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Mobile News & Analysis

The 3 C's of Personalized Customer Service

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Customer service is a key differentiator for many companies. But as the number of communication channels and devices increases, so do the challenges of delivering personalized service across those channels.

A unified view of the customer is needed for omnichannel customer service -- something that can't be achieved with siloed systems and disconnected information. Channels can't merely coexist, but must inform one another to provide the needed context that makes each customer experience better and more personal. To succeed at customer engagement you must meet three fundamental requirements: being consistent, complete and contextual.

Companies Plagued by Mobile Marketing Mediocrity, Altimeter Finds

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Hold the (cell) phone.

Despite all the talk about the importance of mobile, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the merits of optimizing mobile experiences, most companies and brands are still failing to capitalize on mobile technologies — and losing the potential to benefit from what is arguably one of the greatest opportunities for customer experience innovation.

That's the surprising conclusion of research being released today by San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group, a research firm dedicated to helping companies understand and act on technology disruption.

In a report entitled "The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience" (registration required), co-authors Brian Solis and Jaimy Szymanski warn that many companies and brands are still underestimating and underinvesting in mobile.

What's more, they conclude, clearly defined and unified mobile strategies remain largely elusive to most executives and strategists, who tend to view mobile as the latest “bright, shiny object" rather than both a means and an end to incredibly improved customer experiences.

It’s a recipe for disaster, they argue — and an imperative for companies and brands to address right now if they want to remain relevant, competitive and continue to survive.

Optimizely Claims 'Breakthrough' in Online Testing Platform

Optimizely, a website optimization platform, just released what company execs describe as an innovative capability that breaks from traditional statistical methods. 

The platform -- Stats Engine -- adds to the company’s experience optimization platform by delivering test results that are "always valid" and "freed from the limitations of traditional statistical analysis," officials at the San Francisco-based provider boasted. Pete Koomen, co-founder of Optimizely, said Stats Engine "represents a breakthrough in the world of online testing."

Developed in collaboration with statisticians at Stanford University, company officials said Stats Engine relies on innovative approaches in statistical analysis. Combined with the company's own algorithms, it allows customers to interpret and act on data quicker "and more confidently than ever before," the company noted.

Stats Engine "propels statistical analysis into the Internet age," a company spokesperson told CMSWire.

Leave Your iPad at Home, Forget BYOD, Says HP

Face it, HP notes: iPads, Android and Windows tablets may be great but they weren’t built specifically for business. And the house that Meg Whitman rules may have a valid argument when you consider that the devices are being used by gazillions of kids strapped into shopping carts drawing animals for Night Zookeeper, by teens playing Candy Crush Saga and by moms who have adopted them as digital recipe displays when they cook. Never mind everyone watching Netflix.

Think about it. Do you want to make sales presentations on the device that your kid rests his lollipop on? Or that you and your honey used last night to watch a racy movie? Maybe yes, maybe no, but that’s not the main reason HP thinks that you might want to use different devices at work and at home.

“They (consumer-grade devices) also pose significant challenges to IT departments who have to support their now mobile workforces while keeping corporate data managed and secure,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Systems, HP.

What Enterprise Apps Could Learn From Consumer Apps

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Development of mobile apps for consumers and enterprise are two different animals. Consumer apps come from a broad range of sources, from individual hobbyists building Flappy Bird clones to publicly traded kings of the consumer app industry unleashing Candy Crush Sagas upon the workers of the world. For many consumer app creators, the approval process and product cycle is not complicated: make your game or widget, get the bugs fixed, and put it out there for everyone to enjoy. If it’s engaging and you catch viral lightning in a bottle you might see the ROI shortly, from ad impressions or in-app purchases.

Enterprise app development typically includes many more levels of approval, including getting buy-in from an organization’s CTO and other key stakeholders. This can result in more refinement to ensure all the requirements of the enterprise are met, but this comes with the risk that the app could sprawl to become an over-packed, unwieldy platypus.

Teradata Acquires Mobile Marketing Automation Platform

Teradata scooped up an Israeli mobile marketing automation provider in an acquisition officials said gives Teradata's marketing cloud applications direct, two-way contact with the mobile devices.

Teradata's acquisition of Appoxee closed last month but was announced publicly today. Appoxee's brand will be retired, and its solutions integrated into the Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud beginning immediately. It will also be integrated with the Teradata Digital Marketing Center.

"Appoxee adds several additional mobile capabilities to Teradata’s portfolio," Michael Lummus, director of strategy for digital markets, told CMSWire. "These include mobile push notifications, in-app messaging, data collection, analytics and optimization. This acquisition gives Teradata’s applications direct, two-way contact with the mobile devices that connect billions of global consumers with brands."

