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Crm News & Analysis

Are Best-Of-Breed Customer Experiences Really Best?

2014-6-17 e-spirit.jpgAt the end of May, e-Spirit upgraded its web CMS offering to make it easier for content creators to provide personalized content. It followed hot on the heels of the v5.1 release which aimed to significantly boost companies online time to market and improve the overall customer experience.

Both announcements form part of a wider strategy to offer users a best-of-breed web CMS. E-Spirit has from the start pursued the best-of-breed approach as opposed to creating an enterprise suite. But why best-of-breed?

We asked Oliver Jaeger, vice president for global marketing and communications at e-Spirit why his company has consistently taken this approach and where this strategy will take the company in the future.

Here are the 4 Steps to Customer Success

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The hottest job title in marketing right now may be "Customer Success Officer," though there remains some debate about exactly what that means.

For example, it's fair to ask: Is customer success management  different from customer support or  customer relationship management?

Obligingly, Forrester's consulting arm  issued a paper entitled "How to Get Started with Customer Success Management." It should serve as a handy primer for those who want a state-of-the-art interpretation of this emerging marketing strategy.

The paper, sponsored by Gainsight -- a big fish in this still-small pond -- even provides a nifty, four-step process for building a customer success program that will be a revenue-generation operation instead of an extension to existing cost centers.

Watch Out! Microsoft Released Dynamics Marketing Today

customer experience, Watch Out! Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Released Today

Hey Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe and other big marketing software providers who feel they should be mentioned in this sentence:

Microsoft's here. Today. Consider the space shaken up.

Living up to its promise to deliver on the new Microsoft Dynamics marketing platform by this quarter, Microsoft announced today new capabilities in marketing, customer care and social listening. It comes as part of the Redmond, Wash., giant's Microsoft Dynamics CRM spring wave of updates in 54 markets and 42 languages.

This new releases are integrated with Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, Lync, Skype, SharePoint and Power BI for Office 365. 

Microsoft Ups Mobile, Cloud Play with Capptain Buy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock with your ears plugged for the past three months, you’ve heard Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella preaching the gospel of Mobile and Cloud, Mobility in the Cloud and so on.

Today his wallet did the talking.

This morning Microsoft announced that it has purchased Capptain, a Paris-based mobile, push analytics startup that provides marketers and customer relationship managers with the tools they need to react to user behavior in milliseconds and to then deliver the right message at the right time, creating engagement and the feeling of being cared for.

Cloud Disruption in the Call Center

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The $22-billion call center market — dominated by legacy solutions from Avaya, Cisco Systems and Genesys — is ripe for disruption. Of the estimated 14.5 million call center agents worldwide, 95 percent of them still sign into on-premise offerings.

However, thanks to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of as much as 40 percent and relatively easy implementations, the transition to the cloud has already begun: It’s estimated that within two years the cloud penetration rate in call centers will reach 13 percent.

At this month’s JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9, an emerging provider of on-demand software for contact centers, explained that the migration to the cloud is tied to the refresh cycle for on-premise solutions. Instead of spending big bucks to upgrade to the latest legacy offerings, the refresh often acts as a trigger opportunity to bring call centers to the cloud.

E-Spirit CMS Promises to Improve User Experience

Content is still king. With the version 5.1 release of its FirstSpirit Content Management System (CMS), e-Spirit re-affirms its commitment to that principle.

Good content means good customer experiences, and good customer experiences helps to retain customers, the company maintains.

New Alliance Wants to Make Customers 'Zealots' #PulseConf2014

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Collecting big data without creating ways for employees to use it is like saving big money without having anyplace to spend it -- impressive, perhaps, but useless.

Gainsight appears to have drawn the same conclusion. It just announced an alliance with five data services that is designed to empower employees and transform customers into zealots.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based customer success company today unveiled Gainsight Connect at Pulse2014, a trade show in San Francisco that it cosponsors with Salesforce, Hoopla, Zuora, Infer, Service Rocket, Fliptop, the Customer Success Association and others.

Taking CRM to the Next Level with the Internet of Things

With all of the talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s easy to get lost in the possibilities of the future. But right now, as you’re reading this article, you should already be devising a plan to integrate connected devices into your business processes.

