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Digital News & Analysis

8 Things You Can Learn About CX on Your Summer Vacation

2014-4-June-Austin-Handshake.jpgI fell in love with traveling when I ran away from home at the age of five. (You would have run, too, if you were forced to eat my sister's creamed chicken.)

Years later, when I made a trip across the United States in a 1975 VW Super Beetle, I fell in love with technology, too.

There's nothing like a car without air conditioning to prove that simplicity has its limits — and that innovation is essential. 

Travel is one of the few things I suspect I won't regret on my death bed, at least now that I drive a car with all-season climate control — as well as GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a 120-volt power outlet. (Did I mention it's also Internet ready?)

And here's the thing: You can learn a lot about customer experience by traveling, regardless of whether you go by car or air. 

Measuring Social Marketing ROI: Possible or Pipe Dream?

2014-04-June-Windmills-La-Mancha.jpgPretty much any company worth their salt is engaged in using social media in some capacity for business purposes at this point. As someone who has built a solid consulting agency using social media and content marketing, I can attest to the value of it holistically.

But as with any marketing channel, return on investment comes into the conversation especially when discussing social strategies with medium and large business clients. Businesses as a whole have become metrics obsessed, and the day of saying we “have to do social media” regardless of the numbers is past (for the most part).

So how exactly does one measure social ROI? Is it even possible, or should we be evaluating its performance in some other way?

Acquia Enhances Personalization with TruCentric Buy

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Acquia is making the most of its revenue growth. The company, a provider of open-source software, services and technical support based on the open source Drupal web content management system (CMS), just acquired TruCentric.

TruCentric is a Toronto, Ontario-based vendor whose SaaS solution includes real time customer profiling for user engagement. The solution uses situational and historical data for marketers.

The buy comes on the heels of 20 consecutive quarters of revenue growth for Acquia. The company has grown its revenue by more than 48,500 percent during the past five years, according to Tom Wentworth, chief marketing officer. Revenue from sales was $44 million in 2012 and exceeded $68 million in 2013. 

Acquia, based in Burlington, Mass., had 450 employees before the acquisition. It did not disclose the number of employees at TruCentric nor the acquisition price.

Finding the Perfect Balance Between SaaS and In-House DAM

2014-04-June-Bearded-Juggler.jpgIt's a delicate balance to develop a hybrid strategy for Digital Asset Management. While Cloud SaaS solutions appeal to many organizations as a way to reduce costs and infrastructure, there are compelling reasons not to move all assets to the cloud. The secret to finding this balance lies in understanding what assets should be moved to the cloud and what should stay in-house.

The Latest Marketing World Casualty: Mass Marketing Campaigns

2014-04-June-Police-Line.jpgNo one is waiting to be wooed by your elaborate campaigns.

Marketing success today depends on customers seeing, engaging with -- and sharing -- your content within their trusted social networks. The path to purchase no longer looks the same to everyone, and it requires a very unique level of engagement. 

Shoe Shopping, Supply Chains and One Very Happy Customer

2014-03-June-Shoes.jpgFollowers of Gartner's yearly Supply Chain Top 25 list may have noticed signs of progress over the last few years toward a responsive, demand-driven supply chain. As a student of the supply chain, I watch to see who makes the list and what market advances it highlights for suppliers and retailers. Last week though I got to experience the progress firsthand.

Mobile Helps National Brands Master Local Marketing

2014-03-June-Brands.jpgAs a career-long marketing vendor, I've always been taught that large national brands and small-to-medium companies behave differently. They cannot be sold, marketed or serviced with the same principles. They have different targets, ideals, KPIs and most importantly -- budgets.

While this remains largely true, today’s always-connected consumer means that any size brand, anywhere, needs to be more mindful of a very important consumer detail: their location.

Marketing Automation: Don't Build It If You Can't Use It

2014-02-June-Construction.jpgThe problem with marketing automation is that it takes people and processes to use the technology and companies often treat that as more of an afterthought. The result is a much higher percentage of failed programs and implementations.

The problem is not the technology. The problem is being prepared to use it.

What's New in June for Open Source CMS

Thumbnail image for ed-schipul-with-helicopter.jpgWho has time to handle post-CMS deployment needs when there's so much to do developing the platform? That's the thinking of the creators of Tendenci, an open source content management system (CMS) project for associations and other nonprofits (NPOs).

