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Digital News & Analysis

The Internet of Things Could Empower People with Disabilities

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Ubiquitous sensors are one of the driving ideas behind the Internet of Things.

The ideas is that we will put on and wear more and more sensors until they become pervasive — enabling everything we interact with on a daily basis to have the potential to offer us greater insight or context for our activities.

It's not hard to see how many of the devices already available are impacting our lives, even in small ways. There are thermostats that can learn from our habits and even be controlled remotely through our phones, window shutters that adjust automatically, depending on how much sunlight is coming through and objects fitted with RFID devices, which let us know when they pass through checkpoints.

All of these devices make life a little easier. But one segment of the population could potentially benefit even more than the rest from IoT technologies: People with disabilities — not just at home, but at the office and everywhere in-between.

Friday Fun Day: Insider's Guide to Facebook Image Sizes

2014-15-August-Oven-Roast.jpgFacebook may generate a lot of hate. But it generates even more interest — especially from marketers who struggle daily to keep up with its ever changing guidelines on how and what to do everything from encourage page "likes" to keep customers engaged.

So it was with great interest that I stumbled upon a blog by Emily Goodrich. She's a technical writer at Heyo, a Blacksburg, Va.-based startup that wants to help small-business owners gain followers on sites like Facebook and Twitter and convert those followers into email captures and sales. 

Goodrich shared a marketing essential: a Facebook image size cheatsheet.

So You Think You Know WordPress

2014-15-August-My-Name-Is.jpgYou’re ready to develop your website. You're looking for a web CMS that’s secure, cost-effective, easy to maintain and customizable for your business. You wouldn’t consider WordPress, right?

This stigma has plagued WordPress, especially when compared to other available tools like Joomla and Drupal.

News Bites: Blasting Off, Driving Out, Targeting, Reading

The latest in targeting, web design and marketing from the Big Apple, the Codfish State, across the pond and Mater Urbium.

Sprinklr Increases Social Media Reach with TBG Buy

Social media management firm Sprinklr announced today that it has bought TBG Digital, a company that considers itself a pioneer of corporate advertising on Facebook and Twitter. The move is designed to amplify Sprinklr’s reach across social media and will add an estimated 100 new employees to its 400-person global roster, according to a written release published by Sprinklr.  

Don't Close Your Brick-and-Mortar Stores Yet

Thumbnail image for 2014-14-august-cracking-nuts.jpgCracking the e-commerce nut isn't as easy as people who actually crack nuts for a living clearly understand.

In fact, two new studies demonstrate that brands and marketers still face significant obstacles to adoption, especially on mobile. But the biggest challenge may be behavioral. As we recently explained, more than 90 percent of retail sales still occur in physical stores.

Why are so many consumers reluctant to buy online, despite the rapid growth of e-commerce? Ripen eCommerce, a Princeton, N.J.-based agency providing marketing, creative, development and technology services to e-commerce clients, thinks understanding consumers' path to purchase is the first step online retailers should take to capture a greater portion of the $3.2 trillion US retail industry.

Make Your Global Email Marketing Hit the Target [Infographic]

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Are some common mistakes turning your global email marketing into a world-class mess?

A recent survey by a Waltham, Mass.-based Lionbridge Technologies of more than 570 people from 25 countries found many global email marketing efforts are falling flat. The reason: companies aren’t tailoring their messages for the unique global audiences they are trying to attract, don’t use a mobile-friendly format and are clinging to antiquated tracking methods.

Some may even be running afoul of local opt-in or privacy laws.

How the Internet of Things Drives Customer Engagement

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Now that we've accepted the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT), researchers are starting to look at when, where, how, why and who will use it. They're also looking into potential risks.

Recent research from IDC, for example, shows that retailers are leading the charge to the IoT in the quest for better customer experiences.

According to IDC, retailers see the IoT as a way to improve customer experiences. Specifically, they are using it to pull consumers into one of their channels, where they will entice them with products that have been contextualized and personalized for the customers’ gratification.

