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Digital News & Analysis

What Marketers Can Learn from Flappy Bird

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No one had anything nice to say about Flappy Bird, the "mindless but infuriating" smartphone game that an astounding number of people — 50 million plus, to be exact — played in spite of themselves. So why are so many people so sad that it's gone? And what lessons can the game's rise and fail have for the rest of us, including digital marketers?

If you frustrate your customers enough that they want to smash their mobile phones with a hammer, and then take away the source of that frustration, will they love to hate you and your product?

Or is it all just a weird inversion of human psychology: We simply want what we cannot have, not matter how bad for us it apparently is?

Big is the Next Big Thing: 6 IT Trends Driving Digital Business

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The definition of "digital business" is a lot broader than you may think. "It's not just about technology companies and start-ups anymore," said Michael J. Biltz, an executive at Accenture, a firm specializing in consulting, technology services and outsourcing. "Every company is a technology company at its core and in the process of converting to a digital business."

Think of a company that's looking for new ways to weave social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies into its next generation business strategy — and don't stop at Google. Instead, consider how almost every business of any size — from multinational conglomerates like General Electric to fledgling neighborhood retailers and restaurants — are reimagining themselves, exploring opportunities and embracing the digital wave.

And while businesses differ in size and scope, they share common goals. As Andy Markowitz, director of Global Digital Strategy at GE, noted: "The objective of our role, from a global perspective, is to help our businesses — no matter where they are and what they do — connect with our customers or sell more product."

Can you afford to sit on the sidelines? Not if you believe Biltz — director of Accenture Technology Vision and co-author of the Accenture Technology Vision 2014 report, the firm's annual take on the future of technology and how it will affect businesses in the next three to five years. He thinks mastery of digital technologies is an essential core competency for any successful business.

Evidence-Based Decision Making at Cisco Support

Evidence-based decision making is something that very much suits the Cisco culture. “Consider the alternatives to evidence-based decision making and it is hard not to be a believer,” Bill Skeet, senior manager of customer experience for Cisco Digital Support states. “If you aren't using evidence to make decisions, then decisions are subjective (rather than objective) and imposed by fiat. The evidence-based approach promises to be more scientific and therefore predictable and reliable.” 

Businesses Lose $41B from Bad Customer Service: Here's What to Do

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The US is a nation of "serial switchers" — and that lack of loyalty is costing businesses an estimated $41billion a year, according to research from NewVoiceMedia, a cloud contact center vendor.

Blame it on bad customer service: 44 percent of customers leave because they feel unappreciated, fed up, frustrated and convinced no one really cares about their problems.

You can read more about the study here (registration required). 

But you don't need to dig deep to understand that better customer service can have a big impact on a company's bottom line. So what should you do? For advice, CMSWire turned to customer experience expert Shep Hyken, a best-selling author, motivational speaker and Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations.

7 Essential Skills for Great Marketers

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Marketers need technology skills — or at least a keen understanding of the technologies that make them better marketers.

“If you're not a digital native, you're not going to go far,” Jim Durbin, vice president of digital marketing at Plano, Texas-based Brandstorming.com told CMSWire. “Technology is already moving faster than any of us can adjust to, so if you can't use technology to make yourself more productive, you're no good to anyone.”

Bennet James Bayer, Global CMO and vice president of strategy for Huawei Carrier Software, also based in Plano, Texas, said technology skills are not the “end-all” for marketers.

But he noted that even someone as experienced as his wife, who managed $6 billion in brands for consumer food products during her career, would probably not be able to work at a junior level without a basic understanding of mobile, social, search and email marketing. 

“I don’t believe it is necessarily technology skills so much as an understanding of the related technologies, how and when to employ them,” Bayer said. “That has changed dramatically.”

Content and Campaigns: Marketing's Complementary Bedfellows

In today’s increasingly digital environment, marketers have moved towards content marketing – a strategic approach that emphasizes the brand over any single product which that brand sells – as the best way to boost demand and increase sales. This requires engaging and relevant content in order to succeed and, in recognition of this fact, marketers have ventured into the fields of storytelling and consumer psychology. Marketing Magazine, picking up on this trend, went so far as to name these the “must-have skills” for marketers in 2014.

This Week: Marketing Automation Meets Gmail + Hybrid Clouds and SharePoint a Good Marriage?

IBM: Nothing Like Us Out There
IBM's vision with Mail Next? Upgrading mail with social business capabilities and giving mail users the ability to share with a wide audience, IBM told CMSWire this week.

Marketing Automation Meets Gmail
Cirrus Insight's integration of Pardot and Hubspot marketing automation with Gmail means Pardot and Hubspot customers who use Salesforce will have access to all of their marketing automation intelligence in their Gmail inbox. Meanwhile, Forrester produces its top nine marketing automation vendors.

Better Yammer-ing
Using Yammer? Here are four suggestions for improvement and ultimately better social collaboration.