Demandbase Invests in B2B Marketers with Cloud Release

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The difference between B2B and B2C marketing is simple: all web traffic amounts to potential customers in B2C, and B2B relies on targeted audiences even down to a particular department within a company.

That’s how B2B digital marketing provider Demandbase sees it. Today, it releases its B2B Marketing Cloud, which it calls the first subscription-based marketing platform that helps marketers target accounts, plan ad spending and tie acquisition costs for target accounts to revenue.

In the new offering, Demandbase pulled together several solutions and introduced Performance Manager, a dashboard that brings ad impressions, website activity and CRM data into one unified view. 

“We plug into CRM marketing solutions you already have in place to make them more B2B enabled,” Chris Golec, CEO of San Francisco-based Demandbase, told CMSWire.

CRM Is More than Cool: It's Profitable

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Last month, Gartner said it right out loud: "Customer Relationship Management is Cool." This month it's following that up with data that shows the global CRM market is worth $20.4 billion.

The research also shows Salesforce is the single biggest player in the space.

However, there is also good news for SAP -- which remains the second biggest player, as well as Microsoft. While Microsoft only accounts for around 7 percent of the market, it grew a staggering 22.8 percent year-over-year and is heading toward a much, much bigger piece of the pie.

Microsoft Dynamics Will 'Capture Marketers Imaginations'

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So the Big Guy is coming to marketing sometime this quarter.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. A 35-country launch. Ten languages. Scared yet?

“We’re really going to capture marketers’ imaginations around our customer and marketing analytics,” said Jamie Fiorda, director of Worldwide Product Marketing at Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft.

“Every marketer is trying to prove his value and prove his investments are making an impact. What we can do with Microsoft Excel through Power BI is truly beautiful, amazing and simple.”

Will an industry drowned in marketing software bite on Bill Gates’ old stomping grounds? Has Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, IBM had their heyday, and will Dynamics Marketing have the SharePoint effect?

Reporting for Duty at Bloomfire: New CEO Bob Zukis

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Want to watch someone walk their talk? Then keep your eyes on Bob Zukis.

Zukis is the author of Social Inc., a book that claims Business is the next social opportunity — and it's worth trillions of dollars.

Beginning this morning, he’ll have a chance to prove it when he takes the helm at Bloomfire, a start-up that aims to revolutionize the Enterprise through its knowledge sharing and social collaboration platform.

For those who aren’t yet familiar with Bloomfire, it was launched nearly two years ago at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where the company also happens to be based.

Gartner Names 5 Vendors That Make CRM Cool

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If you still have doubts whether customer relationship management (CRM) is trendy, hip and cool, put your mind at rest. Gartner just released a list of "cool" CRM vendors.

But notions of coolness aside, what's equally as interesting is the evidence of specialization among CRM vendors and the signals that point to their potential growth.  

Lithium has Klout, Wants to be #SeriousAboutCustomers

Lithium Technologies today confirmed what everyone seemed to know already — and acknowledged it has bought Klout. Lithium is reportedly paying almost $200 million in cash and private stock for the social media ranking influencer — twice as much as speculated during the past month.

Speaking at a late-to-start press conference — Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of the social customer service company, declined to confirm the value of the deal. However, he noted, "If Lithium is paying $200 million for Klout, then it is a very valuable company and I'm happy about that."

Tarkoff described the acquisition as a significant extension to its platform that will offer consumers and brands better ways to engage online. "We're adding the relationship piece into the CRM world," he said. "Together, we could be something incredibly disruptive to CRM."

Lithium is also adding Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout, to the leadership team. He will become general manager and senior vice president of Lithium's Klout business, Tarkoff said.

Learning from Loss: Forensic Files for Lost Sales

Learning from Loss: Using Data from Deals that Fall Through to Make Your Sales Organization BetterAnyone involved in sales has experienced the near miss. That’s when you’re in what you think is the home stretch of a big sale, with your contact at the company assuring you that only one or two big shots have to sign off on the deal. As you’re icing the champagne, you get a call: the deal’s gone to your competitor.

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