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Digital News & Analysis

4 Must Have Skills for Data-Driven CMOs

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It wasn't that long ago when most CMOs and senior marketers were considered the keepers of the brand. Today CMOs have a seat at the table. Their customer-centric insight drives the business-building strategy in front of the funnel, in the funnel, and all the way to the close and beyond.

In Forrester and Heidrick & Struggles most recent report, "The Evolved CMO in 2014," 40 percent of the CMOs surveyed aspire to the CEO position -- an almost inconceivable transition five years ago.

Give Users a Vote: Why Testing in Email Matters

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Consumers want their voices heard.

Social media marketers have turned to crowdsourcing to include customer's voices. But email marketers have been giving people the opportunity to vote for years.

We're not talking about direct surveys, although those can work. What we're talking about is measuring the votes that customers make every day when they choose to click or not click -- using A/B testing. 

Ex-Ford Visionary Scott Monty Tells You His Social Secrets

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It's not every day you get to sit down with an "an unstoppable force of nature" — a guy Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, described as "a visionary."

But those effusive words seem less important to Scott Monty that a few simple realities. He describes himself as a husband, a dad and "generally nice guy," who enjoys writing about the changing landscape of business, technology, communications, marketing and leadership.

Monty is executive vice president of strategy at SHIFT Communications, a public relations firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco, New York City and Austin. He's also editor and co-host of I Hear Of Sherlock Everywhere, "news and information about Sherlock Holmes in popular culture in one convenient site and podcast."

Where Did It Go? Understanding Traffic Drops in Google Analytics

You’re up early, just sitting down to an analytics report with a fresh cup of coffee, when you suddenly see it on your laptop screen – a big ol’ drop in website sessions in your overall traffic report. And not just by a few session counts.

You shouldn’t panic, at least not yet.

Traffic changes for your website or app often happen as you begin reviewing analytic reports over time. But with so many reports and ideas, it can be a head scratcher to know where to start a diagnosis.

While no one set of tactics is the right way, there are a few great ways to get started in analytic reporting. The key is deciding if the traffic change is technical or from marketing influences on traffic.

The Next Big Thing: #SXSW Accelerator Winners

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They came to Austin, Texas from far and wide — places as far removed from each other as Atlanta and Austria, Salt Lake City and Stockholm, New York and Tokyo … you name it.

Their mission? Plain and simple: to win the Accelerator competition in their particular category at SXSW’s StartUp Village.

This is the place to not only win, but also to become known.

"Over the past six years of companies competing in SXSW Accelerator, more than 50 percent have gone on to receive funding in excess of $1.7 billion and 12 percent of the companies have been acquired," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine.

But making it into the competition isn’t easy.

The Marketing Technology Explosion: A Blessing or a Curse?

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My first two reactions to Scott Brinker’s super infographic covering the marketing technology landscape were: WOW and WOW.

The first wow -- Wow, we have come a long way. There’s been a tremendous amount of innovation, evolution and exploration of data and technology across the broad categories of Media, Data, Content and Commerce.

The second wow -- Da&#! How will we manage this evolution? How do these pieces come together? Because that will be the only way to bring value to the consumer and the only way we will come close to delivering a seamless omnichannel consumer experience.

Weird? Maybe: How You Connect at #SXSW

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As far as tradeshows go, SXSW Interactive is akin to controlled chaos, a bit like a three-ring circus with companies and brands doing their best to grab the attention of thousands of techies from around the world.

Indeed, the conference organizers know that the experience SXSWi attendees have is as important as the discovery of the next great trend or hot social app.

After all, it’s Austin — the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World.” This is the place where art, performance and business all merge into one common objective: the Austin experience.

And for three week's in March, SXSW personifies that experience. The commingled extravaganza of music, film and interactive events started Friday and runs through March 22.

For anyone in marketing or advertising, the main event is the five-day interactive portion, which runs through tomorrow.

Customer Engagement is Usually a Sham

If you’re ripping your customers off, you can’t expect to design an experience to engage them. 

It's Official: It's Hard to Get All Your Technology to Get Along

Alexander Dumas unwittingly touched on a tech industry nerve when he wrote The Three Musketeers. Just think of the phrase the book popularized: “all for one, one for all.”

And if you've ever tried to integrate digital experience technology in the workplace, you understand just how significant this phrase really is.

The fact is that customers connect in many ways on many devices. All of this technology is different. That can cause incompatibilities and confusion, leading to a disconnect between customers and the companies they are seeking to engage.

