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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Social and Digital Channel Diversity Drives Engagement

2014-02-July-Mr-Softie.jpgMultichannel marketing -- interacting with customers through many channels at once -- is the flavor of the month in marketing. In theory, by communicating across social and digital (and perhaps physical and broadcast) channels, better engagement is possible. Like so many marketing buzzwords, one has to wonder if this is a lot of hype or if it is an important concept that everyone should integrate into their best practices.

Omnichannel Marketers Trapped in a Multichannel World

2014-01-July-US-Soccer.jpgWith all eyes focused on World Cup matches, it got me thinking about how the teamwork and coordination in the games are not unlike running a multichannel marketing campaign. Beyond the fact that both have a specific start and end date, there’s also a team of designated players banding together to accomplish a very measurable result. While only one player puts the ball into the net, everyone on the team contributes to that result.

The parallels between the game and omnichannel marketing and attribution go even deeper. Let me explain.

Will OTT Messaging Apps Bring a Marketer's Gold Rush?

2014-01-July-California-Miners.jpgOTT (Over The Top) mobile messaging apps have recently garnered significant attention thanks to Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for $19B back in February. But what everybody is really dying to know is exactly how these app companies make money -- what are the revenue streams?

While all offer free or nearly free messaging (and potentially calling) for consumers, at the end of the day someone needs to pay the bill. There are a lot of companies vying to prove that they have an answer to the revenue conundrum, but Salesforce’s recent partnership with LINE has, in my opinion, the most interesting potential. Through this deal, marketers will have a way to directly connect with customers. This is a massive step toward the one to one communication holy grail that is custom tailored to fit consumers’ interests and preferences.

Do We Still Need Sales Reps?

2014-30-June-Sales-Reps.jpgWith widespread adoption of CRM and marketing automation, what is the purpose of sales reps? Do we even need them anymore?

A rhetorical question, but the expectations we should have with automation are worth examining. According to Forrester Research, companies worldwide are spending 19 percent of their SG&A (selling, general and administrative) costs on average in sales support-related activities. With a nearly 14 percent growth in worldwide CRM sales in 2013 -- and over 30 percent growth for Salesforce.com itself in the past two years -- companies are connecting the dots between marketing and sales automation efforts, and the desire to streamline the process of securing and winning customers.

Digital Ad Alliance Boss: We Can Police Ourselves

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The biggest challenge in mobile marketing may not be what the technology can do, but how the benefits of data-driven ads affect the privacy of the consumers they target.

Much has been said about the "creepy" factor of compiling information about your kids, location, financing and health. At the same time, studies show 70 percent of consumers prefer to see ads that align with their personal interest. 

Lou Mastria, executive director of the Digital Advertising Alliance, has been at the eye of the privacy hurricane for years while working in public affairs, government and the ad industry. He also holds a masters degree in public policy. In his current role, he reflects his industry-backed group's push for self-regulation of advertising practices. He's had plenty of success.

Separating Fact from Fiction in Social Comments

Yelp, Angie's List, Amazon -- these companies and many others offer user reviews of local businesses. But the authenticity of many of those reviews is questionable, which is why an Israel-based company is offering a new service that it claims provides "honest, authentic referrals."

The company, WhoDoYou, uses machine learning and natural language processing to collect and sort public conversations -- mostly from Facebook, and mostly positive recommendations -- about painters, lawn services, restaurants and the like.

From Data Driven Marketing to Collaborative Marketing

2014-27-June-Push.jpgAlthough there are many chronological views of the history of marketing, there are really only three core conceptual views of marketing that have been dominant in our lifetimes: Push, Pull and Collaborative.

In the beginning, there was push marketing. Historically, almost all of us have been taught a push method of marketing. We provided a value proposition, pitch or sample in one of a limited set of channels for consumption.

Marketing was mainly differentiated by the creative quality or educational value of the marketing approach, but it was notoriously difficult to calculate the value of marketing efforts. In effect, it was a Mad Men shotgun approach: shoot a bunch of pellets vaguely in the direction of a target and hope that your creative efforts hit a target.

This Week: DAM's Link to Game of Thrones + SharePoint Shocker

DAM's Game of Thrones Connection
Managing your images, videos and rich media has much in common with the TV fantasy drama. 

Boost Identity with Social
Can brands target and personalize customer messaging through social identity?

Enterprise Mobility Showdown
Organizations recognize they need to integrate mobile apps with enterprise system and data.

