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Customer Experience News & Analysis

Successful CMOs Create the Structure to Innovate

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Change conquers those who fail to receive it as a friend. And change has got marketing in a headlock these days.

Consumers engage with brands, explore products and make purchases in ever more channels and on ever more devices -- and this dizzying trend will only continue. Marketers are struggling to keep up (understatement alert).

Let’s walk through five ways CMOs can help their organizations not just adapt to the changing landscape of marketing, but thrive in it. 

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (18-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.)

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Ex-Ford Visionary Scott Monty Tells You His Social Secrets

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It's not every day you get to sit down with an "an unstoppable force of nature" — a guy Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, described as "a visionary."

But those effusive words seem less important to Scott Monty that a few simple realities. He describes himself as a husband, a dad and "generally nice guy," who enjoys writing about the changing landscape of business, technology, communications, marketing and leadership.

Monty is executive vice president of strategy at SHIFT Communications, a public relations firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco, New York City and Austin. He's also editor and co-host of I Hear Of Sherlock Everywhere, "news and information about Sherlock Holmes in popular culture in one convenient site and podcast."

Where Did It Go? Understanding Traffic Drops in Google Analytics

You’re up early, just sitting down to an analytics report with a fresh cup of coffee, when you suddenly see it on your laptop screen – a big ol’ drop in website sessions in your overall traffic report. And not just by a few session counts.

You shouldn’t panic, at least not yet.

Traffic changes for your website or app often happen as you begin reviewing analytic reports over time. But with so many reports and ideas, it can be a head scratcher to know where to start a diagnosis.

While no one set of tactics is the right way, there are a few great ways to get started in analytic reporting. The key is deciding if the traffic change is technical or from marketing influences on traffic.

What Could You Do With a Digital Marketing Command Center?

This morning, a vendor promised us their solution is the only that looks at the entire customer journey and provides sales agents actionable insights.

Now another vendor is making the same promise for digital marketers.

Bedford, Mass.-based Progress Software has created a Digital Marketing Command Center. Officials said it combines technologies from its Telerik Sitefinity CMS and Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud to help marketers track and measure customer behavior.

"We started this 16 months ago, and this is one of the things we've struggled with ourselves," said Martin Kirov, vice president of product management and marketing for the Telerik Sitefinity CMS. "And most customers struggle with the fact that digital marketing teams operate in a very fragmented way."

The Next Big Thing: #SXSW Accelerator Winners

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They came to Austin, Texas from far and wide — places as far removed from each other as Atlanta and Austria, Salt Lake City and Stockholm, New York and Tokyo … you name it.

Their mission? Plain and simple: to win the Accelerator competition in their particular category at SXSW’s StartUp Village.

This is the place to not only win, but also to become known.

"Over the past six years of companies competing in SXSW Accelerator, more than 50 percent have gone on to receive funding in excess of $1.7 billion and 12 percent of the companies have been acquired," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine.

But making it into the competition isn’t easy.

The Marketing Technology Explosion: A Blessing or a Curse?

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My first two reactions to Scott Brinker’s super infographic covering the marketing technology landscape were: WOW and WOW.

The first wow -- Wow, we have come a long way. There’s been a tremendous amount of innovation, evolution and exploration of data and technology across the broad categories of Media, Data, Content and Commerce.

The second wow -- Da&#! How will we manage this evolution? How do these pieces come together? Because that will be the only way to bring value to the consumer and the only way we will come close to delivering a seamless omnichannel consumer experience.

Would You Run Your Call Center on Chromebooks? Avaya Thinks So

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Avaya claims its Call Center services power a significant share of big call centers.

Among customer call centers with more than 400 agents, it estimates a 63 percent market share. Among call centers with more than 1,000 agents, it estimates a 70 percent share.

So what’s Avaya thinking right now? How does it capture that elusive market segment of call centers with 10 to 250 agents?

Today, the company spun off from Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs in 2000 announced an expanded partnership with Google.

The goal is to target a market segment that Avaya calls “green pastures.”  

That partnership creates a curious technology arrangement where Chromebooks — the class of PC created by Google to run essentially anything that can be run on the web — will become the exclusive device for running the company’s latest OnAvaya cloud-based call center.

Genesys Update Works to Engage Your Customers

Genesys released an update to its Customer Experience Platform that it boasts will help you engage and guide your customers.

Reed Henry, chief marketing officer for Genesys, said the platform integrates and augments customer relationship management(CRM). It adds native technology "to directly engage and guide customers across all interaction channels, including voice and touchpoints."

Genesys is a Daly City, Calif.-based contact center software provider. It has 3,000-employees.

"We call this orchestrating the customer journey," Henry added. Other CRM platforms react to customer behavior. But they don’t shape it or attempt to orchestrate the step-by-step sequencing of customer interactions, he added.

Cisco to Salesforce: Can You Handle Our New CRM Solution?

In the clearest sign to date about the blurry line between a communications service provider and a customer service software firm, Cisco today announced a sweeping reform of its Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) product.  

The company, better known for its network switches and routers, is repositioning UCCE from a call center management service to a customer relationship management platform. 

Beginning in June, Cisco will offer what it plans to call a Context Service.  It’s a cloud-based platform for enterprises to share sales-related data.

7 Tips for System Integrators to Bridge the IoT Gap

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Vendors should take a bold stance when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), but implementers can’t afford to bet on that. Instead, they need to take the lead, from investing in research to starting pilot programs. Positioned between vendors and clients, they are at the center of a post-digital revolution, putting them in the ideal position to act as bridges that link the two sides together. 

Build Audiences, Not Visitors

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One statistic that gets thrown around too easily these days is how much of a buyer’s journey is completed before the first sales contact. Some analysts claim that it’s 60 percent. Some say it’s as much as 74 percent.

Regardless of which number is right, it comes down to this: buyers turn to external and brand-produced content more and more to reach a buying decision.

Altocloud Claims It Can Help You Reach Your Customers - Now

A Silicon Valley startup is coming out of stealth mode to help you connect with your customers in real time.

The company, Altocloud, is releasing what it describes as a unique solution today, which combines machine learning and predictive analytics with real time communications within websites and mobile apps.

Altocloud officials said the solution makes voice, video and chat interactions better. It predicts the right visitors and moments in online journeys where interactions add value.

"Altocloud helps companies increase sales whether it’s more conversions on an e-commerce website or higher value leads on inside sales by profiling their prospects and customers and telling them the best way to communicate live with the customer," Barry O'Sullivan, CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based Altocloud, told CMSWire.

"Without us, they are flying blind. We give them the information they need to know -- which prospects will respond best to which types of live 'in-the-moment' communications and with whom." 

Customer Engagement is Usually a Sham

If you’re ripping your customers off, you can’t expect to design an experience to engage them. 

Discussion Point: How Can Your Company Innovate Faster?

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Every business dreams of doing things things differently, uniquely, innovatively. But how can businesses best achieve innovation?

Some prescribe a culture of innovation. Some want to teach innovation in schools. Some suggest hiring innovators. Still others link innovation to agility. And they all may be right.

However, in a competitive world where everyone is trying to innovate, it's also critical to innovate faster than the competition.

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