HOT TOPICS: Customer Experience Marketing Automation Social Business SharePoint 2013 Document Management Big Data Mobile DAM

Latest Featured Articles News & Articles

The Holistic View of the Customer Experience

There's a consensus that if you want to be successful on line, you’re going to have to deliver an exceptional customer experience, something that leaves others trailing. Of course, there are many opinions on how to do that.

E-Spirit, for example, has a very particular notion of what customer experience involves. Many other vendors start by talking about technologies or silos. But for Oliver Jaeger, e-Spirit's vice president for global marketing and communications, it means the entire customer cycle from first contact to last sign-off.

While many companies just don’t get it that the whole process needs to be managed, e-Spirit is actively pursuing ways to provide that ultimate experience.

Getting Culture Right is Key to Modern Success

2014-19-December-Very-Important.jpg

Many companies start out being exceptional. But as they grow, there is a dark, powerful force that pulls them towards average. While many things can cause this, one of the most overlooked is an organization’s attention, or lack thereof, to fostering positive culture.

Whether you like it or not, organizations have a culture — a shared set of values and beliefs that help define the way that employees think and act at work. So, rather than letting it fall to the wayside, why not make it one you love? 

Keeping Document Content Accessible

2014-19-December-Letterpress.jpgWhy do we keep information in document files? Great question. From information theory, we understand that documents contain a lot of redundant content. A given file might exist for only one purpose — for example, to document the votes approving an internal project.

A Holiday Recipe for Successful Email Campaigns

2014-19-December-Baking.jpgThe holidays can be a particular challenge for email marketers as they face increased competition and the risk of over-saturating consumer inboxes with campaigns that may or may not be seen during the holiday crunch-time. If only there could be a reliable recipe for success, something as easy as one-part list hygiene, two-parts testing and “send” in small batches until done.

Is email marketing as easy as this? Well, no, but just like home cooks can feel like master chefs if they follow the instructions and use high quality ingredients, email marketers can greatly improve results if they stick to a tried-and-true recipe.

Digital River and Microsoft's Bumpy E-Commerce Road

2014-18-December-Bumpy-Road.jpg

It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Digital River. Its deadline to re-sign Microsoft to an extension of the Microsoft Operations Digital Distribution Agreement, which would continue Digital River provision of Microsoft Store’s e-commerce platform beyond March, 2015 came and went on Dec. 1. While only a handful of people might have noticed, the company made a bigger splash on Dec. 8 when it announced an extension of the negotiation timeframe until Dec. 19.

Digital River's stocks rose and fell with the ups and downs of the announcements, dropping almost 25 percent from its close of $25.51 on Friday, Dec. 5, to $19.71 on Monday, Dec. 8. The stock eventually bottomed at $16.58 on Dec. 11, a drop of 35 percent in less than a week. On the power of yesterday's news the stock closed at $24.08, a 45 percent jump from last week’s low.

Design and Refine Your Digital Business in 2015

2014-18-Dec-Mott-Image1.jpg

User experience was top of mind on Dec. 5, when nearly 150 business people, designers and technologists came together at Idean’s UX Summit in San Francisco. Two questions that I wanted to explore at the event: 1. How can UX design help digital business and customer experience success? and 2. Should all employees apply some design discipline to contribute?

The summit coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the start of Ernest Shackleton and his crew's epic attempt to traverse the continent of Antarctica. I couldn’t help but make a connection between the Endurance story and the challenges modern enterprise teams face with digital business and customer experience initiatives, often times ill-equipped and/or having to dramatically pivot en route, just to survive.

Technology Can't Ever Solve the Information Management Problem

2014-18-December-Unix.jpgWe’re in an exciting time for information management: cloud storage has become ubiquitous, mobile devices provide a functional (though not yet entirely optimal) experience for end users, disruptive entrants have pushed the envelope, venerable leaders have begun to execute on powerful innovations, and, at least in theory, managing information better seems to be an aspiration of organizations across nearly every vertical. Not to mention the vibrant community of information management practitioners available on the web through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more blog sites than you could ever hope to read.

Prediction for 2015: The Fall of People, Process and Technology

2014-18-December-Strike.jpgI don't know how many more years I'll be able to keep it up — every year I try to make predictions that are unique, bold and a little bit against the grain. Last year I predicted the rise of lefties, two years ago I went with big data finding an Andy Warhol all of its own. This year I'm going extra bold, and extra big: I predict an age old enterprise IT axiom — People, Process and Technology — will wane and emerge anew as People, Perseverance and Technology.

In the Future, We Will Still Need to Work

A lot has been written about the future of work. The tenor of some recent discussions resemble the social media hype from five years ago: lots of pretty pictures with little research or data behind the pictures. While there is valuable research and qualified researchers working in this area, the noise in the system is extreme. It takes effort and commitment to quality to conduct research, analyze results and it takes experience to understand the impact.

I wish I could simply state — "here I am, an expert, ready to set the record straight" — but that isn't the case. But I can call BS on specific points that have been written and are simply wrong. You can't talk about the future while ignoring facts, history and experience. Yes, the technology is changing rapidly and the human response to these changes is complex, but guesswork will not help us get through the evolution.

A Year of Employee Engagement Advice, Minus the BS

2014-17-December-Employee-of-Month.jpgHow a bold but simple act of respect helped turn one organization around.

Employee engagement matters. 2014 sent us a barrage of “5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement” and “7 Things Great Leaders Do” posts, and many of them had some good nuggets. We get it. You get it.

There have been studies and data that most employees aren't engaged and those that are drive a remarkable profit. Their customers are happier and so are their bottom lines.

