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Transform Your Workplace for Millennials

2014-11-September-Transform.jpgThe millennial generation cannot be ignored: they are your employees, your customers and may even be your future employers. When you couple this generational evolution with the unfolding digital transformation, you see the heady mix that is transforming business models and activities.

For the millennial generation, work is what they do, not where they go. Rigid corporate structures are limiting factors that stifle creativity and innovation. Organizations have plenty of opportunities to learn from this digitally savvy generation.

Customer-Centric Content Journeys: Your Duct Tape Is Showing

2014-10-September-Quick-Fix.jpgGetting the right content to the right person at the right time was first evangelized by the programmatic ad buying platforms. It was a vision that stemmed directly from a doe-eyed interpretation of their capabilities.

Now content marketers have latched on to the same philosophy, without fully appreciating an important distinction: Content marketing, unlike ad buying, generally assumes an active and intelligent customer who wants to educate him or herself (not simply a target for the right sales reminder at the right time).

Content Management Vendors Pushing Shiny Objects

2014-10-September-Raccoon.jpgWe've all been to that conference. The vendor is announcing a new feature in their Content Management System (CMS). They pull up a screen shot or a recorded demo that is very pretty, touting how easy the feature is to use. Everything everyone has ever wanted in that feature is there in crisp, shining detail.

What isn’t shown is the level of effort to make that demo a reality.

WCM: Pick for the Process Instead of the Project

2014-10-September-Choice.jpgWeb content management has completely changed. Some people argue that “Web” is too small a word now, because of the “omnichannel” world we now have to populate with content. Others argue that it’s about the “digital experience” or the “customer experience.” Whatever it is – one thing that's clear is that the amount of content, along with the number of tools producing it, has increased significantly.

CMS Shopping? Solve Your Business Problems First

2014-09-September-Chicken-Egg.jpgContent management systems have been around for almost two decades, but we’re still talking about how much we hate them. They’re not intuitive to use, and many of their features probably sounded attractive during the sales process, but are never touched and often get in the way of ease of use.

A Look at the Top of Gartner's Mobile App Development World

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Customers want mobile apps. And providers are answering.

Gartner has chosen the providers it feels are best at enabling IT developers to create mobile applications for customers, partners and employees. It announced them in its Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms released this month.

It tabbed SAP, IBM, Kony, Adobe, Appcelerator and Pegasystems as the leaders in the space, followed by "challengers" Salesforce and MicroStrategy.

The "niche players" field is large: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, DSI, Motorola Solutions, Embarcadero, Verivo Software and ClickSoftware. Gartner also named Xamarin, Terelik and Sencha as "visionaries."

User Feedback: The Fuel Of The Experience Engine

2014-09-September-Suggestions.jpgUser feedback helps companies deliver the best products and services possible. Identifying needs, incorporating ideas and listening to customers questions are all ways to help solve problems and ensure development efforts remain focused on what really matters. By creating a conversational relationship, a company is able to better understand what it’s customers truly value.

Use Purpose-Driven Content to Create Buyer Experiences

2014-09-September-Buy-Now.jpgIt’s no secret that the information pools that buyers can tap are overflowing. It’s time, however, that we start looking at the customer buying process with a different perspective and begin focusing on purpose-driven content that creates distinguishing experiences for audiences.

Forrester Names Best in Cross-Channel Campaign Management

digital marketing, Forrester Tabs Its Best for Cross-Channel Campaign Management

Forrester Research has tabbed its software leaders for cross-channel campaigns, and it isn't a spot match of rival Gartner's.

Adobe, Infor, RedPoint Global and SAS Institute lead the pack for Forrester in its Wave for Cross-Channel Campaign Management for the third quarter, and IBM, Teradata and SAP are "strong performers."

Forrester also reported that Pitney Bowes and SDL "contend on certain capabilities but lag overall."

In its own multi-channel industry report — its Magic Quadrant in May — Gartner picked Adobe, IBM, SAS, Teradata and Oracle as leaders in the research firm's latest multichannel campaign management (MCCM) analysis. 

Gartner also named SAP a challenger and rated Salesforce, Marketo and Sitecore as visionaries. For niche players, Gartner selected Experian, SDL, Infor, RedPoint Global, Selligent, Pitney Bowes and Zeta Interactive.

As companies "struggle to consistently communicate with their customers across channels," according to Forrester in its recent Wave, "they need improved abilities to connect inbound and outbound campaigns and make decisions in one channel based on intelligence in another."

Bring Your Brand to Life with Interactive Storybuilding

2014-08-September-Play.jpgFrom desktop, to mobile, to tablet, to TV, to even over-the-top platforms, consumers are forcing advertisers to scramble in order to keep their media strategy on par with their behavior — and tell a better story. Because whether it’s a book, a movie or a marketing campaign, great storytelling will always resonate with audiences. However, today’s consumers don’t want to just hear a story, they want to interact with it.