Last week, the software development company spearheading the Tendenci platform launched a web alliance marketing program. It enables leading providers of marketing and website services to partner with Tendenci "to accelerate the success of the large installed base of websites powered by the Tendenci CMS platform," the Houston, Texas-based company claimed in a press release.

Establishing "an ecosystem of leading service providers" allows Tendenci to focus on developing its CMS platform, according to company founder and CEO Ed Schipul. He said Tendenci has more than 1 million users and powers "hundreds of websites" for NPOs, associations and other cause-related organizations worldwide.

Schipul quit his full time job as a software consultant for a large petroleum corporation in 1997 to start his own web marketing company. He began selling Tendenci CMS worldwide in 2004 and released it as an open source product in 2012. 

Schipul describes himself as an amateur photographer as well as a drone builder and pilot, who just wants to "Organize and Connect the World's People" — and "Do Good."

What else is new in free and open source CMS this month? Read on.

Google Wants to Tap Your Brain

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While the quest for the ultimate in marketing automation technology continues, I'm still struggling to get my email spam filter to work properly. But Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, says that more intelligent systems are coming faster than we think.

By 2030, computers will be able to handle natural human language and experience emotions, Kurzweil said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this weekend. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. By 2045, we will attain "full singularity," he continued, which means that humans will be completely integrated with technology — with direct links to the cerebral neocortex.

Managing Services Requires Different Success Metrics

Customers are not as locked into services as they are to products. Therefore, we need a continuous process to ensure that the customer is satisfied.

NYC Media Lab: Using Technology to Save Media Companies

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Justin Hendrix is a man of many interests — media, Americana music, space news … oh, and he plays the banjo. But the real story is that he is executive director of the NYC Media Lab, where he "helps companies discover."

The NYC Media Lab "connects technologists in digital media and technology companies with bright minds in New York City's universities" to drive innovation and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corp., Columbia University and New York University, the Lab hosts events and seeds projects "to foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media."

With an impressive roster of corporate members — HBO, Time Warner Cable, Hearst, AT&T, Verizon, News Corp. and NBCUniversal — the Lab is designed to spur innovation. More specifically, in its own words, "generate fresh thinking that creates value through research, prototyping, knowledge transfer, talent development, and human relationships."

Get on Board with B2B E-commerce, Forrester Warns

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The old theory that B2B companies can avoid selling through online channels is done, and B2B e-commerce solutions "contribute significantly to key selling metrics and incremental revenue," according to a new Forrester Research Report commissioned by EPiServer.

Forrester said 50 percent of B2B companies have plans to change or upgrade e-commerce technology in the next 18 months. 

"Every company that plans to compete in the future must transform digitally simply because all your competitors are planning for it now," said Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer, which sells an e-commerce platform. "There are no restrictions based on type of product or service, or on geography. In fact, many of our customers find they can expand geographically in a shorter time frame and at a lower cost by going digital."

Segmentation Is About to Get Interesting

2014-30-May-Halloween.jpgFor marketers willing to ask the question, “Who is my customer?” the response now comes as billions of data points. Few of these fit into the neat set of demographics that once defined marketing. It’s age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams and much much more. Understanding this deluge of data -- and the people or segments they represent -- means a whole new way of understanding customers.

This Week: Gartner's Top Multichannel Managers + Integrating Yammer with SharePoint

Five of an MCCM Kind
Gartner taps these five providers as leaders in multichannel campaign management. 

Target B2B Influencers
If you haven't yet, start engaging with your brand's top influencers.  

Don't Lose Sight of IBM
Microsoft and Cisco exchanged words on enterprise collaboration software, but don't rule out IBM and Hootsuite.

Yammer Marries SharePoint
They can live happily in your organization. Just follow these steps.

Hang Onto Your DAM Assets
Your biggest challenge may be finding assets that are lost in the vast Siberia of DAMs and pretend-DAMs within your organization.

Sync This, Share That
The enterprise file sync and sharing market is cluttered with vendors, but we've got our eye on a few.

Research: Unlocking Knowledge to Engage Customers
How information integration and customer centricity can drive revenue
Learn how they did it

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