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The Secret to Keeping a VP of Sales Happy

The relationship between the VP of Marketing and the VP of Sales is one of the most important, yet least cherished, organizational dynamics. Too often a source of conflict, the benefits of prioritizing and closing this departmental divide — and fostering a state of functional harmony — is crucial to any company's ambitions. 

Dan Schawbel: 'You Have to Spend More on Marketing than Content'

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Dan Schawbel has been called “the millennial version of Tom Peters” — a consultant, writer, columnist and public speaker known for his energy, influence and ideas.

Schawbel is a young man with a long resume: he's the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, the author of two bestsellers, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future and Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success and a columnist at both Time and Forbes.

He's been featured in more than 1,000 media outlets, from “The Today Show” on NBC to “The Nightly Business Report” on PBS, and has spoken at some of the world’s most prestigious companies including Google, IBM, Time Warner, CitiGroup, McGraw-Hill and Siemens, as well as some of the most notable schools … Harvard, Stanford, Cornell and MIT. 

He was named to Inc. Magazine's 30 Under 30 List in 2010, the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2012 and described by BusinessWeek as someone entrepreneurs should follow on Twitter.

Why should you care? Because he understands social media, personal branding and that ever elusive millennial workforce, among other things.

Missing the Boat on IT and Technology

2014-29-April-Ship-Launch.jpgWhen you look at surveys of CEOs, such as the one by PwC in 2014, McKinsey in 2013 and IBM in 2012, they reflect what we should all know: that the innovative use of technology is one of, if not the primary, enabler of business innovation these days.

Whether it’s connecting with the customer (as referenced by IBM), obtaining market insights (through analytics including big data analytics — see this discussion of a McKinsey report), or simply finding new ways to deliver products and services to customers, technology is a critical driver of business success.

Ex-Skype CMO: Leadspace is the 'Industry's Best Kept Secret'

customer experience, Former Skype, Salesforce CMO on B2B Marketing Challenges

It’s pretty cool being the chief marketing officer of a company whose product owns a third of the international market in its space. 

We know. We asked. 

Doug Bewsher led the marketing teams at Skype as the instant messaging and video-chat service grew to 750 million users, including owning a third of all international calls. Microsoft bought it in 2011 for $8.5 billion.

“Skype is one of the great success stories in terms of being one of the most pervasive brands on the Internet,” said Bewsher, whose appointment as CEO of B2B social demand generation provider Leadspace became official today. “… We had a vision of breaking down barriers to communication.”

Helping Employees Deliver the Omnichannel Experience

Business as usual today often means the customer experience starts with the mobile experience. Smart organizations are building omnichannel solutions to provide a consistent user experience across multiple channels, with the knowledge that mobile may be the starting point of the customer journey. 

While we see a lot of debate around what strategies to adopt in order to complete a successful BYOD or Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) roll out, what remains overlooked is how employee-facing apps, especially mobile point of sale apps, can be built in alignment with the omnichannel strategy.

How Consumer Collaboration Solved the Case of the Grumpy Fliers

How Consumer Collaboration Solved the Case of the Grumpy FliersBig data can tell marketers what consumers are doing, buying or rejecting. But it cannot tell you why any of those things are happening. This is the story of how a company can turn that data into useful information to drive innovation by actually collaborating with consumers. In this case, the approach helped an airline solve the case of the grumpy fliers. Here’s how:

Mobile Steps Out of its Second-Class Role

First it was desktop computers. Clunky, rooted, desktop computers.

Then came laptops (which several customer service representatives have informed me are no longer called laptops, hence the extreme heat felt while using the computer on my lap was my own misuse of the tool and not a defect of the battery. But that's a story for another day).

Then came smartphones and not too long after tablets, many of which belonged to the employee. A much abbreviated timeline of employee's computer workstations, sure, but suffice it to say that companies still struggle with how to meet employee expectations for mobile.

Rocky Mitarai, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Connect, took some time out to explain where the potential lies when you provide workers with the right technology and why mobile should no longer be treated as a second-choice.

Is the Big Data Backlash Real?

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Earth be still.  Big data has lost its luster.

Could it be that analyzing terabytes, exabytes and zettabytes of information won’t make us smarter … or, even worse, could it make us wrong?

We’re beginning to see headlines like “Google and the flu: how big data will help us make gigantic mistakes” in the Guardian, “Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data” in the New York Times and “Big Data: Are we making a big mistake?” on author and Financial Times columnist’s Tim Harford’s site.

If you believe what you read, then big data isn’t the ticket that we once thought it was.

Or, maybe it still is, say a whole host of others. They’ll likely point out that “big data” is simply resting in Gartner’s “trough of disillusionment” at the moment, because, as with most new technologies, the number of failures outweigh the number of successes early on.

So, if you buy Gartner’s theory, we’ll slowly but surely, learn to do big data better, climb out of the trough and onto the Slope of Enlightenment where it will become more and more embraced by the mainstream.

Big data will present us with tremendous new insights, just not quite yet.

5 Steps to Effectively Manage Your Mobile, Social Workforce

5 Steps to Effectively Manage Your Mobile and Social WorkforceWhat was the first thing you reached for before getting out of bed this morning? Your smartphone, right? You had to look up your calendar, latest updates on your Facebook wall and maybe peek at emails sitting in your inbox.

The explosive growth of mobile and social technology is no surprise: It is a natural evolution of how we as humans interact. Mobile and social technology has provided us with the ability to organize, and connect faster and better than ever before. It’s not just a vehicle for connecting with old friends or keeping up with the latest celebrity news, but rather a powerful tool that helps people unite, mobilize and act on a global scale. It’s been the voice of revolutions, united people across the world to bring disaster relief to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, and has been responsible for placing worldwide attention to social, political and environmental issues.

