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Marketing News & Analysis

Discussion Point: How Can Your Company Innovate Faster?

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Every business dreams of doing things things differently, uniquely, innovatively. But how can businesses best achieve innovation?

Some prescribe a culture of innovation. Some want to teach innovation in schools. Some suggest hiring innovators. Still others link innovation to agility. And they all may be right.

However, in a competitive world where everyone is trying to innovate, it's also critical to innovate faster than the competition.

Want Google Love? Then Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

No one has to tell you that mobile is one of the most important concepts in the digital landscape. Americans now spend 60 percent of their digital media time on mobile, according to comScore, an Internet analytics company.

If that's not enough of an incentive to persuade you to create a mobile-friendly website, consider this: Starting April 21, Google will again update its search engine algorithm.

This time, it plans to give higher preference to websites with mobile-friendly site elements than those sites that don't. 

Media Trainer Jim Cameron: How to Handle a PR Crisis

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelNew York City area commuters are still feeling aftershocks from the deadliest train accident in the history of the Metro-North Railroad. Earlier this week, six people — five men inside the train and the woman behind the wheel of an SUV stopped on the tracks — died in the accident in New York's suburban Westchester County. 

The force of the fatal crash between the train going nearly 60 mph and the car was so severe that the electrified third rail broke off and pierced the vehicle's chassis and gas tank before penetrating the first train car and igniting a "fierce fire," investigators said Wednesday. 

At least 15 others were injured.

The accident hit close to home for media consultant Jim Cameron, a 19-year member of the Connecticut-Metro North Rail Commuter Council and founder of a new advocacy group, The Commuter Action Group.

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.

MarTech Realities: Integration, Build vs. Buy Decisions

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More people are talking about digital marketing technology. And that means more numbers.

We started the year with this "inspiring," "frightening" number -- 1,876, or the number of marketing tech vendors out there.

Today, we continue to the conversation with another number: 50. That's 50 as in the percentage of digital marketers who favor a marketing cloud suite -- the same number who like a best-of-breed solution approach.

That's the finding of the Winterberry group, which interviewed more than 50 advertisers, marketers, publishers, technology developers and marketing service providers last fall. Marketers, the research found, are evenly divided when it comes to the build vs. buy debate.

One Happy Family: Marketing, Messaging Apps and the IoT

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Marketing and creativity has typically gone hand-in-hand. But many of the marketing folks I know are also innovative — and strike me as far more Silicon Valley than Madison Avenue. 

There's no argument that marketing departments want to get their messages in front of as many people as possible. But they have to be the right people or the whole effort could be a loss. That's where innovation comes in: marketers are always looking for unique ways to share their messages. 

As a child, TV was the primary medium by which I was exposed to marketing and advertising. Then the web came along.

The web slowly and methodically changed everything about advertising and marketing. Once it took hold, we were off to the races. The web gave marketers a new way to get their messages out to ever more targeted audiences and has allowed companies to become far more engaged with their customers — or, even better, potential customers.

Salesforce Offers a Peek at the State of Marketing

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It's a big world of marketing technology, as we reported earlier this week.

It's an even bigger world of people that marketers are trying to connect with through those technologies. The more marketers know about those people and where they get information, the better.

"Everybody is dealing with the rapid evolution of marketing," said Jeff Rohrs, vice president of marketing insights at Salesforce, which this week released the Salesforce Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing Report, its annual flagship research report based on data from more than 5,000 global marketers. "... The good news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers. The bad news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers."

Thankful for Louis Prima, Customer Honesty, Personalization and More

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Family and health. Are there any more reasons to be thankful this time of year?

Um, yes.

OK, the first two are the most important. But I gotta say, I'm starting to be more and more thankful for other things. The ability to switch from rapper Pitbull's Pandora station to trumpeter Louis Prima's in seconds. The new Taco Bell breakfast menu (no shame here; it's delicious). And the San Francisco Giants giving my beloved Red Sox good players.

Techies are feeling thankful this time of year, too. So are digital marketers, as you'll see in another story published here today. We caught up with some tech managers and CEOs about what's making them thankful this year:

Keeping Up with B2C: How B2B Suppliers Keep Customers Happy

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B2B suppliers are trying to keep up with the standards set in the B2C world by expanding their e-commerce platforms and overall omnichannel capabilities. And that's a good thing, according to a new study that found consumer shopping habits are influencing how B2B purchasers expect to buy from suppliers.

