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CMSWire Interviews

Bill Sweetman Explains What's in a (Domain) Name

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You know what they say about a rose by any other name. But Bill Sweetman doesn't believe it. He thinks calling a rose anything but a rose is a major marketing mistake.

Suffice to say Sweetman both knows and enjoys names, especially in the online context. A domain name strategist, he's the president and "lead ninja" at Name Ninja, a Toronto, Ontario-based boutique domain name consulting firm. Besides giving him the opportunity to enjoy a badass title, 18-month-old Name Ninja gives him a chance to indulge a longtime obsession with names and naming.

He said he's amazed at how many companies "still fumble the ball" when it comes to having a coherent domain name strategy ... and "wants to throw up" whenever he sees a big brand promoting itself using a Facebook URL instead of its own domain name.

GE's Linda Boff: Content Created to Help Is What Sells

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelLinda Boff is a digital explorer, Mad Men enthusiast and modern art lover. She's also executive director of global brand marketing at Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric, where she's responsible for GE's global advertising and digital marketing along with the company's brand and design strategy.

Boff said she focused on "embedding meaningful marketing strategy and instigating change" throughout the global conglomerate.

Previously, Boff was CMO of iVillage Properties, part of the NBC Universal (which was previously part of GE). Boff joined GE in early 2004 with 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and communications including senior roles at Citigroup, the American Museum of Natural History and Porter Novelli.

In 2012, she was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year. A frequent speaker at digital and social media industry events, she lives with her husband and two children in suburban New York City.

Keeping Up with Evolving Business Processes

Thumbnail image for 2014-08-December-OfficeBeverlyGoodwin.jpgAbout a dozen years ago, many companies adopted rolling budgets as a way to update their financial outlook constantly instead of waiting for the end of the quarter or year. Essentially, they viewed each new month as the start of a new year, allowing them to adjust to the future based on trends of the recent past.

Ah, the good old days. Today things move much faster, not just with budget planning but with virtually every business process in almost every large company.

John Burton, CEO of Nintex, argues that this evolution in business processes stems largely from the explosion in unstructured data that allows teams of employees to react to new data, the needs of mobile workers, price changes, social media or other factors that come into play.

CMSWire asked him to share his point of view from the helm of a company that creates workflows for about 5,000 clients.

How a Juggler is Shaping the Future of the Internet

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Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten is a serial entrepreneur, blogger, speaker — and a guy who likes to "link to things that inspire me or make me laugh."

What else would you expect from a man who went to the circus school when he was 15, and once, in 1987, held the distinction of being the only person in The Netherlands who could juggle 7 balls?

He's also co-founder and CEO of The Next Web (TNW), a company that manages several initiatives focused on international technology news, business and culture. More recently he startedTwitterCounter.com, which he describes as a combination of Feedburner and Google Analytics for Twitter.

Starting companies is apparently something the Amsterdam-based businessman just likes to do. In 1997, he launched his first company, V3 redirect services, a redirect service that was acquired by Fortune City in 1999. In 2001 he founded HubHop, a WIFI hotspot service, which was acquired by the Dutch telecom operator KPN.

Since he has started several projects and companies in addition to The Next Web, including TNW Conference and Fleck.com.

Are Your Processes Customer-Focused?

2014-26-November-Nesting-Doll.jpgWhen business leaders turn their focus toward processes, they often do so with an eye on becoming more efficient in how they handle payroll, manage finances or generate and distribute reports.

While it’s true that these routine tasks need to run smoothly, companies that look at processes solely as a way to improve the quality of a project or improve lead time, are missing a golden opportunity to positively affect the customer experience and spark innovation within their company. So says David Hamme, author of the book "Customer Focused Process Innovation," and managing director of Ephesus Consulting.

Marty Shindler: The Digital Revolution is Over

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Tell Marty Shindler about digital anything and you'll probably make him smile. As he told CMSWire, "I chuckle when I hear the word 'digital' to describe a process." 

Everything is digital now, he explained. 

Shindler — who describes himself as a consultant, thought leader, forward thinking executive and sought after speaker — should know. For more than 30 years, he's been a consultant to creative, technology and emerging companies on business, economic, strategic, organizational and operational matters. 

From 1993 to 1996, after stints as an accountant, controller and vice president of finance at various companies, he landed a job as vice president of sales and marketing at Kodak’s digital start-up, Cinesite — largely because of his knowledge of the digital process for production, post production and visual effects. 

It was during this time that Shindler said he saw a market opportunity with the many emerging digital start-up facilities in the entertainment industry. So in 1996, along with his wife, he founded, The Shindler Perspective, an Encino, Calif.-based consultancy focused on companies in the entertainment and entertainment technology industries.

How to Raise Daughters Who Are Leaders

2014-07-November-Running-In-Rain.jpgHow do we prepare our children -- particularly our daughters -- to thrive in the economy of tomorrow?

We need to provide the best education within our means, which includes a lot more than the official schooling they receive. The best education I've received has come through good relationships, strong mentors and leaders who took the time to give me sound advice.

Sean Womack on Marketing: 'We All Borrow, We All Steal'

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Sean Womack is arguably one of the most honest marketers around. Who else states unequivocally on his website, "No one needs what I do?"

Or suggests, on the concept of innovation, "We all borrow. We all steal. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We all look over the shoulders of those who work beside us. It has always been so. It will always be so. It should be so."

For the past 20 years, Womack said his work has been to create, innovate and develop businesses, brands, products and services. This has ranged from working in product development at a social expression company to launching a magazine for a boutique consulting firm to helping found and grow three different agencies that focused on entertainment marketing, shopper marketing and video content marketing, respectively.

