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Latest Customer Experience News & Articles

ESPN Slam Dunks Its Public API

2014-26-August-In-The-Air.jpgSay it ain't so, Joe! API fans everywhere suffered a heartbreaking defeat when one of the most prominent public content APIs packed it in and said there might not be a next season.

Say What? Most Consumers Clueless About the Internet of Things

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A lot of businesses and marketers spend a lot of time developing strategies around the Internet of Things (IoT). But guess what?

Recent research from the Acquity Group shows most consumers are clueless about the IoT — and companies and brands may be putting the cart before the horse by trying to sell smart technologies to consumers.

In fact, the research shows ignorance about the IoT is the biggest barrier to adoption. A stunning 87 percent of the people surveyed don’t know what it is — and consequently can't see any value in it.

Digital Marketing Consultant 'Lucky' As Napa Quake Rocks Home

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As a digital marketing consultant, Andreas Mueller-Schubert knows a bit about the technology revolution.

But around 3 a.m. this past Sunday morning in his Napa, Calif. home, technology was no help. It was him, his wife and two children and Mother Earth.

Mueller-Schubert and family live just 10 miles outside of the epicenter of the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked Northern California this past weekend, the largest in the Bay Area since 1989.

"Everyone was a little shocked. The kids haven't experienced anything like this," said Mueller-Schubert, a German-born digital marketing consultant for WSI Next Gen Marketing who lives with his wife Georgia, daughter, Annika, 20, and son Zachary, 19.

Everyone's OK — but the family's home saw plenty of shattered glass and some damage in the garage.

Is It the Right Time for HubSpot's $100M IPO?

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Digital marketing technology is all the rage in the CRM space and HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah must believe Wall St. knows that.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider filed for an IPO late today hoping to raise as much as $100 million. It will trade as HUBS on the New York Stock Exchange.

The IPO market for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors is lukewarm at the moment. But investors like General Catalyst, which owns 27.1 percent of the company, and Matrix Partners, which owns 17.1 percent, must think that now is the time.

Move Over, Google AdWords?

Amazon may be trying to step on Google's online advertising toes.

The online web shopping giant is producing software for placing ads online much like its long-time cyber nemesis does so well with Google Adwords, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

What will they do? Replace ads on its own pages that Google owns with its own.

Parents Aren't the Only Winners When Kids Return to School [Infographic]

2014-25-August-vintage-back-to-school.jpgAs a major office store so accurately suggested in a TV ad a few years ago, it's back to school season … the most wonderful time of year for parents everywhere.

But before the kids are back on the bus, crowded into classrooms and discovering all new reasons to whine and complain, parents have to engage in the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping.

While many parents look at back-to-school shopping as rituals in frustration, they are important drivers of revenue for companies and brands. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Back-to-School Survey, the average family with children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade will spend more than $669 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from the nearly $635 average last year.

Total spending on back to school will drop slightly to $26.5 billion because the survey found there are slightly fewer students in households this summer.

So what do marketers need to know?

Rocket Fuel to the Moon and Back

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Investors in ad-tech specialist Rocket Fuel have been on quite a thrilling ride. Drawn by the buzz of the company’s automated platform, which uses artificial intelligence and big data analytics to purchase ad spots on digital exchanges, traders last September rushed into the IPO: the stock was priced at $29 and opened at $59.95.

Rocket Fuel shares by late January were at a new post-IPO high of $71.89, a gain of 147 percent from the offering price. Today, they change hands at around $14.50.

So what caused Rocket Fuel to run out of gas?

Discussion Point: Can One Firm Provide Complete Digital Experience?

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The complete digital experience from one digital provider. Ah, sounds refreshing, doesn't it?

Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe being locked into one vendor sounds scary.

The truth is — most experts think the industry is far from having an all-in-one.

Forrester Research reported this in its first Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms last month. It determined no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

Heck, when even vendors admit they don't offer the complete digital package, you know it's the truth.

"Our end goal is a common user interface for everything end-to-end," one software company product manager told Forrester researchers. "Currently we only have that for the first third of the journey."

We asked three professionals in the digital industry to weigh in on this question of "all-one-in."

'Lizard Squad' Targets Sony in New DDoS Attack

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Today brought more hacker woes for Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) and Sony Entertainment Network in the form of a crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoSattack from a vandal collective known as "Lizard Squad.”

In addition, the FBI is investigating the diversion of a flight carrying a top Sony executive amid reports of a claim that explosives were on board. An American Airlines flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley from Dallas to San Diego was grounded because of a bomb threat.

It appears that the same group behind the current PlayStation Network outage is responsible for the bomb threat on flight 362, which was safely diverted to Phoenix. The group, in fact, retweeted Smedley's tweet: 

Week in Review: Buy or Build Your Marketing Cloud + Gartner's Hype Cycle Kings

Wishes for the CMO
A study of chief marketing officers reveals some interesting contrasts between their optimism and their realities.

Marketing, Meet Technology
The chief marketing technologist was the center of attention at this week's #MarTech. And we got people talking.

Social Business Done Right
What differentiates the companies that capture the full value of social technologies from those that do not?

Next Stop for Oracle: Social
Oracle has added Social Station to its social relationship management suite.

Gartner's Hype Cycle Leaders
Believe the (Gartner) hype about leading digital technologies? 