Artificial Intelligence is Resurrecting Enterprise Search

2014-08-Sept-Oleson-Image1.jpgThe future of enterprise search is bright. Recent announcements show enterprise search is taking a number of different forms. Microsoft has been stirring things up in the cloud with Delve — the next generation Office Graph, based on search-driven discovery of activities and feeds. And some unlikely partnerships have been announced to combine consumer mobile technology with an enterprise injection. I'm ready for an enterprise search that understands me and gives me results based on my interests, location and social distance (i.e., people I work with the most). We've also seen the use of voice for search gain popularity as the lines between work and life blur.

Discussion Point: Why are We Still Stuck on Email?

discussion-pointEmail: productivity's favorite punching bag. The complaints against email are well known. It's a time suck and ineffective for large scale communication, yet most of us still turn to it on a daily, if not hourly basis to communicate with others (with some notable exceptions succeeding without).

Some companies are experimenting with banning email communication during non-work hours while others have banned internal email

If email is truly the scourge that it is painted out to be, what explains its holding power? 

Using the Core Model and Top Tasks to Design Better Web Navigation

The essence of the Core Model design process is that you focus primarily on the top tasks of your customers. You make sure they can solve their problem, complete their task. You design inside-out, from the task outwards.

Millennials are - Really! - Growing Up: Is Your Marketing Ready?

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Everyone has to grow up eventually, even members of the generation pejoratively known for living in their parents’ basements.

Millennials may have enjoyed an extended childhood compared to past generations, but key indicators show they are behaving more like adults these days, said Bryan Melmed, vice president of Insights Services for advertising intelligence provider Exponential Interactive.

The problem is many marketers are still treating them like they’re digging in the sandbox.

The 'Drives Race' - The Battle for Cloud-Based File Storage

2014-05-September-Buy-of-the-Week.jpgInspiration comes from strange places. Last week on the radio I heard a DJ talking about how he still uses his VCR (for those of you that are too young to remember, that is what preceded DVRs). My first memory of VCRs was in a commercial that ran during an interview with Ronald Reagan. Although I was too young to understand the point, Reagan spent much of the interview discussing how we must rebuild our military, which was later branded by pundits as another “Arms Race.” Hence the name for this post. But back to the VCR ….

In that commercial, the VCRs were advertised for upward of $500 (that’s around $1000 in today’s money), but as more options came out, prices started falling. When DVDs came out, VCRs dropped under $100 and it seemed that they would soon be relegated to the scrap heap next to record players. Yet many households still have VCRs (and record players). Mine is disconnected, sitting in a cardboard box and likely doesn’t even work, but I am not throwing it away. The thing is, I still have a lot of tapes. Between kids’ birthday parties, family dinners and even videos of my old dog, I feel better knowing it’s there.

Cloud-based storage (and Drives in particular) share many similarities with VCRs.

Personalization in the Age of the Marketing Cloud

2014-05-September-You.jpgDigital marketers are under pressure to deliver personalized experiences, but what does personalization really mean?

True personalization is about delivering a completely contextually relevant experience at the 1:1 level. By collecting consumer information across all channels, digital marketers can create a holistic profile for each consumer, enabling the marketer to deliver that optimal and personalized experience.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you need a refresher course, here’s a breakdown of a few common techniques that marketers use to deliver personalization.

Deliver Your Brand's Promise with Content Marketing

2014-05-September-Delivery.jpgWhat do your customers think about your brand? How is your brand different to them than your competitors? What is the first thing they think of when they hear your brand's name? Or do they not even recognize it?

How We Topped YouTube Search Results

2014-04-September-Cat-Balloon-Guess-What-Happens-Next.jpgYouTube processes more than 4 billion searches a month, making it the second largest search engine of today. While you might think of YouTube as a platform for entertaining cat videos, the fact that YouTube videos often make it into Google's natural search results pages makes them an increasingly important part of your marketing strategy. If your videos aim to educate your market about new services or features and provide guidance about how to use them, this channel becomes essential.

Design Efficiency into Your DAM Workflows

2014-04-September-Flow.jpgAre you maximizing the value of your digital asset management (DAM)? Understanding the complexities of DAM lifecycles and building efficient workflows can be a daunting task. DAM vendors often do a very good job of getting the DAM up and running, but do not have the deep understanding of your assets and business needs.

It's Time to Adopt Customer Journey Thinking

2014-04-September-Gas-Station-At-Night.jpgMost companies don’t really understand their customers. “Big data” is not the answer. Even if organizations collect piles of data from every customer interaction, they still aren’t getting a full picture of what’s going on. 

What’s the path to deep customer insight? Customer Journey Thinking. Organizations must stop looking at customers through their internal lens of interactions and focus their attention on customers’ overall journey.