Just Because You Can Steal Content Doesn't Mean You Should

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You just finished preparing your first presentation for that big seminar at the annual meeting with the coolest pictures you could find on Google images and Flicker, the slickest YouTube videos and the hottest tracks from Pandora. You’re all set, right?

Not so fast, according to Gretchen Klebasko, associate general counsel and managing director of Intellectual Property at Legg Mason. While those sites offer a wealth of media for the asking, much of the material may be considered pirated if you use it. The legal problems begin with the difference between “free to view” versus “free to use.”

The Copyright Clearance Center’s overly wordy titled webinar: “Video, Music and Text, Oh My...Managing Copyright Compliance in a Multimedia World,” does a good job of explaining those differences in plain language. It also explains how to avoid the plethora of media materials that could get an individual or a company in legal hot water.

Klebasko has an impressive litigation background, but stuck with lay-language and delivered helpful information in a succinct presentation that doesn’t talk down to the participants. (Her full disclosure includes Legg Mason’s “wonderful working relationship with CCC.”)

Jeff Dachis: Still Leading the Digital Revolution After All These Years

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Jeff Dachis is the kind of guy who responds to a tweet in the middle of the night. But what else would you expect from an entrepreneur whose titles include co-founder and former CEO of Razorfish, founder and CEO of the Dachis Group, chief evangelist at Sprinklr and mentor at TechStars, Capital Factory and the Founder Institute?

Dachis has spent the past 20 years "navigating the dramatic shift in the marketplace" brought about by digital, mobile and social technologies and "has tried to help unlock the value and impact created when people can connect, share and engage with each other."

He's not only a pioneer of the digital revolution, but one of the most adaptive participants. Earlier this year, he evolved again — from the head of Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group to the Chief Evangelist and advisor at New York City-based Sprinklr.

Jeffrey Bowman on Demographics, Diversity and Reaching Customers

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You don't have to look far to realize the US has changed — and we're not talking about social and mobile. We're talking something far more basic … specifically, the people behind all those emerging technology trends.

There's more diversity than ever before, US Census data confirms. In fact, during the next five years, 80 percent of the country’s growth will come from multicultural and under-served audiences. 

So how can marketers and advertisers reach this changing population? 

Ask Jeffrey L. Bowman. Bowman is a senior partner and managing director at Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan. He's also the founder and chairman of the Cross Cultural Marketing & Communications Association (The CCMCA).

Gabie Boko: Be Bold, Courageous and Creative

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Gabrielle "Gabie" Boko defines leadership as being passionate about an idea that you can change hearts and minds. She thinks almost everyone is an expert in one way or another, and encourages people — especially women — to embrace their inner confidence. 

Boko is the executive vice president of marketing at Irvine, California-based Sage North America, which provides software to small and medium-sized businesses. Before her appointment in July 2013, she held senior marketing roles in a number of major software companies including SAP and Cognos. 

She also has marketing experience in smaller, entrepreneurial start-up businesses in areas such as performance management and business process management.  

Dave Ramsey: On Winning, Losing and Getting Personal

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What does Seth Godin — who writes the most popular marketing blog in the world — have in common with Dave Ramsey — financial author, radio host, TV personality and motivational speaker? They're two of the three co-hosts of Business Gets Personal, an event this week in New York City.

On Thursday, Ramsey, Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV — a daily video blog about wine — will host Business Gets Personal at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. It will offer keynotes, panels and networking opportunities. The subtitle of the event: People, Passion and Perspiration.

Want to Understand Your Customers? Talk to Seth Godin

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Seth Godin writes the most popular marketing blog in the world — and he gets customer experience.

As he once noted,  "The complaining customer doesn't want a refund. He wants a connection, an apology and some understanding. He wants to know why you made him feel stupid or ripped off or disrespected, and why it's not going to happen again." 

And he knows that an apology means more than a mumbled "sorry." It has to include both compassion and contrition, he wrote recently:

We're sorry that your flight was cancelled. This must have truly messed up your day, sir." That's a statement of compassion. "Cancelling a flight that a valued customer trusted us to fly is not the way we like to do business. We messed up." That's what contrition sounds like. We were wrong and we learned from it. The disappointing thing is that most people and organizations that take the time to apologize intentionally express neither compassion nor contrition."

Godin is the founder of Squidoo.com, a fast-growing recommendation website, and the author of 17 bestselling books. He is responsible for many words in the marketer's vocabulary, including permission marketing, ideaviruses, purple cows, the dip and sneezers.

Combine what has been called his "irrepressible speaking style" with his "no-holds-barred blog" and you can understand how he has developed a worldwide following. 

Chris Brogan: Stay Focused, Stay Social and Be Nice

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Chris Brogan is a lot of things … an author, journalist, marketing consultant, public speaker and "veteran of the social media revolution."

He's CEO of Owner Media Group, publisher of a digital business magazine called, not surprisingly, Owner. He's consulted for a host of companies, including GM, Coke, PepsiCo, Sony, Microsoft, Google and Motorola, and he's a New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, and Just Start Here 

But forget about all that for a moment. The thing it seems Brogan really wants you to know is that he's a nice guy. As he explains on his blog:

Biographies are really weird things. About pages. All that. You basically have to primp yourself up and act all pompous and important and make sure people know why you’re worth it. I’m a really approachable and nice-seeming guy. Never hesitate to introduce yourself to me when you see me out and about, okay? I'm nice. Promise."

And this nice guy finished first, too, at least on one of Forbes magazine's list of social media power influencers and Business Insider's list of people to follow on Twitter.

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