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Mobile News & Analysis

Yahoo Buys Flurry to Personalize the Mobile Experience

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is intent on becoming a mobile-first company and when it comes to advertising revenue, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. Last week the company reported discouraging earnings of $1.08 billion in revenues, 4 percent less than for the same quarter last year. Display revenue, which Mayer hoped to raise, actually fell 8 percent.

And while companies in Yahoo’s position sometimes look for ways to solve their problems from within, Mayer prefers to shop. In slightly more than two years at the helm of the Internet pioneer, she has purchased blogging site Tumblr, social web startup RockMelt, social diary company Wander and technical recruiting firm Distill. Earlier this month, she bought RayV, which streams  high-quality video to computers and mobile devices

How’s that strategy working for you, Marissa? In any case, let’s hope that today’s purchase is a charm.

Real Estate Firm Scales Up Its Global Marketing Efforts

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By 1985, two years after Gary Keller and Joe Williams set up their first realty office, it was already the largest brokerage in Texas. Today, Keller Williams is going global, raising significant technology challenges in marketing, business process management and governance.

At the center of that tornado is Cary Sylvester, the company's Austin-based vice president of technology, communication and innovation -- a long, but accurate title considering everything on her plate as the company expands to six far-flung locales: Vietnam, Turkey, UK, Indonesia, South Africa and Germany.

"You can tell there's no specific region we've targeted," she explained. "Once we find the right people, and if their culture is one that will really embrace and adapt to our models, and they want our models, that's the country we'll go into."

3 Barriers to Delivering Omnichannel Experiences

2014-17-July-Caught-a-Fish.jpgI was recently searching for fishing rods for my 5-year old son and his friends to use at our neighborhood pond. I know nothing about fishing, so I needed to get educated. First up, a Google search on my laptop at home. Then, I jostled between my phone, tablet and laptop visiting websites, reading descriptions, looking at photos and reading reviews. Offline, I talked to friends and visited local stores.

The product descriptions weren’t very helpful. What is a “practice casting plug”? Turns out, this was a great feature! Instead of a hook, the rod had a rubber fish to practice casting safely. What a missed opportunity for the retailers who didn’t share this information. I bought the fishing rods from the retailer that educated me with valuable product information and offered free three to five day shipping.

What does this mean for companies who sell products across multiple channels? 

Have You Soured on Mobile CRM? #salesvelocity2014

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Want to make more sales, see more sales activity across your enterprise or close more deals? Want to do it quickly and want to do it on the road? Selligy, a mobile customer relationship management (CRM) vendor, claims it is making it easier than ever by adding advanced revenue and other upgrades to its platform.

The company contends its recent upgrades close the gap between what many vendors say they offer in the mobile CRM space and what they actually deliver. This gap, Selligy CEO and co-founder Nilay Patel says, has lead many users to sour on mobile CRM, noting:

Many tools over promise and under deliver, souring users on mobile CRM. Some provide very simple apps, but then don’t support the actual business needs of real enterprises. Others just shove all 100 fields from the CRM app onto the phone, resulting in an unusable app."

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

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Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

Customers Don't Care About Your Processes

2014-15-July-Milk-Processing.jpgIn January of last year, Macy's became the first major retailer to name a Chief Omnichannel Officer. In May of this year, Target announced the formation of a new Digital Advisory Committee to focus specifically on brainstorming omnichannel strategies.

Clearly the need to deliver true omnichannel experiences is something that retailers and their marketing teams are taking very, very seriously.

Find the Opportunity in Showrooming

2014-14-July-Shopping-Mall.jpgHave you ever gone into a store, found a product you wanted to buy and then pulled out your smartphone to check reviews or search for a better price online? It might feel like you’re cheating the system, but you’re not alone. This is the way people shop today -- and it’s called showrooming. 

Google published research in May 2013 on how mobile is transforming the shopping experience in stores. It found that “84 percent of shoppers use their phones while in a physical store.”

Mobile is the Essential Link in Customer Experience

2014-11-July-Tokyo-Subway.jpgThe 2010 customer expected you to provide her with an easy way to find what she was looking for -- prices, product features, reviews or account information.

The 2014 customer expects you to anticipate what she might want and present it to her, in context, perhaps even before she knows she wants it.

Smart phones have created this change. All of us are in the midst of a mobile mind shift. We have learned that whatever the question, the answer is on the phone. Does this product come in my size? What’s the name of that song? Did the US qualify for the second round of the World Cup?

