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Digital News & Analysis

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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Yes, It's True: Microsoft + Salesforce are Hooking Up

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a new BFF — and he’s none other than Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

You have to give Benioff credit for leveraging his Zen Buddhist learnings and urging Microsoft to regain its “beginner's mind.” Last year, at TechCrunch Disrupt, he called Microsoft “such a disaster” that only Bill Gates could save it.

In 2010, Microsoft sued Salesforce for nine patent infringements and Benioff called Microsoft a patent troll.

Today Benioff was busy on Twitter, posting pictures of himself and Nadella in various settings, sometimes even looking like lovebirds. 

Mobile Publisher Onswipe Highlights Mobile Behaviors

The ways people interact with content and functions on a mobile device are, of course, different from a desktop or laptop. But different how? Two new reports from mobile publishing platform Onswipe help to fill in a few data points about mobile behavior.

For instance, what are the most popular financial stories on the iPad?

How Social Media Cuts through the Noise

2014-29-May-Marching-Band.jpgWhile most companies spend a lot of time and energy celebrating the success or agonizing over the failures of their direct sales forces, much of that energy is misspent. Studies show that the indirect channel -- resellers, VARs, distributors, consultants and partners of all stripes -- accounts for 70 percent of sales worldwide -- but channel programs are seldom showered with the attention that direct sales teams get.

5 Types of Influencers B2B Marketers Need to Engage Now

2014-29-May-Horse-Race.jpgYou've seen the stats: 60 to 80 percent of the buying process is done before anyone wants to chat with your chomping-at-the-bit sales reps. To make matters worse, more people than ever are now involved in the process of buying complex products. So where does that leave you?

Most likely trying to craft a never-ending stream of content marketing to influence this very process. And that helps, for sure.

But let’s be honest. You need to do more than turn your brand into a publisher … especially as most publishers are having their own issues these days. With that in mind, there’s another approach to influencing the buying process while also supporting your could-be-better content marketing efforts.

Start engaging the influencers.

Build Tomorrow's Agile Marketing Organization Today

2014-28-May-Agility-Bull.jpgThis will probably be the 47th article you read today that tells you how marketers need to learn to adapt -- that consumers have too many choices, too little attention and no patience for a poor experience. Let me remind you that the world is changing, rapidly. You can change with it or be left behind.

We've explored how to address uncertainty in many areas of business. Agile methodologies have done a great deal to help software development teams adapt to inevitable uncertainty. Lean manufacturing has transformed how we create physical goods.

Innovative organizations are beginning to understand how applying those philosophies to marketing can produce similar outcomes.

Men Want Products, Women Want Help and No One Wants to Wait

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No one has time for patience when it comes to customer service. But beyond that universal truth, there are significant gender differences between men and women when it comes to customer service.

According to a new survey from Kana, a provider of customer service solutions, both sexes are frustrated by wait times and slow response.

Beyond that, men are most annoyed by out-of-stock inventory, unknowledgeable or incompetent employees, lack of assistance and the bad attitude of customer service representatives. Women rate their frustrations, in order, as lack of assistance, bad attitudes, out of stock inventory and unknowledgeable or incompetent employees.

Buyers Want Technical, Accurate Content

The good news: 88 percent of business buyers believe that online content has played a major to moderate role in vendor selection. The bad news: Only 9 percent of buyers trust vendor websites. 

Less Can Be More for Email Marketing

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Did you ever know someone who was over keen? Who didn’t respect your space? Maybe they had something valid to say, but in the end you just had too much and tried to avoid them somehow?

As marketers, we have to be careful not to fall into this category with our email campaigns. It’s a fine line between staying top of mind with your reader and, well, bugging them. Quite simply if you “blast” them with too many newsletters, your image will suffer and eventually they’ll probably either unsubscribe or hit spam.

Pinterest Boosts Offerings for Marketing Tech Firms

Continuing its effort to turn its platform into a revenue generating service, Pinterest is enhancing its API platform to give marketing companies more insight. 

TechCrunch reported today that Pinterest is preparing to announce a new initiative that will allow businesses to gain a better understanding of Pinterest trends, along with the improved API platform. The new service is currently offered to a limited number of marketing technology firms, including Salesforce, HootSuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate and Tailwind.

The API is Pinterest's first effort to allow third parties to build over its services. The company will continue to offer its free analytics service.

By giving companies a more comprehensive understanding of Pinterest trends -- which images are most popular, which are driving the most traffic and which have been shared, or "repinned," the most -- Pinterest thinks companies could design more effective marketing campaigns and facilitate greater customer engagement.

Want Subscribers? Recognize Who Owns the Channel

2014-23-May-Social-Channels.jpgAccording to a recent study from EdgeRank Checker that analyzed 50,000 posts from 1,000 brand Facebook pages, Facebook’s organic reach has been on the steady decline over the past two years. Marketers should realize that this decline is not only natural, but unavoidable. While user growth -- the goal of every social network -- will increase the amount of social status updates, the total amount of time people have to view this content will not.

To remain successful, marketers have to understand the implications of social media data ownership and monetization. Brands have spent a lot of money building their "likes" so they could harness Facebook as a channel within an overall marketing efforts.

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