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Noreen Seebacher News & Analysis

Cloudwords Offers New Solution for Global Marketers

Marc Benioff-backed Cloudwords is continuing its quest to help global marketers manage multi-lingual content. The cloud-based translation management application today announced Campaign Manager, an enterprise-ready solution designed to help marketers "plan, execute and track" the localization and translation of marketing content for global campaigns.

Benioff, the CEO of salesforce.com, was one of the original investors in the San Francisco-based company. 

Cloudwords was founded in 2010 by "individuals who gave birth to cloud computing," including Scott Yancey, a key architect on the salesforce.com platform, and Michael Meinhardt, a consultant who advised numerous enterprise customers on their global translation strategy, including Cisco Systems, Hitachi Data Systems, Apple and Symantec.

Here's Why You Should Take Good Care of Your Customers

2014-9-July-hot-air-balloon.jpgNew research confirms what many marketers have already suspected: It’s harder than ever to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Competition for customers is heating up — or as London-based Ovum, a global research firm, puts it, "hotting-up." Colloquialisms aside, the fight for customers appears to be kicking into high gear.

And the reason is clear. Customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce will be the fastest growing enterprise applications through 2018. According to the global analyst firm’s newly launched software forecasts, customer-engagement systems will be the fastest growing enterprise application between 2013 and 2018.

Smoke, Fire and American Apparel: Avoiding Social Mistakes

2014-07-July-house-on-fire.jpgThe scariest words an executive can hear just might be "Your brand is trending on Twitter."

Absent a viral video, strategically planned marketing campaign or the spontaneous heroism of an employee, a global cacophony of disturbing tweets can mean only one thing. 

Somebody screwed up.

Somebody said or wrote or posted something racist, sexist, ageist, insensitive, political incorrect or, perhaps worst of all, simply stupid. 

And you have to look hard to find an example of greater stupidity than American Apparel's latest mistake — confusing an image of a space disaster that took seven lives with a fireworks display.

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.

Guess Where Workers Have New Rights to Work from Home?

It's time for CEOs Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman to eat their words — or at least rethink their strong stances on workplace inflexibility at Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard, respectively.

Telecommuting took a giant leap forward today — at least in the United Kingdom.

Just 16 months after Mayer sent shockwaves down the spines of telecommuters everywhere with her mandate to Yahoo workers to get back to the office and just eight months after Whitman followed with a slightly less strident request, it appears workplace flexibility is making a comeback. And that includes the right to work from home.

World Cup Website Hacked: Is Yours Vulnerable, Too?

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Hacktivists have delivered on their promise to take down Brazil’s official World Cup website, effectively disrupting this year’s competition and adding significant weight to their ongoing global threats to use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends,

This is no surprise, according to Incapsula, a cloud-based website security and performance service. Last week, Incapsula Co-founder and Chief Business Officer Marc Gaffan warned the FIFA site was at risk in the wake of two other incidents.

On June 11, feedly announced it was under attack by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack refusing to pay the ransom demanded. At the same time, Evernote announced it too had been struck by a DDoS attack.

This Tiny Restaurant Knows More than You About Customer Experience

Thumbnail image for 2014-18-june-Joe's-HomemadeIf you want to learn about customer experience, forget the next overhyped, overcrowded, tech-focused conference. Just eat at Joe's in Savannah, Ga.

Joe's Homemade Café, Catering and Bakery is the best of 750 restaurants in Savannah, at least according to TripAdvisor, a travel site that offers "trusted advice from real travelers." The 510-square foot gem of a restaurant is known for its sandwiches, salads, desserts and exceptionally warm and friendly service.

And while the food is delicious, it begs a customer to ask a question: "How did this tiny space with eight employees in a city of landmarked, exotic restaurants win the hearts of more travelers than any other?"

Don Holland, shown left, who co-owns the business with Ted Paskevich, shown right, doesn't have to think long when asked. "We believe that a strong commitment and delivery of quality food and exceptional service makes us appreciated by our customers," he said.

Oh, and one other thing. "We're big believers in social media."

5 Ways to Keep Employees Focused and Productive

2014-13-June-Trying-to-escape-by-Asa-Aarons.jpgWhether it's the World Cup soccer tournament or just beautiful weather, there's a world of distractions for employees struggling with work-life balance. And if you add "time to play" in with those increasingly co-mingled concepts of work and life, it really makes you wonder how any business gets work done. 

How do you maintain morale and productivity in The Era of Constant Distractions — and real or imagined ADHD?

"We used to ask employees to leave their mobile phones in a basket by the door to the conference room. But that just seemed to make them more anxious and distracted. So now they can bring their phones into the meetings. The only rules: They need to be on silent and they can't stare at their phones," explained one team leader at a digital marketing agency.

We have some other advice for keeping meetings on track, too. But first things first. There's a major sporting event in play, so let's figure out how managers can get the best out of their workforce in spite of it.

Talkin' Trash: Curbing Comment Spam and Crazy People

2014-11-June-upside-down-man.jpg.jpgNothing like the illusion of anonymity to give the nastiest, angriest, most disagreeable people on the planet a voice. From slanderous, libelous and racist comments to the simply offensive and juvenile, trash trolls and link baiters create never-ending challenges for content producers.

