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Digital Marketing News & Analysis

Sitecore Tackles Barriers to Customer Engagement #SYMNA

It's clear from the sessions at this year's packed Sitecore Symposium 2014 in Las Vegas that Sitecore is tackling business barriers to customer engagement head on.

Sitecore partners see this in the field all the time. Customers are impressed with the system's customer engagement technology (with yet a new name, The Sitecore Experience Platform). In many cases the engagement tools are the reason they choose the product in the first place.

But once they get it in-house, they hit a set of core business problems that often stop full implementation of engagement features in its tracks. The biggest issue is that customer engagement software (and not just Sitecore's) needs to be managed in the context of a defined business model with objectives and resources to achieve those objectives.

Without planning and process to begin with those nice customer engagement features will be poorly used, or used not at all.

Sitecore Symposium Briefs: Customer Metrics Lacking #SYMNA

While most of the headlines at the Sitecore Symposium focused on features in version 8, that wasn't the only news. Here are some other noteworthy items:

Sitecore Takes on the Competition with Version 8 #SYMNA

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With about 1,000 digital marketing vendors competing in an arms race, Sitecore's CEO made it clear today that he intends to be among the superpowers.

Michael Seifert complained at the start of the Sitecore Symposium that the current chaos among vendors isn't serving marketers.

"Frankly, I think it's getting absurd," he told the throng of customers who've come to Las Vegas for the show. "Marketing technology is starting to fail the marketer ... Each digital marketing tool is limited to the channel on which it operates."

Use Purpose-Driven Content to Create Buyer Experiences

2014-09-September-Buy-Now.jpgIt’s no secret that the information pools that buyers can tap are overflowing. It’s time, however, that we start looking at the customer buying process with a different perspective and begin focusing on purpose-driven content that creates distinguishing experiences for audiences.

Forrester Names Best in Cross-Channel Campaign Management

digital marketing, Forrester Tabs Its Best for Cross-Channel Campaign Management

Forrester Research has tabbed its software leaders for cross-channel campaigns, and it isn't a spot match of rival Gartner's.

Adobe, Infor, RedPoint Global and SAS Institute lead the pack for Forrester in its Wave for Cross-Channel Campaign Management for the third quarter, and IBM, Teradata and SAP are "strong performers."

Forrester also reported that Pitney Bowes and SDL "contend on certain capabilities but lag overall."

In its own multi-channel industry report -- its Magic Quadrant in May -- Gartner picked Adobe, IBM, SAS, Teradata and Oracle as leaders in the research firm's latest multichannel campaign management (MCCM) analysis. 

Gartner also named SAP a challenger and rated Salesforce, Marketo and Sitecore as visionaries. For niche players, Gartner selected Experian, SDL, Infor, RedPoint Global, Selligent, Pitney Bowes and Zeta Interactive.

As companies "struggle to consistently communicate with their customers across channels," according to Forrester in its recent Wave, "they need improved abilities to connect inbound and outbound campaigns and make decisions in one channel based on intelligence in another."

Bring Your Brand to Life with Interactive Storybuilding

2014-08-September-Play.jpgFrom desktop, to mobile, to tablet, to TV, to even over-the-top platforms, consumers are forcing advertisers to scramble in order to keep their media strategy on par with their behavior -- and tell a better story. Because whether it’s a book, a movie or a marketing campaign, great storytelling will always resonate with audiences. However, today’s consumers don’t want to just hear a story, they want to interact with it.

TIBCO Banks on Personalization in Digital Marketing Dive

TIBCO is keeping its "Switzerland of technology" theme going with its latest product release -- this time in the digital marketing arena.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider released today TIBCO Engage, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketing application that officials say is the market's first true real-time, personalized marketing experience across any channel.

And in the spirit of the "buy versus build marketing cloud debate," TIBCO said this is not an inflexible lock-you-in cloud platform.

"We're not saying throw away your e-commerce systems or your point of sale or even your CRM," Leandro Perez, director of product marketing at TIBCO, told CMSWire. "We're going to come in and connect to those systems. We're not locking people in. We're adding some key functionality they don't have but also leveraging the technology they already have. We're agnostic."

Millennials are - Really! - Growing Up: Is Your Marketing Ready?

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Everyone has to grow up eventually, even members of the generation pejoratively known for living in their parents’ basements.

Millennials may have enjoyed an extended childhood compared to past generations, but key indicators show they are behaving more like adults these days, said Bryan Melmed, vice president of Insights Services for advertising intelligence provider Exponential Interactive.

The problem is many marketers are still treating them like they’re digging in the sandbox.

Lose Your Customers' Personal Information, Lose Everything

The customer information your organization collects and analyzes can give you incredibly detailed and useful insights. But for all the advantages this storehouse of data can bring, it can also bring significant risks.

Anytime you collect information about your customers, you run the risk of exposing personally identifiable information. That can not only raise your customers' ire, but may cause your organization to run afoul of security breach laws.

How can you protect your organization? Is it enough to have a well-written privacy policy — and try to follow the rules?

Personalization in the Age of the Marketing Cloud

2014-05-September-You.jpgDigital marketers are under pressure to deliver personalized experiences, but what does personalization really mean?

True personalization is about delivering a completely contextually relevant experience at the 1:1 level. By collecting consumer information across all channels, digital marketers can create a holistic profile for each consumer, enabling the marketer to deliver that optimal and personalized experience.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you need a refresher course, here’s a breakdown of a few common techniques that marketers use to deliver personalization.

Deliver Your Brand's Promise with Content Marketing

2014-05-September-Delivery.jpgWhat do your customers think about your brand? How is your brand different to them than your competitors? What is the first thing they think of when they hear your brand's name? Or do they not even recognize it?

News Bites: Big Birds, Big Fish, Dinosaurs and Baseball

The latest in marketing, recovering, acquiring and mapping from Yankeeland, the Bull City, the Bubble and the other Second City.

How We Topped YouTube Search Results

2014-04-September-Cat-Balloon-Guess-What-Happens-Next.jpgYouTube processes more than 4 billion searches a month, making it the second largest search engine of today. While you might think of YouTube as a platform for entertaining cat videos, the fact that YouTube videos often make it into Google's natural search results pages makes them an increasingly important part of your marketing strategy. If your videos aim to educate your market about new services or features and provide guidance about how to use them, this channel becomes essential.

The Evolution of a Digital Marketing Technologist

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Daryl Hemeon's an IT guy. Web guru. Software creator. A technical architect. He's implemented content management systems of various flavors.

The next logical venture for Hemeon? Marketing, of course. What, you say? It's happening. With Hemeon -- and many others.

Technology is converging with marketing -- just as they said at last month's first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.

And here is Hemeon, the poster boy for this convergence. A true technician diving into digital marketing now at his organization -- Unum.

"Technical architecture is my background, and web development is where I started," said Hemeon, who caught up with CMSWire at the #MarTech conference. "And now I'm figuring out how to connect the dots. The job's very new."

It's Time to Adopt Customer Journey Thinking

2014-04-September-Gas-Station-At-Night.jpgMost companies don’t really understand their customers. “Big data” is not the answer. Even if organizations collect piles of data from every customer interaction, they still aren’t getting a full picture of what’s going on. 

What’s the path to deep customer insight? Customer Journey Thinking. Organizations must stop looking at customers through their internal lens of interactions and focus their attention on customers’ overall journey.

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