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Discussion Point News & Analysis

Discussion Point: How Big are Data Security Threats?

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You may have heard that some cyber criminals in Russia recently stole more than a billion user IDs and passwords -- yes, that's billion with a "B."  

In the past year, online security and data theft has been making international headlines, as evidenced by huge security breaches at retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus.

How bad is it? With our lives becoming more digitally entwined, it makes sense that potential security threats are more visible. Think about how many times a day you exchange digital information using either an Internet connection or a mobile device.

Despite the security hysteria, experts say there are simple ways to take steps to tighten up your Internet security -- whether for your own personal or business use. CMSWire reached out to a collection of Internet security experts to find what's going on.

Discussion Point: Where Do Customer Success Teams Belong?

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Customer success (CS) is one of the hotter topics heard across the sprawling sales and marketing universe today. But does anyone know who those CS folks report to at the office?

You'd think so. Thousands of marketing, customer support and sales people have flocked to customer success conferences this year. There are about 250 CS jobs currently listed on Monster. There's a well established Customer Success Association. And there's a growing list of data, analytics and cloud vendors pitching their wares to flush Chief Customer Success Officers.

Discussion Point: How Will the IoT Change Our Lives?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointYou can't escape the buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT). From ubiquitous sensors and constant connectivity to wearable tech and appliances that seemingly think autonomously, the potential is limitless.

We're rapidly developing a digital nerve system as sophisticated and complex as anything in the human body.

Proponents boast that the IoT will shape our futures and transform the ways we work, live and play. But will it — and, if so, how? To find out, we turned to four industry experts, including two that rank on Appinions list of the IoT's top 10 movers and shakers. (Appinions is an influence marketing platform designed to help B2B businesses identify, manage and measure the people and ideas that impact companies and their products.)

The Guy Who Believes in Disruption, Innovation and 'Memorable Stories'

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Jonathan Marks is a writer, broadcaster and researcher on a wide range of issues connected with the media.

And he has an interesting position: he "leads disruptive innovation" at Critical Distance, a creative guild of digital craftsmen and women based near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In a more traditional sense, he is CEO.

But Marks just thinks differently. It's not quite clear what his objective was when he founded Critical Distance in 2003. But it doesn't really matter, because "last year, we rethought everything from the ground up. Why? Because routine is the enemy of change."

Today the company helps entrepreneurs "build, produce and keep really memorable stories."

"We inspire, guide and collaborate to build great companies. We specialize in digital strategy, cross-media productions, consultancy (at senior management level) and training the trainers," he explained.

Before founding the company, Marks was program director at Radio Netherlands. He led the development of online and mobile storytelling on projects in Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

Discussion Point: Where Does HR Go From Here?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointAnother day, another disruption. 

Or at least that's how it must feel for most every department in organizations today. The repercussions of the combined digital, social, mobile trifecta radiate throughout the organization. But if you mix in economic factors, shifting skill requirements, distributed workforces and new expectations of those entering the workplace, then I think you know which department specifically we're talking about: Human Resources.

Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends 2014 (pdf) report identified the most urgent trends that HR professionals face today. Number one? Leadership development. Number two? Seventy-nine percent answered retention and engagement. Yet only 16 percent felt ready to tackle these and the challenges they face. 

A fundamental rethinking of the HR department is required to meet these demands.

Discussion Point: What's the ROI on B2B Social Media Marketing?

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I always tell the story of the day a supervisor at a former company told me, "We should get on Twitter."

Get on Twitter. Why? Because others are doing it, of course. 

There was no game plan. How much should we tweet? When should we tweet? What should we tweet? Are our clients on Twitter? Nope, not even that question was considered. 

Today, of course, social media seems to be all we can talk about when it comes to marketing. Even B2B marketers have caught on. Having a presence in social circles is a must.

Discussion Point: What's the Deal with Disruptive Innovation?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointHow often do you hear someone call something disruptive, innovative or transformational? Probably more often than you'd like.

Disruption has been one of the most pervasive buzzwords of the past few years. And now it's become even more ubiquitous, thanks to debate between Harvard historian Jill Lepore and Clayton Christensen — the Harvard Business School professor who coined the term "disruptive innovation" more than a decade ago.

In a controversial article published by The New Yorker, Lepore made an unprecedented accusation against the quality of Christensen's research. Lepore accused Christensen of cherry-picking industries to force data to fit into his theoretical model.

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

Discussion Point: Does Marketing Automation Enhance CX?

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The terms "marketing automation" and "customer experience" trip off the tongue of the modern marketer with increasing frequency. But it's not always clear how the former enhances the latter.

We took that question to several marketing practitioners who were in San Francisco for last week's Innovate conference, which focused on customer experience management across all channels.

The Question

How is marketing automation changing the customer experience for your customers?

Discussion Point: Encrypted Media Extensions in the HTML Standard

The debate continues over the W3C decision to move forward with the inclusion of encrypted media extensions (EME) in its HTML Working Group Charter. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a formal objection, critics claim it will hurt the web experience and Tim Berners Lee weighed in. Here are three opinions on the matter.

Discussion Point: Programmatic Marketing - What is it & Should We Use it?

Does the term programmatic marketing leave you scratching your head as you think "What is that again?" You are not the only one. Many marketers seem to be in the dark with regards to Programmatic Marketing, which led us to gather a group of experts and ask them not only what it is, but also, should we be doing it?

Discussion Point: What Does 'Brands as Publishers' Really Mean?

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Brands working as publishers may be a necessary digital marketing component for many businesses, but try explaining that to the hard headed executives sitting at the boardroom table. Well, we've got the solution. CMSWire recently gathered a group of experts and asked them how they explain the concept of "brands as publishers" to their organization/clients? Their answers will certainly help you effectively reach those at your own business.

Discussion Point: Records Management Influenced by Cloud, Collaboration Technologies

shutterstock_40040128.jpg The world continues to evolve and as it does so too do the tools and technologies we work with every day, including those that records managers must use. We gathered a group of experts and asked them whether or not the advance of these technologies changed the way they work. Their answers will certainly get you thinking.

Discussion Point: Gamification & Unhealthy Competition

Gamification is certainly a hot topic nowadays. We've seen the power it has to engage customers, and now many companies are turning to gamification within the workplace in hopes to engage their employees like they have their customers. But is it a good idea, or does gamification cause an unhealthy competition amongst co-workers?

Discussion Point: Marketing Automation - Feature vs Platform

We've been hearing a lot lately about Marketing Automation and how businesses can provide better web experiences to their customers through its use. But what is Marketing Automation? A feature? A platform? We asked our panel this very question and received some very interesting responses.

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