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Customer Experience News & Analysis

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

News Bites: Real Science, Easy Apps, Get Togethers and Tree Hugging

The latest in powering, streamlining, partnering, enabling, communicating and saving the world from the Swinging City, San Francisco, the Big Peach, the Tall Stick, the Empire City and Silver Sprung.

Just Because You Can Steal Content Doesn't Mean You Should

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You just finished preparing your first presentation for that big seminar at the annual meeting with the coolest pictures you could find on Google images and Flicker, the slickest YouTube videos and the hottest tracks from Pandora. You’re all set, right?

Not so fast, according to Gretchen Klebasko, associate general counsel and managing director of Intellectual Property at Legg Mason. While those sites offer a wealth of media for the asking, much of the material may be considered pirated if you use it. The legal problems begin with the difference between “free to view” versus “free to use.”

The Copyright Clearance Center’s overly wordy titled webinar: “Video, Music and Text, Oh My...Managing Copyright Compliance in a Multimedia World,” does a good job of explaining those differences in plain language. It also explains how to avoid the plethora of media materials that could get an individual or a company in legal hot water.

Klebasko has an impressive litigation background, but stuck with lay-language and delivered helpful information in a succinct presentation that doesn’t talk down to the participants. (Her full disclosure includes Legg Mason’s “wonderful working relationship with CCC.”)

Do You Have to be 'Modern' to be a Great Marketer?

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Do things that are current. You'll win if you do.

A Forrester Research study commissioned by Oracle finds that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

According to the responses from 492 marketing decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France, companies using "non-modern" marketing strategies are at a loss.

Deliver Big Data in Bite-Sized Pieces with Mainstream Apps

2014-16-October-Squirrel-Lunch.jpgHow can we transform Big Data into the Big Idea that turns into an opportunity in the digital revolution? How can we use this data gleaned from multiple sources and turn it into smart “consumer style” data driven, mainstream apps? The answers aren’t easy.

But without these answers we'll be unable to develop the data driven-apps that analysts are flagging as the next “Big Thing” in the sales and marketing arena.

Is it Better to Build or Buy Your Marketing Cloud? [Video]

Build versus buy is a debate that precedes digital marketing clouds. It's nothing new.

But it's hot in digital marketing. And it's something that got a lot of people talking during the annual Marketing Technology Conference this past summer in Boston.

"The explosion in marketing technology (martech) is a wonderful opportunity for all of us in digital marketing," said Jay Calavas, chief evangelist for San Diego-based tag management provider Tealium. He made his comments during a CMSWire/Tealium webinar this week, "Build vs. Buy Your Marketing Cloud -- A Roundtable." 

"There are more than 1,000 digital marketing solutions," Calavas added. "That's a good thing. Here at Tealium we've experienced a huge growth in the tag management space, the desire for the marketer to manage data and distribute it off to all their marketing technology partners."

So the verdict in the build vs. debate from the webinar panelists? It's all about your organization's ability to match marketing technology with core business objectives and have solutions in place that integrate well.

Transform the Customer Journey with Predictive Analytics

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Predictive analytics is on the rise. Two years ago, retail chain Target was able to find out a teenage girl was pregnant before her father even did. While this revelation sparked controversy around issues of user privacy, the incident demonstrates the power of data.

Data can also predict user behavior. Google Calendar, for instance, absorbs user information and can predict where you will be and what you will be doing on a given Tuesday afternoon.

But data’s ability to anticipate and understand human behavior is not limited to business-consumer interactions: it has the ability to implement much-needed change in the way we engage with customers in general.

You Are Not Building a Website

2014-15-October-HTML-blah-blah-blah.jpgAre you about to implement a content management system? Do you want to make sure that technology investment pays off? There’s one thing you need to keep in mind.

You are not building a website.

Salesforce Shares Its Marketing Vision #DF14

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Matteo Sala, a developer and analyst from Italy, strolled away from Salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud presentation at Dreamforce today liking what he saw.

"The marketing cloud is very exciting. Journey Map is very interesting," said Sala, already a customer of the Salesforce Sales and Service clouds. "We saw a lot of innovation in this product."

