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Digital News & Analysis

Is Advertising Losing Its Appeal?

Are we reaching a point in society where advertising is being superseded by search engines and social media? 

Analytics, Big Data and ... Hocus Pocus?

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Businesses that are scrambling to keep up with the quickly changing e-commerce world are turning to big data and analytics as important, if not primary tools. Collect enough data and apply complex analytical methods to it, the story goes, and you will find the answers you need to understand today and plan for tomorrow.

We’ve given these tools catchy names. Big Data Analytics (BDA) has an authoritative ring -- but the underlying disciplines haven’t changed in decades. Whatever we call it, analysis involves sampling what’s happening now and using statistical methods to derive trends that allow us to make changes to improve our results. If it doesn’t do that, it isn’t worth much.

In a BDA world, you grab every piece of data you can from your commerce, Web-based and otherwise, and then apply statistical techniques to it to tell you why your customers behave as they do and what they are likely to do if you change your approach.

What could be the problem? 

Can You Engage Customers Earlier in the Sales Cycle?

It's been a few years since Forrester Research came out with the eye-popping statistic that "buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through their purchase journey before they reach out to the vendor."

What's more, for many product categories, "buyers put off talking with salespeople until they are ready for price quotes."

But it wasn't until the last year or so that the customer relationship management (CRM) industry really took note of this trend and started making changes to its product sets and functionality. There were some exceptions, of course – and it's in this group that Demandbase chief product officer Avanish Sahai includes himself and his company.

"The question we are continually asking ourselves is how to raise the marketing funnel, " he tells CMSWire. "How can we better engage with the prospect in that part of the cycle, when buyers are so aggressively seeking out information but bypassing sales."

The Key to Seamless Customer Experience? Defining Your Goals

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We've told you before and we'll tell you again: it's not easy getting all your technology to work together.

Customers engage businesses through different devices — and this can cause a lot of confusion when you want to deliver seamless customer experiences.

But while integrating all of your technology can be a challenge, it will ultimately pay off with lower costs, increased customer satisfaction and, in many cases, increased revenues. These benefits are not only immediate but long-term, too, industry experts concur.

Strategic Leadership Sets CMOs Apart from Heads of Marketing

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The celebration was surely muted when Forrester Research predicted that in 2015, the average tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) would reach five years. That’s not long, but it’s nearly double the average reported as recently as 2006.

Why are CMOs still being replaced so quickly?

It’s because many still aren’t acting like CMOs, but rather as heads of marketing departments. What’s the difference? Plenty.

Are You Ready for Market Consolidation and MarTech Spending?

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Foundation Capital General Partner Ashu Garg predicts that over the next 10 years, marketers will spend 10 times what they currently spend on marketing technology. Specifically, he wrote in “MarTech and the Decade of the CMO,” that the $12 billion that CMOs currently spend on martech will grow to $120 billion by 2025.

For CMOs, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We all know that the need for organizations to drive superior customer experiences is greater than ever. Brands need to be personal and contextual, while at the same time being efficient and finding new ways to innovate and differentiate.

The CMO's Roadmap for Content Marketing Success

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Almost every marketing leader will tell you that content is essential to sparking meaningful engagement with prospects and customers. But content marketing as a practice is still evolving -- marketing teams don’t have a clear blueprint for how much investment to make or how to determine the ROI.

Success takes exploration, dedication and continuous testing. Content marketing is challenging. It takes time to grow your program into a steady and predictable growth engine.

The CMO plays a critical role in content marketing. We need to guide our teams to adopt an analytical approach and help them determine which topics, types, formats and delivery methods will be most effective. We can help content producers and program managers turn ideas into powerful audience-building campaigns.

Here’s how you can lead your team to success.

A Data-Driven Look at the Open Source E-Commerce Market

Retail businesses are moving online in growing numbers. 

Compared to Q4 2013, last quarter’s US online sales rose 14.6 percent to a staggering $79.6 billion dollars. This accounted for 6.7 percent of the total US retail sales market. Major trends fueling this growth include the proliferation of mobile devices, faster online checkout flows and improved fulfillment practices.

The availability of open source e-commerce platforms is helping some offline business with the move online. Much like WordPress provides free, customizable CMS solutions, popular open source e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop offer a variety of pre-built templates and plugins that DIY retailers can customize to build and grow an online business from scratch.

To get a feel for the size of this trend, here’s a current snapshot of the top providers and number of websites they power.

If Your Social Media Marketing Tools Could Think

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If you spend several hours a week trying to determine the best day and time to post to social media, posting content and trying to make sense of the analytics afterward, you might want to listen to Brennan White.

He’s the CEO of Cortex, a new artificial intelligence tool for social media marketing that he claims can save marketers so much time, they can finally get back to the root of social media: creating content.

White believes we’ve entered into an era where marketers should demand more from their marketing tools, and use less of them.

CMS Vendors Partner on Open Customer Data Sharing Standard

What the web has always lacked is a reliable and secure way to identify you. 

Sure, there are ways for you to log onto services, and there are servers in the business of letting you borrow their login mechanisms. But that’s just for letting you in the front door. 

What about when a commercial site wants to know something about you?

3 Reasons a CMO's Digital Projects Fail

2015-26-March-face-plant.jpgIf you’re a CMO, you know better than anyone how your role has transformed over the past few years. CMOs are no longer an advertising cost center, isolated within their organizations with accountability for secondary digital projects.

Today, they are full-blown digital players, charged with profit and loss and caring for the entire customer lifecycle. If your company has a digital customer-facing project underway, it’s a sure bet that the buck stops with the CMO.

Thanks Apple: You Made It Easier to Market Luxury Wearable Tech

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You don't even have to like Apple products to acknowledge the company is a master when it comes to marketing and branding. This is the company, after all, that is widely perceived as the one that produces products that consumers want — before they know they want them.

So now Apple has entered the smartwatch market.

And it should really knock everyone over with a feather to realize that the company has gone to great lengths to develop what it predicts will be a market trendsetter, packed full of features and design refinements unseen in earlier smartwatches.

Adobe Helps Marketers Measure a Changing World

In recent years Adobe Systems has concentrated on refining Adobe Analytics into the Adobe Marketing Cloud solution.

Adobe shared its updates at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit. The summit is a premier event for analytics practitioners, including many who still remember when Adobe Analytics was Omniture Site Catalyst.

The big deal this year was the transformation of web analytics tools to physical analytics solutions.

The latest Marketing Cloud changes, for example, signal that measurement must extend beyond a web or app page to share measurement insights.

I'm Not the Dammed Newbie Here

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There are few aspects of my professional life that I enjoy less than evaluating enterprise software. Granted, my company sells enterprise software, and I’m in charge of marketing it, so I get the irony here.

But while enterprise software vendors increasingly focus on user experience, we are sorely deficient in prospect experience.

The problem starts like this: I make contact and explain my interests (usually in detail), and then schedule a meeting with someone I presume to have experience with the software. Knowing that everyone’s time is valuable, I do my homework. I do research. I prepare a list of questions. If my questions involve anything more than the basics, I send them ahead of time, just to make sure I give my sales contact the time needed to prepare.

And then comes demo day.

Coke's Happiness Formula: Compelling Stories About Real People

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Tim Goudie is a pilot, a camper, a hiker, a swimmer, a skier.

But he's also an international marketer with global experience in a variety of packaged goods industries.

He's director of social media, sustainability, for The Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where he specializes in driving corporate trust and brand love.

His 15-year career with the company spans three countries and includes roles in global interactive marketing, sports marketing and strategic brand marketing, among others.

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