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5 Tips from Fantasy Football to Manage Digital Analytics Teams

2014-12-June-The-Other-Football.jpgI was recently having dinner with a former colleague and he reminded me that it was only four weeks until opening day of football training camp. Normally this wouldn't be important, except he's a rival in my fantasy football league and was clearly trying to impress me with his attention to player moves, injuries and variables that would influence his draft day picks. “After all of the March free agent signings, I don’t even know who’s playing for whom anymore,” he admitted.

It made me think that of the similarities between managing a fantasy football team and a digital analytics team.

Ways to Win - and Lose Prospects - with Content Marketing

Don't try to trick your readers. Just produce solid, honest content that can be corroborated.

When you're producing content for your company's blog or website, these are the pillars for success, according to Kentico Software CEO Petr Palas.

"Content emanating from all parts of a business must be consistent and honest in order to maintain the delicate trust of customers, especially in the age of the Internet where everything can be fact checked at the click of a button," Palas told CMSWire. "This just goes to show that content marketing and transparent marketing go hand in hand."

Some of the findings in Kentico's new Content Marketing Survey, the latest installment of Kentico’s ongoing Digital Experience research series, speak to these points about content marketing.

What Marketers Can Learn from a Rabbi's Use of Social Media

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Think "religious leader" — and you probably do not think "social media" in the same breath.

But then you haven't met Laura Baum, a founding rabbi and the chief operating officer of OurJewishCommunity.org and a rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Baum has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. She challenges assumptions about the nature of Jewish identity, community and religious ideas.

Through OurJewishCommunity.org — named by Slingshot as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations — Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology.

You don’t have to be Jewish or even religious at all to learn from her expertise in social media. "If we can revolutionize a 3,000-year-old product, I’m pretty sure almost any product or service can be re-imagined," she said.

Microsoft and CXM: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2014-12-June-Swings.jpgThere’s nothing quite so surprising in life as the about-face. You know how it is: someone or something spends years building up a certain set of expectations, and then — seemingly out of the blue — pivots almost completely away from those expectations to behave in a totally different manner. It’s the Beatles releasing Sergeant Pepper, Vince Vaughn playing a role other than “Vince Vaughn” or the English national team lining up in something other than a 4-4-2 (yes, that’s my timely World Cup reference for this column).

When it comes to a Customer Experience and digital marketing platform for internet sites, that’s exactly what Microsoft has done over the course of the last year. 

Open Source Search Goes Commercial

In early June the open source search business arguably came of age when Elasticsearch closed on a $70M tranche of Series C investment funding. Elasticsearch is supported by both an open source search community and a commercial search business. In November 2012 the company received $10M in a Series A investment funding which was followed by a further $24M in a Series B funding in February 2013 — making the total of investment funding now $104M.

Series C funding is usually seen as a substantial level of endorsement of the future of the company by the venture capital investment community. The next level, Series D, is seen as a prelude either to an Initial Public Offering or a trade sale.

Invite the Right People for Enterprise Social Network Success

Launching an Enterprise Social Networking Tool (ESN) can be daunting. But if you invite the right people to the initial launch, it can make a difference in the adoption and success of your ESN across your organization. There are a few types of people you'll want to invite as they all play important, but different roles in the organization. And if you want to get them really involved? Play to the WIIFM mentality: if people know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to get involved.

The Evolution of Marketing Automation

2014-11-June-Refrigerator.jpgAs a marketer, I have a different outlook on digital communications than most consumers.

I see the connections between omnichannel marketing strategies that trigger emails and display campaigns and site personalization tailored to me based on my previous behaviors. I understand how looking at a refrigerator on a major retailer’s website provides enough data to target me through marketing automation platforms via emails and Facebook campaigns, personalized to the model and prices that I viewed. I have witnessed the progression from one-sized fits all digital communication to the personalized experiences we have today.

I also realize how far we still have to go to reach the promise of true marketing automation — the optimization of customer management.

Does Google's Panda Pounce Have Any Bite?

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Just a few weeks ago, Google rolled out its latest Panda search-algorithm update — otherwise known as the search update that could destroy your business.

Ever since, experts in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world have been struggling to understand the potential impact.

But it turns out that few analysts can quantify the effects of the Panda update. In reality, Panda 4.0 may just be another overhyped move by the powerful Google.

Stop SharePoint Information Bleed Before It Starts

Eighty-three percent of SharePoint enterprises report actual security losses from user error.

Imagine for a second that you’ve left the world of technology. Suppose you decided to launch a new venture — a retail store, or a nightclub.

You spend a lot of time working on the floor plans, construction, architecture — even the menu. Your sign out on the highway has lots of flashing lights to attract visitors. On opening night you have thousands of people show up. There's a line around the block behind a red velvet rope. Everything feels like a smashing success.

Except you notice people aren’t staying as long as they can, and leave fairly early. Soon there's no one waiting to get in and you have plenty of empty space, not a lot of people. You're worried about all of those early exits — why did they leave? To prevent a similar situation, you try a new policy — no cover charge, but once in, you have to stay until 2 a.m. and cannot go anywhere else.

Marketing Automation Helps You Own the Experience

2014-10-June-Spongebob-Attacks.jpgWe've all been there: After buying something a bit goofy on Amazon or another online retailer — like a SpongeBob DVD box set for your kids — related merchandise chases you around the Internet with vexing results.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Anticipating people’s next moves online can vastly improve the user experience and is the holy grail of digital commerce. Usage of data and marketing is becoming sophisticated enough to mine people’s interests and social signals, and serve them what they are looking for at the right moment. And customers’ offline, online, mobile, desktop and brick-and-mortar experiences all come into play.

