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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Customer Communication: Let Your Context Be Your Guide

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You’ve just recovered from a bout with pneumonia and your best friend comes by for a visit. Ignoring your puffy eyes and exhausted demeanor, she says, “Let’s go for a run!”

“That’s contextually wrong,” Tara Kelly, president and CEO of Calgary, Alberta-based SPLICE Software told CMSWire. “It emotionally disengages you from that person.”

Kelly gave us this example during an interview that touched on the importance of context in customer interactions, and the need to incorporate the human voice into your marketing mix to enhance the customer experience.

“Whether customer communication is automated, written or with a live agent, you want to ensure it’s contextually accurate,” she said.

Marketer's Dilemma: Too Much Transparency, Too Much Work?

Digital advertising is becoming more self-service and transparent -- but also more complicated for marketers tasked with pulling and analyzing multiple sources of data.

In the past handful of years, increasing numbers of ad technology providers have opened up their reporting tools to clients and agencies. And while marketers actively embrace transparency as a good thing, they caution that it also comes with new, time-sucking responsibilities.

The debatable question: Can marketers effectively and efficiently learn to use multiple reporting tools to tap the data and insights previously provided through managed services?

How to Staff a Content Marketing Team

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Behind every great piece of content marketing is a great content team.

That should be obvious, but for all the emphasis brands are placing on content marketing, surprisingly little is said about the teams that make it work. Surprising because while marketers are shifting more dollars toward content marketing, the sector is suffering from a huge staffing problem. Nearly half of all B2C marketers have dedicated content teams within their organizations, according to the latest annual trend report from the Content Marketing Institute (pdf). Yet the same report found that a third of the 5,000-plus marketers surveyed said they had trouble finding trained content marketing professionals.

Adobe Enters Government Cloud Space [Infographic]

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Adobe is moving into the government cloud space.

What’s more, it's doing so with Adobe Experience Manager. The result is a set of solutions that many public users will already be familiar with — and should also provide other vendors in the space something to think about.

According to Adobe’s John Landwehr, Adobe public sector Chief Technical Officer, the product has a punch that its competitors don’t have. Landwehr told CMSWire that the Adobe offering is more than just cloud infrastructure. It’s an entire integrated solutions package, he said.

For Digital Marketers, Agility Is a Good Thing [Infographic]

Successful marketers have dedicated project managers, a formal content review structure and strong automation of workflows. Ideally, they also administer project management software — without reliance on the IT department.

These are some of the findings from researchers at ProofHQ, a Dallas- and London-based provider that surveyed about 500 marketers for a report entitled, "4 Insights Proven to Increase Marketing Agility."

"The key is an agile approach and a collaborative environment for the entire team," said Brandon Pindulic, a Boston-based digital marketing specialist who works for ProofHQ. "The more unproductive teams felt like they didn't have a system. They relied on long email threads for reviewing and approving content."

What's IBM-Silverpop's Digital Experience Pathway in 2015?

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Anyone anxious to see what's coming out of IBM's acquisition of behavioral marketing specialist Silverpop will have to wait a few more months.

Officials have some news to announce regarding the Silverpop technology but won't release it until later in the year.

But they aren't sitting still, according to Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop, which now operates under the IBM ExperienceOne customer experience platform.

"The last eight months we've probably put more connection points in both from a business and product view than you can even count," Nussey told CMSWire. "The vision we brought to IBM is intact but amplified greatly."

Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (04-Feb-15)

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: CMSWire Tweet Jam: The Future of Digital Experience #CXMChat

Be sure to mark your calendars for what's sure to be another great CMSWire Tweet Jam! Taking place on Thursday, February 26th, we'll be discussing the future of Digital Experience -- emerging patterns and aging Paradigms.

> Register Now

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Brand Relationships Made to Last

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Ryan Taggerty is a dedicated practitioner in a highly skilled -- but nostalgic -- field of expertise. Dr. Tagg, as he is known professionally, is a doll doctor. His is a disappearing discipline because, as Ryan says, “they are no longer made to last.”

The same might be said of brands.

The Catch with Customer Experience? Making it Work

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Business leaders, analysts and consultants are in consensus that customer experience is the core differentiator for just about every company, regardless of market or vertical. Customer experience drives sales, retention, profitability and even shareholder value.

There’s also very little dissent on the point that we’ve entered a time when everything is digital -- the barriers between channels have blurred to the point that the distinction is no longer relevant. Going forward, digital experience refers to the ways digital technology shapes experiences, regardless of being online or offline.

The core issue facing digital experience isn't the vision -- it's making it work.

Honey, Did We Shrink the Marketing Technology Landscape?

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Don't be intimidated by Scott Brinker's latest marketing technology landscape.

Many of the 1,876 vendors will fold, others will merge and be acquired and the landscape will shrink because of it, some industry players told CMSWire.

"Many will fail," said Charles Nicholls, senior vice president of product strategy for hybris and SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce.

"In the Wild West, new vendors are experimenting with new ways of doing things. Not all of these work -- look at Facebook storefronts for example -- and some will flop spectacularly. Caveat emptor, there are many snake oil salesman promising the earth. Look for a solid measurable return-on-investment (ROI) that you can prove before committing."

What Works, What Doesn't in Email Marketing [Infographic]

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Welcome to the age of .... dead things? 

People like to call different types of marketing dead. What's the fate of email marketing? Many still believe in it. 

We caught up with three who are believers, in fact. One claims traditional email service providers (ESPs) aren't cutting it for marketers. Another claims it knows who the 20 most popular ESPs are. And the other believes it's cracked the code where email marketing best works.

Naturally, each has something to gain. They are providers in this space. But nonetheless, we were curious to hear their takes on the state of email marketing.

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.

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?

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