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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Agile CXM Won't Be Crafted with a Swiss Army Knife

Did you know that the Swiss Army Knife is over 100 years old? There are more than 100 different models available and more than 34,000 leave the factory every single day. It's one of those multi-use tools that you like to have in your pocket for that moment when you need just the right solution. No wonder MacGyver carried one all the time.

But you wouldn't expect a carpenter to build your house with a Swiss Army Knife, or that an artisan would use one to craft a fine piece of furniture. We have to believe that even MacGyver, given his preferences, would rather have a set of proper tools to defuse bombs if they could only be made portable.

Build Partnerships to Reach 'Markets of One'

In this digital age, customers, citizens and employees all expect to be treated as individuals. They expect highly personalized experiences tailored to their unique needs and powered by systems of engagement that know who they are and how they want information delivered to them. Is this in conflict with the company’s goal for looking for cost efficiencies, secure data and compliance?

Finding the Things We Don't Search For

Search behavior is one window into the customer’s mind. But there are many others.

This Week: SharePoint Cloud Choices + Email Marketing Done Right

Google Analytics Measured
What are you analyzing in Google? Here are 10 things you should be measuring in Google Analytics. 

Be a Rockstar Email Marketer
Gmail's decision to display the unsubscribe feature more prominently should not affect email marketing campaigns.

Make Your Employees Smile
Develop the employees you have, rather than focus all your efforts on recruiting, John Hagel told the crowd this week at the SXSW festival. At the same conference, we explored the maturing API space.

SharePoint's Cloudy Options
When it comes to hosting SharePoint on premises or moving it into the cloud, there is never one right answer.

Is Box All That?
All eyes are on Box as the world waits for the file sync and share startup to reveal its financials in preparation for its pre-IPO road show. 

Thanks for Playing, CIO
Do we need CIOs anymore? One executive says that role will soon morph into others.

Forrester Report: B2B Marketing in the Age of the Customer
Leverage modern competitive advantages to win business and market share.
> Get the Report

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BrightEdge Redefines Content Marketing for the Big Data Age

Sure, the days of Mad Men are long gone, marketers are no longer creating clever content and sending it out into the world, hoping that something will resonate with the customer.

The age of search engine optimization has done much to change that; enterprises now leverage data and analytics to place the right content in front of the right people at the right time in order to get a desired result -- be it brand awareness, engagement or ultimately, a purchase.

How’s that working? If you’re online experiences are anything like mine, there’s room for improvement and that’s putting it mildly. But it’s worth noting that the only thing that bad marketing seems to cost the consumer is the effort needed to ignore something.

CIOs Say There's No Time to Innovate

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Most of the readers coming to our site rank working with a good team ahead of other factors in terms of job satisfaction. Even more so than being paid fairly.

A lot of those readers are CIOs.

So while we know what's making some CIOs happy at work, how are they spending their work days? Constellation Research reports that while CIOs prefer to spend their time on innovation projects, most spend their time trying to reduce the cost of IT delivery.

The findings came in Constellation's annual survey on CIOs -- "The Evolving Role of the CIO in an Era of Digital Disruption" -- released this week. "In the shift toward dominating digital disruption, CIOs can only move as fast as their organization’s DNA will allow while driving transformation," wrote Constellation's R "Ray" Wang, founder and principal analyst.

Predictive Analytics Helps Marketers Get Personal

It wasn’t too long ago that it was considered novel to use web analytics to determine a customer's or prospect's interests and then email them somewhat relevant content after the visit. Marketers could provide a basic level of customization (such as name or account personalization and dynamic interest or product content) based on the segment that visitor fit in.

Then came the ability to send email messages triggered by a known visitor’s actions -- when they abandoned a shopping cart or completed a lead form. These behaviorally targeted messages worked for a while, sometimes generating lifts of more than 20 percent. But the novelty wore off and people stopped opening or responding to email.

