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Customer Experience News & Analysis

IBM is Offering Watson Analytics - At No Charge

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IBM just announced a new use for Watson, its supercomputer: a freemium analytics service that's available to all business users. It provides business professionals a unified experience and natural language dialogue so they can make better use data to achieve business goals, IBM claims.

Since it announced a very limited beta in September, IBM claims 22,000 people have signed up for the service. That seems way below the minimum threshold needed to make this a viable business, which may explain why the company is now opening it up to everyone. The freemium service will automate the once time-consuming tasks of data preparation, predictive analysis and visual storytelling for business professionals.

Want to Retain Your Customers? Get Personal

Many marketers are stuck in the personalization slow lane. Personalization is no longer a luxury reserved for big players like Amazon but is an expectation. So marketers who want to keep up with the competition must employ a personalization strategy. The good part? It's easier than ever to get on board with personalization. A number of tools exist that will amass customer data for you and provide you with opportunities to tailor your customers' online experience.

But there's one area where personalization can have impressive effects -- customer retention.

Videos for Experiences, Sounds for the Sightless, Pictures for Words

The latest in personalizing, opening doors and enhancing from the Melting Pot, Utah's Dixie, the Birthplace of American Liberty and The City.

Promoter.io Gets $1M to Grow Customer Loyalty

San Antonio, Texas-based startup Promoter.io has raised $1 million and launched a new software platform that it claims helps you better understand and leverage your most loyal customers.

The company will use an established loyalty metric and methodology known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to rank the loyalty of a customer database. Promoter.io's software will use NPS to help companies understand how loyal their customers are and cultivate the strongest "promoters" to help build the company's products and brands.

Marketing to Millennials: You're Doing it Wrong

2014-05-December-Reader.jpgMillennials have it rough. Not only have they come of age in the worst economy since the Great Depression, but log on to any news site and you’re likely to find them assailed by older generations as selfie-taking, text-a-holic, unemployable idlers.

But perceptions of millennials are beginning to shift. A number of recent articles point out that millennials are not somehow worse than boomers or gen X, they’re just different. These differences touch many aspects of millennials’ lives -- from work ethic and prioritization, to spending habits and how they use technology.

As a demographic, they present obstacles for marketers. To understand these obstacles and overcome them, it’s important to first understand what makes millennials tick.

Dear Marketers, Thanks for Ruining My Holiday Shopping Experience

2014-04-December-vintage-christmas.jpgMy earliest memories of my late father include heading out to scoop up bargains on the day after Christmas. What, I wondered at the age of four, could be better than buying plastic reindeer and strings of fat multicolored bulbs for 50 percent off — 364 days before you'd ever want to use them?

Nothing, I concluded. It was fun, even exciting, a way to effectively extend the magic of the holiday just a little longer.

And now, through a flurry of ill-conceived marketing, the fun is over. Some Master Marketer who clearly lacked access to a calendar decided that After Christmas Sales would be even better before Christmas. And that triggered a rash of related, equally annoying decisions to accelerate sales of all kinds.

Black Friday on Thursday, anyone? How about Cyber Monday on Saturday? Why don't we just have sales all month long?

But that's not all. After the sales are accelerated, many of them are extended — so all those Cyber Monday specials are still out there on Thursday.

5 Components of a Social Media Policy in a Regulated Industry

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A sound social media policy serves two key purposes: 1. to educate employees on use within and outside a company work environment and 2. to mitigate corporate risk through guidance on process and procedure as it relates to industry compliance and messaging.

For some more heavily regulated industries, the latter becomes extremely important.

Is a Private Equity Firm Buying Ektron?

BOSTON -- Rumblings that a private equity firm is buying web content management system (CMS) provider Ektron swept through the Gilbane Conference at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Boston this week.

Although sources were not willing to go on record with CMSWire, one industry insider told CMSWire that an acquisition was forthcoming — and that it did not involve another technology firm. The source did not respond when asked directly if the sale involved a private equity firm. 

Earlier this year, Ektron closed a growth equity funding round led by Accel-KKR. The company stated at the time that this minority investment, the company's first institutional round, will enable it to accelerate product and company expansion. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Neither Greg Williams, managing director at Accel-KKR and a member of the Ektron board, or Ektron employees immediately responded to our email requests for comment.