Telecommuting and its Downside
Working from home is the best job ever … as long as you're willing to tether yourself to technology, produce twice as much as you would in an office, blur every possible work-life boundary and have the discipline to bite your tongue when someone asks you if you ever plan to get a "real" job. 

Save Your Big Data from Landfills
Dealing with your big data landfill requires a new strategy that goes beyond the current data preparation methods used by IT.

Hybrid Clouds for SharePoint?
The hybrid cloud is the talk of the industry for 2014, and a hybrid cloud for SharePoint/Office 365 is no exception. But not everyone is going hybrid, at least not permanently.

Maximizing the Value of Online Marketing Video
Tips for content marketers considering adding video to their content marketing strategy.
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Forrester Analyst: Digital Empowers Customers, Challenges Marketers

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With more than 950 digital marketing vendors now offering software and services in about 40 categories, it's getting harder for marketing executives to blend the right mix for their companies.

More and more, they rely on experts like James McCormick, senior analyst for consumer intelligence (CI) at Forrester Research, for guidance. Speaking yesterday at the Ensighten Agility 2014 conference in San Francisco, he outlined the challenges and strategies for marketers making those choices.

10 Things You Should Know About B2B Marketing

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The last two months were all about predictions for B2B marketers.

The guesswork is over. 

Today, we’re going to tell you some things that are happening out there, and things you need to know -- from the eyes of an analyst, marketing consultant and marketer in the trenches.

Cirrus Insight Brings Pardot, Hubspot Marketing Automation to Gmail

Cirrus Insight claimed it broke the mold in 2011 when it integrated Salesforce with Gmail.

Last fall, Cirrus, which had been working on a mobile app to bring Salesforce features to the smartphones and tablets of Gmail users, announced integration with Conga, a popular Salesforce document builder.

Today, Cirrus is claiming another pioneer effort -- integration of Pardot and Hubspot marketing automation with Gmail.

Note to Brands: Focus on Multifaceted Digital Marketing

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If you think consumer search is a single and isolated action, you're wrong. It's actually part of a complex dance of intersecting factors, according to a new study from Toronto-based digital advertising agency DAC Group and research consultancy Kantar. The annual Kantar Consumer Search Behavior Study, highlights the complexity of search — and comes with a warning to marketers:

Brands need to create multi-faceted digital marketing campaigns plans that include highly-targeted search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), local listing management (LLM) and display strategies to support consumer online conversion," said Nasser Sahlool, vice president of Client Strategy at the DAC Group.

Insults, Assumptions, Cultural Affronts: Mistakes to Avoid When Going Global

Making mistakes in business is natural. Sometimes those mistakes benefit your overall success. Hire the wrong iPhone developer, and you’ll learn what to look for in the next one. Cancel your work from home policy, and you might get faster collaboration, the way Marissa Mayer wanted.

If you take your product global with the wrong color scheme, image or translations, however, your target audience might be shaken for years. Rumor has it that the Pepsi slogan “Come Alive With Pepsi!” translated to “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Dead” in Taiwan. KFC’s “finger licking good” became “eat your fingers off” in Chinese. In another faux pas, one Beijing Starbucks had to close after setting up shop in Beijing’s sacred and historic Forbidden City -- considered a cultural affront.

Mid-Size Businesses Get Busy on Twitter

In the rush to generate a social media presence, we've seen enterprises speaking from on high and smaller shops boosting their presence through social networks. Now, the middle ground comes to the fore as more mid-sized business ramp up their engagement on Twitter.

Leadtail's latest report on Social Media Insights highlights how mid-size businesses communicate on the social network, what drives them and what the differences are between B2B and B2C types.

No Earnings Tweet for #Twitter

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Twitter shares fell about 23 percent in after-hours trading after the company announced quarterly earnings results and forward guidance that disappointed investors.

Despite drop-offs in the growth of some numbers, including new users, Twitter executives described a platform as still evolving, and that further development of the mobile experience was a focus of growth in 2104.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo defended the growth of Twitter, pointing to the fact that some user interaction metrics such as private messaging are growing, and important revenue metrics such as average revenue per timeline were showing improvement. He said the company will be making additional investments in the Twitter platform, specifically in the mobile experience.

So how is the company going to turn things around?

9 Marketing Automation Providers Who Know Their Stuff

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Forrester Research named the nine most significant lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) marketing automation platform vendors. So what makes a good one?

They go beyond revenue performance management and transform marketing across the customer life cycle. They have deep features and functions. They make smart acquisitions

"Change in the B2B marketing automation market is likely to accelerate in 2014," Forrester's Lori Wizdo predicted in her new report. "New buyers from B2C and B2B2C marketers will redefine the functional table stakes. Acquisitions will continue as the mega enterprise software vendors plump up their marketing clouds. And the pace of innovation, driven by new tech startups, will remain high."

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