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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Sounds of Silence Hamper CEOs on Social

Maybe they’re stuck in their ways, busy or just plain shy. Whatever the reason, there’s not much tweeting going on at the top.

A new survey shows that Fortune 500 CEOs aren’t using Twitter and nearly 70 percent shun all five major social media networks. And the decision may be costing them.

Can B2B Firms Really Get Anything Out of Social?

customer experience, Can B2B Organizations Really Get Anything Out of Social?

B2B and social media. Ok, we know. If you're in B2B marketing, there's a chance you may be rolling your eyes.

Bringing back your Facebook impression stats to the CEO of a multi-billion manufacturing company probably won't get you the major holiday bonus.

But social is where potential customers can be. And social is where they get talking.

"While many B2B firms support their customers through onsite and phone support, social -- and especially online communities -- offers an opportunity for B2B to connect with their customers when they need the support and insights 24X7," said Vanessa DiMauro, CEO and managing director of Leader Networks, a research and consulting firm that helps organizations craft social business and online communities strategies. 

DiMauro's organization released a report, The Social Consumer, that included surveys sent to 927 people (90 percent of them in the US) and "highlights that engagement represents the real needs and wants of the social consumer," DiMauro told CMSWire. 

It's even helpful for B2B, she said. 

Look Who's Talking ... And It's Not Americans

Who talked the most during Social Media Week? Don't bet on the US.

Americans accounted for 50 percent fewer of online conversations than the leading country during Social Media Week, which ends today in 11 cities worldwide. 

Who won? India, by a big margin.

Happy Pockets, Happy CXers, Happy Birthday and Happy Pairings

The latest in communicating, freelancing, marketing, certifying, and joining from the Crisp City and The Hub, the Golden City, The Wake, the Grey City, the Mother State, Lil B Town, and The City So Nice They Named It Twice.

No More Messaging in the Dark: Get Sales + Marketing on the Same Page

2014-26-September-Flashlight-Reading.jpgGiven the rise of marketing automation software over the past five years, today's B2B sales funnel is half illuminated and half in the dark. Sales and marketing teams have near-perfect visibility into how leads interact in the top half of the funnel and the insights needed to improve the marketing process, yet they remain blind to how content is supporting sales reps in the bottom half.

Verint Marketing Exec Calls Kana Acquisition a Game Changer

Acquisitions in the customer experience arena are reshaping marketing communications as consumers grow more powerful, more demanding.

Consistency in communication across all channels is now a key factor in satisfying individual customers. Today, companies realize their employees must be in sync on the latest promotions when they connect with customers through mobile, email, contact centers, websites, in-store or other media.

Verint, a big player in employee optimization and contact center technologies, made news earlier this year when it paid $514 million for Kana, a customer engagement company with about one-fifth its revenue. The first fruit of that merger came this week at Kana's Connect2014 conference, where the companies released their first jointly developed product -- Engagement Analytics.

Marketing Budgets Rise, CMO Tenure Falls

Two studies from IDC's marketing group provided mixed messages for CMOs.

First, the good news. A survey of 101 large technology companies showed that they expect to increase their marketing budgets by 3.5 percent this year, nearly matching the 3.7 percent growth they expect in sales. The average survey participant was a company with more than $7 billion in sales.

How to Energize Your E-Commerce Site

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Does your e-commerce site still look like an electronic version of a mail-order catalog? If so, it’s time to take a big leap forward. It's 2014, after all.

“Consumers are looking for more than just a product online. They’re looking for something to support their lifestyle,” said Glenn Conradt, vice president of Global Product Marketing at CoreMedia, a web content management software provider. "It's no longer enough just to handle the transactional elements of the e-commerce relationship. It has to go beyond that and be experiential.”

This means adding features to those flat, featureless sites to give them new energy and life. Think videos, for instance, showing consumers how a product actually works, as well as providing creative ideas and tips.

