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Customer Experience Management (CXM) Articles

The IoT Will Drive the Future of Digital Experience

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People often think of the Internet of Things as being about smart thermostats, milk-ordering fridges and cheap beacons. This practical view obscures both the promise and the threat of IoT.

IoT is about adding sensors, logic and connectivity to anything imaginable. In an IoT world, so much data that could only be captured with significant human effort can now be easily gathered and quantified. With a small investment, almost anything bigger than a postage stamp can be located and observed. Large objects and more investment allow for many additional capabilities, which are amplified when the devices interact with other things in the IoT.

The Marketing Tech Landscape Isn't As Scary As You Think

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"Please, make the bad chart go away," I've heard more than one marketer plead.

I've been mapping the marketing technology landscape for the past five years. It's mostly a labor of love. I'm fascinated by how this space is evolving -- both the technologies and the strategies of the firms who build them. And as the co-founder of a marketing technology company, I have a vested interest in understanding our positioning in the larger world of marketing software.

My intention in sharing it was to illustrate just how much marketing has become a technology-powered discipline. I hoped it might impart a sense of awe for all the incredible innovation that's out there.

But the most common emotion it stirs is, well, terror. It's often incorporated into presentations with the intention of frightening people. "Look at how scary the marketing technology landscape is!" That's a shame, because it's really not as scary as it looks.

AI in the Enterprise: A Sign of Things to Come?

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Smartphones will be in the hands of a quarter of the world population by 2017, according to forecasts from the likes of eMarketer. As a result, businesses of all sizes will have growing needs for mobile applications, including solutions that automate tasks such as managing calendars.

Lowdownapp is one such app for the enterprise market: It promises to organize your smartphone calendar based on your individual needs using artificial intelligence (AI).

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Another Study Shows Big Gap Between CX Goals, Realities

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For the second time in a week, a study reported a big gap between what marketers think about customer experience (CX) and what they're doing about it.

Last week, IDC analyst Mary Wardley noted the challenges faced by marketers who want to optimize customer experience within their organizations. This week, CX technology provider SDL is reporting "an important disconnect" in perceptions among retail marketers that may give an advantage to competitors.

Retailers are overwhelmed by the complexity of data, technology and understanding of the customer journey, SDL CMO Paige O'Neill noted in a statement that accompanied the study. Echoing Wardley's take, O'Neill said the "mastery of customer experience is a challenge with many facets."

According to SDL, which conducted the survey during the fourth quarter in collaboration with Econsultacy, respondents included more than 250 senior marketers at North American retailers with average sales of almost $500 million.

Multimedia Long-Form: The Next Big Thing for Content Marketing

2015-02-February-Immersive.jpgWhat would it be like to transport yourself immediately from your current destination to the destination of your choice? From Star Trek to Harry Potter, to the ancient tales of Aladdin, we've been captivated by the idea that we could somehow move time and space to be in another world.

Until we have the power to wrinkle our noses and teleport, we must be satisfied with photos, videos and Skype. But is it possible to spin a tale and immerse readers in a story without asking them to leave their desk, couch or bed? What if we could tell a story and transport a person from his current reality into the storyteller’s tale?

Enter multimedia long-form. Also called interactive long-form or multimedia narrative journalism, this innovative way of telling stories means that we can actually put our readers in the center of the story in a way that wasn't previously possible.

Discussion Point: Is Video Marketing the Next Big Thing?

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Gartner is bullish on video. In fact, the analyst company predicts large companies will stream more than 16 hours of video per worker, per month — by next year. Forrester Research is enthusiastic, too. In fact, an oft-quoted statistic that Forrester analyst James McQuivey made way back in 2008 suggests one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

As marketers, that latter number is real food for thought. What do you think is easier: getting a customer to read a million words or watch a one minute video?

Video marketing isn't new — it’s been a part of consumer life since the earliest television commercials were released. However, how that video is used as a marketing tool has drastically changed with the onset of social media and digital marketing, research shows. Today, marketers not only make videos to promote products, but also offer instructional videos. And some hold video chats with company officials or customer service representatives, all in the name of better customer experience.

Some 3 billion videos are played on YouTube every day and 100 hours of content are uploaded every minute. If you keep an HDMI cable stashed in your office drawer to connect your laptop to a big screen, then you're probably hooked — and understand the ease, convenience and value of video.