Whatever the question, the answer is on the phone. We don’t want to look for the answer, we just expect it to be there.

Why Microsoft's Cortana is 14 for 14 Calling World Cup Matches

2014-11-July-Paul-the-Octopus-Hat.jpgUpdate: Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in extra time to win the 2014 World Cup at Estadio do Maracana in Rio De Janeiro yesterday — boosting Cortana's record to 15 for 15.

Celebrity data scientist Nate Silver, take a seat. You too Google, machine learning gods.

Microsoft’s Cortana, the Siri equivalent on the Windows phone, has called every FIFA World Cup elimination round match correctly. That’s right, she’s 14 for 14.

On Wednesday she correctly predicted that Argentina would beat the Netherlands. In Tuesday’s game she said that Germany would beat Brazil. And as you keep going back through each game in the elimination round, you’ll see that she was right over and over again.

Forrester: How to Use Agile Marketing to Enhance CX

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The hardest part of shifting to a customer-centric corporate culture may be getting your employees to embrace it. But your strategies and technologies are useless unless they do, according to a Forrester Research analyst.

"It's not just delivering a customer experience. It's making and centering our business around a customer-first attitude and a customer-centric attitude," Anjali Yakkundi, who focuses on digital experience delivery and related topics for Forrester, said Wednesday during a CMSWire webinar.

The webinar, entitled "Agile Marketing: Creating a New Generation of Enterprise Digital Experiences," also included a case study of Zoetis by Nilo Paredes, global product and technology leader for Zoetis, and a review of customer requirements by Steven Plaat, marketing director for CrownPeak, which also sponsored the session.

Microsoft Offers Feds Secured Dynamics CRM #WPC14

It always happens this time of year. Microsoft, which spends most of the time locked tighter than a clam, suddenly opens up and starts giving out news bites like a leaky cauldron. It’s the prologue to the Worldwide Partner Conference and Microsoft can’t seem to stop giving.

Yesterday it announced a whole bunch of productivity and synching releases for the private sector. It also announced a bunch of public sector releases that nearly slipped under the radar, including the fact that as of the beginning of next year, Dynamics CRM Online will be available as a separate instance for US federal, state and local governments.

The new Dynamics CRM instances will also comply with the FedRAMP standard. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.

PC Market? Up Slightly, But Still Barely Breathing

Though it appears there will be some relief for the besieged PC market in Gartner’s second quarter predictions for 2014, the relief will be be only temporary.

Overall, the global devices market  will witness a revival in 2014, increasing by 4.2 percent over 2013.

The PC market, which falls under the devices umbrella, will contract 2. 9 percent — considerably less than last year's 9.2 percent .The driving force behind this trend, according to Annette Zimmerman of Gartner, is the ongoing development of the mobile market. However, the longterm direction of the PC market remains downward.

Showdown at the Mobile Enterprise Corral

2014-07-July-Cowboy-Graffiti.jpgWhy have so many mobile enterprise companies made financial announcements within the last few weeks? In the mobile device management (MDM) space, Good Technology has filed an S1 to go public and MobileIron successfully executed an IPO. In the File Sync and Share (FSS) space, Dropbox announced a $500M line of credit after having raised $325M in funding only months earlier, and Box just announced another $100M investment.

Why these companies … and why now?

5 Things Marketers Can Learn on the Fourth of July

2014-4-July-fireworks-in-Hobokan-NJ.jpgIndependence Day is an uniquely American holiday, replete with examples of exactly what happens when you give freedom to a rag-tag group of descendants of fanatics, misfits, debtors, dreamers and people relocated against their will.

There's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, held at the fast food restaurant's original location on New York City's Coney Island every year since about 1972. The world hot dog eating record is held by Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., who ate 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — a feat that at best can be considered bewildering.

In a 'Troubled' WCM Sector, Analysts See 3 Innovators

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Fireworks may explode in the night sky as the US celebrates the Fourth of July weekend, but things are much quieter in the web content management market.

The frenetic pace of nine-figure WCM acquisitions of the past four years ended before Christmas, and the once-deep river of venture capital funding for fledgling players ran dry long ago.

Market shifts and technology trends -- the somewhat surprising strength of mobile, the stampede to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a growing infatuation with digital marketing -- were missed by many players, leaving the field "fragmented" and "troubled," according to fresh research by Matt Mullen and Alan Pelz-Sharpe at 451 Research.

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