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Digital News & Analysis

Banish Boring: 3 Steps to High-Performing Partner Portals

Banish Boring: 3 Steps to High-Performing Channel PortalsThe term “portal” does not cause hearts to skip a beat. Almost two decades of boring, barely-functional portals have done immeasurable harm to the term; their intended audiences ignore them, and the people who manage them see them as busy work.

But if you sell through indirect channels, the portal is the key to growing and boosting the productivity of your channel program. If it’s being developed and nurtured the right way, it can be a one-stop self-service site that answers partners questions about marketing, training, technical support and more.

Digital Clarity Group Warns CEM Vendors to 'Transform or Die'

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There is a ring of truth to the introduction to Digital Clarity Group’s (DCG) latest research on  European web content and customer experience servicer providers  — even if it is a little dramatic. In it, Scott Liewehr, president and principal analyst at DCG, stressed that this is the age of digital disruption,.

Organizations have to transform they way to work or die, he continued.

He's not the first person to make such an argument on behalf of customer experience and engagement (CEM) vendors and  service providers. But he is among a minority that can support his argument with research on 45 companies.

Hippo's CMS Update Includes Advanced Channel Management

web cms, Advanced Channel Management Highlights Hippo's New CMS 7.9

Hippo's latest update to its web content management system (CMS) platform promises to “wow” customers with enhanced channel management, personalization, security functions and web navigation.

Hippo launched version 7.9 of its CMS today. The update includes a new Advanced Channel Management feature and the introduction of CKEditor, SCXML Workflows and Secure Content Replication.

Sonja Wraith, vice president of marketing for the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based open source CMS provider, told CMSWire that the new version offers greater flexibility and more marketing capabilities — features essential to solid customer experience functionality on the enterprise level.

The Problem with Lead Scoring

Marketing automation helped marketers gain a deeper understanding of their target buyer and develop the right messaging, calls to actions and campaigns. But the real big win to come from marketing automation was supposed to be lead scoring.

Lead scoring promised an end to sales’ perennial complaint that marketing wastes their time with leads that weren’t ready to buy. Finally, there would be a system that measured what prospects did and determined when leads were ready for sales. Savvy marketers involved sales in defining how a lead was measured and when to pass it along. The promise was that only those leads that met a predefined threshold were passed on to sales. Eureka! Finally, a definitive way of measuring marketing’s impact on the pipeline.

Or so we thought.

4 New Reports, 4 Realities About Mobile In-Store Customers

2014-22-April-sorry-we-are-openIn-store customers are local, social and mobile ­— and the sponsors of four new customer experience reports claim they have the data brands and companies need to better understand these realities.

Venuelabs and the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) today released the 2014 Mobile Consumer Benchmarks, a series of reports for key industry verticals including retail, restaurants and hospitality. Now in their second year, these benchmarks focus on mobile in-store customers.

Asif Khan, president of the Toronto-based LBMA told CMSWire this morning the reports are intended to help businesses with multiple locations such as retailers and restaurant chains turn "big data into business insights."

"We are unlocking the ability for brands to understand their customer engagement on a location-by-location basis as opposed to one giant national sentiment," he said.

Future Talk: Blab Updates Tool to Predict Online Conversations

2014-21-April-tomorrow.jpgPredicting the future is no longer limited to seers, mothers and the US National Security Agency (NSA). Now anyone — or any company — can forecast what people will be talking about tomorrow, according to a Seattle-based start-up that specializes in "predictive social intelligence."

The company, which released the second iteration of its product today, doesn't rely on magical premonitions, intuition or manipulations. Instead, Blab applies "proprietary technology and big data processing to contextualize and predict tomorrow’s online conversations today."

It's sort of like having a crystal ball, only with less worry about shattered glass. Or something like that.

3 Ways Social Media is Changing Online Content

2014-21-April-online sharing

Online content helps businesses and brands achieve business objectives. Until relatively recently, that content was centered around websites. But how has the growth of social media changed the equation?

Ryan Skinner, senior analyst for content marketing at Forrester Research, told CMSWire that one of the biggest changes from social media is "the idea of content as conversation." He cited New York University professor of media Clay Shirky, who has noted that the ability to communicate broadly has shifted from "an instrument of power" to "an instrument for everyone."