Using DAM Content Migration to Maximize Asset Value

2014-04-December-Trained-Migration.jpgInstalling a new digital asset management (DAM) system can be overwhelming. It requires a great deal of planning and coordination across multiple departments and groups. One of the biggest tasks is the migration of existing assets from one or more sources into the new DAM system.

While your vendor may offer a simple way to migrate old assets into the new DAM, they'll rarely spend the time to see how your organization can get the most value out of old assets. So before you jump in, take the time to consider the opportunities a content migration can offer.

How to Engage Affluent Consumers

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With holiday spending in full swing, companies that are best able to engage affluent customers, especially online, will no doubt be a lot jollier than their competitors. In fact, according to a report on affluent audiences, online purchases by those with larger incomes have risen significantly in just the last year.

So, what’s the secret to getting (and keeping) the attention of affluent customers long enough for them not to abandon their online shopping carts?

From paid ads to guest blog posts, we gathered some great tips on the subject from four digital experts willing to share their ideas.

How a Juggler is Shaping the Future of the Internet

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill Sobel

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten is a serial entrepreneur, blogger, speaker — and a guy who likes to "link to things that inspire me or make me laugh."

What else would you expect from a man who went to the circus school when he was 15, and once, in 1987, held the distinction of being the only person in The Netherlands who could juggle 7 balls?

He's also co-founder and CEO of The Next Web (TNW), a company that manages several initiatives focused on international technology news, business and culture. More recently he startedTwitterCounter.com, which he describes as a combination of Feedburner and Google Analytics for Twitter.

Starting companies is apparently something the Amsterdam-based businessman just likes to do. In 1997, he launched his first company, V3 redirect services, a redirect service that was acquired by Fortune City in 1999. In 2001 he founded HubHop, a WIFI hotspot service, which was acquired by the Dutch telecom operator KPN.

Since he has started several projects and companies in addition to The Next Web, including TNW Conference and Fleck.com.

Q4/Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (03-Dec-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.)

You're Invited: Website Redesign - Strategy First, Tactics Second

Join CMSWire and Ektron on December 16th for a one-hour webinar on defining your brand and retaining customers through your web presence.


> Register Now

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Marketer, Meet Commerce Expert

2014-03-December-Meeting.jpgWe've established the importance of a strong collaborative relationship between marketing and IT. As we approach 2015, it's time to highlight another relationship that will become equally important in the year ahead: a strong partnership between marketing and commerce teams.

Commerce experts today are laser-focused on implementing the best platforms and portals to facilitate online transactions safely and securely. Meanwhile, marketers concentrate on telling strong brand stories to increase sales and build customer loyalty. While both teams have similar goals when it comes to increasing a company’s business, their efforts are often siloed. They don’t realize the benefit of integrating efforts closely in order to create bottom-line business impact.

Has Personalization Hit a Dead End in CX? #Gilbane

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BOSTON -- Martha Elliott started to catch on through her bank's home page. Each time she logged on, the home page included images of African-Americans. 

Elliott is African-American.

"I didn't like it. I like diversity," the technologist told CMSWire today at the 700-registrant Gilbane Conference at the Boston Renaissance Marriott Hotel. "I want a bank that's diverse."

Instead, she got some back-end personalization she felt was "disingenuous." Pretty much the opposite of personalization, right?

What's New in December for Open Source CMS

It's a big day for Skien, Norway-based eZ Systems, which released the latest version of its flagship open source content management system this morning.

The company describes the new release, eZ Publish 5.4, as more agile, more powerful and easier to learn and use than previous versions. Just as significantly, it's the last of the current 5.x generation.

"With 5.4, we’ve carved out a clear path to upgrade to our next generation, which will definitely be a release you should consider upgrading to, whatever your plans are," Roland Benedetti, Chief of Product and Marketing at eZ Systems, noted in a recent blog post.

The next generation platform will replace the legacy kernel with a new kernel and new APIs and advance the Symfony framework introduced in eZ Publish Platform 5.x. It will also offer a new user interface that Benedetti claims will provide "a significantly improved user experience to anyone working with content."

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