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Digital News & Analysis

ChannelAdvisor Helps Drive E-Commerce

ChannelAdvisor claims it "empowers retailers to sell more." Founded in 2001, the company is a provider of cloud-based solutions deployed by retailers and manufacturers to integrate, manage and optimize their merchandise sales across various online channels. 

In early May, ChannelAdvisor delivered strong results for the first quarter, with revenue up nearly 30 percent — including core revenue growth of 32 percent, the fastest organic growth in seven years — and record bookings. But investors weren’t impressed: the stock fell as much as 25 percent over the three sessions following the report.

Organizations use the ChannelAdvisor platform to do everything from manage their product listings and check inventory availability to optimize price changes and select the best search terms across multiple comparison-shopping sites, e-commerce marketplaces and search engines.

The company supports roughly 150 shopping engines, 35 marketplaces worldwide and all of the major search engines.

According to CEO and cofounder Scot Wingo, customers usually come to ChannelAdvisor with an acute need to solve a specific pain point across their e-commerce businesses. They almost always want to automate and expand online, then optimize return on investment across the various channels. 

E-commerce is growing. Is ChannelAdvisor poised to capitalize on it?

Better Get Social If You Market Content to Millennials

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It's official – social media has overtaken email as the mechanism for sharing content among millennials. That's the word in a new survey from SDL, a provider of content management, analytics, social intelligence and translation.

The global survey, "Content Finds the Customer," is the third in a series from SDL called "Five Truths for Marketers." It found that six pieces of content are now being shared through social media to every five pieces shared through email.

It is yet another piece of evidence that marketers should emphasize social when targeting content at millennials. Social networks are also now the dominant means of content discovery for that age group — over customizable newsfeeds, email and search engines.

Are Best-Of-Breed Customer Experiences Really Best?

2014-6-17 e-spirit.jpgAt the end of May, e-Spirit upgraded its web CMS offering to make it easier for content creators to provide personalized content. It followed hot on the heels of the v5.1 release which aimed to significantly boost companies online time to market and improve the overall customer experience.

Both announcements form part of a wider strategy to offer users a best-of-breed web CMS. E-Spirit has from the start pursued the best-of-breed approach as opposed to creating an enterprise suite. But why best-of-breed?

We asked Oliver Jaeger, vice president for global marketing and communications at e-Spirit why his company has consistently taken this approach and where this strategy will take the company in the future.

Why Digital Marketers Need Couples Therapy

2014-17-June-Ari-Brandt-MediaBrix.jpgDigital marketers sound like they've been going to couples counseling lately. 

They want emotional connections, a new survey finds. Emotional connections to digital media. And emotional connections between their marketing and their users. 

Cue the sappy Richard Marx tune, please. 

Millward Brown Digital, which polled 300 digital marketing decision makers at Fortune 5000 companies and US advertising agencies, found that 88 percent of digital marketers would increase ad spend for digital branding if they could make emotional connections with users.

It also found that 81 percent indicated that targeting users based on their emotions, or emotional targeting, would help address the issue of "banner blindness," when users surf past banner ads without acknowledgment.

Millward Brown Digital surveyed digital marketers 25 years and older in April.

Marketers: Embrace the Extended Customer Lifecycle

2014-17-June-Capilano-Suspension-Bridge.jpgIn the past, marketers had the job of using a handful of channels to create brand awareness and offers to engage customers on a broad level until a sales team could come in and take control of individual accounts, or until a customer visited a local store. Sales teams or store employees were then responsible for delivering a personalized experience and for building the relationship.

Not any more.

SDL's Paige O'Neill: Customer Experience Getting Cheaper

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If you've been paying attention to the customer experience management arena over the past two years -- and what marketer hasn't -- you've probably noticed the tools have grown far more sophisticated and far less expensive.

That helps to explain why 750 marketing practitioners signed up for SDL's Innovate conference in San Francisco, where CMO Paige O'Neill hosted three days of activities around CXM from training sessions and keynotes to consultations and, of course, parties.

O'Neill has been at SDL for only about eight months, joining the UK-based company after a 3.5-year stint as vice president for marketing at Aprimo before its acquisition by Teradata. Before that, she was vice president for marketing at Aravo.

Shaping the Future of Customer Responsive Marketing Automation

2014-16-June-Cast-Net.jpgMarketing automation (MA) has shown that it can be a smart tool -- when done right -- for shepherding and converting leads and automating marketing processes. As MA technologies have become more sophisticated, its near future role has evolved to deliver customer-responsive interactions on any channel. If this evolution continues, the name "marketing automation" will become inadequate to describe what can be accomplished when these technologies are combined with customer-focused processes, practices and strategies.

Simplicity is Key to Self-Service Success

Simplicity should be to self-service as chocolate is to joy or sadness is to taxes. Human-to-human service (the "opposite" of self-service) is rich in flexibility, cues and empathy (unless you’re dealing with an ignorant service professional). Human interaction oils the path towards successful task completion. A self-service design must be very simple because it doesn’t have that human oil.