Base CRM Wants to Take on Industry Heavy Hitters

2014-24-September-Boxing-Gloves.jpgA small CRM software provider feels it has the alternative to big players Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP.

Palo Alto-based Base CRM released a new set of features officials say will give sales leaders the tools to "make an immediate impact on the productivity of their teams" by moving the CRM dynamic from "static to "real time." It helps its 5,000 or so customers fill a gap, officials say, that exists with legacy cloud SFA and CRM systems like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

"The CRM market is crowded with legacy solutions like Salesforce, MS Dynamics and SAP," Uzi Shmilovici, CEO of Base, told CMSWire. "These offerings mainly consist of a large database that is manually populated through a series of forms. The legacy solutions are not easy to use, they suffer when it comes to mobility and they do not return benefits to the sales reps who are forced to use the CRMs."

Q3/Q4 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (24-Sept-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.)

You're Invited: Build vs. Buy Marketing Cloud

Join CMSWire and Tealium on October 14th. In this one-hour webinar, learn the techniques to choose a marketing cloud.
 

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B2B Buyers Need Great Content, Not Fireworks

2014-24-September-M-Mouse-Razzle-Dazzle.jpgFrom a host of breathless blog posts and enraptured articles, we all know what a B2C customer experience is supposed to look like: the customer enters a store and is immediately whisked away to a world of personalized activities that enhance the buyer’s connection to the seller. We often hear how this customer should be “delighted” or “enchanted.” It sounds a lot more like a Disneyland attraction than a shopping experience.

The B2B customer has a customer experience, too -- but it’s based on other considerations. B2B buyers don’t need immersion or enchantment: they have something they need to buy to keep their businesses running and profitable. They want to sustain their business, not be immersed in someone else’s.

Just the same, they have a customer experience. And if you’re paying attention to the way buyers are buying, it should be clear that the experience starts long before they make contact with your sales staff.

Making Sense of B2B Marketing Analytics

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Almost every B2B marketer understands analytics have changed the way goods and services are sold. Many, however, don't understand how to translate all those numbers into actions that generate more revenue.

That reality came into focus yesterday in the CMSWire webinar "Trends and Challenges of B2B Marketing Analytics in 2014." The program was based partly on a results of a survey of more than 500 marketing professionals authored by Holger Schulze, vice president of eG Innovations.

Schulze and Amit Varshneya, vice president for consulting and strategic services at Demandbase, offered suggestions to marketers based on the study. 

Stock Photo Agency Adds Social to Search

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Sure a picture is worth a whole lotta words. But how do you find the right picture to use in your marketing?

As anyone who has combed the archives of a stock photo site can attest, it isn't easy. 

But Dreamstime, a stock photography agency based in Brentwood, Tenn., claims it has a solution. It's factoring social media into its search function.

Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Gets Personal with Apps

2014-23-September-Marc-Benioff.jpgSalesforce officials are in Indianapolis this week at its Connections 2014 conference promoting the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. 

The latest addition -- Journey Builder for Apps -- helps users deliver personalized customer journeys directly from mobile apps, they said. Today they announced it also allows customers to use the Salesforce CRM platform to connect the customer journey across sales, service, marketing and communities. 

It's about the ability to "move me along that journey with content that's relevant to me," as Salesforce Chief Marketing Officer Lynn Vojvodich said this morning at the 8,000-person Indianapolis show.

Personalized Content: Nice in Theory, Challenging in Practice

2014-23-September-Cookie-Cutter.jpgAmid the intense focus on vehicles for marketing -- social media, omnichannel merchandising and what have you -- heightened interest in content and its role in marketing is a welcome development. Perhaps content marketing hasn’t taken center stage before because everyone does it, and always has. If what you tell or show prospective customers has always been part of your marketing efforts, what has changed to justify the increased interest?

While the goals and concepts of content marketing have remained the same, the evolution of technology and the internet have largely taken over media and delivery channels, changing the execution of those concepts in ways that are forcing a radical rethinking of how best to engage rapidly changing target audiences.

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