Addressing comment spam is a frustrating and time-consuming task for organizations. Typically, companies are required to manually edit spam out of content after it has been posted or rely on moderators to filter individual posts to ensure they are legitimate, Internet security firms concur.

And every decision to delete a comment creates at least a momentarily struggle between conflicting goals. What's more important: free speech or the overwhelming desire to stomp out stupidity?

Yes, content producers have a difficult job — and it extends far beyond the challenge of finding writers who actually know how to write. Now a new report from Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Imperva reveals 80 percent of comment spam traffic is generated by 28 percent of attackers.

5 Reasons Google Beat Apple to Become the Top Brand

2014-5-june-arm-wrestling-champ.jpgYou just can't block the buzz about Google. In the past few weeks, the company surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable brand, according to Millward Brown Optimor's 2014 BrandZ ranking.

It was a big blow for Apple, which had held the top spot for the previous three years. But Apple fell 20 percent in brand value in the past year to an estimated $147.9 billion. Even worse, there is a "growing perception that it is no longer redefining technology for consumers," according to Millward Brown, a New York City-based research firm.

Meanwhile, Google's brand value rose 40 percent from a year ago to $159 billion. Apparently it's pretty profitable to avoid evil, even as regulators here and abroad are taking a closer look to make sure that slogan is true.

What's behind Google's climb, beyond Apple's loss of founder Steve Jobs?

8 Things You Can Learn About CX on Your Summer Vacation

2014-4-June-Austin-Handshake.jpgI fell in love with traveling when I ran away from home at the age of five. (You would have run, too, if you were forced to eat my sister's creamed chicken.)

Years later, when I made a trip across the United States in a 1975 VW Super Beetle, I fell in love with technology, too.

There's nothing like a car without air conditioning to prove that simplicity has its limits — and that innovation is essential. 

Travel is one of the few things I suspect I won't regret on my death bed, at least now that I drive a car with all-season climate control — as well as GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a 120-volt power outlet. (Did I mention it's also Internet ready?)

And here's the thing: You can learn a lot about customer experience by traveling, regardless of whether you go by car or air. 

FBI Warns: Check Your Windows PC for a RAT

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The latest warning from the FBI bears a strange resemblance to a trailer for a poltergeist experience. Does your mouse cursor move erratically with no input from you? Does your web camera light unexpectedly turn on? Does your monitor turn off -- for no apparent reason?

In reality, the warning is about Blackshades, a remote access tool malware that affects Microsoft Windows based operating systems.

According to the FBI, the malicious remote administration tool (RAT) has been used to steal passwords and banking credentials, hack into social media accounts and access documents, photos and other computer files. The program can also record all keystrokes, activate webcams to spy on victims, “hold a computer for ransom” and use the computer in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

The malware gained notoriety in a "sextortion" case involving a teen beauty queen last summer.

Hacked! Attack of the DDoS Protection Services

2014-12-May-Attack-of-the-DDos-Protection-ServicesForget about engaging content and brilliant marketing. Neither of those things matter if your website falls victim to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

DDoS attacks sabotage corporate websites to make them unavailable to legitimate visitors. Researchers at Incapsula, a cloud-based website security and performance service, said DDoS attacks are getting stronger, faster, bigger and smarter. 

And here's the really scary part: The very DDoS protection service you contracted to guard your website just might be responsible for destroying your site — or someone else's site.

Like a zombie apocalypse that transforms cherubic kindergarten teachers into rapid killers — or an angry 50-foot tall woman — nothing is more frightening than the unexpected. The team at Incapsula discovered that first hand recently when they traced yet another DNS DDoS attack on a B2B business ... and found it originated with two DDoS protection services.

How to Sweeten Customer Experience [Infographic]

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Good customer service once meant saying "please" and "thank you" and addressing each person who approached the sales counter by name. But that was before the Internet made e-commerce a fact of life and social media gave every ever-so-slightly annoyed customer the capacity to ruin your brand in 140 characters — or less.

When it comes to obtaining and retaining customers, remembering what you learned in kindergarten really isn't enough anymore. Now it hinges on the effective use of social media and other Internet-based resources, a fact confirmed by a new study from Consero Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that specializes in planning and hosting industry-specific conferences.

What's more, Chief Customer Experience Officers will continue to need a variety of new tools and processes to manage the smart consumer effectively and retain customers in a competitive marketplace, Consero CEO Paul Mandell told CMSWire.

What DAM Manager Cares About Text? #DAMNY [Video]

Crowd by Asa Aarons.jpgNot everyone can define Digital Asset Management (DAM). But everyone who uses the web depends on it, in one way or another. As the organizers of the 11th annual DAM NY conference in New York City last week explained, DAM Managers are "firmly in the front line of 'digital first responders.'"

"Digital assets are now central in every aspect of business engagement. From product development to brand assertion to content sales, and investor relations, digital assets are out there delivering knowledge and collecting insights. Managing those digital assets well is vital for organizational success — day in and day out." -- Henry Stewart Events

DAM is all about rich media: digital photographs, animations, videos and music.

So there's no point in wasting time with words. We're going to share the experience of attending the conference on The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media in the way DAM aficionados understand best — with sound and images.

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