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Digital News & Analysis

Supply Chains Run On Brains, Heart and Soul

Supply Chains Run On Brains, Heart and SoulWhen you think soul, what comes to mind? For me it's the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin -- but there's another contender who's giving Aretha a run for her money. Supply chains probably aren't the first thing you think of when you hear the word soul. But the supply chains that lead today are run with a combination of brains, heart and yes, soul. And this combination is exactly what it takes to drive future success for companies who compete on the basis of their supply chains in ever faster moving markets. Let’s take a look at some outstanding examples.

What's New in April for Open Source CMS

Pantheon

San Francisco-based Pantheon expanded the popular web development platform it created for Drupal to WordPress installs this month.

The company's technology, based on a container-based architecture, helps professional developers and designers build and maintain websites and applications. It offers an array of tools like version control, dev/test environments, team management, backups and workflow. (Click image to enlarge.)

Pantheon CEO and co-founder Zack Rosen said the three-year old company initially focused on Drupal because its development team included a number of former Drupal consultants.

But he noted that WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), powering over 76 million websites (19% of the web).

"Owing to its simplicity, WordPress has become the de facto Internet publishing tool for businesses with straightforward content management and design requirements," he wrote in a blog post. "We have a huge amount of respect for what the WordPress community has accomplished. We share the same mission: to build a simpler, easier, more powerful and more democratized World Wide Web."

So what else is new, directly or indirectly, in the world of free and open source CMS this month? Read on — and if you have FOSS CMS news to share, drop us a line so we can include you in our next monthly column.

Turn Off the Phones and Leave the Customers Alone

Turn Off the Phones and Leave the Customers AloneThere are some real advantages to having children. An excuse to see movies you would otherwise be too embarrassed to watch. Classic holiday photos, especially if you add a dog to the mix. An ongoing, intimate connection to pop culture that makes you seem (sorta) cool, long after your own coolness has been swept away by those hot winds of time. 

In fairness, I'm jaded. My own kids are grown — long past that puppy stage when everything inappropriate was not only acceptable but cute. A puppy drinking from the kitchen sink may seem adorable. But it's not quite as endearing when it’s a full-grown Rottweiler.

As the parent of borderline adult children, you have to look harder and longer to find things to make you smile, or at least make you feel like there's a real payback for putting a metaphorical monkey on your back for years and years.   

So it was with absolute delight, after my 23-year-old put her two-month old iPhone 5 in the washing machine that I discovered something of likely professional value. And anyone with a connection to marketing or technology may likely think that's true, too.

The fact is, the whole thing about the  "always on, always connected customer" may be a myth … or at least less inevitable than we seem to think.

HTML5: Still Not Living Up to Expectations

HTML5 hasn't met expectations as a platform for mobile applications, according to a new report from industry research firm IDC. The report, "The Evolving State of HTML5," [fee required], notes the technology is still riddled with misconceptions.

Quaero Reinvents Itself (Again) After Buyout

Naras Eechambadi.jpg

Everything old is new again at Quaero. Fifteen years after it was founded, the data analytics company is a start-up again — now that it bought itself back from the parent company, CSG, that had acquired it in 2008.

The deal closed in January, and now Quaero, a firm that wants to connect data management and analysis to advertising, is using it as an opportunity for innovation. It's shifting its strategy from hosted data services to a data analytics platform, an iteration the CEO calls "Quaero 3.0."

The Perfect Moment to Market and Communicate to Customers

The perfect moment to market and/or communicate with a customer is just after they have successfully completed a task. 

Analytics 3.0: Beyond Big Data

Think you need a data scientist to glean actionable insights from big data? Then you haven’t read Big Data at Work, the newest book by Tom Davenport, who is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading analytics experts.

This Week: Forget the Funnel + Rethinking the Rush to the Cloud

Forget the Funnel
Marketers should throw out the old rulebooks, because what was right yesterday doesn't necessarily translate to today.  