As McQuivey stated in his report, "Alexander Graham Bell famously doubted that the phone would be useful in the home except for calling doctors to emergencies. He was very wrong, failing to recognize that a technology that facilitates our human drive to communicate will spread rapidly. The phone did, as did email. Now it's video's turn because if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words."

But still, we had to ask. Is video marketing here to stay or a passing fad?

Week in Review: Don't Annoy Customers + EMC Documentum Changes

Winners, Losers in Ektron/EPiServer Merger
10 views on the big Web CMS alliance.

Avoid Annoying Customers
How to "story-sell" and not bother anyone.

Will They Come to Your Online Community?
Tips and tricks to make your community work.

Meet the New Huddle CEO
Big funding in December; major executive change in January. 

Changes for EMC Documentum
What's in a name anyway? 

Information Governance Revisited
Why information governance is in the air. 

The Agile Commerce Dividend 
Seven Imperatives for Realizing the Potential of Your eCommerce Sites

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CMSWire Tech Super Bowl: Seattle vs. New England

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Forget the Patriots vs. Seahawks. Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts. Tom Brady against Russell Wilson.

The 49th Super Bowl of the National Football League -- set for Sunday, Feb. 1 -- also features an undercard of two respected tech cities going head to head.

With that, we bring you today the first CMSWire Tech Super Bowl.

The matchup: two Web CMS industry players:

David Hillis, vice president of business development for Seattle's Ingeniux.

Tom Wentworth, chief marketing officer of Burlington, Mass.-based Acquia, which moves into Boston later this year.

The Rewards of Community Superfans

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It’s 1927. Meet three brothers from Southeastern Kansas. Lynn is away at medical school, Glen has just gone off to college. He’s pledged a fraternity and plans to major in business. Raymond is still in high school in their home town, Fredonia.

Suddenly, their father dies.

The brothers decide the two key family objectives are to keep Lynn in medical school and Raymond in high school. Glen must sacrifice his education to return to Fredonia and become the sole breadwinner for the three boys and their mother. Glen secures a job as a janitor at the local bank. 

Marketers Are Mastering Digital Advertising, Adobe Suggests

Adobe's fourth quarter 2014 Digital Advertising Report shows digital advertising is becoming increasingly efficient — and that smart advertisers understand the nuances of customer behaviors, including the top days of the week for search.

The report analyzed search and social media data and trends around Google, Yahoo/Bing and Facebook. It's based on more than 500 billion Google and Yahoo Bing ad impressions and some 400 billion Facebook post impressions gathered throughout 2014.

The key take-aways:

  • Google Shopping Ads grew dramatically over the holiday season as expected, outperforming text ads eight times over.
  • Digital advertising continues to become more efficient with click-through-rates (CTRs) growth outpacing cost-per-click (CPC) growth.
  • Certain days of the week are better than others for certain ads — for example, Sunday is best for mobile ads, Monday for desktop ads and Friday for Facebook ads.
  • Despite a change in Facebook's algorithm that forced businesses to buy more ads, retailers still turned to Facebook during the holiday season to drive sales.

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Retail Leads in Customer-Focused 'Modern' Marketing

Retail is leading the way when it comes to more customer-focused modern marketing practices, according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Oracle.

Andrea Ward, vice president of marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud, said the retail industry has a long tradition of being customer-centric. "By embracing new data technologies and taking an integrated marketing approach, retailers are able to create a digital dialogue with their customers and deliver the right messages at the right time," she noted.

Forrester surveyed 523 marketing decision-makers across a range of industries in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia to evaluate marketing’s maturity in targeting, engagement, conversion, analysis and technology.

The first part of the study, released last October, found that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

Further analysis of the data, released this month, found modern marketing adoption rates vary from industry to industry, with some industries embracing marketing technologies and associated best practices faster than others.

4 Ways Marketers Can Move Mobile Advertising Forward

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On the heels of recent research centered around how companies are falling short with mobile marketing, comes a new report — this time with similarly disappointing findings around mobile advertising, in particular.

The AdExchanger Research report, titled Mobile’s Unmet Potential (available for purchase), finds that although marketers, technology providers and agencies surprisingly share the same vision for the future of mobile advertising, no such agreement exists regarding how to achieve that vision.

Think Only Marketing Owns Customer Experience? Think Again

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Customer experience management usually lands in the laps of the marketing team. After all, they’re the ones who are responsible for fostering the relationship between the brand and the customer.

The idea that customer experience is exclusively a marketing problem is a little shortsighted for any business. For the multichannel retailer, it’s flat out incorrect.

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