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How to Sweeten Customer Experience [Infographic]

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Good customer service once meant saying "please" and "thank you" and addressing each person who approached the sales counter by name. But that was before the Internet made e-commerce a fact of life and social media gave every ever-so-slightly annoyed customer the capacity to ruin your brand in 140 characters — or less.

When it comes to obtaining and retaining customers, remembering what you learned in kindergarten really isn't enough anymore. Now it hinges on the effective use of social media and other Internet-based resources, a fact confirmed by a new study from Consero Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that specializes in planning and hosting industry-specific conferences.

What's more, Chief Customer Experience Officers will continue to need a variety of new tools and processes to manage the smart consumer effectively and retain customers in a competitive marketplace, Consero CEO Paul Mandell told CMSWire.

Helping the Insurance Industry Serve Customers

2014-06-May-To-Serve-Customers.jpgIn an iconic Twilight Zone episode, aliens arrive on planet earth. They bring with them a book entitled To Serve Man, from which we earthlings infer that the alien mission is "to perform a service for humanity." At the end of the story, the alien book is revealed to be a cookbook, whose main ingredient was humans.  

Here is my story about ways to better serve customers in the insurance industry. And to be clear, I mean it in the naive earthling sense -- practices that improve how insurers perform a service for their customers.

For Marketers, 'Most Popular' Social Media Doesn't = 'Most Satisfying'

The most popular social media tactics are also among the least satisfying. That's one of the findings in a new report from Forrester Research.

Revenge of the Brochureware Billboard Designers

Organizations can’t resist broadcasting when customers just want to get something done. 

DNN Finds Marketing Tools Easy to Use, Hard to Integrate

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Marketing automation. Social media monitoring. Customer relationship management (CRM). These tools are essential for most businesses, but a new report from content management system/community software vendor DNN notes that mid-sized companies struggle to put them together.

The report, "Marketing Got Complicated: A Look Inside the Marketing Department at Mid-Size Companies," was conducted in conjunction with Lawless Research. It surveyed 300 marketing decision makers at companies with 50 to 5,000 employees. On average, marketers at these companies reported that they are responsible for six marketing functions, with the top ones being market strategy, online marketing, customer retention, brand management and social media marketing. 

Blending Personalization and the Personal Touch: 5 Minutes with Scott Liewehr

2014-2-May-Scott-Liewehr no text.jpgRemember when shopkeepers knew your name? Good ones still do. Good websites, too.

Raising the level of customer experience on the web and mobile is, perhaps, the  greatest challenge facing marketers today.

Scott Liewehr got his start back in the late '90s leading the team which built Starwood Hotels' large-scale intranet. Since then, he's helped 100 of the Fortune 1000 with their ECM, WCM and portal needs.

Write Like a Journalist: Tips for Content Marketers

Write Like a Journalist: Tips for Content MarketersMarketing language is sometimes designed to "make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” George Orwell, the author of dystopian novel 1984, was talking about political speech when he wrote those words in 1946. Yet his words are just as apt when it comes to what can go wrong with content marketing: jargon or poorly crafted prose, cliches, ambiguity, empty phrases and other clutter.

That’s not necessary. As content marketing eclipses more traditional marketing and advertising copy, there’s something to be learned from writers and journalists. Delivering a story people want to read means spending time to create something they want to know about, and respecting readers by not peddling sensationalist or annoying pitches.

Yes, you are writing with a point-of-view. No, it’s not investigative journalism. But marketers will do well to read (and apply) much of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics to build the kind of trust and attention they want associated with their brand. It’s not just about what’s right. It's what works.

This Week: Hackers Target Facebook, Google + Is Big Data Backlash for Real?

Hackers Target Facebook, Google
Watch your website! Now you have bigger threats than viral videos or suspected porn.

Integration Never Easy
Perfect software integration? Oracle says it will never happen

Manage Your Mobile Workforce
Organizations lack well defined, practical guidance on how to manage today’s multi-device and multi-generational workforce.

Get Employees Out of Neutral
If you want employees to shift gears, the onus is on HR and business leaders to get them engaged.

Jive, Cisco Join Forces
The two companies want to combine the best of two worlds: Jive's enterprise collaboration platform and Cisco's real time technologies. 

No Big Deal?
If you believe what you've read lately, then big data isn’t the ticket that we once thought it was.

