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Digital News & Analysis

IBM Marketing VP Adds Color to Big Blue [Video]

2014-16-May-colorful-socksThere was a time when most IBMers wore uniforms of pin-striped suits, white button-down shirts, rep ties and wing-tipped shoes. Now there's a lot more color — in speech and dress, thanks to the leadership of executives like Tami Cannizzaro.

Cannizzaro is a vice president of marketing in the industry solutions division at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM. She embraces social media, thinks of herself as a brand advocate and credits her employees for being smart enough to share appropriate information about themselves and their company.

"I always hear people say 'I don't have time for social media.' What I tell members of my team is that I prefer then to be active advocates for our brand, making sure they are aware of what's happening in the industry, rather than answer their 200 emails from internal type activity."

"It's really important, especially for large brands, to use social media to be active and keep their hands on the pulse of what's happening, especially in marketing. As a marketer, the landscape is changing very, very quickly. It's important to stay fresh and really understand how to use social, because it's a very powerful tool."

Social Media Apps for Marketing, Software Updates and More

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And now, the news. Google improves Behavior Flow visualizations, Glip unveils a new messaging app for businesses, HipLogiq offers a social marketing app and a new survey looks at social media as a customer service channel.

Plus, Corveo updates its version for Sitecore and Acxiom acquires LiveRamp.

Are You Playing Whac-A-Mole With Customer Experience?

Are You Playing Whack A Mole With Customer Engagement?We've all heard that the customer is in charge: They're calling the shots and managing their own destiny. The role of vendors has been relegated to a supporting and enabling one. It’s all about the customer and the only thing that matters is their perspective.

CEOs and management teams agree on these points on an intellectual level, but emotionally, the new reality is a hard one to swallow. In the good old days Sales was the key to customer’s success. Having that level of influence is hard to let go of.

Shutter the Sales Funnel

Shutter the Sales FunnelAs form publishers find they are able to ask for less and less personal information (and get away with it), some panic, thinking they're losing the best, cheapest lead stream they know. And, without a doubt, they are. This article continues that discussion started in Free Me From Your Website Forms, but from the perspective of the marketer who now needs an alternate solution.

Professional marketers reading this will likely take one of two positions: They’ll panic at the idea of shuttering the tops of their sales funnels or they’ll see the writing on the wall and think, yep, this is exactly the way things are going.

Free Me From Your Website Forms

2014-14-May-Pawn-Shop.jpgHow much would it cost me to buy your name and email address? You probably don’t have a figure in mind but you negotiate the worth of your personal information every time you submit a website form.

These 5 Companies are CX Innovators

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Last week we asked you to dust off your prediction skills, weigh some odds and take a shot at guessing the winners of the 2014 CX Innovation Awards. Now it's time to find your ballot: We know the winners.

Just yesterday, the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), a global non-profit organization created to guide and enhance customer experience management, named five winners from a list of 14 semifinalists. 

Winners were announced at the CXPA's fourth annual Insight Exchange event, which continues today in Atlanta.

Come on ... Admit it. You're eager to know who they are.

If You Want Great Customer Service, Go to ...

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US consumers are tough customers. They give companies here lower customer experience (CX) ratings than consumers in China give companies there. But take heart: French companies disappoint more than companies in any other country — and  only a handful of firms in the UK rank as "good" or better.

Earlier this week, we told you Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service platform provider, rated New Zealand, Canada and Norway as the top countries for customer service. Now three new reports from Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research shed more light on the state of global CX.

European High Court Spanks Google

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Europe’s highest court just gave ordinary people the right to challenge Google over “irrelevant” or outdated search results. The court ruled today that individuals could ask Google to remove such search results associated with someone's name.

The case stems from a request by a Spanish citizen to remove information about the repossession of his home 16 years ago. The man successfully argued before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that the outdated search results infringed on his right to privacy.

The ECJ ruled that individuals have the right to approach search companies like Google directly to request removal of information and, when the request is denied, "bring the matter before the competent authorities" to obtain, under certain conditions, the removal of questionable links from the list of search results.

If that wasn’t bad enough for search engine operators, the court also ruled that operators are responsible for any personal data it processes, even if that data appears on web pages published by third parties. In short, this means search engine operators are responsible for any information generated about individuals through search.

What You Need to Know About Responsive Web Design

2014-13-May-Responsive-Design.jpgBusinesses that want to compete in the growing world of mobile commerce and content need a mobile strategy. While native apps can help provide a seamless user experience, there are products and services where an app may not be the right choice. This is where other solutions come in.

One solution is responsive web design (RWD). Ethan Marcotte coined the term in a 2010 article on A List Apart. RWD gives users a seamless web experience across different screen sizes. By using fluid grids, flexible images, CSS3 media queries (among other tools), RWD seeks to minimize the amount of scrolling, zooming and overall effort required on the part of the user in order to provide a faster, more adaptive web experience across different screen sizes and platforms.

The concept may seem intuitive, but the planning and execution require forethought.

Here's a Way to Talk to Customers - In Real Time

San Francisco, Calif.-based Square Inc. already enabled companies of all sizes to accept payments via credit and debit card. Now it wants to give “Square sellers” -- vendors that use Square Register, the company’s smartphone and tablet based point of sale app -- a direct line into the experiences of their customers.

The company introduced Square Feedback today, signaling the addition of real time customer service capabilities to its existing services for $10 a month. If it works as expected, it could provide customers a way to make their feelings known — before they share experiences on social media.

Please Stop Tweeting #mute

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If you long for the sounds of silence, even on social media, then Twitter's new mute button may be for you. Of course, an account feature that allows users to shush a user — or a brand — creates some new marketing challenges. But back to that in a minute.

Oh Boy! Disney Bridges the Physical-Digital Divide

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For decades, The Walt Disney Co. has been bridging the divide between animation and live action, as well as physical and on screen realities. Now it may be championing ways to bridge the divide between digital and physical retailing.

A recent brief from Forrester Research suggests the company that led the way in theme parks, multi product branding and unique physical retailing could also be a pioneer here. "Brief: Disney Leads the Charge Across the Digital-Physical Divide" [fee charged] looks at Disney's MyMagic+, a $1 billion, next gen tech customer experience.

As Mickey Mouse might say, "Oh boy!"

Hacked! Attack of the DDoS Protection Services

2014-12-May-Attack-of-the-DDos-Protection-ServicesForget about engaging content and brilliant marketing. Neither of those things matter if your website falls victim to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

DDoS attacks sabotage corporate websites to make them unavailable to legitimate visitors. Researchers at Incapsula, a cloud-based website security and performance service, said DDoS attacks are getting stronger, faster, bigger and smarter. 

And here's the really scary part: The very DDoS protection service you contracted to guard your website just might be responsible for destroying your site — or someone else's site.

Like a zombie apocalypse that transforms cherubic kindergarten teachers into rapid killers — or an angry 50-foot tall woman — nothing is more frightening than the unexpected. The team at Incapsula discovered that first hand recently when they traced yet another DNS DDoS attack on a B2B business ... and found it originated with two DDoS protection services.

Writing an Agile, Scalable Marketing Future

2014-12-May-Rewriting-Marketing.jpgIt should be pretty clear by now that the process of marketing and creating content for customer experiences has changed. From the broad disruption of digital, to the more specific challenges of developing mobile experiences, to social and the puzzle that is still personalization -- is it any wonder that more than 75 percent of marketers feel like marketing has changed more in the last two years than it has in the last 50?

How Traditional Branding is Killing the Web

Everything you are now about to read is fictional. Most real customers couldn’t be bothered writing to organizations to vent their annoyance. They just leave. 

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