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Latest Customer Experience News & Articles

Why SaaS Saw Its Biggest Revenue Gain Since Recession

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Software companies led by entrepreneurs with experience in building successful software-as-a-service (SaaS) organizations are thriving. They as much as double revenue growth year-over-year, a new software industry report finds.

In other words, those in their second or third rodeos in SaaS software fare well.

The findings are reported in this month's 2014 Software & SaaS Financial Benchmarking Industry Report, the eighth annual study produced by Boston-based OPEXEngine in conjunction with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

"Far more well-funded, venture-backed, companies are hitting their stride with growth rates of 50 percent to 100 percent year over year, than ever before," Lauren Kelley, CEO and founder of OPEXEngine, told CMSWire. "Many of these companies are being established by entrepreneurs who have already built one or two, sometimes three, SaaS companies before, and managed by executives with equivalent experience. These executives can get a new company up and running far faster than five or 10 years ago when SaaS was a new management discipline." 

Yahoo Buys Flurry to Personalize the Mobile Experience

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is intent on becoming a mobile-first company and when it comes to advertising revenue, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. Last week the company reported discouraging earnings of $1.08 billion in revenues, 4 percent less than for the same quarter last year. Display revenue, which Mayer hoped to raise, actually fell 8 percent.

And while companies in Yahoo’s position sometimes look for ways to solve their problems from within, Mayer prefers to shop. In slightly more than two years at the helm of the Internet pioneer, she has purchased blogging site Tumblr, social web startup RockMelt, social diary company Wander and technical recruiting firm Distill. Earlier this month, she bought RayV, which streams  high-quality video to computers and mobile devices

How’s that strategy working for you, Marissa? In any case, let’s hope that today’s purchase is a charm.

Could Russia Be Starting a Software/Hardware Cold War?

Russia is considering giving preference to its own hardware and software organizations in a current legislative bill, reducing its reliance on foreign suppliers, Bloomberg reported today

Does this mean a major hit for companies that do business in the country — such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Oracle? 

Not really.

"In this day and age, every customer is valuable," said Alan Tonelson, an independent policy analyst who blogs at RealityChek. "But total Russia losses seem easily absorbable."

Master Customer Experience in the New Age of Retail

2014-21-July-Sales.jpgProviding a high quality customer experience is critical for retailers, no matter the sector or audience. Delivering on this goal means more success in sales and more repeat business.

But our ideas around what constitutes a high level customer experience have changed in recent years. In the pre-internet days, it generally meant attentive sales people available to help with in store requests. But in today’s connected world, it’s more often associated with quick page loads, easily navigable sites and rich media.

This Week: Apple, IBM Partnership + Forrester's Fast Track to Apps

CXM's Mobile Dependency
Customer experience programs lacking mobile emphasis are destined for failure.

Forrester: Get Moving on Apps
Need faster app development? Forrester cites a process that gets it done. 

What Really Matters in Web CMS 
In web CMS, it’s not what the product is written in, but how it’s written that guides flexibility.

Apple and IBM. Yes, Indeed
The powerhouses announced a partnership that's shaking the mobile enterprise.

Social Business Works
There is value after all in making collaboration a priority.

Microsoft's World Cup Perfection
Find out how Microsoft’s Cortana was 15-for-15 in FIFA World Cup play.

4 Key Factors to Consider to Take Your eCommerce Global
Localizing, logistics, barriers and customer support.
Download the White Paper

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News Bites: Content for Marketing, Product Idea Tester, More

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This week: Forrester on content, AvePoint's content integration with Box, a product idea tester for consumer packaged goods and a report on mobile ads.

Marketers Like Oracle Cloud's Summer Releases #interact14

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It's one thing to spend a couple of billion dollars acquiring digital marketing technologies and another to make them truly useful to today's marketers.

Nobody knows this better than companies like Oracle or Adobe, who went on multiyear shopping sprees to beef-up their capabilities in email management, social listening, customer analytics, email management, omnichannel messaging and other areas. The big question was could these companies quickly integrate these products in a meaningful way amid a fast-changing marketing industry.

Oracle, a newer player in the "marketing cloud" arena, showed off a series of its summer releases today at its Interact 2014 show in San Francisco, drawing boffo reviews from many of the 1,000-plus marketers in attendance. Clearly, the unofficial theme of the conference is "we are very, very good at integrating," as marketing cloud General Manager Kevin Akeroyd told us last evening.

Are Marketers Having Success with B2B Video?

About 82 percent of marketers are having success with B2B video — but only 15 percent describe themselves as "very successful."

That's one of the findings from a new report that evaluates tactics marketers use to maximize the impact of B2B video. But the report "B2B Video Marketing: B2B Benchmarks and Best Practices" also raises questions about whether tactics for marketing content can be separated from the content itself. The report was sponsored by video marketing and analytics firm Vidyard and conducted by marketing researchers Demand Metric with Ascend2. 

3 Barriers to Delivering Omnichannel Experiences

2014-17-July-Caught-a-Fish.jpgI was recently searching for fishing rods for my 5-year old son and his friends to use at our neighborhood pond. I know nothing about fishing, so I needed to get educated. First up, a Google search on my laptop at home. Then, I jostled between my phone, tablet and laptop visiting websites, reading descriptions, looking at photos and reading reviews. Offline, I talked to friends and visited local stores.

