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Digital News & Analysis

Keeping Up with Customers in a Cross Channel World

2014-18-September-Running.jpgA decade ago, it would have been safe to assume that you were reading this through an internet browser. Gathering data on your reading habits was fairly straightforward in those days because your browser yielded information that was relatively complete, especially when you consider the rather small universe of digital media then.

Times have changed. Today, the browser is just one of many places where customer behaviors and interactions can be captured. As the universe of channels, touch points, and devices expands, so has the browser’s importance begun to shrink. Brand marketers who won the battle for the browser were the biggest winners in the past. Today, and in the future, the successful brand marketers will be those who move beyond the browser and follow their customers into a cross channel world.

Use Human Data to Provide True B2B Personalization

2014-18-September-Crowds.jpgAn enormous shift is occurring in how B2B customers think about engagement and relationships. Customers expect marketers to achieve relevance by providing personalized communications based on their individual preferences, rather than continuing with irrelevant “spray and pray” marketing blasts. It’s this new way of thinking that’s unlocking the true potential of human data.

Alibaba: The Web IPO Heard Round the World

2014-18-September-Monopoly-Money.jpgThe global Internet and finance community is transfixed by the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Alibaba Group Holdings, the  Chinese e-commerce giant that is expected to go public on Friday at a market capitalization in excess of $160 billion. This is likely to be the largest IPO of all time, raising up to $25 billion in capital for the company and giving a market capitalization larger than eBay (market cap, $64B) and possibly Amazon.com ($150B).

Introducing the Chief Listening Officer

2014-18-September-Listen.jpgThe universal interest in improving the “customer experience” both heartens and amuses me. Heartens because it's a good thing: who doesn't want a simpler, easier and more relevant experience in the multichannel world? Amuses because the term -- like many Holy Grail concepts -- is strong on hope and weak on follow through. For all of the interest in customer experience and all of the touted methods, systems and platforms, can you honestly tell me that your customer experience is better today than it was a year ago? Or two years ago?

Three Tips For a Bang-Up Blog

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Looking to get the most bang for your blog?

Follow the three-step playbook created by Anum Hussain, a growth marketer for HubSpot's inbound sales division, created after staring down the daunting challenge of creating a new blog HubSpot’s sales acceleration product, Sidekick. 

It's not enough just to have a blog, she said, you've got to create the right one.

Amber Road Automates Global Trade

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International trade volumes over the past 10 years have nearly tripled. With this rising flow of imports and exports comes growing supply chain complexity, as a single shipment may involve more than a dozen parties, ever-changing regulations, multiple languages and various modes of transportation.

Yet a recent survey indicated that 70 percent of the respondents still use spreadsheets for global trade management (GTM).

Many companies involved in global trade have a dedicated (and costly) staff to keep track of and comply with detailed, country-specific regulations. Transportation rates and schedules need to be analyzed; shipments must be screened against 200 lists containing an aggregate of more than 250,000 restricted parties.

Not properly managing this complex web of global trade results in poor supply chain performance, increased costs and exposure to fines/penalties. This sounds like a segment primed for some cloud disruption.

Chris Brogan: Stay Focused, Stay Social and Be Nice

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Chris Brogan is a lot of things … an author, journalist, marketing consultant, public speaker and "veteran of the social media revolution."

He's CEO of Owner Media Group, publisher of a digital business magazine called, not surprisingly, Owner. He's consulted for a host of companies, including GM, Coke, PepsiCo, Sony, Microsoft, Google and Motorola, and he's a New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, and Just Start Here 

But forget about all that for a moment. The thing it seems Brogan really wants you to know is that he's a nice guy. As he explains on his blog:

Biographies are really weird things. About pages. All that. You basically have to primp yourself up and act all pompous and important and make sure people know why you’re worth it. I’m a really approachable and nice-seeming guy. Never hesitate to introduce yourself to me when you see me out and about, okay? I'm nice. Promise."

And this nice guy finished first, too, at least on one of Forbes magazine's list of social media power influencers and Business Insider's list of people to follow on Twitter.

Building a Results-Driven Culture of Quality

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Quality counts. Or does it?

According to new research from ASQ (American Society for Quality), an association of professionals in the field of quality management and improvement, and Forbes Insights, a clear vision, solid values and strong leadership are key components to a successful culture of quality — and that culture of quality can help organizations drive results.

However, only about 60 percent of all respondents think management unequivocally supports their organization’s quality vision and values, of which nearly 60 percent say are clearly stated.

Lessons From the Classroom for Community Managers

2014-11-September-Classroom.jpgAt my daughter's “back to school night,” I had the opportunity to follow her exact sequence of classes, from first period homeroom, through seventh period. A slogan on the board of her homeroom class read, “Our classroom is a community.” Mr. Braxton, her homeroom teacher, introduced himself to the assembled parents and started to speak about community.

“In life, we’re surrounded by communities,” he said. “From the classroom to our neighborhoods, we’re a part of many different communities.”

WCM: Pick for the Process Instead of the Project

2014-10-September-Choice.jpgWeb content management has completely changed. Some people argue that “Web” is too small a word now, because of the “omnichannel” world we now have to populate with content. Others argue that it’s about the “digital experience” or the “customer experience.” Whatever it is – one thing that's clear is that the amount of content, along with the number of tools producing it, has increased significantly.

What's Behind Microsoft's MSN Portal Revamp?

2014-9-9 msn redesigned portal.jpgTwo decades after it launched MSN, Microsoft is applying its "mobile-first, cloud-first" direction to the MSN portal, which it claims has over 425 million users daily. The enhanced personalization capabilities will provide advertisers with a single place to buy space that can be synched across devices and audiences.

User Feedback: The Fuel Of The Experience Engine

2014-09-September-Suggestions.jpgUser feedback helps companies deliver the best products and services possible. Identifying needs, incorporating ideas and listening to customers questions are all ways to help solve problems and ensure development efforts remain focused on what really matters. By creating a conversational relationship, a company is able to better understand what it’s customers truly value.

Coveo Offers Free Search for Sitecore Customers #SYMNA

Sitecore clients got more than a bag full of tchotchkes at the company's conference in Las Vegas today as Coveo announced a free version of its enterprise search engine for Sitecore's 4,000 customers.

Officials of the Quebec City, Quebec-based Coveo said the free Sitecore edition will let companies "quickly configure and manage search experiences" on their websites. 

"Search is one of the most powerful drivers of visitor engagement and online conversions,” said JP Provencal, Coveo's senior vice president for alliances. The product will be available to customers by mid-October.

Bring Your Brand to Life with Interactive Storybuilding

2014-08-September-Play.jpgFrom desktop, to mobile, to tablet, to TV, to even over-the-top platforms, consumers are forcing advertisers to scramble in order to keep their media strategy on par with their behavior -- and tell a better story. Because whether it’s a book, a movie or a marketing campaign, great storytelling will always resonate with audiences. However, today’s consumers don’t want to just hear a story, they want to interact with it.

US Impulse Buyers Beware: Twitter Launches 'Buy' Button

Last year, Twitter revealed that followers exposed to promoted tweets buy more in stores. Now it's capitalizing on our insatiable desires for stuff with the introduction of a "buy" button.

In a blog post today, Twitter Group Product Manager Tarun Jain confirmed speculation that has been circulating since July when users started to report “Buy now” buttons in occasional tweets. Jain noted that Twitter is testing "a new way for you to discover and buy products," adding, "For a small percentage of US users (that will grow over time), some Tweets from our test partners will feature a 'Buy' button, letting you buy directly from the Tweet."

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