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Digital News & Analysis

The Future of Marketing is to be Useful

Some years ago I listened as a senior marketing executive from a technology company discussed a product their customers hated. Sales were miserable because the product was deeply flawed. “As marketers we felt that it was us that failed,” she said to me in a rather embarrassed voice. “Because we felt it was our job to convince the customer that it was a great product, even though we all knew it was a dud.” 

Discussion Point: Omnichannel Marketing in the 2014 Holiday Season

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Marketing technology vendors love to preach the value of sending consumers personalized offers on the device they're using at just the right moment.

Though we're only emerging from the developmental infancy of omnichannel marketing, several companies offer software and services that promise to do just that. Chief marketing officers at major retailers are spending more of their budgets on collecting data, analyzing actions and monitoring social media -- all with an eye toward increasing sales in their hyper-competitive sector.

7 Ways to Blend Content and Commerce to Boost Sales

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Most marketers know the best way to increase sales is by sending the right message to the right customer at the right time. Yesterday, a CMSWire webinar explained how to do that by following seven strategies.

The presentation, sponsored by HP, was built around a case study involving Nikon's site for the US, NikonUSA.com. It featured a mix of technologies from the hybris cross-channel e-commerce platform, HP's TeamSite and Kanban, the engineering firm that led the project.

You can watch the webinar by clicking here or on the video at the bottom of this story.

News Bites from [24]7, Onapsis, TeleTech, Vanilla Forums, More

The latest in strategy, appointing, redefining, growing, joining and integrating from The Orchard City, Hollywood North, Trimountaine, Broncoville, Near the Great Hill, the City of Saints and the Capital of the Palatinate, and Hindustan

Real Story Group Maps Digital Workplace, MarTech Space

Real Story Group (RSG), an independent analyst firm, just released an update to its Digital Workplace and Marketing Technology vendor map.

Given the scope of this technology space, it is hardly surprising that this one contains as many vendors are there are stations in the New York City subway. The research also identified what RSG defines as the trending — and fading — technologies.

SEO is Killing Content Quality

2014-13-November-Wicked-Witch.jpgSearch engine optimization (SEO) tips include website design best practices for how to get Google to rank your content higher in search engine results placement or SERP.

In fact, the preceding sentence is a great example of just how cumbersome this practice has made Web-based communications. By ensuring that I used the phrases, “search engine optimization (SEO) tips,” “website design best practices,” “how to get Google to rank your content higher” and “search engine results placement or SERP,” I’m virtually stuffing Google with the search phrases I want it to associate with my content.

But SEO tips aren’t the point of this article. In fact, SEO is the antithesis to my point.

Guess Where Kevin Cochrane Popped Up?

Just a year ago, Kevin Cochrane was a keynote speaker at OpenText Enterprise World 2013. This week, at OpenText's 2014 conference in Orlando, Fla., Cochrane is nowhere near the stage.

His days as CMO of the Canadian enterprise information management provider — which followed several years as vice president of enterprise marketing at Adobe — are behind him.

Cochrane left OpenText in July.

In September, he was named CMO at Mindjet, a project-based collaboration software company. He remained in that position less than two months. 

Cochrane no longer maintains any references to Mindjet on his LinkedIn profile. Instead, he states that he is a member of the board of both the Digital Clarity Group (DCG) and Jahia.

He also notes that he is CMO of San Mateo, Calif.-based Agari, a Cisco-spawned company that develops data-driven security solutions powering real time cyberthreat detection prevention for global companies and their customers. 

OpenText Reimagines Information Management #OTEW2014

There’s a gap in the kinds information management solutions available to businesses today. On one side there are the heavy-hitting, feature-filled Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions that highly regulated life sciences, energy and financial industries require.

On the other side, there are Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions that typically store content on public clouds. And then there’s Box, which is busily adding social and collaboration features to its EFSS service.

But until today there hasn’t been a vendor that provides a business information management service that sits on a private cloud and offers secure social and collaboration features, without any involvement from IT at all. That’s right, end users can buy OpenText’s new enterprise-grade Information Management solution, OpenText Core, with a credit card and get busy.

“It’s designed for the digital first world. It’s very intuitive, requires no learning and is focused on the business,” said Lubor Ptacek, vice president of strategic marketing, at OpenText.

The Big Challenge for Marketers: Good Content #KenticoConnection

BOSTON — Technology can help solve some of B2B marketers' biggest problems, such as increasing customer engagement and providing measurable results.  But it only works if marketers know how to use it — and it's not their biggest problem.

