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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

3 Barriers to Delivering Omnichannel Experiences

2014-17-July-Caught-a-Fish.jpgI was recently searching for fishing rods for my 5-year old son and his friends to use at our neighborhood pond. I know nothing about fishing, so I needed to get educated. First up, a Google search on my laptop at home. Then, I jostled between my phone, tablet and laptop visiting websites, reading descriptions, looking at photos and reading reviews. Offline, I talked to friends and visited local stores.

The product descriptions weren’t very helpful. What is a “practice casting plug”? Turns out, this was a great feature! Instead of a hook, the rod had a rubber fish to practice casting safely. What a missed opportunity for the retailers who didn’t share this information. I bought the fishing rods from the retailer that educated me with valuable product information and offered free three to five day shipping.

What does this mean for companies who sell products across multiple channels? 

Adobe and Neolane, 1 Year (and a Few Days) Later

Thumbnail image for 2014-16-July-Stephan-Dietrich.jpgSay “Adobe” 10 years ago and people would think “pdf” or “Photoshop.” Heck, say “Adobe” five years ago and people would think “pdf” or “Photoshop.”

While those words still come to mind when you hear Adobe today, chances are you are just as likely to think Marketing Cloud.

Adobe has come a long way since its acquisition of Omniture in 2009, which set the groundwork for its current Marketing Cloud.  

With last year's purchase of Neolane, Adobe came one step closer to realizing its goal of bringing the right and left brains of marketing together. Vice President of Adobe Campaign, Americas and Neolane co-founder Stephan Dietrich sat down to discuss the progress made in the first year since the acquisition announcement and the road ahead for the Marketing Cloud.

The Good - and Perplexing - News About Corporate Social Media

Like many of us, corporate social media is maturing. But a new report from social consultancy Useful Social Media sends some confusing signs about social media's trends in companies.

"This year," The State of Corporate Social Media/2014 states, "we appear to have reached something of a fork in the road."

In this last three versions of the report, the firm noted, "it has been evident that social media use was scaling up rapidly across businesses around the world."

But now:

  • The size of the social media team is falling. Does this show that social is being dispersed within businesses, or that companies are losing their interest?
  • Fewer budgets are growing. Does this mean that infrastructure costs have already been covered, or that fewer companies are seeing a return?
  • Fewer KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being measured. Is this a sign of less interest in measurement, or just less interest in measuring KPIs as they relate to social?

Your Customers - Or Your Best Friends?

2014-17-July-best-friends.jpg

How many best friends do you have among your customers? Do your customers consider your company to be among their best friends? If the answer to these questions is no, then it might be time to make some changes.

According to recent research from Silverpop, you don’t have to invite your customers out for dinner or send them holiday cards, although this might help. All you have to do is communicate with them. The research found that how a brand corresponds with its customers is at the heart of relationship building -- and personalization is a business’ best tool.

Oracle: Our Marketing Cloud Is the Biggest #Interact14

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Oracle kicked off its Interact 2014 conference today by noting it has added 350 marketing applications and data partners in the past year. That's resulted in "the industry's largest marketing technology ecosystem."

As part of that, Oracle said its AppCloud now includes 235 fully integrated apps. Its BlueKai program has about 300 partners in data, media, privacy and technology that leverage BlueKai data for solutions that extend beyond ad targeting.

The announcements, issued hours before the conference opened, said the growth means clients can more easily build a personal dialogue with customers across channels, a goal that has evolved into something of a Holy Grail for digital marketers. Perhaps more significantly, the conference is also providing some clarity on Oracle's roadmap for integrating its costly acquisitions, including $871 million for Eloqua, $1.5 billion for Responsys and an estimated $350 million-plus for BlueKai.

Are You Up for the Omnichannel Challenge?

