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Customer Relationship Management News & Analysis

Reporting for Duty at Bloomfire: New CEO Bob Zukis

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Want to watch someone walk their talk? Then keep your eyes on Bob Zukis.

Zukis is the author of Social Inc., a book that claims Business is the next social opportunity — and it's worth trillions of dollars.

Beginning this morning, he’ll have a chance to prove it when he takes the helm at Bloomfire, a start-up that aims to revolutionize the Enterprise through its knowledge sharing and social collaboration platform.

For those who aren’t yet familiar with Bloomfire, it was launched nearly two years ago at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where the company also happens to be based.

Gartner Names 5 Vendors That Make CRM Cool

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If you still have doubts whether customer relationship management (CRM) is trendy, hip and cool, put your mind at rest. Gartner just released a list of "cool" CRM vendors.

But notions of coolness aside, what's equally as interesting is the evidence of specialization among CRM vendors and the signals that point to their potential growth.  

Lithium has Klout, Wants to be #SeriousAboutCustomers

Lithium Technologies today confirmed what everyone seemed to know already — and acknowledged it has bought Klout. Lithium is reportedly paying almost $200 million in cash and private stock for the social media ranking influencer — twice as much as speculated during the past month.

Speaking at a late-to-start press conference — Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of the social customer service company, declined to confirm the value of the deal. However, he noted, "If Lithium is paying $200 million for Klout, then it is a very valuable company and I'm happy about that."

Tarkoff described the acquisition as a significant extension to its platform that will offer consumers and brands better ways to engage online. "We're adding the relationship piece into the CRM world," he said. "Together, we could be something incredibly disruptive to CRM."

Lithium is also adding Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout, to the leadership team. He will become general manager and senior vice president of Lithium's Klout business, Tarkoff said.

Learning from Loss: Forensic Files for Lost Sales

Learning from Loss: Using Data from Deals that Fall Through to Make Your Sales Organization BetterAnyone involved in sales has experienced the near miss. That’s when you’re in what you think is the home stretch of a big sale, with your contact at the company assuring you that only one or two big shots have to sign off on the deal. As you’re icing the champagne, you get a call: the deal’s gone to your competitor.

Adobe, Intershop Integration Boosts E-Commerce

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Adobe just introduced another option for online retailers who are struggling to bridge the gap between content and e-commerce.

Only a week after Adobe enhanced its e-commerce options through a formal integration with Elastic Path, it announced it is integrating Experience Manager with Intershop, an omnichannel e-commerce technology vendor.

The integration could help businesses develop better and more personalized customer experiences, Adobe maintains.

Contact Centers Drive the Social CRM Revolution

With more than 2 million Twitter accounts established every day, social media presents a host of new challenges and opportunities in the realm of customer relationship management (CRM). People are tweeting not only about their customer service needs but also the good, bad and ugly of the experience that they receive from companies.

According to evolve24, 70 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored -- and the damage can be significant. Gartner estimates that failure to respond via social channels can lead to an up to 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers.

Sitecore Apps Offer Mobile Customer Experience Analytics

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Sitecore wants to put the customer at the heart of customer experiences. And now that the world has gone mobile, that means optimizing the mobile customer experience.

With Sitecore's release of mobile apps for its experience platform, it's acting on that business strategy.

While it hasn't put its entire experience platform on mobile, it has made the platform accessible on mobile — a timely move given predictions by Forrester and others that the lines are blurring between physical and digital worlds.

Adobe Adds E-Commerce Option with Elastic Path Integration

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Adobe Marketing Cloud can make even the most sophisticated marketing campaigns easy to develop. Now it's enhancing its e-commerce options through a formal integration with Elastic Path. 

It's a key integration — and particularly noteworthy because the development work Elastic Path has completed provides an integrated authoring experience directly inside of Adobe Experience Manager, which is unique.

Adobe has previously worked with Elastic Path on a number of different projects. It was through these projects that, little by little, both companies realized they were good for each other and decided to tie the knot.

Content Marketing Myths and Truths

content marketing.jpgSomehow, "Content Marketing" has hit the jackpot in terms of business memes, with every marketing person tossing the term around like it's some sort of magic elixir.

But what exactly is content marketing? And how do you do it? I've cooked up a list of myths and truths of content marketing to help you wade through the hype.

Microsoft Transplants Social Listening, Smart Marketing into Dynamics CRM

Just two weeks away from its 2014 Convergence Conference, Microsoft has started releasing details of the forthcoming upgrades to its customer relationship management (CRM) offerings. This year’s upgrades include smarter marketing capabilities, acute social listening and enhanced customer care based on the recent Parature acquisition.

Lithium to Buy Klout in $100 Million Deal?

A report published today has social customer experience enterprise software provider Lithium Technologies acquiring social media ranking influencer Klout for about $100 million.

Reached by CMSWire, Klout did not confirm or deny the report. Lithium did not immediately return an email.

"We don't comment on rumor or speculation," Jon Dick, head of marketing for Klout, told CMSWire today in an email.

Improving the Customer Support Experience

How do you know your customers are getting their problems solved quickly and easily? This is a question that has challenged many support websites. The traditional approach has tended to involve customer satisfaction and visitor volume metrics. 

What's the Customer Experience when Everything and Everyone Is Connected?

What's the Customer Experience when Everything and Everyone Is Connected?

As humans, we yearn for connection -- and while our tools will always change, the principles and desires that drive us stay the same. As our communications tools improved, the radius of our connections increased -- until the whole world was at our fingertips. Now, we are moving into a time when our connected devices are helping us connect to the world around us, in ways we couldn't dream of.

E-Commerce, Content and Closing the Gaps: A Look at Sitecore

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Over the past two days, we have looked at different approaches to bridging the gap between content management and e-commerce. In the first part, we saw that e-Spirit has adopted a best-of-breed approach. Yesterday we saw how Elastic Path is using e-commerce APIs to integrate content.

In the final piece today, we look at Sitecore, which has put customers at the heart of the retail process by providing personalized content and user experiences.

E-Commerce, Content and Closing the Gaps: A Look at Elastic Path

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Yesterday we saw how e-Spirit has developed a best-of-breed approach to bridge the gap between content management and e-commerce.  But there are other approaches to this problem. Today we'll look at how Elastic Path tackles the problem with  API-centric commerce. This gives enterprises a single, unified customer experience no matter what device is being used to access the site.

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