It's Not Voodoo. It's Tag Management

It's Not Voodoo. It's Tag ManagementWhat if I told you that you could harmonize the facets of your fragmented marketing technology stack? What if I said you could more easily share customer context across those technologies? What if you could add, remove and change the technologies you use, without involving the IT department? Sounds like voodoo, right?

Top Tasks at Dutch Local Councils and Municipalities

The best governments in the world take as little time as possible from their citizens. Simplicity thrives on transparency. Corruption thrives on complexity.

The Holes in the Enterprise Cloud's Silver Lining

2014-25-April-Pop-Quiz.jpgPop quiz time.

Take out your #2 pencil and select the best answer that completes the following sentence.

Cloud services will revolutionize ______________.

  • A. the way software gets delivered.
  • B. the way software is licensed, by becoming a "pay as you go" option.
  • C. the way workers access services.
  • D. IT implementation, support and infrastructure costs.
  • E. the way business gets done, by letting mobile workers access information anytime, anywhere.
  • F. All of the above.

Unless you have been hiding out in a fallout shelter for the last five years, you probably picked “F. All of the above.” And if you did, you would be correct.

Is the Web CMS Market Seasonal?

Is the Web CMS Market Seasonal?What do the four seasons have to do with web content management? 

Just as we start piling on layers come late fall or make plans for vacations in August, if we know the peaks and troughs of demand in our industry vertical we can focus efforts and budget spends at the right time of the year. And depending on how seasonal our industry is, we can decide whether to use month-to-month progress reports (January vs. February) or year-over-year (January 2014 vs. January 2013).

Finding the Middle Ground Between Mobile Employees and IT

Finding the Middle Ground Between Mobile Employees and ITExecutive leadership and IT eye mobile technology as a meaningful way to empower their workforce, enticed by the long list of benefits such as higher productivity and faster decision making. Human connectivity is a big draw as well — the increased personal communication creates a closer sense of community and excitement from working collaboratively leads to inspiration, innovation and a greater sense of engagement.

Marketers Need to Own Their Tech Decisions

Marketers Need to Quarterback Their Tech DecisionsThe marketing team’s role within a company, particularly that of the CMO, has evolved drastically over the last year. Being able to market in its most traditional sense is no longer the key: businesses expect marketers to become digital and technology leaders.

The marketing department now consists of technology builders, who have to create new channels (websites, mobile apps, Facebook apps, etc), implement new tracking systems (marketing automation, CRMs, mobile analytics) and integrate these into their customers’ experiences. More importantly, they have to quantify each step of the marketing funnel.

The Rise of the Digital Workplace

Business adoption of social tools may be subject to debate. What is not, is its adoption of digital. Employees’ sense of their workplace, workmates and tools for getting work done is increasingly digital. This is true independently of how social a company is or is not. The vast majority of employees only hear from their leadership electronically, if at all. Similarly their primary or only relationship with many of their peers may now be digital.

We've Got the Scoop on Enterprise Mobility

2014-24-April-scoop-on-mobile-enterprise

Maybe your employer doesn’t know what you’re up to on the mobile devices you use for work, but we do.

OK, we admit it, we’re not talking specifically about you, and our knowledge isn’t first hand.

But we did get a peek at the findings of the world’s first report focused purely on enterprise mobility, cellular data and trends. It was brought to us by Wandera, which provides a mobile Data Gateway aimed at ensuring a productive and secure mobile Internet experience for businesses.

Will IBM's Mail Next Stand Out in Enterprise Email?

social business, Could IBM's Mail Next be a Standout in Enterprise Email Land?

IBM claims its Mail Next email platform is about having fun and making things easy on people who are trying to get work done.

Will it be?

We won’t know until at least the fourth quarter when Big Blue releases it under the Connections brand.

We do know this: People are interested. Tweets exploded when IBM announced the product at its January IBM Connect conference in Orlando. Today's webinar on Mail Next sold out.

“We still believe we’re ahead of the market in our ability to help users prioritize what they need to focus on,” Kramer Reeves, director of Messaging & Collaboration Solutions for the IBM Software Group, told CMSWire this week. “We think Google is trying to do this, but I don’t think they’re there yet.”

Why Hortonworks' Hadoop Pitch May Be Perfect

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Hortonworks business strategy certainly has its naysayers. They claim the venture capital backed company won’t be able to generate the kind of revenues Wall Street investors expect without selling proprietary software that compliments or extends open source Apache Hadoop or any other open source software, for that matter.

This sort of talk falls on deaf ears at Hortonworks.

“Our strategy is to build out (Hadoop and Hortonworks Data Platform aka HDP) in open source so that it resonates and deeply increases value for our partners, our customers and for us,“ said Shaun Connolly, vice president of Corporate Strategy at Hortonworks.

How One UK Company is 'Reinventing Commerce'

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Philip Letts likes to say he is "reinventing how businesses do commerce." He's CEO of UK-based blur Group — an "s-commerce company," as he explains it. In this case, the "s" stands for business services. The company developed a platform for buying business services.

Letts said his company's Global Services Exchange uses its proprietary platform to help about 45,000 business users in 145 countries buy, sell and deliver core business services and take advantage of Software-as-a-Transaction to pay for these projects.

The company was founded in 2006 and the Global Services Exchange was formally launched in January 2010. Back then, Letts said, just around three projects per month were submitted. Now, nearly 300 projects start on the Exchange each month.

Customers include Danone, Broadridge, Exceed, HCA, Momentive, Red Commerce, the Financial Times, Berlitz, Butlins, GE Healthcare and Tyco.

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