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Digital News & Analysis

Marketers Are Mastering Digital Advertising, Adobe Suggests

Adobe's fourth quarter 2014 Digital Advertising Report shows digital advertising is becoming increasingly efficient — and that smart advertisers understand the nuances of customer behaviors, including the top days of the week for search.

The report analyzed search and social media data and trends around Google, Yahoo/Bing and Facebook. It's based on more than 500 billion Google and Yahoo Bing ad impressions and some 400 billion Facebook post impressions gathered throughout 2014.

The key take-aways:

  • Google Shopping Ads grew dramatically over the holiday season as expected, outperforming text ads eight times over.
  • Digital advertising continues to become more efficient with click-through-rates (CTRs) growth outpacing cost-per-click (CPC) growth.
  • Certain days of the week are better than others for certain ads — for example, Sunday is best for mobile ads, Monday for desktop ads and Friday for Facebook ads.
  • Despite a change in Facebook's algorithm that forced businesses to buy more ads, retailers still turned to Facebook during the holiday season to drive sales.

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4 Ways Marketers Can Move Mobile Advertising Forward

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On the heels of recent research centered around how companies are falling short with mobile marketing, comes a new report — this time with similarly disappointing findings around mobile advertising, in particular.

The AdExchanger Research report, titled Mobile’s Unmet Potential (available for purchase), finds that although marketers, technology providers and agencies surprisingly share the same vision for the future of mobile advertising, no such agreement exists regarding how to achieve that vision.

Think Only Marketing Owns Customer Experience? Think Again

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Customer experience management usually lands in the laps of the marketing team. After all, they’re the ones who are responsible for fostering the relationship between the brand and the customer.

The idea that customer experience is exclusively a marketing problem is a little shortsighted for any business. For the multichannel retailer, it’s flat out incorrect.

Who Wins, Loses in Ektron-EPiServer Web CMS Merger?

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The merger between Ektron and EPiServer announced Tuesday forms a tech alliance that could compete with web content management system giants like Adobe and Sitecore, according to industry analysts.

Or, as one analyst said, it could be "another venture capitalist effort to milk software license maintenance revenues out of an ailing vendor."

"It’s not the first time we’ve seen a struggling software vendor taking a private equity bailout," Boston-based Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann told CMSWire after Accel-KKR bought Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron last month.

Days later, the investment firm bought Stockholm-based EPiServer. This week, it confirmed reports it was merging the entities.

Ektron customers "at least have a clearer view of where the company actually stands," Wettemann said, adding that the first 90 days will be critical to both customer bases as the new executive team lays out its strategy.

Managing Digital Experiences with DNN's New Evoq 8

With today’s release of Evoq 8, the latest iteration of DNN’s web content management suite, digital marketers will find it easier to personalize their site content, view and act on real-time visitor stats, and access cloud-hosted digital assets from anywhere, the company claims.

“From a marketing solutions perspective, on the one hand are traditional web CMS for content publishing and on the other hand, there are now more nascent solutions from young companies rooted in predictive analytics, personalization, and content marketing,” said Navin Nagiah, CEO and president of DNN, in a press release.

“Marketers are desperate to bridge that gap. With Evoq 8, we will be one of the few companies to straddle both worlds and deliver measurable ROI to customers.”

If You Build an Online Community, Will They Come?

2015-27-January-Cat-Birdhouse.jpg"If you build it, they will come." This worked for Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams," but when it comes to creating an online community to drive better engagement with your customers, it's not that simple.

Told You So: Ektron is Merging with EPiServer

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Accel-KKR, the private equity firm that closed 2014 by buying Stockholm-based EPiServer and Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron, today confirmed what CMSWire reported more than seven weeks ago.

It's combining the two web content management systems (CMS) under the EPiServer name to "create the most complete digital experience platform in the cloud."

The news came at the exact time winter storm Juno was pummeling Ektron's New England headquarters — an irony not lost on former employee Fred Bals. Bals, who left Ektron in November after five years as manager of its customer advocacy and media relations programs, said simply, "One natural disaster deserves another."