2014-16-July-Multi-Juggling.jpgIt’s no secret that we are living in an age of omnichannel engagement.  Customers today, empowered by a plethora of digital devices, can choose when, where and how they want to interact with brands. Millennials in particular expect their favorite brands to be easily accessible, all the time, via their channel of choice -- SDL research indicates that 67 percent of millennials touch two different devices daily and 60 percent agree “it should feel the same when dealing with a company whether you’re online, in a store or on the phone."

Expectations are higher than ever for marketers to deliver.

Q2/Q3 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (16-July-14)

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.)

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Act-On's Enhancements Focus on Reporting, Responsive Design

Another marketing automation provider is diving deeper into the space with enhancements to its platform.

Act-On Software, a Beaverton, Ore- basedprovider cited by Forrester as one of the top in the industry, added capabilities today that officials there say give marketers flexibility and control to customize individual user experiences and reports based on unique business processes.

This time last year Act-On added inbound marketing capabilities and a new mobile app.  

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

Thumbnail image for 2014-15-July-Turtle.jpg

Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Digital Platform

2014-15-July-Ace-Frehly-Platforms.jpgThink of how many ways a customer can interact with a company with just one mobile device. Text messages, phone calls, social channels, web browsing, e-commerce -- the list goes on. Whether phones, tablets, wearables, connected devices, etc., each offers an opportunity to deliver an experience based on the context.

The need for consistent experiences across these digital mediums leads to opportunities and challenges in delivering a consistent, seamless and compelling user experience across channels.

Customers Don't Care About Your Processes

2014-15-July-Milk-Processing.jpgIn January of last year, Macy's became the first major retailer to name a Chief Omnichannel Officer. In May of this year, Target announced the formation of a new Digital Advisory Committee to focus specifically on brainstorming omnichannel strategies.

Clearly the need to deliver true omnichannel experiences is something that retailers and their marketing teams are taking very, very seriously.

The Myth of Cooperation Between Marketers and IT Pros

digital marketing, Marketers Working with IT Professionals: Total Myth?

Wait, what? Only about one out of four marketers describe marketing and IT as strategic partners.

We thought we were in the "Marketing and IT, Sitting in a Tree..." era? All we seem to hear is how marketing and IT must work together, break down silos and even report to one another.

What happened to all that? But the statistics are hard to deny. A full 74 percent of marketers dismisses the wishful thinking about marketers and techies living happily together, according to the Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey 2013.

So what to do? Teradata thinks it can help.

The analytic data platforms, marketing applications and services company in partnership with Forbes Insights today released a new research study for CMOs and other senior marketing decision makers worldwide titled, “Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.”

Crying for Help? MindTouch is Listening

How can you get into the mind of your customers? MindTouch, the company that's trying to redefine the help center, has released two updates for better understanding of customers.

The company, founded by two ex-members of Microsoft's Advanced Systems Research Team, describes the occasion when customers reach out for help – when they obviously want to use your product, but just don't know how – as an opportunity.

What Matters (and What Doesn't) for Flexible, Agile Solutions

2014-14-July-Many-Languages-Love.jpgEnterprises don't lack for choices. In one of his final blog posts before leaving Forrester as an analyst, David Aponovich summed up the importance of web content management to creating digital customer experiences.

He wrote that “WCM has become an essential foundation for enabling successful digital experience efforts. And by doing so, it’s supporting one of the last things that corporations and brands can use to differentiate themselves.”

Cloudwords Offers New Solution for Global Marketers

Marc Benioff-backed Cloudwords is continuing its quest to help global marketers manage multi-lingual content. The cloud-based translation management application today announced Campaign Manager, an enterprise-ready solution designed to help marketers "plan, execute and track" the localization and translation of marketing content for global campaigns.

Benioff, the CEO of salesforce.com, was one of the original investors in the San Francisco-based company. 

Cloudwords was founded in 2010 by "individuals who gave birth to cloud computing," including Scott Yancey, a key architect on the salesforce.com platform, and Michael Meinhardt, a consultant who advised numerous enterprise customers on their global translation strategy, including Cisco Systems, Hitachi Data Systems, Apple and Symantec.

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