Nearly half of business buyers (49 percent) prefer making work-related purchases on the same websites they use for personal purchases — prompting a whooping 83 percent of B2B suppliers surveyed to recognize a need to upgrade their e-commerce capabilities.

More than half of all business buyers expect at least half of their purchases to be made online within three years, according to the study, Building The B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of The Future, conducted by Forrester Consulting in North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom on behalf of Accenture and hybris.

Leveraging TagMan's Technology, Ensighten Launches 'Attribution'

2014-27-October-Footprints.jpgAs marketers track their customer's journey across channels, a key factor is creating tags that follow the footsteps.

Ensighten today released a new product called Attribution that is designed to make that easier while reducing spending when integrated with Ensighten's Manage and Agile Marketing Platform.

“Ensighten’s closed loop approach is unique in the marketplace,” Josh Manion, Ensighten's founder and CEO said in a statement. 

Ensighten Buy Adds Analytics to Marketing Stack

Digital marketing tag management provider Ensighten scooped up a marketing analytics company in an deal that gives Ensighten integrated data collection, real time personalization and marketing analytics. 

Ensighten, based in San Jose, Calif., announced today that it bought San Diego's Anametrix and its cloud-based multichannel marketing analytics platform.

It's another way five-year-old Ensighten tries to compete with the big marketing cloud players. When the company acquire rival TagMan in March, Ensighten CEO Josh Manion said the company is gunning for the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It "provides marketers with the unique ability to derive powerful insights and act on them in real time,” Manion said in a statement.

“In a competitive environment smart and timely actions make all the difference, and we’re proud to be leading the industry towards delivering more relevant and personalized consumer experiences across the entire customer journey,” the company boasted.

SAP, IBM Steal Salesforce's Thunder

It wasn't if, but when. Who would try to steal the thunder from Salesforce and its Dreamforce glory?

It was SAP. And IBM. Together.

The enterprise software giants joined forces today.  SAP announced its HANA Enterprise Cloud service is now available through IBM’s cloud in a move officials from each company claim expands major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers. 

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said in a statement the demand for SAP HANA and SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA in the cloud is "tremendous and this global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration."

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty called it a "significant milestone in the deployment of enterprise cloud” and added that IBM's "secure, open, hybrid enterprise cloud platform will enable SAP clients to support new ways to work in an era shaped by big data, mobile and social.”

Connecting Software Vendors and #TheWalkingDead Zombies

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I don't see much difference between a zombie apocalypse and the events going on in the software vendor space. 

Zombies seem to be everywhere. No more so, of course, than in the AMC television series "Walking Dead." Season five premiered last night. 

Vendors are everywhere, too. Just look at Dreamforce this week. We'll be there (check us out @cmswire on the #DF14 hashtag). 

The Walking Dead characters need their zombies to survive at times. The viability of the show itself certainly depends on them.

Just like we need software vendors to survive in a business sense.

Without zombies, the Walking Dead's just "Survivor" with clothes — and that's no fun. Without software vendors, there's just, well, businesses doing their own business. That doesn't sound fun, either. 

The Trick to Content Marketing? Keep It Simple #OOW14

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Content marketing isn't that complicated. Just create content, attract customers, close sales. Right?

Not really. Most marketers either miss some of the basics or put too much effort into creating the content itself, according to a pair of Oracle customer success consultants who spoke at Oracle OpenWorld yesterday.

In two presentations, Clayton Stobbs explained the fundamental of content marketing and his colleague, Lee Jorgenson, told how to get better results with less effort.

How to Ensure Success in Your Customer's Journey

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You wouldn't climb the highest mountain without a guide or take up parachuting without an instructor. So why expect your customers to succeed without some guidance?

Today, it's important to help your Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) customers to succeed by analyzing the way they use your product and step in when they need help. This approach, known as customer success, has grown rapidly over the past couple of years. It's a byproduct of the subscription economy that has turned the traditional sales model on its head.

The subject was explored in depth yesterday as customer success executives from Totango and Kapost shared their ideas in a CMSWire.com Webinar sponsored by Totango.

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