-based email marketing solutions for small businesses, Constant Contact has been expanding its product offerings, transforming itself into a platform vendor.

With more than 605,000 customers (including roughly 40,000 net new additions in 2013 and 10,000 in the first quarter), Constant Contact has the ability to sell a greater number of solutions (covering event registration, online surveys, coupons and social media campaigns) into an increasingly large installed base.

Now it has the potential to do even more with a product called Constant Contact Toolkit, which it claims which brings together all of the online marketing tools needed to drive new and repeat customers across key channels.

2 Final World Cup Lessons in Marketing Agility

2014-14-July-lights-put-soccer.jpg

Every four years, the world watches in anticipation to see who will rise victorious in the World Cup. Here in the US, we’ve spent the past month pretending our best to be avid soccer or futbol fans. (Kidding, of course, as our affinity for the “beautiful game” has clearly grown since 2010.)

But to be honest, the competition this year has been amazing. Teams have spent years building a solid foundation of teamwork, talent and coaching prowess to earn spots in the World Cup. Countless hours of preparation have come down to a few inches to determine who wins or loses — responsiveness and agility capture the golden opportunity.

Just like the World Cup teams, our marketing organizations have prepared to be agile enough to take advantage of every opportunity to connect users to our brands, convert new customers and engage with social media.

About Time! Microsoft Office is Coming to Android Tablets

When Satya Nadella took the reins as Microsoft’s CEO, he set a new vision for the company. Microsoft would now be designing, developing and delivering solutions for a Mobile First, Cloud First world. 

This is a world where there are multiple types of mobile devices that run on multiple operating systems. To succeed in this world, as a software provider, you have to play nicely with all of them and in all of them. Nadella knows this.

July 11 Update: Microsoft will now be adding OneNote to Android devices as well. The company launched the Android beta program today. This falls in line nicely with Nadella’s impassioned memo to employees yesterday (which was really meant to customers and stockholders) which said:

Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world. We have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy."

The strategy he’s referring to is one of digital work and life experiences, which would, no doubt, be better with One Note on all your devices.

Salesforce Acquires CRM Startup RelateIQ for $390 Million

Salesforce acquired today a smaller CRM provider in a deal that could be worth up to $390 million, according to a filing with the United States Security and Exchange Commission

The CRM giant scooped up RelateIQ, a Palo Alto-based provider that claims it's known for driving "relationship intelligence" rather than "relationship management."

"We believe this offers our customers the best of both worlds," RelateIQ co-founder Steve Loughlin blogged today. "Salesforce.com pioneered the shift to enterprise cloud computing, redefining modern CRM as we know it. … RelateIQ is pioneering the next generation of intelligent computing through data science and machine learning. Looking ahead, salesforce.com’s acquisition of RelateIQ will extend the value of salesforce.com’s No. 1 CRM apps and platform with a new level of intelligence across sales, service and marketing."

Are You Running Out of Microsoft Support?

We all remember the warnings and confusion around the end-of-support for Windows XP in April. But support is ending or changing for other Microsoft products, too.

By the end of the year, you will have to pay for support for a whole list of products — and  support for other products will end completely.

Omnichannel Service Takes the Whole Company

When we look to a company for answers, what do we want?

We want a seamless experience and answers tailored to our needs, no matter how we reach out. Whether we visit a store, check a website, send an email, call customer service or all of the above, we want the source or person on the other end to understand our relevant history and quickly provide answers. We want omnichannel service, and so do our customers.

This Week: 3 WCM Innovators + Enterprise File Sync and Share Top Dogs

WCM Trouble? Not Here
While all is quiet in web content management, these three vendors buck the trend.

Digital Marketers' Loves
You may be surprised what they're digging.

Enterprise of Things
If Microsoft has its way, big data is coming to your Office 365 environment very soon.

Mobile Enterprise Showdown
Want to fulfill the anywhere, anytime vision of the mobile enterprise? Invest in mobile wisely.

Gartner's EFFS Leaders
In a market that's hotter than hot, Gartner announces its kings, and its almost-kings

Box Cashes In
Funding post-IPO for Box? This actually could be a smart move.

The Forrester Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms
Reap the Most Out of Your Investment
Download Report

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Predictions Gone Awry: 4 Unexpected Impacts of Big Data

2014-11-July-OTB.jpgAt the start of any significant IT hype cycle, predictions abound. No matter what the trend, a seemingly endless array of vendors, experts and analysts alike line up to place their bets as to how this new movement will forever change the IT and business landscape.

Big data was no exception.

As an explosion of immense new unstructured datasets gave root to the big data hype cycle that now dominates so much of the ongoing IT conversation, scores of experts chimed in with opinions on the many ways in which this new megatrend would change the way companies do business.