Discussion Point: How Big are Data Security Threats?

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You may have heard that some cyber criminals in Russia recently stole more than a billion user IDs and passwords -- yes, that's billion with a "B."  

In the past year, online security and data theft has been making international headlines, as evidenced by huge security breaches at retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus.

How bad is it? With our lives becoming more digitally entwined, it makes sense that potential security threats are more visible. Think about how many times a day you exchange digital information using either an Internet connection or a mobile device.

Despite the security hysteria, experts say there are simple ways to take steps to tighten up your Internet security -- whether for your own personal or business use. CMSWire reached out to a collection of Internet security experts to find what's going on.

Start Your Community Relationships with the First Hello

2014-13-August-Welcome.jpgIt’s the first day of your new job. You’re so excited that you barely slept the night before.

And then you arrive at the front desk.

The office manager doesn’t recognize your face or name, so phone calls are made to determine where you should go. Your new boss is travelling this week and the rest of your team has yet to arrive. You're sent to the waiting area, and sit reading outdated issues of magazines.

Does this look like the start of a healthy, long-term relationship?

Is Your Brand's Personalization Really Customer-Centric?

True personalization makes brands competitive, but what does true personalization mean?

True personalization gives brands the opportunity to be wholly customer-centric at every point of engagement. Rather than just increasing conversion rates, personalization involves a continuous effort to improve your customer experience so that visitors will return, purchase and become loyal.

It's not about collecting mountains of data or testing based on legacy assumptions about visitors, but the actionable insights which improve customer experience and drive revenue. These insights don't come from a single A/B or multivariate test, but rather the evolution of how you understand your customer micro-segments. It’s a chance to develop a dynamic understanding of how visitors mature, and not just who they were during their last click.

Sing a Little Song, Do a Little Dance: Get Down with Google

Google is introducing new all singing, all dancing ads. Well, nearly. Google is in the process of testing its new "Listen Now" service ads in partnership with Spotify, Rhapsody and Apple’s Beats Music.

The service works in much the same way other Google searches work with one execption. When users search for music, Google displays the results — along with at least three links to music streaming services and stores.

Are You Following the Money in Digital Analytics?

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As someone who has been involved in digital — web — analytics since it was an early practice in 1996, I’ve always been acutely aware of the challenge of mapping metrics or analyses to real world measures such as revenue or cost savings.

And I’ve always contended that you need to think in these terms if you want the analysis of your digital channel to be relevant to your organizations.

I took this so far as to open my 2005 book, The Executive’s Guide to Web Site Measurement and Testing with this: Money makes the web-go-round.

The 'Scoop' on Content as a Service

web CMS, 2014-11-August-Ice-Cream.jpgWhen was the last time you heard of a company using its content management system as a recruiting tool? Never? Well last month the New York Times made a splash providing an overview of its custom-built content management system called Scoop. One of the inspirations of this post was that a prominent editor for competitor Washington Post, Ezra Klein, announced that the reason he was leaving the Post for Vox Media was because -- ready for this -- of how fancy its web content management system was. As Klein said in the article: “at our first meeting, we knew we were going here. They had the technology we thought we were inventing.”

Yahoo Tech's David Pogue: You Gotta Be Authentic

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David Pogue thinks science, technology, language and humor go together quite well. "That’s been my experience, anyway, in my years writing columns, presenting science and tech on TV, creating how-to books and doing a lot of public speaking," he explains on his website.

Pogue, the former personal technology columnist for the New York Times, is the founder of Yahoo Tech — a "consumer-technology website for normal people."

He’s also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, host of science shows on PBS’s “NOVA” and a correspondent on the CBS News Sunday Morning.

In his spare time, he authored four titles in the For Dummies series of books and teamed up with O'Reilly Media to launch Pogue Press, the company that creates the Missing Manual books. If you haven't heard of the Missing Manuals, they're a series of "warm, witty and jargon free" manuals for popular consumer software and hardware products … the "books that should have been in the box."

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