Death of the Intranet?
Not so fast, say officials at Jostle.

SharePoint Shocker
Some SharePoint administrators have shocking disaster recovery plans.

Recapping MongoDB World
Feel like you missed out? You won't after reading this

The Future of B2B Ecommerce
The Tips You Can't Afford to Miss
Get the Guide

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There's More to E-Commerce than Mobile and Social

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Mobile and social. Invest in them now, right?

Well, if it's not those two surging platforms that are doing the trick for your organization, why put so much stock in them?

EPiServer’s third annual 2014 e-Commerce Survey of e-commerce practitioners, conducted at the 10th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, the world’s largest e-commerce event, revealed that mobile and social may not be as "surging" as they seem.

For instance, 64 percent of those surveyed claimed less than 20 percent of their business sales came through mobile transactions. But mobile ranked as the top priority in regards to future investments for those surveyed. 

Similarly, 93 percent of those surveyed said transactions are made through their website rather than their social site. However, social ranked third in terms of future investment areas for those surveyed.

EPiServer's message? Put your money in what's working now.

Fed Regulator Tells Marketers: Be Careful with Data Collection

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Marketers recite the benefits of mobile tracking like a mantra: It helps give consumers the information they want at the exact time and place they want and need it. What's not to like?

No matter how hard they try, however, today's cross-channel digital marketers can't quite escape the "creepy" factor — the concern corporations have too much information on the who, what, where and when of our lives.

That point was driven home very gently yesterday as Jessica Rich, director of the bureau of consumer protection for the Federal Trade Commission, delivered a speech to the annual summit of the Digital Advertising Alliance. The speech contained plenty of plaudits, but also exhortations to "press forward" with self-regulatory efforts that will make it easy for consumers to opt-out of tracking and data collection entirely.

Good News for B2B Marketers to Share with the C-Suite

Marketers are usually a paranoid bunch, we've come to learn. Will I go extinct? Does my work even matter?

Bizo says it does. Its annual State of B2B Lead Nurturing Report revealed 60 percent of marketers deliver at least 20 percent of B2B company revenues — and almost 25 percent contribute more than 40 percent. 

"Marketing organizations everywhere are taking on more influential roles when it comes to supporting company revenue growth targets," Jennifer Agustin, senior director of marketing at Bizo, told CMSWire. "Data like this supports the idea that marketing is more accountable than ever, and can play a more active and strategic role in the way companies are run."

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals

2014-26-June-Goal.jpgI have a lot of conversations with B2B marketers. And you know what? They’re all struggling to figure out what the right goals are for social media.

I’m not saying they don’t know what they hope to achieve (hint: leads). It’s just that these smart marketers seem unsure of themselves when it comes to setting measurable goals for social media. No wonder there’s still confusion about Social ROI!

So what’s going on?

Content Marketing Institute Acquires Competitor

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Some major content conferences just got a little more content.

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) today acquired Intelligent Content Conference (ICC), which officials say is the largest event in North America focused "on helping organizations deliver relevant content."

“With the amount of content produced today, more efficient ways to handle structured content, content reuse and intelligent content is critical," Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said in a statement. "Breaking down silos and aligning strategy and marketing teams is necessary for long-term success."

Branding 101: Keep it Simple, Obvious, Intuitive and Emotional

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Lee Hunt is a brand strategist, trainer and industry thought leader. He's the founder of Lee Hunt LLC, a Woodstock, N.Y.-based consultancy focusing on brand strategy, on-air architecture, competitive analysis and personnel training for television networks and media companies. 

His success in launching and positioning channel brands, in addition to his pioneering work in audience management, have set many of industry standards.

He began his career on the client side in the 1980s, launching and branding Lifetime, VH1 and TNT. In the 1990’s he founded one of TV’s most successful creative services agencies, Lee Hunt Associates. In 1999, he sold LHA to the digital services company, Razorfish. In 2001 he launched the strategic consultancy, Lee Hunt LLC.

What's he know about branding and marketing? Plenty.

Feed the Marketing Automation Machine with Interactive Content

2014-26-June-Hungry-Gator.jpgMarketing automation is a powerful technology. But to extract the most value out of it, you need two things: 1. content that magnetically attracts your audience -- both initially and throughout your nurturing program -- and 2. data that reveals the specific interests and characteristics of each prospect.

Without that, marketing automation is a blender with nothing to blend.

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