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Mobile News & Analysis

EMC Syncplicity Redefines Work for the Mobile-First Era

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If there’s anything EMC Syncplicity General Manager Jeetu Patel is more passionate about than security and functionality of his company’s Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution, it’s Syncplicity’s app.

“Have you seen it?” he asked the last time his team unveiled one.

He was as enthusiastic as a dad whose kid had just hit his first home run.

And though Patel’s passion goes a long way, it’s the app itself that’s the real story. You don’t wish that you were using a hip, consumer solution when you work with it. Instead you wish that the app you use to share photos, files, and messages with your friends and family was more like Syncplicity. And that’s exactly what Patel wants.

Back to Basics (Again) with Enterprise Collaboration

2014-29-July-Puget-Sound.jpg2014 was the year that we were supposed to get back to basics. We’re now more than halfway done, back-to-school shopping season is upon us and many of us are probably thinking about returning to the work focus after taking advantage of the lazy hot days of summer (on the other hand, who’s up for a sunset sail around the bay?). I’d like to take this time to do a midyear checkup on enterprise collaboration and technology goals.

3 Things You Probably Forgot in Your Mobile Strategy

2014-25-July-Water-Test.jpgMobile has moved beyond a “channel” and become a behavior. A verb. A necessity. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t moved to mobile in some form -- advertising, app, responsive name, you name it -- you've fallen way behind. So I’m going to assume we’re all on the same page and have at least dipped our toe in the mobile waters.

Mobile is now the dominant channel in online advertising. And while many companies at least have a mobile site, most are missing that clear strategy for mobile customer acquisition.

Should You Be One of Facebook's 1.5 Million Marketers?

digital marketing, Should You Be One of Facebook's 1.5 Million Marketers?

Facebook's total revenue grew to more than $2.9 billion and advertising revenue climbed 67 percent from a year ago, its CEO said in a earnings conference call last night.

And for its growth, Facebook thanks the 30 million small businesses and its 1.5 million active marketers who use the world's No. 1 social media platform.

"To continue delivering the best returns for marketers, we’ve been very focused on improving the quality of the ad experiences for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) said. "Our goal here is to make ads as interesting and useful as your friends' content on Facebook. We're investing heavily in this area, and this quarter we launched a number of efforts to improve the quality and relevance of our ads, including our new ads preferences tool, interest-based advertising and improvements to News Feed designed to reduce low-quality content."

Choose the Right Path to Mobile

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We're more than halfway through 2014 -- the year when mobile usage will surpass desktop computing -- but many marketers and technologists are still scratching their heads about the best way to create a satisfying experience for mobile customers.

"Mobile is going to be there all the time. It's going to be in your face. So, really, are you ready for that?," asked Fred Faulkner, director of marketing and digital strategist for ICF Interactive (formerly CITYTECH). During a CMSWire webinar yesterday, he fired off a series of questions to mobile minded managers on the call. (Watch the Webinar)

"Are we ready for the 2.3 billion people who are going to be using smartphones by 2017? Are we ready for the fact that, of the smartphone users today, 62 percent are expecting a mobile friendly website?," he asked.

Understand Your Customers with A/B Testing

2014-23-July-Choices.jpgImagine changing a flight or booking a hotel, comparing mortgage rates or researching healthcare providers. You’re probably thinking about specific websites that can help accomplish these tasks -- or maybe a search that could start the process.

Now imagine doing any of these things on a smartphone. Chances are it would take several false starts and -- if you were dedicated to the goal -- a lot of struggle before the job was done. It has little if anything to do with the screen size. Instead, it’s a reflection of design and content that doesn't match the contextual needs of the user. And it doesn't take an extreme example to illustrate this point.

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.

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