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Customer Experience News & Analysis

The Continued Decline of the Homepage

Google is your new homepage. Every page you have is a homepage for someone. We must think beyond the traditional homepage.

This Tech Worker Has the Best Chief Title. Ever.

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Meet Firas Raouf. Chief Something or Other of Xink.

Seriously. That's his title.

And we love it.

The tech executive of the Boston-based email signature management and campaign tool took the title basically to prove this point: He doesn't need one.

Nor does anyone in his company. They need to get stuff done and sell product -- and not worry about who's named what.

"We want to be innovative," Raouf said of the 12-employee company, whose roots date back to 2007. "We want to break away from the norm of the past. We are a virtual company with employees spread over multiple cities and countries. We all wear multiple hats, and we all collaborate to get what needs to get done, done. We wanted our titles to be non-titles. There is no hierarchy."

For Google Algorithms to Mobile Insights, Digital Marketers Give Thanks

2014-26-November-Thank-You.jpgWith some $13.1 billion in sales expected over this long Thanksgiving weekend, brands and marketers have much for which to be grateful. With CyberMonday starting off the following week, digital marketers have additional reasons to give thanks.
 
In the spirit of the holiday, CMSWire took its own informal survey to quantify, what exactly, people most appreciate.
 
From the goofy to the incisive to the obvious-but-still-needs-to-be-said, we give you eight things about which digital marketers are thankful. 

Thankful for Louis Prima, Customer Honesty, Personalization and More

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Family and health. Are there any more reasons to be thankful this time of year?

Um, yes.

OK, the first two are the most important. But I gotta say, I'm starting to be more and more thankful for other things. The ability to switch from rapper Pitbull's Pandora station to trumpeter Louis Prima's in seconds. The new Taco Bell breakfast menu (no shame here; it's delicious). And the San Francisco Giants giving my beloved Red Sox good players.

Techies are feeling thankful this time of year, too. So are digital marketers, as you'll see in another story published here today. We caught up with some tech managers and CEOs about what's making them thankful this year:

Pushing the CIO and CMO Closer Together

2014-26-November-Closer.jpgIn years past the chief marketing officers and chief information officers had their own discrete functions to perform within the company -- with the twain rarely having to meet.

Clearly that is not true any more as digital marketing becomes a larger and larger component of a company's overall marketing operations. Despite this trend, CIOs and CMOs have not moved to anything approaching true collaboration, according to the findings of a Forrester/Forbes Insights survey. While progress has been made in establishing foundational aspects of trust, organizational skills and process, it concludes, "bold leadership is needed to turn this initial work into client results."

Focus Your Content Marketing on the Digital Dialogue

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To stand out and be relevant in the digital world, you need content. Sounds simple, but the reality is very different. According to the Content Management Institute, marketers in businesses both small and large face challenges that range from producing sufficient quantities of engaging content, lack of integration across marketing, budget restraints, insufficient executive buy-in, limited measurement capabilities and skillset shortages.

The Psychology of Personalization

2014-26-November-Personality.jpgLet's get right to the punchline, and then back it up with some facts. Automated personalization and the human touch are complementary, but systems will improve and automated personalization will handle more and more of the personalized interactions with customers. It’s not only because automated personalization is more efficient. Sometimes the results are better when human-to-human psychological baggage is subtracted from the equation.

Personality Matters in Customer Service

Mike Ashe has a philosophy about CRM: “If we’re right more often than we’re wrong then we’re going to beat random.”

By that, he’s referring to the analytics behind his company Mattersight's Predictive Behavioral Routing which “predicts which (customer service) agent is best-suited to handle the next call based on individual customer behavioral data and agent performance data.”

6 Things We Learned About Facebook's First Intern

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First, the good stuff.

Mark Zuckerberg has no secrets beyond what the public already knows about him.

The movie, "The Social Network" was BS. 

Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker seem like a rockstar when he's really just a nerd.

And the jury's out whether Darian Shirazi, Facebook's first intern, was portrayed in the movie.

(Ah. The self-indulgent reporter Facebook stuff is out of the way.)  

We caught up with former Facebooker Shirazi, now 27, to talk about the marketing software industry.

His two-year run as intern and employee at Facebook behind him, Shirazi went on to invest in several technologies before launching three years ago what's now Radius, a San Francisco B2B real-time marketing intelligence platform company that's up to about 60 employees.

Here's what we learned about Shirazi and his company: 

Are Your Processes Customer-Focused?

2014-26-November-Nesting-Doll.jpgWhen business leaders turn their focus toward processes, they often do so with an eye on becoming more efficient in how they handle payroll, manage finances or generate and distribute reports.

While it’s true that these routine tasks need to run smoothly, companies that look at processes solely as a way to improve the quality of a project or improve lead time, are missing a golden opportunity to positively affect the customer experience and spark innovation within their company. So says David Hamme, author of the book "Customer Focused Process Innovation," and managing director of Ephesus Consulting.

Smarter Advertising Strategies for Facebook

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Facebook may be a source of daily amusement (or annoyance) for many, but it’s also a growing and evolving advertising platform for businesses.

Recent changes to the social media giant, including the decision to shut the like gate, are changing the way Facebook advertisers do business.

Experts say businesses who want to use Facebook effectively to attract customers are increasingly going to need some new strategies in their toolbox.

Marketing Automation: Not All Agree on Leading Vendors

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Everyone wants a piece of marketing automation, it seems. But not everyone agrees on which vendors lead the pack.

The latest marketing automation software rankings -- crowdsourced G2 Crowd's Grid report released this month -- proves the rankings companies don't exactly agree when determining leaders.

But they do concur on one thing -- Oracle-Eloqua and Marketo deserve to be leaders. They were the lone vendors that got leader love in each of the five marketing automation vendor rankings we profiled. Salesforce-Pardot was ever so close, being named a leader in four out of five, with the fifth determining Salesforce-Pardot was a runner-up.

Digital Community is Key to Your Brand

2014-25-November-GoPro-User.jpgDigital tools and social networks are making communities stronger and more important than ever for brands.

Whether it's your local burrito shop or GoPro, nurturing a community of active users can accelerate the brand development and spread the word over digital channels. Now, this might seem obvious, but is everybody doing it? Businesses that don't focus on building a digital community will have a hard time getting over the hump.

Chicken or Egg: Passive Marketing or Passive Consumers?

2014-25-November-Chickens.jpgWhen it comes to passive interactions between consumers and advertisers who’s to blame? Today’s consumers consistently show a willingness to engage and participate with brand campaigns, so long as they’re convenient and tailored to their tastes. Nevertheless, a majority of advertisers are still deploying marketing tactics that don’t compel this type of user behavior. And even fewer seem to be aware of the different nuances demanded by different devices. The proverbial one-size-fits-all approach simply conditions consumers to approach engagement with brands cautiously.

B2B Organizations Still Not Sold on Social Selling

Most B2B organizations do not embrace social as a legitimate sales channel. And even less are offering training on social selling to sales professionals.

Those are some of the findings of PeopleLinx's November survey of 254 B2B professionals on how they and their companies view social in the sales cycle. PeopleLinx offers a social selling platform.

Only 22 percent of organizations encourage sales professionals to use social as one of their channels, and only 11 percent of companies offer training on social selling.

"I think that tells the whole story," said Michael Idinopulos, chief marketing officer for Philadelphia-based PeopleLinx. "There is a real opportunity here. A lot of research says that sales reps that use social selling outperform their peers, but companies are not yet leading the charge with their employees."

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