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Digital News & Analysis

How Marketing Content Wastes Money

Docurated has confirmed what many marketing people already suspect: only a small percentage of that content you create is actually being used in the sales process.

In fact, according to the soon to be released survey of 1,2141 sales and marketing professionals, 90 percent of the content marketing departments produce is never used by sales people. What's more,  56 percent of salespeople prepare their own content.

We Should Talk: How Live Chat Improves CX

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Talk to me. Or rather, talk to your customers.

Live chat is the best way to boost overall satisfaction with your customer service, according to the latest quarterly Zendesk Benchmark report released today.

In an analysis of live chat as a customer service channel, Zendesk, a provider of customer service and support ticket software, found that customers who choose the live chat option are generally more satisfied than those who call, email or use social media channels.

How You Can Make a Good Company Great

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What makes a company great?

Shep Hyken, professional speaker, bestselling author and Chief Amazement Officer for Shepard Presentations, said it’s not just the product.

Hyken, a customer service and experience expert, spoke during CXweek, an online conference featuring daily webinars and content downloads to raise awareness of and celebrate the role customer experience plays in business success.

“The companies that get it are extremely customer-focused and they put the customer at the heart of all their decisions,” he told attendees during a conference session.

Why Most Online Retailers Fail

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We’ve all heard about that “friend of a friend,” who made it big by quitting her day job and becoming her own boss. While the idea of calling all the shots may sound appealing to a disgruntled nine-to-fiver, most people fail to consider the whole picture. Most of those unhappy workers who quit their day jobs and dive head-first into the first online opportunity discover that, with little knowledge of what they are doing, there is scant hope for success.

Eight out of ten new businesses fail within the first 18 to 24 months, according to many sourcesAs with any conventional business, if you do not plan, budget or smartly invest in an online business from the start, you will struggle to make profits and ultimately fail.

The Organization-Customer Disconnect

The irony of this period of big data is that many organizations are becoming even more disconnected from their customers.

Tahzoo Scoops Up HintTech

In a recent Forrester report, researchers named only 16 companies as specialty agencies which, “more often than not … determine the success or failure of digital experience delivery initiatives.”

Big news from two of those companies included on the list: Tahzoo, an end-to-end 21st century customer experience agency, has acquired HintTech to expand its global reach in the market.

“With a focus on customer experience management, you need global capacity, and you need to help people think about how they operate and execute on a global basis, because companies don’t focus on only one geography,” said Tahzoo CEO Brad Heidemann.

“Most players are geographically limited. They don’t have the breadth and reach necessary to succeed in the global marketplace.”

Is Your Community Boring? Send in the Advocates

Is your online community everything you dreamed it would be? Members constantly exchanging ideas and advice? Content that is always fresh and inviting? Engagement so high that members can’t stop raving about you across their social networks?

Or are you in with the 94 percent of B2B marketers Demand Metric found are not satisfied with their communities?

If you’re looking for a way to liven up and get more value from your community, the latest announcement from Influitive just might be for you. The company has just launched Influitive Communities, a new platform designed to help businesses use the power of their brand advocates to drive community engagement.

What You Need to Know About the State of the Web

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WordPress dominates, even for businesses. Facebook and Twitter linking is prevalent.

Those are some of the findings in a "State of the Web" report released today by CodeGuard, an Atlanta-based website cloud backup provider

Nothing earth-shattering, we know. Any surprises?

"We were surprised by just how dominantAngular is," said David Moeller CEO of CodeGuard, which analyzed 250,000 websites. "We expected it to be implemented across many websites, but not nearly as heavily as we found. It has been growing in popularity and this helps to solidify this."

Don't Sell the Internet of Things Short

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What's in a name? According to the Technology Partnership (TTP), a Cambridge, England-based tech firm, quite a lot.

Last week, the TTP issued a report, which I can only assume was meant to stir the collective pot that is the Internet of Things (IoT).

TTP claimed that we should really be referring the IoT as the Internet of Sensors or IoS. Why? Because it describes the IoT as nothing more than myriad sensors that feed data back over the Internet. As Steve Taylor, a senior consultant at TTP, described it, the IoT is largely "a solution looking for a problem, rather than the other way round.”

“There’s simply no point in objects talking to each other just for the sake of it and the IoT only provides the communications backbone. An Internet of Sensors looks more like the roots of a tree, with sensors of all types at the extremities, capturing and feeding data upwards to the main trunk – the Internet.”