8 Ways to Optimize On-Site Search

Customers navigate a website in one of two ways: they browse or they search. In fact, on-site search is the second most visited area of any given website, yet it’s not always at the top of the priority list when it comes to site optimization. Given the prominence of search and the impact it has on revenue, it should be one of the key areas in your testing plan.

This post will address eight ways to optimize on-site search that will help your visitors find what they want and help your bottom line.

Contact Centers Drive the Social CRM Revolution

With more than 2 million Twitter accounts established every day, social media presents a host of new challenges and opportunities in the realm of customer relationship management (CRM). People are tweeting not only about their customer service needs but also the good, bad and ugly of the experience that they receive from companies.

According to evolve24, 70 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored -- and the damage can be significant. Gartner estimates that failure to respond via social channels can lead to an up to 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers.

CMSWire Survey: Majority of Readers are Well-Paid IT Pros

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IT managers make up a bigger share of the CMSWire audience than a year ago, accounting for nearly a third of all visitors, according to our annual salary survey. Respondents also indicated that working with a strong team is more of a concern than "being paid fairly."

The IT professionals accounted for 32 percent of our readers, up 5 percent from the 2013 survey. The next three most popular industry sectors in our 2014 survey were media/marketing (11 percent), professional services (7.5 percent) and financial services (6 percent). 

All four groups are heavy users of the digital marketing, customer experience management, information management and social business technologies that dominate the content on the site.

Robert Scoble: The Scobleizer Talks Life, Work and Technology

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelRobert Scoble — aka The Scobleizer — works at Rackspace, where he's building a community for people fanatical about the Internet called building43. But that just scratches the surface. Scoble has been making a name for himself on the Internet for a while now.

"There’s a really excellent about page over on Wikipedia about me. I didn’t write a single word about it, but I do watch to make sure it’s accurate," he told me.

So let's start there. He's best known for his (late great) blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. It earned him a mention in the Economist in 2005, which noted Scoble had become

a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience."

B2B Email: Newsletters Beat Promotional Marketing

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B2B prospects like email that includes news as well as information about webinars, publications and the chance to attend forums, according to a report by a global marketing firm. And they are more likely to open these email newsletters than those with pure product promotion.

Experian Marketing Services looked at the performance of B2B newsletter email compared with other types of B2B email. It found newsletters had 29 percent higher open rates and 63 percent higher click rates than the promotional mailings for those brands.

"This reinforces the idea that the B2B buyer or purchaser is often more informed and knowledgeable than we typically see in B2C," Shelley Kessler, Experian's manager of reporting and analytics and cross-channel marketing, told CMSWire. "Newsletters allow B2B businesses to inform and educate their prospective customers with a much more thorough approach than a typical promotional mailing alone would do."

Are You Winning the Marketing Revolution?

Are You Winning the Marketing Revolution?In the past few years marketers have overloaded consumers with messages. The people you are trying to reach have become experts at shutting you out and making buying decisions without you.

If you choose to ignore the changing times, you may be left behind like Barnes & Noble or Blockbuster.

Former Cisco Exec Explains His New Tech Cloud Start-up

A new cloud-based analytics and communications provider hit the streets running this quarter, led by a former senior executive at Cisco whose vision is to reimagine and change the customer communications journey and improve the relationship between customers and brands.

Barry O'Sullivan, former senior Cisco communications executive, is co-founder and CEO of Altocloud. The company, with offices in  Mountain View, Calif., and Galway, Ireland, just announced a development partnership with marketing software provider Marketo and a services partnership with Touchbase, a global unified communications and contact center integrator.

Scout Debuts Marketo Marketing Automation Integration

Scout's analytics platform is getting a piece of Marketo's marketing automation.

Marketo's marketing automation capabilties gives Scout Analytics, which was acquired in January by ServiceSource, the ability to directly connect with marketing automation through user-level nurturing. It's something Scout officials told CMSWire is unique in this space: moving beyond company stakeholders and getting down to actual user habits.

"You can nurture them to come back when their subscription is about to end and get updates on subscriptions," said Matthew Shanahan, vice president of product strategy for Scout.

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