“The biggest issue for marketers is creating content that supports customer decisions at every step of the journey, " Petr Palas, Kentico CEO and founder, said at the company's two-day conference here this week.

OpenText VP Highlights Digital First Agenda #OTEW2014

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Enterprise information is like, well, pasta sauce.

It's constantly tinkered with -- by perfectionist chefs. It's altered, adapted and, if not to its creator's liking, simply discarded.

"Information is not inert," Muhi Majzoub, senior vice president of engineering at OpenText, told CMSWire. "It has context. It changes state, can be replicated, modified or destroyed."

Managing enterprise information today requires a "digital transformation" and recognition that we live in a "digital first world," he added.

Hence, the theme of this year's annual conference for the Waterloo, ON, enterprise information management provider: Simplify, transform and accelerate in the digital first world.

So You Want to Be an Online Community Manager?

2014-11-November-Flock.jpgBecause I write a lot about online communities and online community management, I've had people ask me, “I’d like to make a career change into community management. Where do I start?” The first thing I tell them is that I’m not a community manager. But I quickly follow by saying that I work with community managers and that they’re the target audience for much of the content I develop.

That Anonymous Visitor Is Your Next Great Customer

2014-10-November-Fake-Mustache.jpgPersonalization is critical to your business -- we can all agree on that. But when it comes to rolling up our proverbial sleeves and getting down to getting personal, the conversation veers into choppy waters. Why? It’s a simple enough notion.

Compare digital personalization tactics to the local corner store from decades ago. Remember the butcher who held the special cut of meat for a favorite customer? Or the clerk who knew I wanted the next comic book in the series? That was personalization in the pre-Internet days but, even though the landscape has changed dramatically, the rules really haven’t. We, as marketers, just have infinitely more to work with -- and even greater demands than a pound of sirloin.

Analyzing Social Media? You're Doing it Wrong

2014-10-November-Chatter.jpgThe days when brands had complete control over their positioning are long gone. Consumers can now impact the shaping of a brand, particularly through social media. Brands follow what consumers are saying, where they are saying it and how deeply certain themes permeate the overall conversation on social media -- but taking action from this information isn’t as easy as it seems.

Brands often count numbers without understanding context. They focus too much on one channel while ignoring all others, or fail to gauge the collective opinions of the crowd. Instead they focus on a few overly positive or negative mentions, and stay too caught up in the moment to observe trends over time.

Each of these faux pas is easy to commit, and every one of them can have profound consequences. But it doesn't have to be that way.

What the French Taught Me About Customer Service

2014-10-November-Bread-Shopping.jpgBefore moving to Paris, I heard horror stories about how rude the French were and readied my family for the difficulties we would experience. But during my four years there, I came to see the French as the purveyors of the best and worst customer service I ever experienced.

France is a country where customer service is an economic imperative as they claim title to being the most visited country in the world with more than 85 million annual visitors and with tourism representing 10 percent of GDP. The French government has tried several campaigns to promote great customer service to increase tourism.

That's only half the battle. Being the right customer and adjusting expectations is what transformed my customer experience in France, and created new levels of loyalty for me with companies large and small alike.

What's New in November for Open Source CMS

It's been a, well, interesting month for free and open source content management systems (CMS) communities.

Thousands of websites running Drupal, one of the world's most popular open source CMSs, may have been compromised by a "highly critical" security flaw. But Imperva, an IT security firm, claims attacks against WordPress, the world's most popular CMS, are even more prevalent.

Jahia named the ever mobile Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe — to its board of directors. But no one, including Cochrane, has yet addressed his abrupt departure from Mindjet. Could Cochrane be planning to relocate from San Francisco to take up an office and deeper role with Jahia in Paris?

Ghost, a relatively new CMS created by John O’Nolan — former deputy head of the WordPress user experience team — continues to wow critics who, for obvious reasons, keep comparing the platform to WordPress. O'Nolan, meanwhile, who funded the project with a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign, just keeps creating. His recent efforts extend to creating a company culture. We'll let him explain: 

We’re very much trying to choose our culture and make it one that we’re proud of. We encourage open and frank debate, but always with civility. ... Recently we also published a set of clear community guidelines. The crux of it is pretty straightforward: Don’t be a dick."

With that in mind, let's take a look at what's new in free and open source CMS this month.

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