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Customer Experience News & Analysis

TimeTrade's COO Reveals the Top Retail Trends

Ambrosino.jpgGary Ambrosino, the president and chief operating officer of TimeTrade, thinks the key to great customer experience comes down to how and when a company engages with potential clients.  Better engagement equals more customer loyalty, in theory.

A Primer on CMO, CIO Collaboration

A Primer on CMO, CIO CollaborationThe lines between the CIO and CMO are blurring as the two roles become increasingly intertwined, led by marketing’s move to focus more around technology and great digital experiences. From quickly creating websites for different campaigns to managing customer analytics and back-end data, today’s marketers have a required skillset that often overlaps with that of the CIO, who has traditionally managed and maintained a company’s IT infrastructure. For that reason, CMOs are becoming integral decision makers when it comes to buying and operating a company’s technology assets.

Musings from Social Media Week #SMW14

crimson hexegon

I am not an objective writer about Social Media Week. I attended the first two years of this six-year-old worldwide event in New York City when it was free, largely grassroots and spread throughout the city. 

The last two or three years, SMW has become inevitably more corporate, expensive, polished and streamlined, though many of the events are still free and available on a first come, first serve basis.

That being said, however, I wanted to share some thoughts. For instance, one of my favorite tools to chart conversations around social media is Crimson Hexagon, which quickly helped me create a “topic wave” of the major topics and when they peaked at the event. Most of the buzz around #SMWNYC happened last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 18 and 19.

Next Steps for Native Ads: Get Scalable and Visible

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What’s next for native ads? They should be clearly-marked as ads and available in publisher-defined formats, according to the co-founder of Celtra, a provider of mobile ad creation, serving and analysis.

Matevě Klanjšek, also chief product officer of the company, told CMSWire that any non-standard mobile ad formats, such as native ads, are “performing better than standard.” His assessment is based on his agency’s just-released quarterly Mobile Rich Media Ads Performance Report (registration required), which has been regularly issued over the past two years.

Oracle Bites On BlueKai in #Martech M&A Feast

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Oracle Corp. appears to have an insatiable need for acquisitions, with a focus on anything involving marketing technology (now known in the Twittersphere as "#martech"). Its latest deal is BlueKai, an acquisition announced this morning. Although terms of the deal were not released, it is estimated in the $350 million to $400 million range.

The buy will help Oracle to personalize marketing programs and the customer experience. Omar Tawakol, CEO, BlueKai, said his company's products "convert fragmented and disparate marketing data into high-performance results for companies.”

BlueKai claims to maintain a database of 700 million consumer profiles and has more than 300 customers across multiple industries. The company boasts that its Data Management Platform (DMP) keeps the customer and audience data in the cloud to target marketing campaigns and deliver better results. 

In short, BlueKai is one of the largest providers of data that help provide those super-targeted ads you see in your browser that might seem a little creepy because they happen to coincide with what you've been searching for lately.

With Mobile Reigning Supreme, Will Advertisers Keep Pace?

The Super Bowl has come and gone, but the advertising lives on as brands seek to squeeze as much as possible out of their expensive creative masterpieces. But if advertisers want to truly validate their media buys beyond simply “entertaining the masses” they need to activate the 50 percent of smartphone owners that use their devices while watching TV on a daily basis. Our review of how well Super Bowl advertisers actively engaged with the audience shows there is a lot of work to be done.

M&A Watch: Marin Software a Possible Target if Ad Tech Consolidates

Based on its valuation and growth profile, Marin Software — a provider of a cloud-based digital advertising management platform — could be an attractive buyout target for a larger player in the online marketing space.

At the recent market cap of $373 million, Marin’s forward revenue multiple of 3.9 times the 2014 consensus estimate of $95.8 million (within the company’s guidance range of $95 million to $96.6 million) is reasonable given expected growth of nearly 24 percent.

Marin is a so-called busted IPO because the shares trade below the March 2013 offering price of $14. In fact, Marin shares have been on a downward trek ever since the first trading session: they opened at $18.95 and hit a post-IPO high of $19.95 on the same day. While the stock has recovered a bit from the November low of $8.50, it’s still 18 percent short of the IPO price.

