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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Your Customers - Or Your Best Friends?

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How many best friends do you have among your customers? Do your customers consider your company to be among their best friends? If the answer to these questions is no, then it might be time to make some changes.

According to recent research from Silverpop, you don’t have to invite your customers out for dinner or send them holiday cards, although this might help. All you have to do is communicate with them. The research found that how a brand corresponds with its customers is at the heart of relationship building -- and personalization is a business’ best tool.

Oracle: Our Marketing Cloud Is the Biggest #Interact14

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Oracle kicked off its Interact 2014 conference today by noting it has added 350 marketing applications and data partners in the past year. That's resulted in "the industry's largest marketing technology ecosystem."

As part of that, Oracle said its AppCloud now includes 235 fully integrated apps. Its BlueKai program has about 300 partners in data, media, privacy and technology that leverage BlueKai data for solutions that extend beyond ad targeting.

The announcements, issued hours before the conference opened, said the growth means clients can more easily build a personal dialogue with customers across channels, a goal that has evolved into something of a Holy Grail for digital marketers. Perhaps more significantly, the conference is also providing some clarity on Oracle's roadmap for integrating its costly acquisitions, including $871 million for Eloqua, $1.5 billion for Responsys and an estimated $350 million-plus for BlueKai.

Are You Up for the Omnichannel Challenge?

2014-16-July-Multi-Juggling.jpgIt’s no secret that we are living in an age of omnichannel engagement.  Customers today, empowered by a plethora of digital devices, can choose when, where and how they want to interact with brands. Millennials in particular expect their favorite brands to be easily accessible, all the time, via their channel of choice -- SDL research indicates that 67 percent of millennials touch two different devices daily and 60 percent agree “it should feel the same when dealing with a company whether you’re online, in a store or on the phone."

Expectations are higher than ever for marketers to deliver.

Q2/Q3 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (16-July-14)

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.)

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Act-On's Enhancements Focus on Reporting, Responsive Design

Another marketing automation provider is diving deeper into the space with enhancements to its platform.

Act-On Software, a Beaverton, Ore- basedprovider cited by Forrester as one of the top in the industry, added capabilities today that officials there say give marketers flexibility and control to customize individual user experiences and reports based on unique business processes.

This time last year Act-On added inbound marketing capabilities and a new mobile app.  

Raw Engineering Web CMS is All About Mobile

Mobile is hot in web content management systems (CMS). Exciting. But not easy.

"Anything related to mobile is still tough, not the least of which is that budgets for mobile channels are still in the 'experimental phase," Tim McLaughlin, president and founder of Siteworx,a digital agency and system integrator based in Reston, Va., told us earlier this year."This is despite the fact that the results already show that we are well past that stage. But in hindsight, that should not surprise us since it wasn’t until last year that advertisers started reallocating significant budgets from traditional — print, TV, etc. — to digital."

Despite the challenges, Raw Engineering dives into mobile head first. A software technology company specializing in mobile app and web application development in the cloud, Raw Engineering today released contentstack.io. Officials hail it as a mobile first content management system for the enterprise. 

Have You Soured on Mobile CRM? #salesvelocity2014

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Want to make more sales, see more sales activity across your enterprise or close more deals? Want to do it quickly and want to do it on the road? Selligy, a mobile customer relationship management (CRM) vendor, claims it is making it easier than ever by adding advanced revenue and other upgrades to its platform.

The company contends its recent upgrades close the gap between what many vendors say they offer in the mobile CRM space and what they actually deliver. This gap, Selligy CEO and co-founder Nilay Patel says, has lead many users to sour on mobile CRM, noting:

Many tools over promise and under deliver, souring users on mobile CRM. Some provide very simple apps, but then don’t support the actual business needs of real enterprises. Others just shove all 100 fields from the CRM app onto the phone, resulting in an unusable app."

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

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Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Digital Platform

2014-15-July-Ace-Frehly-Platforms.jpgThink of how many ways a customer can interact with a company with just one mobile device. Text messages, phone calls, social channels, web browsing, e-commerce -- the list goes on. Whether phones, tablets, wearables, connected devices, etc., each offers an opportunity to deliver an experience based on the context.

The need for consistent experiences across these digital mediums leads to opportunities and challenges in delivering a consistent, seamless and compelling user experience across channels.

How Customer Communities Bolster Support Teams

2014-15-July-Contact-Center.jpgThe business benefits of customer communities are well known: call deflection, search engine optimization (SEO), product ideation and even revenue growth. While some of these benefits directly benefit customer support teams, others benefit the broader organization.

Customer engagement helps sales teams drive incremental revenue, ideation helps inform the product roadmap for product management and SEO helps the marketing team rank higher for particular keywords. Ask customer support managers and they’ll tell you how customer communities can make their teams more valuable.

ScribbleLive Acquisition Shakes Up Content Engagement Market

A content engagement platform that powers real time content for major media markets just added a few muscles.

Toronto-based Scribble Technologies, whose ScribbleLive content engagement platform that powers brands such as Samsung, Shell, PwC, CNN and Reuters, announced today it acquired CoveritLive of DemandMedia. CoveritLive's client list includes Marvel, Ford, NFL, NHL, BBC, The Football League and Fox.

Customers Don't Care About Your Processes

2014-15-July-Milk-Processing.jpgIn January of last year, Macy's became the first major retailer to name a Chief Omnichannel Officer. In May of this year, Target announced the formation of a new Digital Advisory Committee to focus specifically on brainstorming omnichannel strategies.

Clearly the need to deliver true omnichannel experiences is something that retailers and their marketing teams are taking very, very seriously.

The Myth of Cooperation Between Marketers and IT Pros

digital marketing, Marketers Working with IT Professionals: Total Myth?

Wait, what? Only about one out of four marketers describe marketing and IT as strategic partners.

We thought we were in the "Marketing and IT, Sitting in a Tree..." era? All we seem to hear is how marketing and IT must work together, break down silos and even report to one another.

What happened to all that? But the statistics are hard to deny. A full 74 percent of marketers dismisses the wishful thinking about marketers and techies living happily together, according to the Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey 2013.

So what to do? Teradata thinks it can help.

The analytic data platforms, marketing applications and services company in partnership with Forbes Insights today released a new research study for CMOs and other senior marketing decision makers worldwide titled, “Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.”

Crying for Help? MindTouch is Listening

How can you get into the mind of your customers? MindTouch, the company that's trying to redefine the help center, has released two updates for better understanding of customers.

The company, founded by two ex-members of Microsoft's Advanced Systems Research Team, describes the occasion when customers reach out for help – when they obviously want to use your product, but just don't know how – as an opportunity.

What's the Most Popular Social Login on B2B Sites?

What's the most popular social login on B2B sites? We know ... and we will share the findings, based on a new report from social login provider Janrain.

The report, "Social Login Trends Across the Web for Q2 2014," also found that Facebook is bouncing back after six straight quarters of falling market share in the realm of social logins on all sites. The report notes that over half of new users employ social login, because it eliminates the need to "remember yet another username-password combination."

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