Digital is Diffuse, Physical is Solid

One of the key differences between digital and physical is that digital is more adaptable and networked. Thus, digital changes at a more rapid speed, breaking old connections and creating new ones. 

7 Vendors Top the Forrester Wave for Customer Service Solutions

At a time when seven out of 10 online shoppers complain of unsatisfactory experiences, which vendors stand out as offering possible solutions? The authors of the latest Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Customers Q2 2014 (registration required) rated customer service vendors against 83 criteria and identified seven leaders.

According to the report, the vendors with the best strategy pursued excellence in a limited number of areas and avoided over diversified, Jack-of-All-Trade scenarios.

This Week: Microsoft Enters Marketing + IT Preps for IoT Assault

Integration Risk for IBM?
A direct competitor has some direct comments on IBM's acquisition of Silverpop and how it may lead to integration struggles. IBM, meanwhile, remains confident.

Microsoft Plans Marketing Splash
Microsoft's director of worldwide product marketing said the company is going to capture marketers’ imaginations with its new platform.

Life in Mobile Enterprise
We continued to examine the mobile enterprise this week, discussing among other topics IBM's take on becoming mobile first and the mobile mind shift.

Why SharePoint is Hard
Deploying SharePoint requires organizational discipline. Unfortunately, most organizations have historically lacked the discipline needed.

Get Smarter in Tech
Check out Gartner's top 10 technologies that make governments smart.

Prep IT for Internet of Things
IT departments will be on the front lines of the IoT assault, especially when it comes to configuring, managing and updating all the devices that need to communicate and interact.

Build a Thriving Customer Community to Realize the Community Effect
Become a customer experience leader with the help of your customer community
Download White Paper

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Why Content Marketers Fail to Impress Google

With more than 70 percent of online searches happening in Google, it is no surprise that content marketers are constantly looking for new ways to use the search engine to realize ROI, be it by getting leads out of organic channels or by other attribution based metrics or means. However, content marketing seems to be losing its luster when it comes to impressing the search engine giant.  

Mondelez VP Offers Food for Thought on Empowering Customers

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Mondelēz International may not be a household name yet, but its brands are. Think belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Cheese Nips, Chips Ahoy! Cookies, Chiclets chewing gum — and the seasonally appropriate Cadbury Creme Egg.

As vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz, Bonin Bough knows them all. But he knows even more about mobile, social and using both to reach and empower customers. He's been described as a leader of the digital marketing revolution —"integrating mobile and social into all marketing campaigns and embarking on the next wave of social – empowering consumers to socially endorse products they love."

At Mondelēz — better known as Kraft Foods until a separation from its parent company in 2012 — he's responsible for leading and developing partnerships and omnichannel customer experiences that span all forms of media. (In case you wondered, monde means "world" in several languages and delez an alternative to "delicious.")

A magazine fanatic and Lego advocate, Bough is Twitter champ, with more than 14 thousand followers. He co-authored the 2010 book Perspectives on Social Media Marketing and has been recognized as one of business' hottest rising stars on lists complied by Fortune, Fast Company, Ebony and The Internationalist.

Important Innovation vs. Endless Expansion in WCM

Important Innovation vs. Endless Expansion in WCMWeb Content Management (WCM) is in the middle of an important innovation phase. That's right, I said it. “Innovation” because we are seeing new, as yet unmet, challenges being addressed with new capabilities. And “important” (as opposed to “trendy”) because our experience is that many of these new capabilities from WCM providers sit squarely on fixing things that don’t happen in a customer’s browser window.

Companies Fail to Follow Web Leads

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A third of potential customers who request information or quotes online never receive a phone call in response to their requests.

According to a new report from Velocify, a provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) sales software, that's just one indication that companies are dropping the ball when it comes to responding to qualified buyers online.

The report, Fortune 100 Online Buyer Experiences Study, was conducted to measure how well the largest companies in America address online inquiries from both B2B and B2C customers. And it shows most companies have "considerable room for improvement."

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

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