10 Things Online Retailers Must Do in 2015

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The 2014 holiday shopping season brought online commerce to new heights, with double-digit growth in US online sales on both on desktops and mobile devices.  Remember that shopping behavior tends to encompass more than one channel -- consumers usually hop between brand touch points before they push the buy button. Consider a shopper who adds a product to her shopping cart while browsing on her desktop, then abandons the purchase only to pick up her mobile phone. Retailers must offer a seamless and consistent shopping experience across desktops and mobile devices in order to set their brand apart.

Free Mobile Ad Network Buoys Local Business

The team at mobidart says it’s time to bring consumers and local business back together, and with today’s launch of the company’s free mobile ad network, it's one step closer to making it happen.

CMSWire had the opportunity to talk with the mobidart team to learn more about what their new offering means for small and medium business owners who may not yet have a mobile presence due to cost, difficulty or technical challenges. (The company estimates “80 percent or more of businesses globally don’t have a mobile responsive presence” due to these reasons.)

“Through our own personal experience in business we’ve seen that business owners around the world need help from companies to get them into the mobile marketing space,” said Frank Rice, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at mobidart.

Apple Watch, the IoT and Major Changes in Communication

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Who could have predicted how widely and wildly the Internet would evolve when it was conceived more than 45 years ago?

In a relatively brief time, it's grown from a few connected computers at select universities that only a handful of individuals knew how to operate to a globally connected network that has become engrained in the daily life of the vast majority of the planet's population.

Though the Internet has improved upon a great many things, none is more dramatic than communication. Today the Internet or its underlying technologies facilitate many of the methods that people use to communicate, at least in some part. But evolution is dynamic, and while the advances in communication facilitated by the Internet have been tremendous, there is always room for growth and improvement.

In fact, there is a significant possibility that the augmentation of the Internet through the Internet of Things will advance global communication even further.

Microsoft Ups Its Customer Experience Play

Microsoft is flexing its customer experience muscles. Last night it announced the spring release of Parature will come with more than 30 new “high priority” customer capabilities. They're designed to help businesses streamline and improve their customer experience strategies.

The release follows the acquisition of Parature by Microsoft last February for a reported $100 million. The purchase price is a relative pittance in comparison to many current tech deals — especially since the value it will bring to Microsoft’s customer relationship management (CRM) portfolio is incalculable.

3 Focuses for Mobile in the Year Ahead

2015-05-January-Mesmerized.jpgDigital marketers: 2015 is here, and it’s time to play catch up. For the past 10 years, we’ve been trying to keep pace with the latest innovations, strategizing and re-strategizing to implement the next great personalization feature or web design technique. But that period of innovation has ended and, moving into 2015, we find ourselves in a new period of digital transformation. By fully implementing these innovations in the coming year, marketers can help companies transition into fully digital-first business.

Where should we start? Mobile.

A Look Back: Broken Promises of the Mobile Enterprise

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Perhaps nothing in information technology offers a richer mix of expectation and disillusionment than the mobile enterprise. It's become like the lover who keeps promising a long-term relationship but never commits.

Since workers became enamored with smartphones eight years ago, it has seemed obvious those devices will one day connect with the applications and data within the company's fire-walled network. And that will happen. It just didn't happen in 2014.

Mobile devices and the enterprise have yet to form a happy marriage. Despite significant advances this year, hurdles remain before the mobile enterprise can achieve the kind of speed, safety and productivity that office workers have come to expect from their network.

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Web CMS

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It’s been a year of drama for the Web CMS space — or at least a fourth quarter of drama – with rumors aplenty at year-end around Ektron sales and mergers and news of Drupal’s “highly critical” security flaw.

Some of these stories made CMSWire’s Top 10 list for the year, but we had lots more to report about Web CMS, including trends, new players and myths about the world’s leading open-source CMS.

The Holistic View of the Customer Experience

There's a consensus that if you want to be successful on line, you’re going to have to deliver an exceptional customer experience, something that leaves others trailing. Of course, there are many opinions on how to do that.

E-Spirit, for example, has a very particular notion of what customer experience involves. Many other vendors start by talking about technologies or silos. But for Oliver Jaeger, e-Spirit's vice president for global marketing and communications, it means the entire customer cycle from first contact to last sign-off.

While many companies just don’t get it that the whole process needs to be managed, e-Spirit is actively pursuing ways to provide that ultimate experience.

Google Hangouts Just Got Smart (Suggestions) #LeWeb

Google Hangouts for Android are about to get smarter. Google announced an upgrade to the app earlier today which will include smart suggestions, 16 sticker packs, video calling filters and notifications of who is available to chat.

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