TTP is no slouch in the tech sector: the firm has been at it for 25 years developing tech in sectors ranging from consumer products to aerospace, so one would assume it has a solid grasp on the larger picture.

That all being said, I think TTP is selling the Internet of Things far short of its potential — or, at the very least, are looking at this with tunnel vision.

Can Tracx Help You Manage Your Social Media?

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We reported last month that social media tools aren't cutting it for marketers. Officials at Tracx think differently.

The New York City-based provider today released updated tools for its social media management platform. It provides for marketers a "new intelligence and context-driven publishing and engagement experience," according to officials. It includes, they said, real time content creation, cross-channel management, proactive content marketing and predictive insights.

They call it Smart Recommendations, which uses systemwide insights to predictively identify the best times of day to engage audiences via owned and earned media. 

"Marketers don’t have to go it alone or blind," Eric Berkowitz, vice president of solutions engineering at Tracx, told CMSWire. He said the company's new dashboard gives marketers access to real time predictive data -- whether they are analyzing share-of-voice or conducting an outreach program.

Put Your Best Foot Forward: Get Smart About User Experience

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When your website serves as the primary face of your brand, the user experience can make all the difference in forming brand perceptions and in earning (or failing to earn) customer loyalty and support. A brand’s site is the communications nerve center, supplying resources for product discovery, customer support, access to the brand’s community, and/or perks for dedicated enthusiasts.

The critical importance of the online user experience (UX) demands that special attention be paid to every aspect of the experience, including the interface, content and technical delivery. These need to be tailored to win over your visitors by providing ease-of-use and by demonstrating an accurate understanding of the visitors and their needs, while maintaining consistency with your core brand propositions.  

If You Love the Customer, Your Organization Will Hate You

Focusing on the needs of customers is a thankless job in most organizations. In fact, the customer champion is seen as annoying, irritating and a trouble maker. It is a career-limiting role. 

Most organizations that I have dealt with over the years spout nice platitudes about the customer (or employee) being important. But in reality, the potential customer is somebody to be sold to, and the current customer is pretty much ignored. If you want to progress in most organizations you focus on your boss, not on your customer.

Digital Marketers, It's Not All About You #GartnerDMC

Companies striving to create the perfect customer experience always put the customer first. Don’t they? Of course, this is Marketing 101.

Digital marketers got a shock to the system from presenter Richard Fouts, Gartner research vice president, speaking at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego yesterday: too many of them are failing Marketing 101.

“No one’s ever going to disagree the customer is the most important part of your story. They’re paying your bills,” said Fouts. But where are they in marketing efforts? Fouts said the customer ends up taking a back seat to the brand. “It’s the ‘we’ word. Stop the ‘we,’ stop the ‘our.’  It’s not all about you. It’s about your customers.

“When someone asks, ‘What do you do?’, they really mean, ‘What can you do for me?’ Any answer that begins with ‘we’ is a red flag. If we answer the question correctly, it opens a conversation,” said Fouts. “Every story, every movie or book, is a situation begging resolution.”

What Do Your Customers Really Need? #GartnerDMC

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Kids sometimes have trouble differentiating what they want from what they need. A child may fuss and cry during playtime, but will forcefully say "no" if you ask if she needs a nap. 

It’s a case where the observable data tells one story, but when you ask, you get a completely different story.

Today’s digital content marketers often face the same dilemma with their own customers. They know to gather data from customers through endless measurement of analytics, surveys and assessments. In a sea of data, it can be nevertheless be difficult to figure out why your customers are squirming.

My POV: Go Local for Digital Experience Insight

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There's no shortage of digital marketing conferences, given the rapid changes in technology and convergence of purposes that can arise from these technologies. But the best conferences often have a dedicated focus on local issues or highlight local leaders, like the recent MBO15 digital marketing conference in Indianapolis.

Since 2007, the annual one-day conference in has been pulling together top local marketing firms and thought leaders to share trends and ideas. This year more than 600 attendees, primarily from the Indiana area, gathered to discuss trends that are disrupting digital best practices.

Microsoft was the title sponsor.

In an era of virtual reality, it was a worthwhile way to spend the day — sharing insights with other digital focused marketers face-to-face.

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