Open Source Has Won: Now What's Your Strategy?

2014-17-December-World-Domination.jpgMany years ago, a friend who is a partner at McKinsey related a story from his years in grad school. He was at an AT&T presentation on Unix, held in a room full of bearded, jean-clad engineers and coders to hear about the wonders of Unix. He was standing in the back of the room in a jacket and tie, next to the other few coat-and-tie-attired attendees, who my friend characterized as IT managers from Fortune 100 companies.

During a break in the talk, one of the F100 folks leaned to another and whispered “I like everything I’ve seen about Unix — except the people in this room.”

Jump ahead 30 years. Have you ever been to an ApacheCon? It’s like living in the 70s all over again.

A Look at Product Management Tools [Infographic]

2014-16-December-juggling-balls.jpg

Like their sales and marketing colleagues, product managers are searching for new tools to help them use data better, particularly in order to create more customer-focused products, states a new field guide and infographic by SiriusDecisions.

The infographic – Product Management Tools and Technology Study 2015 – gives a snapshot of the tools and technologies product managers are using today, while the field guide – Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2015 – provides businesses with criteria they should consider when evaluating product management tools, as well as profiles 11 leading vendors against those criteria. 

“Product managers see their colleagues in sales and marketing becoming much more automated,” said Lisa Singer, research director for SiriusDecisions.

“They’re keeping their ears to the ground for tools that are going to help them understand the data, too. These tools allow them to grab hold of the data like their colleagues to better understand their customers, better understand their users, and better understand the ecosystems their products are working in.” 

Who Will Pay for Your Digital Analytics Program Next Year?

Central marketing or digital organizations are not necessarily funding digital analytics programs anymore. At least this is what I see with our clients and in a sampling of digital analytics programs.

Instead, funds are coming from the potential consumers of the data, reports, dashboards, analyses and recommendations that compose the typical digital analytics program product and service set.

And this has significant implications:

  1. You need to be customer focused…not simply focused on analytics for the sake of analytics
  2. You need to make multiple business cases to continue to do the work you want to do
  3. You need to sell the value that analytics has to business units that may be comfortable with using their existing methods and vendors (wrong as this may seem)
  4. You need to compete for tight budgets against other service competencies in your organization or agencies from the outside

2015 Forecast: The Sun is Out for Cloud Computing

2014-16-December-sun-in-cloudy-sky.jpg

The cloud space continues to evolve at an astounding pace. As recently as 12 months ago, we were still educating many clients about what they could achieve with cloud computing.

We tirelessly explained the differences and benefits of options such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). We also debated the suitability of various architectural alternatives, like private, public or hybrid cloud.

While there continues to be some mystique around the use of the cloud, it’s safe to say that many enterprises have successfully adopted it.

CDOs, CIOs and the Shared Goal of Agile Customer Experience

There’s been quite a bit of discussion lately of the rise of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). In fact, research firm IDC recently made headlines by predicting the CDO would supplant two-thirds of CIOs at global companies by 2020.

The rationale seems to be that CDOs will deliver the technology driven products and services, as well as leverage their experience in setting strategy, spurring innovation and developing relationships. Other than the pure semantic differences – and an attempt at a controversial headline — there is an important question buried in this research.

How can marketing and technology — or CDOs and CIOs — work in sync to provide the most agile powerful customer experiences?

Honest-to-God, Absolutely True Marketing Predictions for 2015

2014-15-December-grains-of-salt.jpg

The great thing about annual predictions is that we tend to forget about them by the time the next year rolls around. And that explains why every organization on the planet seems willing to gaze into a crystal ball this time of year. 

By this time next year, everyone will forget the predictions that went wrong — and a few lucky folks will have the luxury of basking in the glory of things they actually got right.

With that in mind, we're going to share some of the visions of digital marketing in 2015 that we've encountered in the past few days. Just take all of it with at least a few grains of salt. And be forewarned: we're predicting more stories on predictions in the days ahead.

Format-Based Navigation is a Symptom of Organization-Centricity

Navigation based on formats, tools or systems is a sure sign that an organization is not customer focused. 

The Importance of DocOps in the New Era of Business

Fail quick, fail often, recover quickly.”

This truism of DevOps has redefined the way that companies launch products. By destroying the invisible wall between developers — the left brain of the business — and operations, the logical troubleshooters, DevOps has created the ultimate digital product assembly line.

Now other departments are looking to this collaborative, just-in-time, iterative process as a framework for success.

What's Next for Big Data? Predictions for 2015

2014-15-December-crystal-ball.jpg

Some people believe it takes two full years for students to fully understand and master new concepts. The first year in the cycle, when a new concept is introduced, is considered a learning year. The following year is considered a growth and review year.

The thinking holds that while students technically learn about new concepts during the first year, it’s not until the second year that they can truly begin applying them in an active manner, one that displays measurable growth and development.

In many ways, the landscape of big data at the close of 2014 can be described in similar terms.

Generally speaking, 2014 was a learning year. IT decision makers across all verticals realized they could no longer ignore the changing landscape brought on by growth in the volume, velocity and variety of data. Investments were made and infrastructure was overhauled. After many years of pomp and circumstance, 2014 was the year big data finally become the infrastructure of reality.

8 Components of a Truly Integrated Digital Workplace

2014-15-December-eight-dogs.jpg

We are living through an age in which the digital environment of work is becoming much more important than the physical workplace. The digital workplace has the potential to transform how companies operate on the front line, how employees communicate and collaborate internally, and even what it means to be an employee.

Yet most organizations have digital workplaces that are equivalent to boxes of junk. Employees have to stumble through heaps of applications, each with a different interface and security protocol.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...