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Throwback Thursday: 10 Great Stories You Might Have Missed

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As a team that collectively suffers from FOMO — fear of missing out — we realize the angst that potentially missing great content can create. So if you've ever wondered: "What smart, insightful and relevant information slipped my attention on CMSWire recently?" ... We've got you covered.

On this summer Thursday, we invite you to kick back, relax and read (or re-read) 10 of our top stories from the past three months. 

Salesforce Adds Mapping and Data Features to Journey Builder

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Salesforce announced plans for a new drag-and-drop mapping option to Journey Builder today, one of several new features that should make the tool more user friendly for marketers.

The new tool gives users a canvas that they can use to map the customer journey across channels such as social media, web, mobile and desktop devices.

Salesforce also added a Journey Triggers function based on predictive analytics that can automatically send special offers and other content based on shifts in customer behavior. The idea is to nudge consumers back onto the purchase path if they abandon a shopping cart, leave a web page or indicate a change in product affinity.

Annual Reports: Marketing's New Best Friend?

Boring, Drab. Interminable. And the next big thing in marketing.

Annual reports have traditionally filled a dull, unassuming niche in a company's marketing efforts -- if it held any place at all. That's changing. More companies are turning their annual yawn into a showcase for the company's culture, vision and business victories. And racking up sales and online influence because of it.

Survey Finds Gap in Targeting for Marketing Content

Thumbnail image for 2014-30-July-Target.jpgContent marketing is so perplexing to today's marketers that we've published 140 stories on the subject in the last year and a half. Yet a lot of marketers seem frustrated by lackluster results.

A new study (registration required) by the 614 Group and OneSpot may help explain why content often misses the target. Marketers aren't aiming for the target, or at least not very well.

Overall, 54 percent expressed dismay with their content marketing efforts. About two in three respondents said their content marketing efforts aren't driving business as well expected, and 56 percent were unhappy with the way results were measured. 

6 Ways to Derail Your Content Marketing Program

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Almost every business claims to have a content marketing program. But modern content marketing is not simply a matter of slapping up content as a part of your marketing program. Real content marketing is a modern thing, catalyzed by a combination of social technology, business analytics and the changing needs of customers.

A real content marketing program is developed in concert with the needs of both sales and marketing. It acts both as education and to generate leads. It should be interactive. And smart content marketers figure out ways to solicit ideas for content from the customers and from outside the business.

Fragmentation Is Holding Marketing Back

2014-30-July-Broken-Egg.jpgWhat do omnichannel marketing and winning a Formula One race on flat tires have in common? Simple -- both are impossible.

Trying to compete at 300 mph on flat tires is not only impossible but dangerous. Trying to deliver omnichannel consumer experiences on top of a highly fragmented foundation is not just difficult, but impossible as well.

Despite a strong desire to drive seamless and frictionless omnichannel consumer experiences, most brands are multichannel at best, while consumers have become omnichannel in both behavior and expectations. Hence the disconnect.

What prevents brands from making their omnichannel goals a reality? Fragmentation. 

Make the Most of Customer Journey Mapping

2014-29-July-Pins-US-Map.jpgWith the rise of customer experience as a corporate function, customer journey mapping is taking its place as a vital component of any program or process focused on enhancing customer centricity. Here are a few insights on how to get the most value out of your customer journey mapping efforts.

So Many Channels - and Customers Still Like the Phone

Despite the fact that customers have multiple ways to interact with companies, they still prefer the phone. At least that's the finding of a new study by NICE Systems, which rated contact centers as the most important customer channel.

It's worth noting that NICE is a provider of contact center solutions. Even so, there does seem to be some validity in the research: It confirms another study by CX Act, a customer experience improvement firm, which showed the most frequently used and most effective customer touch point is personal contact by phone.

BlueConic Reemerges

Some spinoffs come off as a desperate ploy to hold onto audiences. Did we really need The Golden Palace after The Golden Girls finished?

Others hold their own next to the original. The Mary Tyler Moore Show came from Lou Grant. The Daily Show begat both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.

BlueConic falls into the latter category. Four years ago, web CMS provider GX Software introduced it as a complimentary web engagement solution. In the years that followed, BlueConic broke off as an independent entity, received $3 million in Series A funding from Boston-based Sigma Prime Ventures, moved its headquarters and two of its chief executives to Boston.

So why don't we hear more about it?

Reimagine Retail Inventory to Remove Customer Hurdles

2014-28-July-Vintage-Sneakers.jpgThe retail industry is at a crossroad. We've discussed omnichannel behavior for some time now -- both from a consumer and organizational perspective -- but we need to turn that discussion into strategy and action. Retailers are now challenged to use insight from data created across these channels to drive better business performance and meet customer expectations. Technology is they key to enabling this.

Nowhere has the explosion of omnichannel been felt more deeply than retail inventory. Monitoring, moving and replenishing stock was relatively simple when the only end point was the physical store network. But consumers now discover, browse and buy from retailers through a variety of channels -- physical, mobile, online -- through marketplaces and from Drop Ship Vendors (DSVs), which is creating more range, storage and fulfillment options than ever before.

One Web CMS Is Never Enough

2014-28-July-Recycling-Mountain.jpgWeb CMS is not a new technology by any stretch of imagination so why do so many still struggle with content management: on a personal basis, as a small-to-medium business or a large corporation? The cause of the struggle more times than not are the content silos and multiple Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS) used within one organization. We know these content silos suck up both time and money, but we still continue to create them.

The Role of Content in Self-Service Design

Quality content plays a critical role in self-service design. Often a small change in a link, heading or sentence, can lead to dramatically higher task completion. 

This Week: Forrester's Digital Experience Wave + Yammer Aversion

No Leaders In Forrester DX Wave
Forrester says no one leads in Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. Are they right?

Master Customer Experience 
Customer experience is morphing once again. Better keep up

Do People Even Use Yammer? 
The problem's not in the product, but with adoption.

Microsoft Wins in Apple-IBM Deal?
There may be a silver lining for Microsoft after the big deal.

Who's Who in Internet of Things
These 10 are the industry's leaders, said a marketing influence platform provider.

The Next EFSS Leaders
Who will succeed in enterprise file sync and share -- and who will fade away?

Real-Time Analytics Made for Content Marketers
Why it's crucial for marketers to respond in real-time.
Download the White Paper

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What it Takes to Provide a Seamless Customer Experience

At the heart of creating a unified conversation across all digital channels are three core technology areas: web content management, e-commerce and mobile platforms. Each of these areas has its own nuances, but it’s the aggregate -- the integration of all three -- that will determine a brand’s ability to prosper in the age of the customer.

CMOs and CTOs are being asked to work together like never before to solve the technology integration riddle in order to achieve high levels of engagement, personalization and loyalty.

3 Things You Probably Forgot in Your Mobile Strategy

2014-25-July-Water-Test.jpgMobile has moved beyond a “channel” and become a behavior. A verb. A necessity. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t moved to mobile in some form -- advertising, app, responsive name, you name it -- you've fallen way behind. So I’m going to assume we’re all on the same page and have at least dipped our toe in the mobile waters.

Mobile is now the dominant channel in online advertising. And while many companies at least have a mobile site, most are missing that clear strategy for mobile customer acquisition.

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