It's This Simple - and This Hard: Know Your Customer

2014-10-June-Hello.jpgAs someone who’s been deeply involved in using, implementing and analyzing various technologies that support Customer Experience Management strategies, I take CXM seriously – both professionally and personally. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how little most organizations actually know (or care to know) about their customers … and how annoying that can be for the said customers.

If you know me, you know I'm a frequent flyer of one of the major airlines in the world. I’ve spent many years and many miles flying with it. The company should know a lot about me, right? At the most minimalistic level, it should know my name and my phone number. And sometimes it does. But when it doesn’t, it’s the most confusing and baffling thing.

Online is Self-Service

Self-service is the essence of the web. People go online in order to solve problems and complete tasks on their own. 

Major League Baseball Team Used Tobii's Eye-Tracking Technology

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How often do Cleveland Indian fans look at the main scoreboard and LED signs at the team's ballpark? To find out, the team employed a device designed to take the guesswork out of marketing — the Tobii eye-tracking glasses.

The study leveraged Tobii’s researchers and wearable eye-tracking technology to provide team advertisers and sponsors with first-of-their-kind media values based on the actual fan experience. Tobii’s Insight team helped the Indians "develop and execute a comprehensive and cost-effective eye-tracking market research study that conveniently and accurately determined how often fans looked at in-park signage," the company maintains.

Stockholm, Sweden-based Tobii recently released version two of its proprietary glasses for wireless live eye tracking. The company claims its "real world gaze data" provides new opportunities for marketing, behavioral science and usability research that goes beyond the capabilities of the original model, which was released in 2010.

Clients include Microsoft, Time Warner, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, the US government and, yes, the Cleveland Indians.

Why Selectica Bolstered Contract Management With Iasta

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Selectica CEO Blaine Mathieu told us in April the latest version of his company's contract management solution is like CMS “on steroids.”

With the provider’s acquisition of Iasta this month, Selectica could be banned from Major League Baseball for steroid use.

Iasta, a Gartner leader in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites, brings to Selectica its suite for upstream procurement solutions. Selectica’s wants Iasta to complement its own contract management solution.

“We started as a strategic partnership, but it became apparent that we could be much more powerful together than apart,” CEO Mathieu said. 

5 Lessons About Big Data from Big Companies

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Big data is no longer the sole domain of big companies.

As the perception of big data moves from futuristic hype to real-world opportunity, the promise of improved decision making, increased operational efficiency and new revenue streams has more organizations actively engaging in data analysis projects than ever before.

That no longer just means more enterprise organizations, either. Midmarket companies are jumping on the big data bandwagon in a big way.

In fact, a recent survey by Competitive Edge Research Reports indicates an astounding 96 percent of midmarket organizations are either already in flight with a big data initiative or plan to start one in the next year. That’s a whole lot of companies whose big data projects are either going to sink or swim in the very near future.

If E-Commerce is Your Engine, Content is the Driver

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Remember when e-commerce was all we talked about?

Ten years ago, it seemed as if every company in the world was trying to figure out its "e-commerce strategy”. Analysts were touting the newest 3D catalogs, where shoppers could twirl images around to check out sizes and colors from all angles.

And it seemed like every day there was a new startup offering e-commerce related solutions. Then, the talk turned to social and content, and the search for e-commerce optimization declined.

Deployment Happens: Revolution by Evolution

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One hundred and four. That's the number to beat.

I use the number 104 because that's the number of keys on a physical keyboard. You know the keyboards I'm talking about.

Not the little touch based ones on your smart phone — the keyboards you use if you write and support the software that runs the Internet and makes it a fun and interesting place to play.

But here's the interesting thing. If you're as old as me or if you just like classic cartoons, you'll remember George Jetson of "The Jetsons" fame only had to press one button.

Do You Know When Your System Is Breached?

Information security professionals are always chasing to catch up with the bad guys.

Traditional information security (or cybersecurity) is focused on preventing unauthorized access to your network, systems, applications, infrastructure and data.

But, as we all know only too well, the people trying to get in are exposing and exploiting vulnerabilities faster than we can plug the holes. 

Surveys of security professionals around the globe report that more than 80 percent of companies know they have been hacked. The roughly 15 percent who did not report being hacked probably don’t know — they just haven’t detected it yet.

How Marketers Can Brace for Google Panda 4.0 Update

customer experience, How Marketers Must Prepare for Google Panda 4.0 Update

Here's how long marketers will wait to see effects on Google's update to its search results ranking algorithm:

About zero seconds.

In other words, it's already happening.

Google's search results ranking algorithm got another update last month as the Mountain View, Calif., search giant released Panda 4.0.

Marketers should take note, especially since more than 70 percent of searches online take place in Google.

"The effects are almost immediate," Seth Besmertnik, CEO and co-founder of web presence management provider Conductor, told CMSWire. "Years ago, algorithm changes took weeks to roll out, and you would sometimes have to wait months from when you make a change to see if it ‘worked’. But now this is almost instant. Our customers are seeing changes right away."

6 Steps to Drive Inbound Leads with Marketing Technology

2014-06-June-Hypnotized.jpgIf moving a prospect to a sale takes 10 steps, buyers are already on step seven before they even come in contact with your company.

That’s a serious game-changer for marketing managers and CMOs who are accustomed to luring prospects to their website for content and information. It’s no longer enough to have a great website: now that the entire web is one big library with everything served up equally, you have to provide great content in places outside your own website, where you have less control, in the hopes of driving inbound marketing leads.