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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Google Wants to Tap Your Brain

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While the quest for the ultimate in marketing automation technology continues, I'm still struggling to get my email spam filter to work properly. But Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, says that more intelligent systems are coming faster than we think.

By 2030, computers will be able to handle natural human language and experience emotions, Kurzweil said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this weekend. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. By 2045, we will attain "full singularity," he continued, which means that humans will be completely integrated with technology — with direct links to the cerebral neocortex.

Managing Services Requires Different Success Metrics

Customers are not as locked into services as they are to products. Therefore, we need a continuous process to ensure that the customer is satisfied.

How Isaac Mizrahi and Liz Claiborne Use Omnichannel Marketing

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You may not recognize the name Robert D'Loren — or even his company, Xcel Brands. But odds are you're familiar with the company's fashion apparel: It owns the Isaac Mizrahi brand and has an interest in Liz Claiborne New York.

Xcel is a champion of the omnichannel strategy and is helping to take fashion brands to more than 150 consumer products categories. The company engages in the acquisition, design, licensing and marketing of consumer brands by incorporating a sales strategy that includes interactive and social media, digital and brick-and-mortar retail. 

D'Loren successfully led the restructure and recapitalization of some of the world's most widely recognized fashion, retail, consumer brands and entertainment companies including: Bill Blass, The Athlete's Foot, Maggie Moo's, Pretzelmaker/Pretzel Time, Waverly Home and The Great American Cookie Company.

His expertise earned him a spot as the keynote speaker at the recent IRCE Focus Conference in New York City, where he shared his ideas on the convergence of the customer experience through brands, stores, web, mobile and TV.

As he stressed at the three-day conference, customers are everywhere — and brands, retailers and all modern businesses need to be everywhere, too. Today, in the first of a two-part series, we'll hear what he had to say.

NYC Media Lab: Using Technology to Save Media Companies

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Justin Hendrix is a man of many interests — media, Americana music, space news … oh, and he plays the banjo. But the real story is that he is executive director of the NYC Media Lab, where he "helps companies discover."

The NYC Media Lab "connects technologists in digital media and technology companies with bright minds in New York City's universities" to drive innovation and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corp., Columbia University and New York University, the Lab hosts events and seeds projects "to foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media."

With an impressive roster of corporate members — HBO, Time Warner Cable, Hearst, AT&T, Verizon, News Corp. and NBCUniversal — the Lab is designed to spur innovation. More specifically, in its own words, "generate fresh thinking that creates value through research, prototyping, knowledge transfer, talent development, and human relationships."

Get on Board with B2B E-commerce, Forrester Warns

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The old theory that B2B companies can avoid selling through online channels is done, and B2B e-commerce solutions "contribute significantly to key selling metrics and incremental revenue," according to a new Forrester Research Report commissioned by EPiServer.

Forrester said 50 percent of B2B companies have plans to change or upgrade e-commerce technology in the next 18 months. 

"Every company that plans to compete in the future must transform digitally simply because all your competitors are planning for it now," said Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer, which sells an e-commerce platform. "There are no restrictions based on type of product or service, or on geography. In fact, many of our customers find they can expand geographically in a shorter time frame and at a lower cost by going digital."

Segmentation Is About to Get Interesting

2014-30-May-Halloween.jpgFor marketers willing to ask the question, “Who is my customer?” the response now comes as billions of data points. Few of these fit into the neat set of demographics that once defined marketing. It’s age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams and much much more. Understanding this deluge of data -- and the people or segments they represent -- means a whole new way of understanding customers.

This Week: Gartner's Top Multichannel Managers + Integrating Yammer with SharePoint

Five of an MCCM Kind
Gartner taps these five providers as leaders in multichannel campaign management. 

Target B2B Influencers
If you haven't yet, start engaging with your brand's top influencers.  

Don't Lose Sight of IBM
Microsoft and Cisco exchanged words on enterprise collaboration software, but don't rule out IBM and Hootsuite.

Yammer Marries SharePoint
They can live happily in your organization. Just follow these steps.

Hang Onto Your DAM Assets
Your biggest challenge may be finding assets that are lost in the vast Siberia of DAMs and pretend-DAMs within your organization.