Market Liked Ballmer Exit
Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft's board. Stock price rises 39 percent since he left as CEO. Coincidence?

60 Seconds Could Cost You Millions
The problem with Web CMS and how to fix it.
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Part II: Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud? What Practitioners Say

digital marketing, Part II: Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud? What Practitioners Say

Scott Brinker's marketing technology landscape graphic is the face of the space. It captured plenty of air time at Brinker's first Marketing Technology Conference in Boston this week.

Isaac Wyatt built his very own marketing technology landscape at New Relic, a San Francisco-based real-time application monitoring platform. It includes the approximate 30 technologies he uses to get his job done.

Sums it up, right? More than 1,000 digital marketing platforms in more than 40 categories. At the heart of it all is the "buy vs. build your marketing cloud" debate, sparked this week at #MarTech by presenter Travis Wright, chief growth officer for MediaThinkLabs.

Yesterday, we caught up with vendors on buy vs. build. Today, we conclude our series with marketing veterans who have had to face the question themselves.

How to Get Started in Web Experience Personalization

2014-21-August-PaintedLadies.jpgAll savvy marketers — along with most shoppers — understand the advantages of personalizing websites. Netflix, Amazon and other companies have trained us to expect a shopping experience tailored just for us.

When we get something else, reactions can range from mild disappointment to utter frustration. Shoppers take their business elsewhere. Click. Click. Gone.

This phenomenon has spilled over to B2B marketing, where business buyers expect the same sort of shopping experience that they have in their personal lives. Is that unreasonable?

No, says Noah Logan, senior vice president of Upland Software and the general manager of its Clickability unit, which provides services to NBC, Cantor Fitzgerald and about 500 others sites around the world. He spoke Thursday in a CMSWire webinar titled "5 Effective Ways to Personalize Web Experiences." The session was sponsored by Clickability.  (Click to watch)

Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud?

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Nearly 400 attended the first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston this week to make sense of the more than 1,000 digital marketing technologies in more than 40 categories available today.

Bottom line: marketers want digital technology that works for their organizations. Easily, the most bantered about topic these past two days in Boston boiled down to one question:

Buy or build your marketing cloud?

Much like a little tea party here in this city 241 years ago, you had your division at #MarTech this week. 

Today, in the first of a two-part series, we catch up with the guy who got the debate going and two providers who sell marketing technology. To conclude the series, we'll talk to digital marketers who've had to make the buy versus build decision.

Content Development is No Walk in the Park

2014-21-August-Dandelion.jpgIn all of the project talk and planning around usability, design, technologies, etc., it's easy to lose sight of the content and the fundamentals that drive it. Those other elements are important to a website project, but content drives the project. The problem is when content development becomes a line item, it gets treated like one.

HARO Founder Peter Shankman: Still Crazy After All These Years

Connecting with Bill Sobel

You have to wonder what it feels like to be described as the guy who "redefined the art of networking" … " "a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media and then some" … or, better yet, "crazy but effective."

But Peter Shankman has earned all those descriptions and more — a not so surprising feat, given the way he describes himself. How's that? Try "a spectacular example of what happens when you merge the power of pure creativity with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) along with a dose of adventure, and make it work to your advantage."

An author, entrepreneur and public speaker, Shankman has been recognized for his thoughts on marketing, customer service, advertising, public relations and social media.

Tweets That Capture the Heart of Digital Marketing #MarTech

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Bravo to Scott Brinker and the folks putting on the first Marketing Technology Conference in Boston this week.

Great speakers. Great diversity. Great content. Great networking.

But let's face it — there's some great tweeting, too. Much of live-event action these days happens in the Twitterverse.

Here, we dive in with some of our favorites:

Connected Enterprises Provide Better Customer Service

Networking your organization — making it more agile, more enabled and more responsive — makes a ton of sense from a practical perspective. From an operational perspective, however, it is much more difficult. Microsoft introduced the catch phrase of “working like a network” through a video for its enterprise social offering. But “working like a network” goes beyond just the social channel — and permeates every department within the entire organization.

So how does an organization transform how they work? How do you put the concept of working like a network into practice? Let’s look at the three key components of “working like a network” that Microsoft mentions, how organizations can support these components and how they will help create alignment across the company to serve your customers.

Netbiscuits Launches Routing Device for Adaptive Mobile Experiences

In a time when mobile devices outnumber PCs, having a mobile-optimized web presence is no longer considered a luxury, but a necessity. Data from ComScore revealed that in January of this year, Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet — for the first time in history. Moreover, according to The Diffusion Group, a quarter of all broadband households in the US also own a TV set with internet connectivity, making the ability for a company’s website to adapt its user experience beyond the PC more important than ever before.

Customer Service on Stage: 3 Ways to Avoid Brand Failure [Infographic]

2014-19-August-Stage-Fright.jpgBusiness leaders across the globe have confirmed that, in the midst of stiff competition and growing customer expectations, customer and field service differentiation is key to growing revenue and delivering an excellent customer experience. These are the findings of two new reports and an infographic released by SAP SE and The Service Council (TSC).

The reports, “Service Transformation: The Business Case” (pdf) and “Reviewing Field Service Strategy: Aligning Focus and Execution,” (pdf) provide important insights that executives should consider in redefining customer service and field service strategy.