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Digital News & Analysis

Retailers Face Challenges, But With Effort Comes Rewards

2014-24-July-Pittsburgh-Bicycle-Challenge.jpgThe term “channel” in a retail context has as many meanings as the disparate paths between merchant and consumer. As the variety of channels continues to grow -- online, offline, mobile, kiosk, call center, website, store -- retailers are challenged with meeting the expectations of consumers who pick and choose channels as their needs demand. Retailers want to provide these consumers with a consistent and seamless experience -- many explicitly claiming strategies to enable an "omnichannel experience" -- but converting the intention into crisp execution has significant challenges.

TubeMogul, YuMe Could Benefit from Ad Budget Shifts

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Last week’s successful IPO from Emeryville, Calif.-based TubeMogul, provider of a digital video ad platform, shined the spotlight back on other players in the sector, including Redwood City, Calif.-based competitor YuMe.

Both companies are poised to benefit from major brands shifting more of their TV advertising spending to the digital video market.

While the video ad market today is worth about $5 billion — relatively tiny in comparison to $197 billion spent worldwide on TV ads — it’s estimated to be expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 30 percent, driven by brands wanting to further extend their presence to where viewers are these days.

Choose the Right Path to Mobile

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We're more than halfway through 2014 -- the year when mobile usage will surpass desktop computing -- but many marketers and technologists are still scratching their heads about the best way to create a satisfying experience for mobile customers.

"Mobile is going to be there all the time. It's going to be in your face. So, really, are you ready for that?," asked Fred Faulkner, director of marketing and digital strategist for ICF Interactive (formerly CITYTECH). During a CMSWire webinar yesterday, he fired off a series of questions to mobile minded managers on the call. (Watch the Webinar)

"Are we ready for the 2.3 billion people who are going to be using smartphones by 2017? Are we ready for the fact that, of the smartphone users today, 62 percent are expecting a mobile friendly website?," he asked.

Gigya Follows Janrain With New Social Login Data

Two competitors have released their perspectives on the most popular social logins. The statistics from Janrain and Gigya paint a picture that sometimes matches, but often does not.

Most recently, on the heels of a report on social logins from Janrain, Gigya released its quarterly report this week in the form of an infographic. In both, Facebook reigns supreme – but, underneath that social giant, the landscape gets more complex.

Shake Off the Dust - and Rediscover the Company Library

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In 1990 at a newspaper library, we thought it was pretty amazing when we went from cutting the papers up by hand and filing them in cardboard envelopes to formatting text on green screens into a database that allowed the unimaginable number of up to ten people to read the same article at the same time.

In 2014, Soutron Global's cloud-based specialized libraries leave those green screens in the dust. Soutron's webinar series "Transforming Libraries" makes the case for their service while also presenting topics on specialized libraries, knowledge management and knowledge services — and the growing usefulness of all of those in the business world.

Soutron, a cloud-based library, knowledge and information management solutions provider, has been running this series since Feb. 2013, plenty of time to get the bugs out. But some glitches in the presentation and the sound quality for the in-house speakers leave something to be desired and might discourage some viewers.

The most recent of these webinars was lead primarily by Guy St. Clair, president of SMR International, a New York City-based consultancy practice focused on knowledge management, knowledge services and the role of knowledge strategy in organizational effectiveness. 

Getting Comfortable with Google Analytics

Not everyone is destined to be a Google Analytics expert, but armed with a little knowledge and access to a few standard reports you can learn more about your audience, their interests and how they engage with your brand.

This Week: Apple, IBM Partnership + Forrester's Fast Track to Apps

CXM's Mobile Dependency
Customer experience programs lacking mobile emphasis are destined for failure.

Forrester: Get Moving on Apps
Need faster app development? Forrester cites a process that gets it done. 

What Really Matters in Web CMS 
In web CMS, it’s not what the product is written in, but how it’s written that guides flexibility.

Apple and IBM. Yes, Indeed
The powerhouses announced a partnership that's shaking the mobile enterprise.

Social Business Works
There is value after all in making collaboration a priority.

Microsoft's World Cup Perfection
Find out how Microsoft’s Cortana was 15-for-15 in FIFA World Cup play.

