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Marketing Automation News & Analysis

Five Ways To Produce Rock-Solid Email Marketing Campaigns

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For marketers, it boils down to this: Do you make it hard or easy to find your unsubscribe feature in your email marketing campaigns?

Google made the decision for you with Gmail: It's easy. It's right at the top now.

Bottom line for marketers? This change should not affect your campaigns so long as your focus is on engaging content that creates legitimate customer prospects and not on building large marketing lists, said Ann Breckencamp, product manager for CommandIQ, a CRM platform provider.

"Too many marketers are overly concerned with just trying to keep people on their mailing list," Breckencamp said. "The silver lining in Google’s new unsubscribe feature is that it should get marketers to focus instead on what really matters: driving true engagement with subscribers on a one-to-one basis."

CMSWire talked to Breckencamp about how marketers can use the Gmail change as an impetus to make their email campaigns better.

Adobe Campaign Update Due by Late Summer

Thumbnail image for ADBE 320.jpgThe long anticipated integration of Campaign into Adobe's broader marketing suite will take a big leap forward late this summer, but customers should expect ongoing changes throughout the year. 

Campaign, acquired when Adobe paid $600 million in cash for Neolane last July, sends personalized content across any channel. Adobe released a rebranded version in January that connects with its Experience Manager. But the company still has a long way to go before Campaign works seamlessly with the other four parts of the Adobe Marketing Cloud -- analytics, media optimizer, social and targeting.

"I think it's going to take some time to fully flesh-out that acquisition and fully integrate it with the marketing cloud," Patrick Tripp, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Campaign, said in an interview. "It's going to be a journey. It's going to be a series of announcements through 2014."

Get More Results with Less Effort in B2B Marketing Automation

Getting More From Less With B2B Marketing AutomationWhy is it that the things we know are good for us are so hard to start? Think exercise, eating right, starting that blog, taking risks. Research from Ascend2 shows marketers find marketing automation one of the most difficult tactics to execute, despite admitting that the more extensively they adopt it, the more success it brings. The “the first step is the hardest” seems to ring true here. The biggest stumbling block? The question, “What will I get for my efforts and how soon?”

Oracle Bites On BlueKai in #Martech M&A Feast

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Oracle Corp. appears to have an insatiable need for acquisitions, with a focus on anything involving marketing technology (now known in the Twittersphere as "#martech"). Its latest deal is BlueKai, an acquisition announced this morning. Although terms of the deal were not released, it is estimated in the $350 million to $400 million range.

The buy will help Oracle to personalize marketing programs and the customer experience. Omar Tawakol, CEO, BlueKai, said his company's products "convert fragmented and disparate marketing data into high-performance results for companies.”

BlueKai claims to maintain a database of 700 million consumer profiles and has more than 300 customers across multiple industries. The company boasts that its Data Management Platform (DMP) keeps the customer and audience data in the cloud to target marketing campaigns and deliver better results. 

In short, BlueKai is one of the largest providers of data that help provide those super-targeted ads you see in your browser that might seem a little creepy because they happen to coincide with what you've been searching for lately.

Oracle Expands Marketing Platform Eloqua Throughout Its Clouds

Oracle is out with a new release of Eloqua, improving integration with its Marketing and other Clouds.

These Simple Tips Could Keep Google from Killing Your Gmail Marketing

dog using computer.jpgGoogle loves to tweak Gmail — and complicate life for marketers. First it introduced that love-to-hate-it tabbed interface and then it opened images by default.

Marketers, who have long been able to track email opens using images, lost a key tracking mechanism. And at least some studies suggest the tabbed inboxes are negatively impacting the ways consumers engage with brands in their Gmail inboxes.

So what's a marketer to do? More than you might think, it seems.

Key Insights About the $1.9B Marketing Automation Industry

It seems people are in love with marketing automation (MA). Last week, we covered a report that had some surprising -- and not-so surprising -- numbers, depending on who you asked.

Another report, this one by Frost & Sullivan -- claims the marketing automation industry will hit $1.9 billion by 2020. And a new study from Mintigo shows that 11.8 percent of technology companies have already adopted marketing automation platforms as compared to 4.9 percent overall.

Which report should you believe? Time will tell. Check out the comment chain here for a sampling of opinions. And to bring more perspective to the industry, we catch up with Hiral Jasani, digital media industry analyst from Frost & Sullivan.

Why Cirrus Insight's Gmail-Salesforce Integration Is Hot

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More than a few pairs of eyes are on Cirrus Insight, the Laguna Hills, Calif., CRM app developer that integrates Salesforce with Gmail. Nearly 7,300 pairs of eyes, to be precise.

We know. Our last two pieces on the 13-employee provider -- our Nov. 26 piece, Cirrus Insight to Unite Salesforce, Gmail on Mobile Devices  and our Cirrus Insight Brings Pardot, Hubspot Marketing Automation to Gmail piece on Feb. 6 generated this interest.