Psssst: Want to Engage Customers?
Want to know a secret? How about four? Find out the four attributes of great customer engagement.

Employees Want Mobile Doc Access
The results are in and improved document sharing topped employee demands for collaboration technology.

Box IPO Finally Official
After months of rumors, Box filed its IPO this week, revealing some sobering figures in the process.

Rethinking the Cloud Rush
When vendors rush services to the cloud, they ignore customer needs for security and data privacy. 

SAP Shakes Up Data Warehousing
SAP's latest update to its data warehousing play promises to deliver what the customers want: the information they need to act.

The 3 Stages of Digital Marketing
Prepare for the complex challenge of multi-channel marketing by taking a more scientific approach.
> Read the White Paper

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Building a Successful Retail Loyalty Program

Research shows that it costs up to five times more to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one. It has also been proved that a 5 percent reduction in customer defection rate can increase profits by 25 to 85 percent, depending on the business. In the US, only 12 to 15 percent of customers are loyal to a single retailer, but even this small percentage generates between 55 to 70 percent of the sales, according to the Center for Retail Management at Northwestern University.

For a long time, retail businesses focused on expanding their customer base without any particular attention towards retaining them. But businesses now realize that it is more important and profitable to focus on customer retention and building customer loyalty.

IBM Tackles Customer Experience Through New Labs

IBM lead.jpgWhen IBM has a problem, it throws money at it. We already saw this with the skills shortage around big data and analytics. It is taking a similar approach to customer experience and designing engaging interfaces.

In case you didn't know, IBM has an experience design consultancy for clients to help them develop the most effective customer experience for their business. To improve that service, IBM is pumping $100 million into the service itself, is employing an extra 1000 people and is opening 10 new IBM Interactive Experience labs around the world.

 

Marketers: Brace for the Impact of the Internet of Things

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As more devices become connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), our already hyper connected lives are becoming even more immersive. But the connected device space is still struggling to find heterogeneity. 

Marketing and advertising, while not the only industry waiting for a fuller convergence of devices and platforms, certainly stands to gain much from the endless stream of data that is produced by the myriad devices used in homes, offices and anywhere else.  

Marketers and advertisers want to leverage this information to entice us into purchasing an array of goods and services. 

But is the industry ready for this seismic change?

People Read Less and Watch More: Make Visuals Work for You

Hit play and watch. Click and receive. People expect instant visual gratification and if your website doesn’t provide, they quickly dismiss you as dated or difficult to digest. The good news is that with a few simple adjustments, you can refresh your content-heavy website to cater to this demand -- and keep viewers engaged.

Real Time Marketing: The Customer Decides #CXMChat

320x240_cmswire_tweetjam_logo.pngReal time can be right until it goes very, very wrong. Data access remains an issue — and at the end of the day and to drive relevancy, human understanding is required. 

These were just a few of the conclusions drawn from last week's real time marketing Tweet Jam. 

Lithium has Klout, Wants to be #SeriousAboutCustomers

Lithium Technologies today confirmed what everyone seemed to know already — and acknowledged it has bought Klout. Lithium is reportedly paying almost $200 million in cash and private stock for the social media ranking influencer — twice as much as speculated during the past month.

Speaking at a late-to-start press conference — Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of the social customer service company, declined to confirm the value of the deal. However, he noted, "If Lithium is paying $200 million for Klout, then it is a very valuable company and I'm happy about that."

Tarkoff described the acquisition as a significant extension to its platform that will offer consumers and brands better ways to engage online. "We're adding the relationship piece into the CRM world," he said. "Together, we could be something incredibly disruptive to CRM."

Lithium is also adding Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout, to the leadership team. He will become general manager and senior vice president of Lithium's Klout business, Tarkoff said.

Marketing Automation Best Practices

It's no secret that the popularity of marketing automation has been growing. Once thought the exclusive domain of larger than life firms, the marketing strategy and software has become increasingly accessible to smaller firms. But what exactly is Marketing Automation?

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