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Customer Experience News & Analysis

How Salesforce Builds Its Ecosystem, 1 Company at a Time

John Somorjai was the corporate counsel at Oracle†18 years ago when an opening popped up in the corporate development group. He's never looked back.

Starting as a manager, he found he had a knack for spotting good companies and cutting deals. Within 18 months, he was named the group's senior director.

For the past decade, he's been at Salesforce.com, where he's now executive vice president for corporate development and Salesforce Ventures, the company's investment arm. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 100 enterprise cloud companies since its inception in 2009, including Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, Gainsight, Apttus, HubSpot and recently, SteelBrick.

"We have a great advantage of being on the corporate side. You really understand the trends of the independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrator (SI) partners who are building an ecosystem," Somorjai told CMSWire yesterday.

We asked him to share some of the strategy about the company's investments and to peek into the future of the marketing technology vendors out there today.†

Kate Cox: Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality

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Kate Cox says she "make words about tech, politics, government, regulation, consumer stuff, video games, and lots of other things, mostly†for†Consumerist, a site owned by†Consumer Reports.

Consumerist offers consumer tips, like how to return products and how to confound a telemarketer, and covers shopper complaints, like excessive retail markups. And in recent weeks, it's also become one of my favorite sources of information on Net Neutrality, thanks to Cox.

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (04-Mar-15)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: New Use Cases for DAM in the Enterprise

Join CMSWire and Nuxeo on Mar 5th for a one-hour webinar to discover how DAM is best utilized for your business going forward.

> Register Now

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YouMail is $5M Richer and Eager to Grow

YouMail, a visual voicemail provider, plans to use the proceeds from a†$5.5 million Series B funding round to expand its user base.†The Irvine, Calif.-based†company already boasts more than 6.5 million registered users.

YouMail CEO Alex Quilici told CMSWire the company we’ll plans to spend money to "drive awareness and use" in its target markets.

"YouMail has grown organically through a very lean team -- that is, we’ve spent no money to drive user acquisition, and we’ve had a limited development team. We’re now able to much more rapidly iterate on the service," he added.

IDC: Your Customer Experience Cup Is Just Half Full

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A month after IDC warned companies about the tough challenges in improving customer experience, a new survey by the research firm shows little more than half the firms are even trying.

About 53 percent of the 799 organizations in the follow-up study said they're pursuing a customer experience program, according to Mary Wardley, the IDC vice president and CRM analyst who also conducted the earlier study.

The survey also found 22 percent are actively working to improve employee experience, which Wardley said is "integral" to improving the customer experience. Sixteen percent are working with their partners to serve customers better.

Wardley sought the additional data, which has not yet been formally released, to get more clarity on how well organizations understand customer experience and its popular siblings: employee experience, partner experience and supplier experience. She also explored how, who, why and what are involved in current programs.

Madison Logic Expands Its Platform With B2B Ad Network Buy

Madison Logic has been providing enterprise solutions for publishers and demand generation for the past six years.

But CEO Tom O’Regan told CMSWire that the company's customers wanted more — specifically "solutions that would help them target more efficiently and deliver more effectively when running brand campaigns."

With the acquisition of Linthicum, Maryland-based†BBN Solutions this week, O'Regan claims New York City-based Madison Logic will give customers what they want.

How Is Your Customer Service Team Doing?

You can't underestimate the importance of customer service.

After all, your products and services are only as good as the customer service team ready to support them. So what does your business need to know?

Let's take a look at CFI Group's Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI), which notes trends in US†customer satisfaction.

How CMOs Create Golden Ticket Marketing Teams

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There are as many opinions on what marketing does, what it should say and how it should be measured as there are people in a company. That makes the role of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) the most subjective position within any company. But even brilliant CMOs don’t last forever. This means we have to work quickly, build great teams and establish clear metrics for success.

Discussion Point: Can Marketing Technology Grow Any Bigger?

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Scott Brinker did the heavy lifting.†The rest of us jumped on the bandwagon†and began to weigh in.

Brinker's yearly marketing technology supergraphic hit the streets in January. It featured 100 percent growth in the number of vendors in this space, climbing to 1,876.

People are frightened. People are excited. People love this MarTech stuff. It's all over the place -- marketing technology ads on Pandora, FM radio and of course all the rage in trade shows.

But is it an unprecedented tech landscape? Has this kind of explosion ever happened before? We thought this would make for another good discussion this week.

Call Tracking Company Wants to Help Your Business Connect

Talk of phones being obsolete in the business world "doesn't make any sense."

Irv Shapiro, CEO/CTO of Chicago-based DialogTech, believes this. And it's why his company releases technology designed to help marketers make the most sense of phone traffic.

Today, the company released a new product to its suite -- and the rebranding of the company from Ifbyphone to DialogTech.†

His company "bets on the suite." It's better than competitors because it offers a full suite of offerings that include but go beyond call tracking.

"The suite has won," he told CMSWire. "Just look at Oracle, which had all these competitors in the past that are gone. Same with Adobe."

CMOs Listen to Customers, Not Processes

It took me a long time to know the difference between being an executive and being a mid-level or senior-level manager. In my first executive position, I tended to act as I previously had rather than what I needed to be. Luckily for me, I received good mentoring and could model executives around me.

One thing that separated the skills of an executive from those of everyone else: the ability to think strategically. While that sounds like some management consulting buzzword bingo winner, it has proven to be true. It’s not about thinking big, it’s about thinking of what’s important and letting others work through the details.

Kofax Focuses on Customer Communication with $19.5M Buy

Kofax, an Irvine, Calif.-based financial technology company,†just spent $19.5 million to acquire Aia, a customer communications management vendor based in The Netherlands.†

Kofax will integrate†Aia’s software into its TotalAgility platform. It will also†continue to offer the product†on a standalone basis.†

Kofax claims the acquisition will strengthen its platform and give it a competitive edge.

Secrets to Success in the Attention Economy

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Tasks crowd our working days. And as the pace of work accelerates, managers' expectations grow year after year. It's no wonder that people joke that the ultimate business technology would be a time machine.

While time travel would be neat and maybe even a little scary (as any science fiction fan would tell you), we’ve had time machines for years. They come in the form of the technologies that make us more productive and thus add time we can spend doing other things.

Your Customers Are Cheap and Cashless, But Love Online Shopping

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The typical US consumer likes to shop online, regards free shipping as better than fast shipping and thinks cash is passť for just about everything other than buying a snack from a street vendor.

And while he still has reservations about using his phone at the cash register, he's open to innovation — especially drones and virtual reality shopping.

That's the word from Walker Sands second annual†Future of Retail†study, which examined trends and consumer behaviors in retail. The Chicago-based marketing and public relations agency said it analyzed more than 1,400 US consumers to uncover insights about omnichannel shopping and how retailers can use technology to increase sales in 2015 and beyond.

Location, Location: Your Risk of Fraud Is Tied to Your Address

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A new data point is emerging about online fraud and cyber risk that is giving the business community pause. Apparently location matters when it comes to victimization.

Two security companies — Forter in Israel and EnigmaSoftware in the US — have found certain cities and states have higher numbers of fraud perpetuated on their residents. Forter also found certain states tend to have a higher number of residents that actually commit this fraud.

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