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Digital News & Analysis

Google Analytics on the Line: Using Data for Better Insights

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Gartner predicted that by 2015 there would be 4.4 million big data jobs, but that only one third of them would be successfully filled. This presents a huge opportunity for marketing professionals to advance in their roles by learning more about digital analytics, as well as how to accurately interpret and implement data to improve their company’s performance.

Here's an overview of several Google Analytics reports that in-house marketers can use to glean insight to develop new strategies, prove digital marketing’s worth in relation to the company’s overall growth and assist other departments in successfully reaching their goals.

Customer Communication: Let Your Context Be Your Guide

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You’ve just recovered from a bout with pneumonia and your best friend comes by for a visit. Ignoring your puffy eyes and exhausted demeanor, she says, “Let’s go for a run!”

“That’s contextually wrong,” Tara Kelly, president and CEO of Calgary, Alberta-based SPLICE Software told CMSWire. “It emotionally disengages you from that person.”

Kelly gave us this example during an interview that touched on the importance of context in customer interactions, and the need to incorporate the human voice into your marketing mix to enhance the customer experience.

“Whether customer communication is automated, written or with a live agent, you want to ensure it’s contextually accurate,” she said.

Marketer's Dilemma: Too Much Transparency, Too Much Work?

Digital advertising is becoming more self-service and transparent -- but also more complicated for marketers tasked with pulling and analyzing multiple sources of data.

In the past handful of years, increasing numbers of ad technology providers have opened up their reporting tools to clients and agencies. And while marketers actively embrace transparency as a good thing, they caution that it also comes with new, time-sucking responsibilities.

The debatable question: Can marketers effectively and efficiently learn to use multiple reporting tools to tap the data and insights previously provided through managed services?

Why Translation is Becoming Invisible

2015-05-February-Location.jpgIf you’ve ever tried to find a hotel in Paris without knowing French or searched for that famous restaurant in Beijing without Chinese skills, you know that navigating a foreign country can be an adventure -- to put it mildly. Tech companies from Microsoft to Google are helping remove difficulties by building increasingly sophisticated translation capabilities, such as real-time voice translation.

Average users can now employ their mobile devices to ease the transition between cultures, and they expect similar progress in your company’s website and app. How do you make your multilingual presence not cumbersome nor half-finished, but seamless and invisible?

How Google Analytics Tools Can Minimize Data Errors

Ever wish you could take something back? It happens — and we all make mistakes.   

For businesses, mistakes often happen when selecting data sources for analytic reporting. But with the addition of a data retrieval feature in Google Analytics, there is now a suite of tools that can help minimize data source errors and permit users to make corrections as needed.

Here's how the diagnostic tools can keep Google Analytics reporting accurately.

Honey, Did We Shrink the Marketing Technology Landscape?

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Don't be intimidated by Scott Brinker's latest marketing technology landscape.

Many of the 1,876 vendors will fold, others will merge and be acquired and the landscape will shrink because of it, some industry players told CMSWire.

"Many will fail," said Charles Nicholls, senior vice president of product strategy for hybris and SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce.

"In the Wild West, new vendors are experimenting with new ways of doing things. Not all of these work -- look at Facebook storefronts for example -- and some will flop spectacularly. Caveat emptor, there are many snake oil salesman promising the earth. Look for a solid measurable return-on-investment (ROI) that you can prove before committing."

Another Study Shows Big Gap Between CX Goals, Realities

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For the second time in a week, a study reported a big gap between what marketers think about customer experience (CX) and what they're doing about it.

Last week, IDC analyst Mary Wardley noted the challenges faced by marketers who want to optimize customer experience within their organizations. This week, CX technology provider SDL is reporting "an important disconnect" in perceptions among retail marketers that may give an advantage to competitors.

Retailers are overwhelmed by the complexity of data, technology and understanding of the customer journey, SDL CMO Paige O'Neill noted in a statement that accompanied the study. Echoing Wardley's take, O'Neill said the "mastery of customer experience is a challenge with many facets."

According to SDL, which conducted the survey during the fourth quarter in collaboration with Econsultacy, respondents included more than 250 senior marketers at North American retailers with average sales of almost $500 million.

Discussion Point: Is Video Marketing the Next Big Thing?

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Gartner is bullish on video. In fact, the analyst company predicts large companies will stream more than 16 hours of video per worker, per month — by next year. Forrester Research is enthusiastic, too. In fact, an oft-quoted statistic that Forrester analyst James McQuivey made way back in 2008 suggests one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

As marketers, that latter number is real food for thought. What do you think is easier: getting a customer to read a million words or watch a one minute video?

Video marketing isn't new — it’s been a part of consumer life since the earliest television commercials were released. However, how that video is used as a marketing tool has drastically changed with the onset of social media and digital marketing, research shows. Today, marketers not only make videos to promote products, but also offer instructional videos. And some hold video chats with company officials or customer service representatives, all in the name of better customer experience.

Some 3 billion videos are played on YouTube every day and 100 hours of content are uploaded every minute. If you keep an HDMI cable stashed in your office drawer to connect your laptop to a big screen, then you're probably hooked — and understand the ease, convenience and value of video.

As McQuivey stated in his report, "Alexander Graham Bell famously doubted that the phone would be useful in the home except for calling doctors to emergencies. He was very wrong, failing to recognize that a technology that facilitates our human drive to communicate will spread rapidly. The phone did, as did email. Now it's video's turn because if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words."

But still, we had to ask. Is video marketing here to stay or a passing fad?

The Rewards of Community Superfans

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It’s 1927. Meet three brothers from Southeastern Kansas. Lynn is away at medical school, Glen has just gone off to college. He’s pledged a fraternity and plans to major in business. Raymond is still in high school in their home town, Fredonia.

Suddenly, their father dies.

The brothers decide the two key family objectives are to keep Lynn in medical school and Raymond in high school. Glen must sacrifice his education to return to Fredonia and become the sole breadwinner for the three boys and their mother. Glen secures a job as a janitor at the local bank. 

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.

News Bites: Celum, Xerox, Google, Oracle, More

The latest in processing, collaborating, sharing, restoring, understanding, integrating, expanding and joining from the Spinach Capital, the West's Most Western Town, Oyster Town, The Land of Milk and Honey, the Birthplace of Aviation, Powder City and the City in a Garden.

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.”

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