Gartner Crowns SAP
Gartner rated SAP as the biggest business intelligence vendor by far, followed by Oracle, IBM, SAS and Microsoft

The Digital Asset Management Buyer's Guide
Evaluate your organization's unique DAM needs.
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Video Help for SharePoint, Facebook's App Links and More

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And now, the news. This week, Facebook unveiled "new way to log into apps without sharing any personal information," SugarCRMers got together, SP Marketplace offered video help for Office 365 SharePoint Online and Kenshoo said it's happy in Asia.

Why Gwyneth Paltrow is the Most Brilliant Content Marketer - EVER

Why Gwyneth Paltrow is the Most Brilliant Content Marketer EVERAlong with the now tedious conversation about content shock, we also have to define (in the world of content marketing) content marketing at the enterprise vs. content marketing campaigns. This is all very fascinating, particularly since we still seem to be fighting about what content marketing is.

However, I find it even more interesting to look for those doing content marketing well and use those test cases to help us arrive at a universal understanding of content marketing. Let’s take a look at Gwyneth Paltrow, and her lifestyle brand, goop.

What's New in May for Open Source CMS

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Joomla kept its promise to release the latest version of its open source content management system (CMS) in April with yesterday's launch of Joomla 3.3.

The new version offers enhanced security, enables microdata for the first time and replaces MooTools-based JavaScript with jQuery equivalents. The company claims these new features make Joomla 3.3 "the most secure, searchable and fastest-loading Joomla CMS yet, ensuring the most efficient developer experience for Joomla out of the box."

Of course, Joomla wasn't the only free and open source CMS provider to make headlines last month. Hippo launched version 7.9 of its CMS last week. A webinar on what’s new in Hippo CMS 7.9 can be found here. Jahia kicked off the month with the release of Jahia 7, which offers a wide range of new features and functions.

And Fusionbox, a Denver-based web design/build firm, introduced its new open source product, Widgy. The company describes Widgy as "a heterogeneous tree editor," "well-suited" for use as a CMS, built on Python/Django. The company maintains: 

Widgy integrates with mezzanine CMS to form a system that is easier to use and has more flexibility than other popular systems. As a tree editor, Widgy couples with mezzanine to create and edit pages as if they were branches on a tree."

Fusionbox President and founder Alexander Groth the company's CMS is "not just an HTML editor" and predicted its "intuitive drag-and-drop interface will appeal to non-technical website owners who want to take control and edit their content."

So what can we expect in the FOSS world this month?

The Secret to Keeping a VP of Sales Happy

The relationship between the VP of Marketing and the VP of Sales is one of the most important, yet least cherished, organizational dynamics. Too often a source of conflict, the benefits of prioritizing and closing this departmental divide -- and fostering a state of functional harmony -- is crucial to any company's ambitions. 

Dan Schawbel: 'You Have to Spend More on Marketing than Content'

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Dan Schawbel has been called “the millennial version of Tom Peters” — a consultant, writer, columnist and public speaker known for his energy, influence and ideas.

Schawbel is a young man with a long resume: he's the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, the author of two bestsellers, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future and Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success and a columnist at both Time and Forbes.

He's been featured in more than 1,000 media outlets, from “The Today Show” on NBC to “The Nightly Business Report” on PBS, and has spoken at some of the world’s most prestigious companies including Google, IBM, Time Warner, CitiGroup, McGraw-Hill and Siemens, as well as some of the most notable schools … Harvard, Stanford, Cornell and MIT. 

He was named to Inc. Magazine's 30 Under 30 List in 2010, the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2012 and described by BusinessWeek as someone entrepreneurs should follow on Twitter.

Why should you care? Because he understands social media, personal branding and that ever elusive millennial workforce, among other things.

How Consumer Collaboration Solved the Case of the Grumpy Fliers

How Consumer Collaboration Solved the Case of the Grumpy FliersBig data can tell marketers what consumers are doing, buying or rejecting. But it cannot tell you why any of those things are happening. This is the story of how a company can turn that data into useful information to drive innovation by actually collaborating with consumers. In this case, the approach helped an airline solve the case of the grumpy fliers. Here’s how:

How Does Mobile Affect Purchasing Decisions?

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About 83 percent of web traffic to B2B sites still originates from desktops, according to new data from Wpromote, an online marketing agency. But B2B would do well to watch the rise of mobile traffic in consumer sites -- and its role in purchasing decisions.

According to stats from online marketing agency Wpromote, desktop web traffic to consumer sites dropped to 73 percent in the first quarter, from 82 percent and 88 percent in the same quarter in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Meanwhile, web traffic from mobile devices increased by 50 percent in the past year and now represents a quarter of all website visits.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based company surveyed 35 client websites in e-commerce, business to business and consumer services. Although the sample is small, the findings supported the general wisdom about the move to mobile.

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