4 Key Factors to Consider to Take Your eCommerce Global
Localizing, logistics, barriers and customer support.
Download the White Paper

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News Bites: Content for Marketing, Product Idea Tester, More

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This week: Forrester on content, AvePoint's content integration with Box, a product idea tester for consumer packaged goods and a report on mobile ads.

3 Barriers to Delivering Omnichannel Experiences

2014-17-July-Caught-a-Fish.jpgI was recently searching for fishing rods for my 5-year old son and his friends to use at our neighborhood pond. I know nothing about fishing, so I needed to get educated. First up, a Google search on my laptop at home. Then, I jostled between my phone, tablet and laptop visiting websites, reading descriptions, looking at photos and reading reviews. Offline, I talked to friends and visited local stores.

The product descriptions weren’t very helpful. What is a “practice casting plug”? Turns out, this was a great feature! Instead of a hook, the rod had a rubber fish to practice casting safely. What a missed opportunity for the retailers who didn’t share this information. I bought the fishing rods from the retailer that educated me with valuable product information and offered free three to five day shipping.

What does this mean for companies who sell products across multiple channels? 

Adobe and Neolane, 1 Year (and a Few Days) Later

Thumbnail image for 2014-16-July-Stephan-Dietrich.jpgSay “Adobe” 10 years ago and people would think “pdf” or “Photoshop.” Heck, say “Adobe” five years ago and people would think “pdf” or “Photoshop.”

While those words still come to mind when you hear Adobe today, chances are you are just as likely to think Marketing Cloud.

Adobe has come a long way since its acquisition of Omniture in 2009, which set the groundwork for its current Marketing Cloud.  

With last year's purchase of Neolane, Adobe came one step closer to realizing its goal of bringing the right and left brains of marketing together. Vice President of Adobe Campaign, Americas and Neolane co-founder Stephan Dietrich sat down to discuss the progress made in the first year since the acquisition announcement and the road ahead for the Marketing Cloud.

The Good - and Perplexing - News About Corporate Social Media

Like many of us, corporate social media is maturing. But a new report from social consultancy Useful Social Media sends some confusing signs about social media's trends in companies.

"This year," The State of Corporate Social Media/2014 states, "we appear to have reached something of a fork in the road."

In this last three versions of the report, the firm noted, "it has been evident that social media use was scaling up rapidly across businesses around the world."

But now:

  • The size of the social media team is falling. Does this show that social is being dispersed within businesses, or that companies are losing their interest?
  • Fewer budgets are growing. Does this mean that infrastructure costs have already been covered, or that fewer companies are seeing a return?
  • Fewer KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being measured. Is this a sign of less interest in measurement, or just less interest in measuring KPIs as they relate to social?

How Customer Communities Bolster Support Teams

2014-15-July-Contact-Center.jpgThe business benefits of customer communities are well known: call deflection, search engine optimization (SEO), product ideation and even revenue growth. While some of these benefits directly benefit customer support teams, others benefit the broader organization.

Customer engagement helps sales teams drive incremental revenue, ideation helps inform the product roadmap for product management and SEO helps the marketing team rank higher for particular keywords. Ask customer support managers and they’ll tell you how customer communities can make their teams more valuable.

Customers Don't Care About Your Processes

2014-15-July-Milk-Processing.jpgIn January of last year, Macy's became the first major retailer to name a Chief Omnichannel Officer. In May of this year, Target announced the formation of a new Digital Advisory Committee to focus specifically on brainstorming omnichannel strategies.

Clearly the need to deliver true omnichannel experiences is something that retailers and their marketing teams are taking very, very seriously.

Crying for Help? MindTouch is Listening

How can you get into the mind of your customers? MindTouch, the company that's trying to redefine the help center, has released two updates for better understanding of customers.

The company, founded by two ex-members of Microsoft's Advanced Systems Research Team, describes the occasion when customers reach out for help – when they obviously want to use your product, but just don't know how – as an opportunity.

What's the Most Popular Social Login on B2B Sites?

What's the most popular social login on B2B sites? We know ... and we will share the findings, based on a new report from social login provider Janrain.

The report, "Social Login Trends Across the Web for Q2 2014," also found that Facebook is bouncing back after six straight quarters of falling market share in the realm of social logins on all sites. The report notes that over half of new users employ social login, because it eliminates the need to "remember yet another username-password combination."

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