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Marketing Automation News & Analysis

Complete the Digital Marketing Puzzle, One Integration Step at a Time

2015-12-February-Crossword.jpgBeing a marketer today can be a challenging task, particularly because today’s savvy customers have already completed about 80 percent of their purchase research by the time they even contact you. This shortened sales cycle means that if your data isn’t organized across systems to make your customers’ history and preferences easily accessible, lost sales opportunities and lower customer satisfaction will inevitably result.

Addressing the Gap Between Marketing Automation and CRM

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In this era of economic growth, the Sales Enablement Trends 2015 Report (registration required) by Qvidian was sobering. While B2B companies continue to grow at any cost, sales teams still struggle with quota attainment and can’t ramp up fast enough. Companies are trying to fix this by automating virtually every marketing process, sales process and touch point.

The result? We’re drowning in data and analyses.  Big data and predictive analytics are providing a lot of information, but scant meaningful insights that can be acted on with consistent successful results. The problem is data is siloed and analyzed as such. Even when broader data is analyzed, it’s never all of it. Some gets left out because it’s outside the organization’s four walls or it wasn’t considered relevant. That creates a condition of being directionally correct but precisely wrong.

The problem persists because companies don’t really know their buyers -- a fact that they are finally coming to terms with.

Honey, Did We Shrink the Marketing Technology Landscape?

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Don't be intimidated by Scott Brinker's latest marketing technology landscape.

Many of the 1,876 vendors will fold, others will merge and be acquired and the landscape will shrink because of it, some industry players told CMSWire.

"Many will fail," said Charles Nicholls, senior vice president of product strategy for hybris and SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce.

"In the Wild West, new vendors are experimenting with new ways of doing things. Not all of these work -- look at Facebook storefronts for example -- and some will flop spectacularly. Caveat emptor, there are many snake oil salesman promising the earth. Look for a solid measurable return-on-investment (ROI) that you can prove before committing."

Revenue Marketing: Creating Sales and Marketing Alignment

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The art of contacting and connecting with customers and prospects has become infinitely more sophisticated and effective through the buyer’s journey. We can thank advances in marketing automation, big data, predictive and behavioral analytics for this new level of sophistication.

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."

Marketing Tech Landscape: 'Inspiring, Frightening' [Infographic]

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Almost 2,000 technology demos and requests for proposals. Why not? Your team can handle it.

The landscape for marketing technology has exploded in the past year, nearly doubling to more than 1,800 software vendors.

Scott Brinker is the guy who's chronicled this tech climb. He's the author of the Chief Marketing Technology Blog, organizer of the Marketing Technology Conference and the co-founder and chief technology officer for Boston-based ion interactive. 

But he may as well be the Godfather of Marketing Technology, the man who has boldly gone where no other marketing tech industry person has gone -- diving into this crowded landscape and discovering a space as crowded as sardines.

"It's somewhere between wonderfully inspiring and downright frightening," Brinker told CMSWire.

5 Technology Skills Every Marketer Needs Today

Marketers today are at a serious crossroads. Take this recent Gartner report, which shows that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017. Few marketers are technologists or IT specialists, but technology is changing everything about what they do and how they do it. The 21st century marketing landscape requires a whole new way of thinking about interacting with customers, adapting to technologies and translating insights into a return on investment for the entire organization. How can marketing professionals supplement their existing skill sets and get up to speed quickly and dynamically?

A Look Back: Innovation or Hype in Digital Marketing?

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Digital marketing is hot. Has been for years now, and 2014 was no different.

But by hot, what do we mean?

Hot as in products are killing it for organizations -- churning out ROI like it's going out of style? Hot as in innovation is at an all-time high, with different products and features hitting the market daily? Hot as in having a digital platform is a MUST for any marketer?

Some of this is happening, we're sure. But in 2014, it seemed like digital marketing was hot simply because, well, people were talking about it.

We really didn't see a leader. A clear visionary. An innovative concept that no one had that just flipped the industry upside down, much like when a Harvard dropout wanted to connect college kids online more than 10 years ago.

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Digital Marketing

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For digital marketing, 2013 was the year of acquisitions — and 2014 was the year of putting those acquisitions into action. IBM and Silverpop. Insightera and Marketo. Oracle and Responsys.

Integration with acquisitions take time, and we didn't see a clear winner in 2014. Will we in 2015?

A Holiday Recipe for Successful Email Campaigns

2014-19-December-Baking.jpgThe holidays can be a particular challenge for email marketers as they face increased competition and the risk of over-saturating consumer inboxes with campaigns that may or may not be seen during the holiday crunch-time. If only there could be a reliable recipe for success, something as easy as one-part list hygiene, two-parts testing and “send” in small batches until done.

Is email marketing as easy as this? Well, no, but just like home cooks can feel like master chefs if they follow the instructions and use high quality ingredients, email marketers can greatly improve results if they stick to a tried-and-true recipe.

When Marketing Automation Meets Salesforce #Gilbane

The Boston-based WGBH Education Foundation relies on donations. It's a public media entity.

So it also relies on technology to manage donations. Salesforce CRM. Marketing automation tools.

Cate Twohill, senior director and managing partner of CRM services at the WGBH Education Foundation, has her hands on the pulse of the organization's digital network and management of its donors. It's a job that comes with challenges. It recently uncovered and corrected more than 80,000 duplicate donor profiles and must manage donor relationships in a way that powers engagement.

Marketing Automation: Not All Agree on Leading Vendors

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Everyone wants a piece of marketing automation, it seems. But not everyone agrees on which vendors lead the pack.

The latest marketing automation software rankings -- crowdsourced G2 Crowd's Grid report released this month -- proves the rankings companies don't exactly agree when determining leaders.

But they do concur on one thing -- Oracle-Eloqua and Marketo deserve to be leaders. They were the lone vendors that got leader love in each of the five marketing automation vendor rankings we profiled. Salesforce-Pardot was ever so close, being named a leader in four out of five, with the fifth determining Salesforce-Pardot was a runner-up.

CMSWire Tweet Jam: Putting the Person in Personalization #CXMChat

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Automation -- marketers love it, customers hate it.

While automation may provide a seamless experience some of the time, a lot is to be said about personal attention.

So, how can companies put the person back in personalization while also using the automation techniques marketers have come to adore? Find out at our November Tweet Jam!

Time to Embrace Marketing Automation #KenticoConnection

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If you’re like many marketers you’ve probably got a list of tasks you think would improve your website and e-mail marketing. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get them done.

If this scenario sounds familiar — it’s time to automate, Brian McKeiver, a senior solution architect and co-owner of BizStream, an Allendale, Mich.-based web and software development company, told attendees at he Kentico Connection 2014 in Boston last week.

Are You Offering a Personalized Journey or a Guided Path?

2014-18-November-Disconnected.jpgHave you tried to get a real, live person on the other end of the phone lately? After pressing 20 buttons on the phone’s keypad to navigate through a labyrinth of menu options, you will likely find yourself still on hold. This familiar scenario illustrates how companies are struggling to find the balance between data-driven efficiencies --automated, generalized responses -- and customer expectations for a personalized experience --the actual answer they are looking for from a living, breathing human on the other end of the phone or chat session.

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