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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Digital Marketing, Social Business Conferences & Events (5-Feb-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.)

Webinar: Forrester Discusses Secure Collaboration
Join Forrester VP/Principal Analyst Rob Koplowitz on Feb 18th to learn how to drive value with collaboration, while still protecting critical assets.

> Register Now

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Is Employee Advocacy the Next Big Thing for Marketers?

Is Employee Advocacy the Next Big Thing for Marketers?It started with a simple question: “What’s the next big thing marketers need to focus on?”

I asked Mike Edelhart who runs the Pivot conference -- a conference for senior marketers on the leading edge of the social media revolution. I expected Mike to respond with the usual suspects: big data, mobile, customer experience, media-specific social platforms, etc. Instead he replied, “It’s all about turning employees into a powerful force to advocate the company’s brand.”

Connecting: How to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing

Connecting with Bill Sobel

If you don't know Bill Sobel, you should. Sobel is the Chief Connections Officer at SobelMedia and founder of NY:MIEG/The New York Media Information Exchange Group. He's has been described as a master connector — someone who opens the door to "an interconnected world of endless opportunity."

Starting this week, you'll get a chance to connect, too, through his column Connecting ... with Bill Sobel on CMSWire. "I'll be interviewing interesting, unique people who have a lot to say about customer experience management and social business tools and practices," he said. Enjoy! Noreen Seebacher, Chief Editor, CMSWire

How to Use Sophisticated Dashboards for Sophisticated Marketing

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Customers are arriving at your business or e-commerce site through increasingly sophisticated methods — and that makes it more complicated to determine whether your mobile site or offline advertising lead to your conversion goals. 

To keep in step and better organize information, businesses are turning to advanced spreadsheet automation or dashboard reporting.

Roadblocks to Epic Customer Experiences: Marketers

Roadblocks to Epic Customer Experiences: MarketersDelivering relevant and remarkable customer experience is easier said than done. It takes a special combination of data and analytics; great storytelling and visual content; delightful social engagement; a consistent, multichannel presence; strong customer service; and agile, long-term strategy. Throw in value-added apps, responsive design and personalization, and you’ve got a tall order for any company to fill.

How can one company -- let alone one person -- do it all? And how should aspiring digital marketers focus their education and training to become competitive in the (near) future? Before we get overwhelmed by everything today’s marketer must be, let’s start with what he or she is not. 

Come Closer: We'll Share the Secrets of Twitter Success [Infographic]

Sharing secrets.jpgJames T. Noble markets himself as a "business growth consultant." Ask him what that means, and he'll answer simply, "I make businesses bigger."

His London-based company, James T Noble & Associates, has worked with some of the world's largest brands and companies — Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca-Cola and MTV — to market their products and services online. And he boasts impressive results. "Typically, the clients we take on see their businesses grow two to four times within 12 to 18 months."

What does it take to grow a business? Several things: best-in-class marketing execution. Solid business coaching. Oh, and Twitter helps, too. But you have to know how to use it.

This Week: Is IBM Disrupting Email Collaboration? + Why OpenText Invested $1 Billion in GXS

New CMSWire Home Page!
We hope you're finding the new design of our CMSWire.com home page pleasing on the eyes. We launched the new look to kick off the New Year and are confident you'll be able to get the right content at the right time -- whether it's breaking news, digging deeper with analysis or industry overviews from our long list of expert contributors.

Let us know your thoughts on the new design! Happy 2014! 

-- Brice Dunwoodie, Founder, SMG/CMSWire.com.

Roadblocks to Epic Customer Experiences
If customer experience is so critical, why do so many companies stink at it? Our columnist took this to heart, and started a three-part series examining key obstacles that hinder companies from delivering the experiences customers want.

Content Management vs. E-Commerce
This week, we looked at different approaches to bridging the gap between content management and e-commerce. In the first part, we saw that e-Spirit has adopted a best-of-breed approach. We then went on to show how Elastic Path is using e-commerce APIs to integrate content and how Sitecore puts customers at the heart of the retail process by providing personalized content and user experiences.

IBM's Mail Next an Original?
IBM turned a lot of heads when it unveiled plans for Mail Next in the Enterprise at IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando, Fla. But is it all that original, really? Meanwhile, IBM launched at the conference a new global customer experience consultancy.

SharePoint's Transformation
Our three-part series on SharePoint developments concluded this week with a look into how collaboration changes have been transformative. Earlier in the series, we discussed enhancements for capacity and information management and the user interface — designing a new user experience, and coloring documents with rich palettes of metadata.