But how can companies seamlessly integrate various technologies — and capitalize on that old dream of "all for one, one for all?"

Sitecore recently hired Forrester to evaluate the state of digital experience technologies. The study, “Firms Seek to Integrate Digital Experience Technologies To Drive Business,” found that many companies are still struggling to integrate disparate technologies.

If You Put a Man in Front of a Red Background, Will Your Ad Sell More?

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Your intuition isn't as smart as you think. Neither, apparently, is Albert Einstein, a new study from Rocket Fuel suggests.

Einstein believed in intuitions and inspirations. "I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am," he told a reporter for  “The Saturday Evening Post” in 1929.

But in a study released today, Rocket Fuel suggests it's time to ignore what you think and follow the path of science and technology … at least if you want to create the perfect ad.

The programmatic ad tech firm claims it's uncovered the recipe for online ad success. A bold statement? Perhaps. But Rocket Fuel claims this is a data driven boast.

The company used big data analysis to evaluate more than 38,000 online ads, categorizing them to determine which elements played a role in engaging consumer response. And what it found was that things like the color red, male faces and animation statistically increase the response rate of digital ads.

"Who knew 'seeing red' could make a person want to open an online ad? And what is it about male faces that screamed 'buy it now' driving higher conversion rates than ads that featured women?" the company asked.

5 Things You'll Probably Hear More About at #SXSW

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Say what you want about SXSW Interactive (and plenty of people have said quite a lot). But a couple of things are clear.

The annual mega conference in Austin, Texas later this week is too big for marketers to ignore — and nirvana for tech aficionados, early adopters and the easily distracted.

As Tim Leake, SVP of Growth and Innovation at RPA, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based ad agency, wrote yesterday in Adweek, "brands, startups, bands, speakers, agencies, films and events engage in a battle royale to get noticed."

SXSW, he added, is "an eye-opening metaphor for the cluttered media landscape that marketers have to deal with in today's world."

A swirl of music, film and interactive events, the event starts Friday and runs through March 22. Of course, for anyone in marketing or advertising, the focus is on the interactive portion, which runs Friday through next Tuesday.

Why You Can't Ignore Employee Engagement in Your CX Model

What if you could build your next product together with your prospective customers?

If you could, you would build precisely what they want. You would tailor it to their specifications and undoubtedly have a happy customer.

This simple principle lies at the core of our next-generation customer experience tools and the new look desktop views frontline Verizon employees use to serve our customers.

As an IT team, our clients are Verizon employees who set out to serve our customers everyday. Our shared goal is simple: Reduce customer effort.

Tery Spataro: You Have to Know What Your Customers Want

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Tery Spataro is passionate about digital marketing. For 20 years, she's been providing strategies that define the role digital and technology play with the brand and in the life of the customer.

Her current title is director of research at ATOMdesign/STREAM Research in Scottsdale, Ariz., a product development and design firm. She oversees the method, strategy, identification of insights, analysis of data for product and marketing research to aid in the experience design process.

But if you ask her what she does, she's likely to put things much simpler.

"I bring digital and tech to life in the physical world," she explains on Twitter.

What's New for You This March in Open Source CMS

Is open source the next big thing? At least that's what it seems, based on a burst of unrelated news in the past month. As CMSWire writer Miles Kehoe explained a few weeks ago, "Open source software has gone from quirky and free to mainstream for the enterprise."

Just think about it. 

  • Open Whisper Systems announced the latest iteration of its secure open source messaging app
  • Pivotal Software announced the Open Data Platform (ODP), an initiative that brings together GE, Hortonworks, IBM, Infosys, Pivotal, SAS, AltiScale, Capgemini, CenturyLink, EMC, Splunk, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Teradata and VMware (and is open to other companies that want to join).
  • And SiteSupra, headquartered in Riga, Latvia, released its software as an open source CMS and development framework.

What else is going on in the open source world, specifically related to open source CMS? Let's find out.

2 Research Firms Think They Can Serve You Better Together

San Francisco-based Constellation Research and Digital Clarity Group of New York City have formed a "strategic alliance" to better compete with legacy research firms like Forrester and Gartner. 

The arrangement combines Constellation's strength in enterprise research and advisory work with DCG's brand and customer experience knowledge. 

It is not a merger, but a partnership that focuses on helping organizations on the buy-side.

"We feel like it's ripe for disruption," Scott Liewehr, CEO and co-founder of three-year-old Digital Clarity Group (DCG), told CMSWire about the research landscape. 

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