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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Is Marketo Enough for You? #MKTGnation

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Marketo jumped on the all-in-one marketing platform train today.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based provider announced today at its annual Marketing Nation Summit at the Moscone Center in San Francisco capabilities that allow marketers to engage their customers across all channels from a single software platform.

The eight-year-old company this week welcomes its biggest crowd to date for its annual marketing festival -- a 41 percent growth in registrations up to more than 8,500. Marketo officials said last week it had nearly 4,000 paid registrants, 86 percent growth since last year. 

What does more people mean? More money for Marketo. But also more momentum for the marketing automation specialist that reported a 54 percent third-quarter growth in October

"It's about inspiration in the nation," Sanjay Dholakia, Marketo's chief marketing officer, told CMSWire in an interview last week.

The Inside Scoop on Influencers: 3 Ways to Get Results

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If you’re thinking about adding influencers to your marketing mix, but aren’t quite sure if you can pull it off, take a few minutes to read what Christine Vieira has to say. She’s the co-founder and president of Find Your Influence, a cloud-based automated influencer marketing program.

“The key to success is making sure you understand your audience, your strategy and who your influencers might be,” Vieira told CMSWire.

She added that influencer marketing isn’t just for B2C companies. “B2B companies are starting to see which influencers might make sense for them," said Vieira. "Their target clients are looking at blogs and reviews more so than a consumer, so they can use influencers to educate potential clients. It can truly make sense for any brand.”

Is There a Future in Content Marketing?

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“Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.”

Nice bit of reporting, right? You'd be forgiven for thinking it was the lede of a beat writer's game recap in the Los Angeles Times.

It wasn't.

A computer wrote it. 

The paragraph appeared in a New York Times’ Opinion piece titled “If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?” In the piece, Shelley Podolny, director of e-discovery company H5, explored the emergence of robo-writers, computer software that not only analyzes data, but creates human-sounding commentary.

The sophistication of robo-writers is impressive. Could you have guessed that the quote was written by a computer? 

What You Should Know About Enterprise Mobility

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With all of the research and resources being poured into mobile, you’d think every single company would have a mobile strategy in place — and be hard at work executing it. However, the number is probably lower than you think.

According to a study by Lopez Research, more than 75 percent of enterprise companies surveyed concede their e-mail, calendar and contact applications are all they have enabled for mobile.

“The vast majority of businesses are either just getting started or are just starting to realize they need to accelerate their mobility needs,” said Adam Stein, vice president of mobile solution and product marketing for SAP.

“Twenty-five percent are using apps for workforce management, productivity gains and to improve the customer experience. And that really helps them make gains in the mobile organization."

Madison Logic Data Rebrands as Bombora

Madison Logic Data made its biggest identity move yet today.

Madison Logic Data, which seven months ago became the sister company of Madison Logic, has rebranded as Bombora. It will stay in New York City. Madison Logic bought Linthicum, Maryland-based BBN Solutions in March.

Bombora officials believe in the power of intent data, which they define as data collected about a web user’s content consumption.

That kind of technology, they added, allows the provider to identify key topics (2,300 total as of last month) that will show marketers when users express interest in a specific topic.

The provider told CMSWire last month that it aggregates digital and mobile display inventory from 1,600 B2B media outlets. This allows brands to interact with more than 245 million decision makers monthly.

Stepping Back to See the Big MarTech Picture

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The after-effects of the recent MarTech conference in San Francisco linger on. Between the strong speakers, fireside chats and diverse set of attendees, the event has already provided a point of departure for many a conversation on the state of marketing technology.

And beyond that -- as witnessed from colleagues, peers and personal experience -- it's sparked some needed soul-searching within the industry.

Marketing Technology is vast, diverse and rapidly evolving. Scott Brinker's Marketing Technology Landscape Infographic serves as a regular reminder of just how quickly martech has evolved. 

In such a fast-paced industry, there isn't always time to take in the big picture. With this event, Brinker offered that opportunity: two days to take a step back, take a deep breath and look at where we are with marketing technology.

We Need a Department OF the Customer

We have a department of selling to the customer, a department of marketing to the customer, a department of communicating at the customer. We have a department of dealing with customer complaints. But we have no department OF the customer. 

3 Ways Marketing Automation Boosts Business Efficiency

"The attention economy is not growing, which means we have to grab the attention that someone else has today." — Brent Leary

I remember Brent Leary, a partner at CRM Essentials and a well-known subject matter expert on CRM, making that bold assessment a few years ago, and it still rings true today. 

The battle for customer attention has never been more intense. Fortunately marketers are finding a few ways to help ease their efforts to retain customers. 

Marketing automation is one of those effective digital balms. 

Here are three ways automation unleashed valuable analytic strategy. The key is through timing and segmentation, which leads to analytic decisions that highlight meaningful operational support.

Week in Review: Collaboration Tools + Inside MS Spartan

Meet the Chief Data Officer
It's not for the faint of heart.