So why’s the little two-year-old provider so hot at the moment?

Marketing Automation Report: Surprising Numbers or Not?

A report on marketing automation buyer habits produced some surprising and not-so-surprising results.

But it depends on who you ask.

Ask the creator of the report, Software Advice, and you'll hear that it’s surprising small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) represented 50 percent of the buyers interested in marketing automation.

“I was most surprised to see so many small to mid-sized companies in our sample,” Software Advice marketing analyst Derek Singleton told CMSWire. The report  tracked 896 interactions with marketing automation buyers in 2013. He continued:

Historically, large and enterprise-level companies have been the ones to aggressively adopt marketing automation systems so I would have expected the buyer sample to be more weighted toward companies with significant employee counts and annual revenues. This might be an indication that marketing automation is moving downstream. Vendors are certainly starting to create more solutions that focus on serving the needs of small to mid-sized businesses.”

One of those vendors was not surprised to see growth with SMBs in marketing automation interest.

“We are seeing tremendous interest from SMB sector,” Atri Chatterjee, chief marketing officer of Act-On Software, told CMSWire. “This is where the most innovation occurs, and they know that modern marketing techniques will transcend their business and keep them competitive against the larger enterprises.”

Cirrus Insight Brings Pardot, Hubspot Marketing Automation to Gmail

Cirrus Insight claimed it broke the mold in 2011 when it integrated Salesforce with Gmail.

Last fall, Cirrus, which had been working on a mobile app to bring Salesforce features to the smartphones and tablets of Gmail users, announced integration with Conga, a popular Salesforce document builder.

Today, Cirrus is claiming another pioneer effort -- integration of Pardot and Hubspot marketing automation with Gmail.

9 Marketing Automation Providers Who Know Their Stuff

customer experience, Nine Marketing Automation Providers Who Know Their Stuff

Forrester Research named the nine most significant lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) marketing automation platform vendors. So what makes a good one?

They go beyond revenue performance management and transform marketing across the customer life cycle. They have deep features and functions. They make smart acquisitions

"Change in the B2B marketing automation market is likely to accelerate in 2014," Forrester's Lori Wizdo predicted in her new report. "New buyers from B2C and B2B2C marketers will redefine the functional table stakes. Acquisitions will continue as the mega enterprise software vendors plump up their marketing clouds. And the pace of innovation, driven by new tech startups, will remain high."

How to Use Sophisticated Dashboards for Sophisticated Marketing

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Customers are arriving at your business or e-commerce site through increasingly sophisticated methods — and that makes it more complicated to determine whether your mobile site or offline advertising lead to your conversion goals. 

To keep in step and better organize information, businesses are turning to advanced spreadsheet automation or dashboard reporting.

Salesfusion Buy Sets Race for Midmarket Marketing Automation

customer experience, Salesfusion's Acquisition Sets Race for Midmarket Marketing Automation

Salesfusion's purchase of LoopFuse today sets up a battle for digital marketers' attention in the midmarket marketing automation space.

The big gain for the now 75-employee Atlanta-based Salesfusion? Better social listening tools, top-notch IT and software-engineering talent and a continued lower-priced marketing automation alternative to the big boys like Marketo (500 employees) and Eloqua (scooped up by Oracle), according to Salesfusion CEO Christian Nahas.

"This was about two things — No. 1, talent," Nahas told CMSWire. "LoopFuse has really talented engineers on its team, and its CEO and I share a vision around the ease of use and smart marketing. And No. 2, this is about predictive analytics, social nurturing, social publishing and social listening tools. This tool will not just tell you that 500 people are talking about you — but the 50 most relevant people, their tone and buying signals."

Competitor: Oracle's Latest Acquisition Fills 'Major Gap'

Oracle's $1.5 billion acquisition of Responsys last month is the company's attempt to fill its “major gap” in the marketing technology space, an Oracle competitor told CMSWire.

“This announcement continues to provide validation and further attention to the importance of the marketing technology space,” Suresh Vittal, vice president of strategy at Adobe Campaign, told CMSWire. “However at its core, Oracle is a CRM company and doesn’t understand marketers’ daily issues. It realized it was missing market share. Through another acquisition, it is trying to fill a major gap as the stakes are continuing to increase.”

What the Responsys Acquisition Means for Oracle, Digital Marketing

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What company is next after Oracle’s $1.5 billion purchase of marketing cloud vendor Responsys? Some company for sure. And the next buy will come sooner rather than later, analysts told CMSWire.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based software giant's latest acquisition comes during a time of industry transformation.

“Marketing will be an extremely rich area of merger and acquisition activity for the foreseeable future,” said Robert Brosnan, principal analyst at Forrester.

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