It was probably the exact reaction that Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Marketing Cloud, had hoped for during a keynote speech that included demonstrations of the ways Salesforce technologies already work at such customer-centric companies like Fitbit, Live Nation and McDonalds.

Ensighten Buy Adds Analytics to Marketing Stack

Digital marketing tag management provider Ensighten scooped up a marketing analytics company in an deal that gives Ensighten integrated data collection, real time personalization and marketing analytics. 

Ensighten, based in San Jose, Calif., announced today that it bought San Diego's Anametrix and its cloud-based multichannel marketing analytics platform.

It's another way five-year-old Ensighten tries to compete with the big marketing cloud players. When the company acquire rival TagMan in March, Ensighten CEO Josh Manion said the company is gunning for the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It "provides marketers with the unique ability to derive powerful insights and act on them in real time,” Manion said in a statement.

“In a competitive environment smart and timely actions make all the difference, and we’re proud to be leading the industry towards delivering more relevant and personalized consumer experiences across the entire customer journey,” the company boasted.

Are You Too Old to Work in Tech? IT's Midlife Crisis

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IT has the reputation of being a young person's game.

Average tech workers are portrayed in media and industry lore as  20-somethings who spent their youth tinkering with code and playing video games.

The 40-something tech worker who cut his teeth on such technologies as mainframe computing? Let's hope he cashed in on the first dot-com boom or this second wave, because otherwise, his tech career is coming to an end.

In truth, nothing could be further from the truth, say IT recruiters and human resources staff contacted for this article.

Salesforce Catches the Wave to Customer Success #DF14

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There aren't many CEOs who'd hire the Beach Boys to break into "Good Vibrations"  in the middle of a keynote address. Then again, there aren't any technology evangelists quite like Marc Benioff.

After spending an hour promoting the charitable efforts of Salesforce.com, the Salesforce CEO cued the band to fire-up the crowd. After the final chorus, he explained how Salesforce's new analytics cloud — called Wave — will help his company become a customer success platform.

Yesterday's speech was the centerpiece of the four-day Dreamforce conference, which more than 140,000 registered to attend in Salesforce's hometown. 

Forrester Analysts Focus on Adaptive Intelligence #DF14

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It's no secret in the age of customer-centricity that marketers need to leverage data to enhance service levels. So how's that going?

Not that well, it seems. Two principal analysts for Forrester Research shared their insights today at Dreamforce in San Francisco.

"Every client we deal with has operational systems that just can't keep up," said John R. Rymer. "And they have to reinvest in those systems so they can actually act on the insights they get."

Big Data's Dark Side: Keep the Creep Out of Your Analytics

2014-14-October-Spider.jpgMost of what’s been written about big data and data analytics -- and there’s been a lot written --accentuates the positives and the possibilities. It highlights the ability to use insights gleaned from data to make faster, smarter business decisions. It talks about how companies can use big data to drive the development of new and improved products and services capable of improving life for customers. It examines the myriad ways data analysis can be used to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare, facilitate a better learning experience for students, and help the world proactively prepare for disasters.

None of this is untrue. Big data analytics can indeed be immensely powerful. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. As we turn the calendar to October, a month famous for the scary, there’s no better time to talk about the dark side of big data. If not handled properly, ethically and procedurally, big data can get pretty creepy, pretty quickly.

Post-IPO HubSpot Still Playing Competitor Catch-Up

marketing automation, HubSpot Gains in IPO, Still Needs to Play Competitor Catch-Up

If competitor stories are valid precedent, HubSpot's IPO last week was a good move.

But it certainly won't be an easy road for the Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider that made its NYSE debut last week. Not with future investment in marketing automation from competitors and not with recent advancements like Oracle's integration with BlueKai, according to a marketing automation analyst. 

"IPOs worked for Marketo, Eloqua and Responsys, so the precedent is good," said Gerry Brown, senior analyst for customer engagement and marketing technology for Ovum Research. "Competition for HubSpot will become intense as other vendors, such as Sitecore, offer marketing automation as an add-on. HubSpot needs to make sure they don’t get distracted from execution by the razzamatazz of the IPO."

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