But not everyone was as pessimistic. Ed Rogers, who joined Ektron shortly after his brother Bill founded the company in 1998, said it was potentially positive news. Rogers, who was fired in 2011 and went on to launch Akumina, told CMSWire, "New leadership signals a cultural change. I'm hopeful the new team will put the customer first, something that should be good for Ektron clients."

IDC Sees Steep Climb to Optimized Customer Experience

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If 2014 was the year when marketers added "customer centric" to  their vocabulary, this should be the year many of them turn those words into actions. 

But how? To help, IDC Research has published a MaturityScape report that presents a five-step process to go from the first tentative stage to optimizing the customer experience (CX). Sound simple? Actually, it's a pretty steep climb.

"Some of them are on the journey, and it's more about how to get started," said Mary Wardley, IDC's vice president for enterprise applications and CRM software. "This is to give them some sort of roadmap."

Will Microsoft HoloLens Change the Future of Virtual Reality?

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The concept of virtual reality (VR) has been fueling imaginations for decades — at least as far back as 1956 when an American filmmaker turned inventor named Morton Heilig began designing multisensory virtual experiences.

But even the most promising applications of VR to date have had limited commercial success — raising doubts about the real world potential for computer-simulated environments that replicate a presence in real or imagined worlds.

Personalization, Good. Silos, Bad - Tweet Jam Redux #cxmchat

If you're looking for the Cliff's Notes version of this week's Content and Commerce Tweet Jam, the title has it -- personalization good, silos bad.

But the panelists covered a lot more ground in the hour-long discussion of what it takes to stand above the crowd in the world of online commerce. Does your e-commerce experience make the cut? 

When Content Plays Support to E-Commerce's Lead

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Content has always been the primary focus of whatever setting and way it is to be used: novels are serial, broken only by chapters; non-fiction works are segmented by subject and accompanied by footnotes and references; work instructions are divided by processes, tasks and steps with references to parts, materials and commodities needed, and so on.

The content designer and creator always knew going in the role for the content being created. People --whatever their role -- have always been required to use the content as presented in order keep their job, succeed at their project or enjoy the story.

While it's true that some settings require content that can be used for multiple roles, this level of complexity is still confined to specific industries and settings.

With the rise of e-Commerce, everything has changed.

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The latest in synonyms, agreements, AKAs, designs and choices from Deutschland, the Hub of the Universe, the Beehive State, El Dorado State and the ‘Loo.'

Leveling the E-Commerce Playing Field

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Brick-and-mortar stores have an advantage over e-tailers when it comes to keeping customers engaged --it’s much harder for prospects to walk away from a face-to-face interaction than to click away from a website. In-store customers also go to greater lengths to shop there than online browsers, so they’re likely to be more receptive to immediate sales messages. E-commerce is clearly on the rise with growth estimates of 13.9 percent from Nov. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014 compared with the same period in 2013.

Companies Plagued by Mobile Marketing Mediocrity, Altimeter Finds

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Hold the (cell) phone.

Despite all the talk about the importance of mobile, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the merits of optimizing mobile experiences, most companies and brands are still failing to capitalize on mobile technologies — and losing the potential to benefit from what is arguably one of the greatest opportunities for customer experience innovation.

That's the surprising conclusion of research being released today by San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group, a research firm dedicated to helping companies understand and act on technology disruption.

In a report entitled "The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience" (registration required), co-authors Brian Solis and Jaimy Szymanski warn that many companies and brands are still underestimating and underinvesting in mobile.

What's more, they conclude, clearly defined and unified mobile strategies remain largely elusive to most executives and strategists, who tend to view mobile as the latest “bright, shiny object" rather than both a means and an end to incredibly improved customer experiences.

It’s a recipe for disaster, they argue — and an imperative for companies and brands to address right now if they want to remain relevant, competitive and continue to survive.

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