OpenText Takes Dive for Big Boys
With GXS and its B2B integration services, OpenText is gunning for the top of the space -- and they just might be there already, one analyst told us

Will Internet of Things Ever Take Off?
We take a look at some of the myths surrounding the IoT and examine why it may never reach its potential.

Web Content & Customer Experience Management Guide
Evaluation criteria for web CMS and CXM vendors.
> Download the Guide

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Tweet Jam Recap: The Internet of Things and Impact on Customer Experience #CXMChat

There's been a lot said lately about smart thermostats and refrigerator spam, but in our inaugural Tweet Jam of the year we moved past the household appliances (with a brief toaster diversion) to look at the impact the Internet of Things  (IoT) will have on businesses. We examined the potential benefits and challenges of the IoT and tackled the pink elephant in the room: privacy.

Salesfusion Buy Sets Race for Midmarket Marketing Automation

customer experience, Salesfusion's Acquisition Sets Race for Midmarket Marketing Automation

Salesfusion's purchase of LoopFuse today sets up a battle for digital marketers' attention in the midmarket marketing automation space.

The big gain for the now 75-employee Atlanta-based Salesfusion? Better social listening tools, top-notch IT and software-engineering talent and a continued lower-priced marketing automation alternative to the big boys like Marketo (500 employees) and Eloqua (scooped up by Oracle), according to Salesfusion CEO Christian Nahas.

"This was about two things — No. 1, talent," Nahas told CMSWire. "LoopFuse has really talented engineers on its team, and its CEO and I share a vision around the ease of use and smart marketing. And No. 2, this is about predictive analytics, social nurturing, social publishing and social listening tools. This tool will not just tell you that 500 people are talking about you — but the 50 most relevant people, their tone and buying signals."

Hey, Marketer: Stop Thinking About Vendors First

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Crash Davis in Bull Durham gave the best advice to a pitcher on a baseball mound: Don't think. "You just got lesson number one," the veteran Minor League catcher (played by Kevin Costner) told his rookie pitcher. "Don't think. It can only hurt the ball club."

It's kinda like that for marketers today facing the giant 947-vendor-plus marketing technology landscape aptly documented by Scott Brinker. Don't think about them.

"Stop thinking about vendors and products," said Gerry Brown, senior analyst for customer engagement and marketing technology at Ovum Research. "Think about the business requirement. The products should be treated as a solution to a business need, rather than an end in their own right."

We complete our series today examining ways to approach the thickly-settled marketing software vendor space. Last week, we discussed avoiding the vendor hype and finding your IT champion.

Why Agility is the New Marketing Mandate

Why Agility is the New Marketing MandateMarketers today find themselves needing to keep up with an abundance of new opportunities for creating, distributing and accessing content via new technologies, devices and touchpoints. With brand dialogues taking place in real time, expectations are high for marketers to be faster than ever before, relying on new technology to implement timely campaigns and responding to customers on the right medium at the right time.

To be successful in this rapidly evolving landscape, there is a new skill that content marketers should work to develop in 2014 -- agility.

Tweet Jam Reminder: Today - The Internet of Things and Customer Experience #CXMChat

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Rearrange your schedule, cancel that meeting and put down the burrito -- it's time to get ready for our first Tweet Jam of 2014!  In just under an hour we will come together to discuss the Internet of Things. How will business overcome security, software and privacy issues? Should every company jump on the IoT bandwagon? What benefits come with a hyper-connected world? Tune in to find out.

Just Show Me: Customers Like Google Product Listing Ads

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Google can dream all it wants about robots, smart homes and artificial intelligence. But as we explained yesterday in a story about its latest acquisition binge, Google is still basically an advertising company.

And Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which combine images and text, are one of the key tools it has in its increasingly large and sophisticated bag of tricks.

Q1 Planning: Top Digital Marketing, Social Business Conferences & Events (29-Jan-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.)

Webinar: Supporting Collaboration without Compromising Security
Join Forrester VP/Principal Analyst Rob Koplowitz on Feb 18th to learn how to better connect workers with their content and with each other in a secure environment.

> Download the Report

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Content Strategies Built for Revenue

Content Strategies Built for RevenueIt’s only the start of a new year, and already there is quite a bit of chatter about content and how it can affect the success of a business. There are debates about the continued effectiveness of content marketing as a strategy, and arguments over whether technology can actually fix anything.

But as we look at marketing -- and how the use of content plays into that -- one of the drivers we have to examine is changing the way we think of success. Rather than looking at “more engagement” -- whether it be “visitors,” “likes” or “followers” -- we should start to examine how content can be tied together to generate revenue.

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