Sync This, Share That
The enterprise file sync and sharing market is cluttered with vendors, but we've got our eye on a few.

Research: Unlocking Knowledge to Engage Customers
How information integration and customer centricity can drive revenue
Learn how they did it

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Any.do To-Do for Web, Planisware's Updated PM, More

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Summer's nearly here, and the news is sprouting up.

This week: Any.do unveils a browser-version of its to-do list app, 3CLogic and Lime Light CRM partner for a more complete view of customer interactions, and GM Voices helps SpeechStorm localize itself.

Also: Extensis updates its mobile DAM app, Trustwave is out with its newest Global Security Report, Planisware has launched version six of its product/portfolio management software and Pontis' new data profiles can help personalize data plans.

Yes, It's True: Microsoft + Salesforce are Hooking Up

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a new BFF — and he’s none other than Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

You have to give Benioff credit for leveraging his Zen Buddhist learnings and urging Microsoft to regain its “beginner's mind.” Last year, at TechCrunch Disrupt, he called Microsoft “such a disaster” that only Bill Gates could save it.

In 2010, Microsoft sued Salesforce for nine patent infringements and Benioff called Microsoft a patent troll.

Today Benioff was busy on Twitter, posting pictures of himself and Nadella in various settings, sometimes even looking like lovebirds. 

Google Now Offers E-Commerce Analytics #GASummit2014

Google analytics e-commerce May 28 2014.jpgGoogle has taken up the challenge of shedding light on retail behavior by adding enhanced e-commerce capabilities to its analytics platform.

By combining analytics and e-commerce, Google claims it will be able to offer marketing and customer experience managers insight into not only what their customers are thinking, but also how effective their marketing campaigns have been.

Mobile Publisher Onswipe Highlights Mobile Behaviors

The ways people interact with content and functions on a mobile device are, of course, different from a desktop or laptop. But different how? Two new reports from mobile publishing platform Onswipe help to fill in a few data points about mobile behavior.

For instance, what are the most popular financial stories on the iPad?

How Social Media Cuts through the Noise

2014-29-May-Marching-Band.jpgWhile most companies spend a lot of time and energy celebrating the success or agonizing over the failures of their direct sales forces, much of that energy is misspent. Studies show that the indirect channel -- resellers, VARs, distributors, consultants and partners of all stripes -- accounts for 70 percent of sales worldwide -- but channel programs are seldom showered with the attention that direct sales teams get.

Gartner Rates These 5 Companies Tops in Campaign Management

customer experience, Gartner Campaign Management MQ: IBM, Oracle, Teradata, SAS, Adobe Lead

The four providers selected as the best in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management last year made a return appearance and welcomed a new leader in the 2014 report.

Adobe joined the top dogs from last year — IBM, SAS, Teradata and Oracle — in the research firm's latest multichannel campaign management (MCCM) analysis. 

Gartner defines MCCM as a process that enables companies to define, orchestrate and communicate offers. It includes both inbound and outbound offers to customer segments across multichannel environments, such as websites, mobile, social, direct mail, call centers and email. 

"Digital marketing," researchers added in the Magic Quadrant report, "continues to integrate with campaign management, and it includes addressable branding/advertising, contextual marketing and transactional marketing. Digital marketing extends the marketing process through channels such as the Web, email, video, mobile and social applications, point-of-sale terminals, interactive TV, digital signage, and kiosks."

5 Types of Influencers B2B Marketers Need to Engage Now

2014-29-May-Horse-Race.jpgYou've seen the stats: 60 to 80 percent of the buying process is done before anyone wants to chat with your chomping-at-the-bit sales reps. To make matters worse, more people than ever are now involved in the process of buying complex products. So where does that leave you?

Most likely trying to craft a never-ending stream of content marketing to influence this very process. And that helps, for sure.

But let’s be honest. You need to do more than turn your brand into a publisher … especially as most publishers are having their own issues these days. With that in mind, there’s another approach to influencing the buying process while also supporting your could-be-better content marketing efforts.

Start engaging the influencers.

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.

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