People Think 'Products' When Trying to Solve Problems Online

Many customers think first about the product they have; even when they are looking for support for that product. 

Connecting: How to Build an Unforgettable Brand

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Julie Cottineau doesn't mince words. "My business is branding. I teach you how to improve yours," she said. Cottineau is the founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build their brands and leverage them as actionable business assets.

Before BrandTwist, she was vice president of brand at Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, overseeing branding strategy for new and established Virgin companies in North America. She also served as executive director of consumer branding at Interbrand and was a vice president and management supervisor at Grey Worldwide in both the US and France. She has been an adjunct professor of integrated marketing communications at Columbia and Cornell universities and is a frequent commentator on brand strategy and innovation.

This Week: Collaboration's Future Is Here + Who Holds the Purse Strings in Tech?

Customer Experience Gets a Boost
Customer experience remains a priority for companies, and they are investing more money and more resources to follow through on the promise. This spells a win for the customer and a win for business's bottom line. 

Marketing's Arch-Nemesis: Gmail Tabs
Marketers collectively cringed when Google introduced the tabbed interface to Gmail, but emerging solutions help keep marketing messages out of the dreaded "promotions" tab.

Collaboration's Future is Already Here
Companies struggling to find the best collaboration tools could take a few tips from the consumer world. Remember, familiarity breeds usability. 

Chasing  Work-Life Balance
Studies agree: time away from your desk makes you more productive, focused and happy. What steps can companies take to help employees find their balance?

Big Data Market Leaders
The companies reeling in the big bucks in the big data world probably aren't who you think. A recent report proved the old adage that to make money, you need to have money. 

Who Holds the Technology Purse Strings?
The CIO still holds the purse strings when it comes to tech purchases, with business-controlled purchases lagging far behind. 

25 Ways to do Real Time Website Personalization
Turn more visits into conversions with these personalization tips.
> Download the e-Book

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News Bites: Handling Negativity, Publishing on LinkedIn and More

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There's a lot going on this week, including news on dealing with negative social postings. Plus, we'll tell you how LinkedIn is opening its publishing platform, how Kochava is updating its mobile ad measurement platform, how Widen speeds up Smartimage and how Purple WiFi is adding location services for in-store customers.
 

Acquia Lift Makes Drupal Sites Smarter, Revenues Bigger

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It’s every marketer’s dream — delivering the right offer, to the right visitor, at the right time, through the right channel, to drive greater revenue. Simple to say, not so easy to do.

Consider your own experience when visiting websites. How often are you presented with compelling offers that you’re willing to take action on? If you’re like me, not very often.

This could actually change in the near future. Earlier today, Acquia, provider of products, services and technical support for creating web experiences with the open source CMS Drupal, announced Acquia Lift, an optimization platform that promises to make websites smarter, marketers more productive and revenues greater.

If it works as promised and is widely accepted by the Drupal community, you — even as a consumer —could benefit from Acquia’s latest innovation. After all, there are more than million of Drupal sites on the web today.

What's In WhatsApp? Customer Devotion

Once you dig into the astonishing numbers for WhatsApp, you can kind of see why Facebook paid $19 billion for the company. Kind of.

Facebook was forced to pay such a high price for WhatsApp because of the communications app's ridiculous growth numbers and devoted users, 75 percent of whom used it every day and logged on to the app several times per day.

Content Marketing Myths and Truths

content marketing.jpgSomehow, "Content Marketing" has hit the jackpot in terms of business memes, with every marketing person tossing the term around like it's some sort of magic elixir.

But what exactly is content marketing? And how do you do it? I've cooked up a list of myths and truths of content marketing to help you wade through the hype.

Connecting: Discover, Curate and Share the Best Content

Connecting with Bill Sobel

New York City-based Rallyverse has been described as the next generation in social media networking. The company helps marketers discover, curate and share content in owned and paid social media.

More specifically, it monitors trending conversations across the social web and recommends the most relevant content for marketers in real time — creating ready-to-publish status updates, tweets and social ads in a simple, visual interface.

Joe Doran is the company's co-founder and CEO. He's a seasoned senior executive with 15 years of experience managing interactive media, advertising and social media solutions in high growth companies like Microsoft and General Mills.

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