HOT TOPICS: Customer Experience Marketing Automation Social Business SharePoint 2013 Document Management Big Data Mobile DAM

Discussion Point News & Analysis

Discussion Point: Who Has the Best Digital Marketing Hub?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for discussion-point

Ask someone to define a digital marketing hub and you're likely to get a broad range of answers.

Gartner defines it as "software that spans multiple digital marketing domains (mobile, social and multichannel) to provide integrated access to applications and workflows, adding capabilities such as collaboration, data integration and common analytics."

Against those parameters, you're likely to think of legacy vendors most commonly associated with marketing clouds – Adobe, Salesforce.com and Oracle. In fact, in Gartner Research’s first-ever Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs (registration required), those three vendors are rated as Leaders for their “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute.”

But this is an evolving technology, and Gartner expects the eventual convergence of ad tech, marketing tech and customer relationship management. So if you look past the three leaders as well as the two challengers — IBM and Marketo — things start to get a little more interesting.

The visionaries quadrant includes a mishmash of expertise. There's Sitecore, best known for its content management system (CMS). And then there's four programmatic ad tech firms: IgnitionOne, Neustar, Rocket Fuel and Turn.

Which one of these five visionaries offers the best digital marketing hub? We decided to go to the sources.

Discussion Point: Should Work Related Email Stay at Work?

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles has floated the idea of "anti-stress regulation" in which companies would take steps to reduce workplace tension. Chief among these measures would be a ban on employers contacting employees after hours, by phone or email.

Nahles even commissioned Germany's Federal Institute for Health and Safety at Work last year to come up with a report on the feasibility of a possible law to protect workers from stress caused by smartphones and constant contact with their bosses.

The report could generate legislation that would ban employers from contacting workers after office hours. But the report is only expected to be released next year, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nahles' boss, has already discouraged the idea of a contact after-hours ban.

So for now the idea remains just that — only an idea.

But it was an idea heard around the world. And as workers in the US continue to struggle with their increasingly muddled work and personal lives, smartphones at their sides and visions of email dancing in their heads, we wondered … is it such a crazy idea, after all?

Discussion Point: Should Digital Marketers Rethink Print?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

In the midst of the current digital marketing age continues a debate that seems as old as Gutenberg’s press: Is print dead?

While those who agree with this statement cite the benefits of digital, such as lower distribution costs, longer reach and convenience, among others, the pro-print camp seems to be getting more support these days.

According to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - North America, 37 percent of B2B marketers still use print magazines to distribute content, and 52 percent used print or another offline method for paid advertising.

Print has also made marketing prediction listings, including Altura Solution’s What’s in Store for B2B Digital Marketing in 2015?

“Print, especially trade publications, will regain their importance because they have a targeted audience: your end-customers,” reads the article.

And — get ready for it — J.C. Penney has brought back its “Big Book” catalog.

To get the real scoop on the death of print, or find out if it really ever died in the first place, we consulted the experts.

Discussion Point: Is Video Marketing the Next Big Thing?

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

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?

Discussion Point: Security Experts Respond to the State of the Union Address

discussion-point-1.jpg

Cybersecurity wasn't even the stuff of dreams when George Washington delivered the first State of the Union message to Congress on Jan. 8, 1790. But fast forward to 2015 and there it was, playing a prominent role in Barack Obama's annual address to the nation.

Obama called for better cybersecurity in his televised address last night, urging Congress to pass legislation that will improve computer protection. “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” he said.

Discussion Point: Are Trade Shows Worth the Cost?

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

They're crowded, noisy, informative, exhausting and sometimes fun and profitable. But trade shows are also very expensive at a time CMOs need to show a strong return on investment (ROI) on every marketing dollar.

Once they were the place where vendors launched their latest products and business managers came to write big checks.

Today, most product launches take place outside of trade shows, digital marketing drives year-round conversions and marketers buy qualified leads as a commodity.

Discussion Point: What Can We Expect from the Cloud in 2015?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd doesn't hide his enthusiasm for cloud computing. In a LinkedIn post this week, he said "Cloud computing is triggering a stunning shift in how businesses operate. Modern SaaS applications for marketing, HR and (enterprise resource planning) ERP are allowing companies to accelerate operations and engage more intimately with their customers thanks to heretofore unseen heroes in their ranks."

And he's not the only one who thinks the cloud is revolutionizing the way business is done. A new report from Dublin-based Research and Markets concurs that developments in the field of enterprise mobility and cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises undertake their operations.

It notes that the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions are gaining momentum among enterprises, and that this cloud delivery model will go mainstream in the coming years. Already, with market shares of 13.5 percent, 10.8 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, the retail, healthcare and government sectors have already invested significantly in cloud computing solutions in recent years.

Even the future of SharePoint is in the cloud.

So what developments, evolutions and innovations can we expect in cloud computing this year?

Discussion Point: What's Most Important in Web CMS?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

Nothing stirs a good tech conversation like Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS).