Take that, Microsoft
Google's CRM salvo at Microsoft.

These Tools Don't Cut It
Everything's wrong with social collaboration tools.

The Most Important Collaboration Tool
Focus on community management.

What's the Deal with Spartan?
A look at Microsoft's new browser.

You Love Dropbox and Office
Why you'll stay.

Why Implement a Voice of the Customer (VoC) Program? 
Customer experience: The great differentiator

Download E-Book

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The CMO's Job: It's Complicated

We asked CMOs how their role has changed in the last few years. And while the answers we received came in many different shapes and sizes, the long and short of it came down to -- it's complicated.

If you don't believe us, do a search for "CMO struggle" and see how many results come back.

During our "Defining 2015's CMO" Tweet Jam the participants reached consensus on accountability, where technology fits in the CMO's toolbox and that strategy comes first. And while the rate of change may seem insurmountable, it can be managed with a clear vision and a strong team.

Customer Service Success Starts at the Source

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It feels like customer service -- or rather, the lack thereof -- is making headlines on a daily basis lately.

Comcast is one example of a company that has faced service misstep after misstep. And these blunders are having a lasting impact on Comcast’s brand. A recent report from SurveyMonkey found that Comcast’s customer service woes have left the company ranking lowest among cable providers when it comes to customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Comcast isn’t the only company struggling due to customer service crises. Other major brands like Walmart, American Airlines and Bank of America have all suffered from the crippling backlash of poor service departments. It’s no secret that poor customer service can negatively affect a brand’s popularity, if not permanently tarnish its reputation.

So how can businesses prevent these Comcast-sized service blunders? Recognize that customer service success starts at the source.

Apttus Embraces Its Salesforce Connection #AccelerateQTC

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It's no surprise that Salesforce had a prominent role at the the Apttus Accelerate 2015 conference in San Francisco this week.

In February, the San Francisco-based cloud software company led a $41 million investment round for Apttus, which makes Quote-to-Cash software on the Salesforce1 platform. That followed first-round funding of $37 million in September 2013 that Salesforce also led.

Salesforce CIO Ross Meyercord took the stage Wednesday to talk about speed, innovation and customer engagement. He also explained how Salesforce is leveraging Salesforce1 mobile-ready apps like Apttus.

And yesterday, Meredith Schmidt, senior vice president of Global Revenue Operations at Salesforce, spoke enthusiastically about the Apttus platform during a morning keynote.

Apttus is built on top of the Salesforce platform.

It automates the second half of the sales cycle involving quotes, contracts and collecting the money. That's critical, because automation is the key to optimal customer experience, Schmidt said during her talk on the second day of the three-day conference.

What's more, she said, the platform is helping Salesforce delight its own sales representatives.

Yes, Marketers: You Still Need Email for Digital CX

Marketers often debate about which media to use in a campaign. But their sentiment about using email to engage customers is unanimous.

An email campaign can be valuable because a list of subscribers forms a captive audience. These are people who have actively expressed a willingness for engagement. They've opted-in to your marketing efforts.

But how to do you measure efforts your efforts to build on this list — and transform it to a meaningful customer experience?

Metric choices are not trivial. Email provides a bridge between branding strategy and direct sales. An analytic solution linked to an email campaign provides a means of understanding customer preferences for offers, discounts, a white paper or a general follow up.

Although many channels to engage customers exist, many companies still rely on basic email campaigns. Surveys show email is still used regularly for marketing in 2015 and mobile-only viewership of email is climbing.

With these email trends in mind, let’s examine how a web analytics solution and email solution connects your marketing strengths to your market.

Your Brand is Only as Good as Its Reputation

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Ask Karen Spiegel to define a brand — and she'll tell you that it's only as good as its reputation and the people who work there.

Spiegel knows a lot about brands. She's been working in advertising, marketing and digital agencies for nearly two decades, in roles as diverse as creating public relations strategies for client engagements and large corporate events to overseeing social media, thought leadership and internal communications initiatives.

She said her experience has imbued her with a strong understanding of the role technology and digital media play, along with a global perspective. "Personally," she said, "I am passionate about the intersection of how design helps simplify complexity and technology magically expands what is possible."

'We Rule B2B Marketing Automation, We're Salesforce'

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Salesforce officials are confident about their marketing technology.

"The thing that distinguishes us most is that we're Salesforce," said Adam Blitzer, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce Pardot.

When you work on the massive CRM platform that is Salesforce, it's OK to be a little confident.

Salesforce integrates its CRM technology with its Pardot marketing automation. It acquired that technology with its $2.5 billion ExactTarget package.

The San Francisco-based provider today released what it calls "the next generation of Sales Cloud B2B marketing automation."

The Intelligent Engagement Studio and Sales Cloud Engage will deliver adaptive lead nurturing, visualized campaign testing and mobile marketing tools, the company boasted.

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