Lessons From Military Intelligence For Content Marketers

2014-13-June-Military-Intelligence.jpgAs Father’s Day approaches, I’d like to tell you the story of how my father influenced my communication style. He was an Air Force officer from 1951-1978 -- when the Cold War was in full fever pitch. Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, KGB -- Dad had a front row seat to the whole thing and yes, that means he was pretty steeped in the world of military intelligence.

Now, before the oxymoron digs start flying, let me tell you, these people have impressive communication skills. Which, to my eye, is evidence of impressive intelligence.

Here’s what my father’s communication style taught me. 

IBM: We Have Better CX Analytics than Google or Adobe

customer experience, IBM: Our Customer Experience Analytics Tops Google, Adobe

For some reason, steroids has crept into our reporting lately.

Maybe that's why IBM’s Tealeaf cxLifecycle analytics reminds us of analytics on steroids. IBM seems to be bill it that way, anyway.

Traditional web analytics? Just static numbers, they told us.

IBM said it enhances the analytics experience for enterprises with quantitative, qualitative and behavioral analytics within the IBM Tealeaf cxLifecycle, a new SaaS-based IBM Tealeaf component available to customers of Tealeaf 9.0. 

Ken Bisconti, business leader for IBM's Tealeaf customer experience management solutions, is enthusiastic. He told CMSWire the analytics IBM offers are better than traditional metrics provided by Google and Adobe. "We have the ability to track the same customer across multiple interactions," said Bisconti.

Forrester happens to think they’re ALL great

This Week: Who Cares About E-Commerce? + 6 Rockin' Enterprise Social Platforms

Customer Knows Best
Citing his own company's 'reinvention,' SDL's chief said failing at customer experience is not an option

Still Care About E-Commerce?
It was all we could talk about 10 years ago. Numbers tell a different story today.

Enterprise Social Kings
New kids. Old kids. And the capabilities that make these six enterprise social platforms lead the Forrester pack. 

Transparency Rules in Enterprise
If people know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to get involved with your Enterprise Social Network tool.

Big Lessons for Data
Big data is no longer the sole domain of big companies.

Sync & Share on Public Clouds?
EFSS provider Egnyte will now leverage Google Cloud Services to store client files.

The Future of B2B Ecommerce
The 3 B2B Tips You Need to Know
Learn how they did it

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Here are the 4 Steps to Customer Success

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The hottest job title in marketing right now may be "Customer Success Officer," though there remains some debate about exactly what that means.

For example, it's fair to ask: Is customer success management  different from customer support or  customer relationship management?

Obligingly, Forrester's consulting arm  issued a paper entitled "How to Get Started with Customer Success Management." It should serve as a handy primer for those who want a state-of-the-art interpretation of this emerging marketing strategy.

The paper, sponsored by Gainsight -- a big fish in this still-small pond -- even provides a nifty, four-step process for building a customer success program that will be a revenue-generation operation instead of an extension to existing cost centers.

5 Tips from Fantasy Football to Manage Digital Analytics Teams

2014-12-June-The-Other-Football.jpgI was recently having dinner with a former colleague and he reminded me that it was only four weeks until opening day of football training camp. Normally this wouldn't be important, except he's a rival in my fantasy football league and was clearly trying to impress me with his attention to player moves, injuries and variables that would influence his draft day picks. “After all of the March free agent signings, I don’t even know who’s playing for whom anymore,” he admitted.

It made me think that of the similarities between managing a fantasy football team and a digital analytics team.

What Marketers Can Learn from a Rabbi's Use of Social Media

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Think "religious leader" — and you probably do not think "social media" in the same breath.

But then you haven't met Laura Baum, a founding rabbi and the chief operating officer of OurJewishCommunity.org and a rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Baum has created an innovative model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. She challenges assumptions about the nature of Jewish identity, community and religious ideas.

Through OurJewishCommunity.org — named by Slingshot as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations — Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology.

You don’t have to be Jewish or even religious at all to learn from her expertise in social media. "If we can revolutionize a 3,000-year-old product, I’m pretty sure almost any product or service can be re-imagined," she said.

Microsoft and CXM: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2014-12-June-Swings.jpgThere’s nothing quite so surprising in life as the about-face. You know how it is: someone or something spends years building up a certain set of expectations, and then -- seemingly out of the blue -- pivots almost completely away from those expectations to behave in a totally different manner. It’s the Beatles releasing Sergeant Pepper, Vince Vaughn playing a role other than “Vince Vaughn” or the English national team lining up in something other than a 4-4-2 (yes, that’s my timely World Cup reference for this column).

When it comes to a Customer Experience and digital marketing platform for internet sites, that’s exactly what Microsoft has done over the course of the last year. 

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