Some think it's time to get back to basics. Everyone has a say on who has the best CMS out there. And people watch this industry pretty closely -- especially on merger and acquisition talks.

But this is a technology. And enterprises need it to do their jobs better -- and make websites look fabulous while managing content.

So what is the most important feature in a Web CMS? We put this question out to some Web CMS veterans today in our latest Discussion Point.

By the way, this closes out our 2014 season of Discussion Point pieces. Check out prior ones. Got a great topic for 2015? Tweet us @cmswire.

Discussion Point: To Cross-Post or Not to Cross-Post on Social Channels

Discussion-Point-640x480.jpgMarketers are falling short when it comes to building real social relationships with their customers.

This from the recent Forrester report, "Social Relationship Strategies That Work," which suggests that more often than not, the carefully crafted messages they post on social media essentially go off into space. Customers either miss them or ignore them. “Top brands Facebook and Twitter posts reach only about 2 percent of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1 percent of fans and followers interact with each post,” according to the report.

It's a crowded field and businesses are looking for effective strategies to engage with customers on social media.

This means answering more detailed questions about how, when and what to post. To save time, some marketers cross-post content on social channels -- is this a good or a bad idea?

Discussion Point: Helping Employees with Targeted Content

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpgIt's a double edged sword, this glut of information that companies have at their disposal.

It's a source of revenue and potential driver of innovation. It's also a source of frustration, lost time, lost productivity and lost revenue. The problem isn't new, though it grows in complexity as more sources of information are introduced.

To mitigate the information chaos, companies have turned to targeted content delivery, which presents relevant information for an employee's context. While evidence of this tactic can be seen in the targeted messages marketers deliver to customers, the practice isn't as evident behind the firewall. In theory it's possible, but in practice? It's a different story.

Discussion Point: Omnichannel Marketing in the 2014 Holiday Season

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

Marketing technology vendors love to preach the value of sending consumers personalized offers on the device they're using at just the right moment.

Though we're only emerging from the developmental infancy of omnichannel marketing, several companies offer software and services that promise to do just that. Chief marketing officers at major retailers are spending more of their budgets on collecting data, analyzing actions and monitoring social media -- all with an eye toward increasing sales in their hyper-competitive sector.

Discussion Point: Creating Long Distance Collaboration and Teams

Discussion-Point-640x480.jpg

You may not like everyone who works in your physical office. But at least you know people well enough to have reasons to dislike them. After all, you spend eight or more hours together every day.

Not so in the virtual world, where the lack of serendipitous encounters and chance conversations make it all the more difficult to forge connections — and increase the ease of developing biased perceptions.

Sometimes even the warmest and most considerate people sound cold and abrasive on the phone. A shy person can be misconstrued as cool and aloof. And, curiously, someone suffering from massive insecurities can seem narcissistic and egotistical because he insists on hiding behind a wall of faux achievements.

So in the age of remote workforces, when employees are increasingly connected by technology rather than shared desk space, how do we make lofty concepts like collaboration and cooperation a daily reality?

Can we force people on opposite coasts to actually like each other? Or, failing that, can we just get everyone to respect each other enough to embrace a common culture?

Discussion Point: Is the Cloud Really Secure?

discussion-point-1.jpg

Cloud computing is on the rise, but with it comes new fears about data security. Cybercriminals are always looking for an in, so cloud services constantly need to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities.

Nothing has driven that point home more than a flurry of recent high-profile breaches. But because cloud computing comes with many advantages, including cost, ease and convenience, companies have an incentive to find security solutions. But it’s a daunting challenge.

In this week’s Discussion Point we ask experts to weigh in about the risks versus benefits of the cloud. Is true cloud security an unattainable dream?

Discussion Point: Who'll Win the Digital Marketing Arms Race?

Thumbnail image for discussion-point-1.jpg

Sitecore CEO Michael Seifert caught our attention last month when he claimed the "arms race" among 1,000-plus digital marketing vendors is hurting the industry.

"Frankly, I think it's getting absurd," he told the crowd at his company's annual symposium in Las Vegas. "Marketing technology is starting to fail the marketer."

His argument was that the smaller players only operate on the channel they serve. Seifert believes Sitecore's comprehensive approach puts it among the marketing cloud superpowers -- like Oracle and Adobe -- that will thrive while smaller players fade away.

Discussion Point: What's the Big Problem With Big Data? [Video]

Thumbnail image for discussion-point-1.jpg

Ask 100 people to define big data and you'll get 100 answers, including no answers at all. In theory, big data can help organizations make decisions faster, easier and more accurately. But in practice, faster and easier is just an unrealized goal — and creating business value is often even more elusive.

Riddled with hype and inflated expectations, big data has been nothing more than a nebulous concept for many organizations. 

Rather than successfully analyze a complex set of datasets to discover information that could help teams make better decisions or find new patterns, floods of data often overwhelm the people struggling to make sense of it.

Displaying 1-15 of 41 results

< Previous 1 2 3 Next >