The product descriptions weren’t very helpful. What is a “practice casting plug”? Turns out, this was a great feature! Instead of a hook, the rod had a rubber fish to practice casting safely. What a missed opportunity for the retailers who didn’t share this information. I bought the fishing rods from the retailer that educated me with valuable product information and offered free three to five day shipping.

What does this mean for companies who sell products across multiple channels? 

RelateIQ Buy Could Patch Salesforce's Analytics Gap

customer experience, Will Salesforce's RelateIQ Acquisition Patch its Data Analytics Gap?

Salesforce's $390 million acquisition of RelateIQ this week strengthens the CRM giant's customer data analytics offerings and could boost its marketing suite, industry analysts told CMSWire.

Salesforce Founder and CEO Marc Benioff (left) on Monday gobbled up the Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider that claims it's known for driving "relationship intelligence," rather than "relationship management."

"Salesforce needed to deepen its analytics offerings significantly, and this acquisition will do that," Michael Fauscette, group vice president of SBS for IDC, told CMSWire this week. "In particular, marketers/companies are looking for insight on prospects and customers to better market, sale and service those relationships."

The Good - and Perplexing - News About Corporate Social Media

Like many of us, corporate social media is maturing. But a new report from social consultancy Useful Social Media sends some confusing signs about social media's trends in companies.

"This year," The State of Corporate Social Media/2014 states, "we appear to have reached something of a fork in the road."

In this last three versions of the report, the firm noted, "it has been evident that social media use was scaling up rapidly across businesses around the world."

But now:

  • The size of the social media team is falling. Does this show that social is being dispersed within businesses, or that companies are losing their interest?
  • Fewer budgets are growing. Does this mean that infrastructure costs have already been covered, or that fewer companies are seeing a return?
  • Fewer KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being measured. Is this a sign of less interest in measurement, or just less interest in measuring KPIs as they relate to social?

Your Customers - Or Your Best Friends?

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How many best friends do you have among your customers? Do your customers consider your company to be among their best friends? If the answer to these questions is no, then it might be time to make some changes.

According to recent research from Silverpop, you don’t have to invite your customers out for dinner or send them holiday cards, although this might help. All you have to do is communicate with them. The research found that how a brand corresponds with its customers is at the heart of relationship building — and personalization is a business’ best tool.

Are You Up for the Omnichannel Challenge?

2014-16-July-Multi-Juggling.jpgIt’s no secret that we are living in an age of omnichannel engagement.  Customers today, empowered by a plethora of digital devices, can choose when, where and how they want to interact with brands. Millennials in particular expect their favorite brands to be easily accessible, all the time, via their channel of choice — SDL research indicates that 67 percent of millennials touch two different devices daily and 60 percent agree “it should feel the same when dealing with a company whether you’re online, in a store or on the phone."

Expectations are higher than ever for marketers to deliver.

Act-On's Enhancements Focus on Reporting, Responsive Design

Another marketing automation provider is diving deeper into the space with enhancements to its platform.

Act-On Software, a Beaverton, Ore- basedprovider cited by Forrester as one of the top in the industry, added capabilities today that officials there say give marketers flexibility and control to customize individual user experiences and reports based on unique business processes.

This time last year Act-On added inbound marketing capabilities and a new mobile app.  

Have You Soured on Mobile CRM? #salesvelocity2014

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Want to make more sales, see more sales activity across your enterprise or close more deals? Want to do it quickly and want to do it on the road? Selligy, a mobile customer relationship management (CRM) vendor, claims it is making it easier than ever by adding advanced revenue and other upgrades to its platform.

The company contends its recent upgrades close the gap between what many vendors say they offer in the mobile CRM space and what they actually deliver. This gap, Selligy CEO and co-founder Nilay Patel says, has lead many users to sour on mobile CRM, noting:

Many tools over promise and under deliver, souring users on mobile CRM. Some provide very simple apps, but then don’t support the actual business needs of real enterprises. Others just shove all 100 fields from the CRM app onto the phone, resulting in an unusable app."

How Customer Communities Bolster Support Teams

2014-15-July-Contact-Center.jpgThe business benefits of customer communities are well known: call deflection, search engine optimization (SEO), product ideation and even revenue growth. While some of these benefits directly benefit customer support teams, others benefit the broader organization.

Customer engagement helps sales teams drive incremental revenue, ideation helps inform the product roadmap for product management and SEO helps the marketing team rank higher for particular keywords. Ask customer support managers and they’ll tell you how customer communities can make their teams more valuable.

ScribbleLive Acquisition Shakes Up Content Engagement Market

A content engagement platform that powers real time content for major media markets just added a few muscles.

Toronto-based Scribble Technologies, whose ScribbleLive content engagement platform that powers brands such as Samsung, Shell, PwC, CNN and Reuters, announced today it acquired CoveritLive of DemandMedia. CoveritLive's client list includes Marvel, Ford, NFL, NHL, BBC, The Football League and Fox.

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.”

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.