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Online Marketing News & Analysis

Wrapping Up Hubspot's #INBOUND14

HubSpot's INBOUND 2014 conference wrapped up yesterday in Boston, ending a week of events punctuated by higher-than-anticipated attendance and the company’s announcement that it would be launching a new sales platform. It includes a free CRM and what the company calls a “sales acceleration product” called Sidekick.

Keeping Up with Customers in a Cross Channel World

2014-18-September-Running.jpgA decade ago, it would have been safe to assume that you were reading this through an internet browser. Gathering data on your reading habits was fairly straightforward in those days because your browser yielded information that was relatively complete, especially when you consider the rather small universe of digital media then.

Times have changed. Today, the browser is just one of many places where customer behaviors and interactions can be captured. As the universe of channels, touch points, and devices expands, so has the browser’s importance begun to shrink. Brand marketers who won the battle for the browser were the biggest winners in the past. Today, and in the future, the successful brand marketers will be those who move beyond the browser and follow their customers into a cross channel world.

Use Human Data to Provide True B2B Personalization

2014-18-September-Crowds.jpgAn enormous shift is occurring in how B2B customers think about engagement and relationships. Customers expect marketers to achieve relevance by providing personalized communications based on their individual preferences, rather than continuing with irrelevant “spray and pray” marketing blasts. It’s this new way of thinking that’s unlocking the true potential of human data.

Three Tips For a Bang-Up Blog

2014-17-September-Firecracker.jpg

Looking to get the most bang for your blog?

Follow the three-step playbook created by Anum Hussain, a growth marketer for HubSpot's inbound sales division, created after staring down the daunting challenge of creating a new blog HubSpot’s sales acceleration product, Sidekick. 

It's not enough just to have a blog, she said, you've got to create the right one.

Content Is the Foundation of the Buyer's Journey

2014-16-September-Toward-Los-Angeles.jpgCompanies that are serious about the user experience on their website should already be thinking about buyer personas and the buyer’s journey, two of the most important components of website strategy.

Customer Journeys Trump the Traditional Sales Cycle

2014-15-September-Rock-Paper-Scissors.jpgWhile pointless debate continues in organizations as to who “owns” the customer experience (the customer, of course!), the responsibility for nurturing and shepherding the continuous customer experience belongs to all teams that impact customers. At the core, much of the work should be accomplished by strong, continuously evolving collaborations between marketing and sales. Unfortunately in many companies there are still ridiculous and harmful walls between sales and marketing -- and a lot of political nonsense, mainly tied to the "blame game" when forecasts aren’t met and deals aren’t closed.

In reality marketing and sales have intertwined roles for engendering positive outcomes from customer journeys, whether they realize it or not.

HubSpot Co-Founder on Growth, Inbound Marketing

digital marketing, HubSpot Co-Founder on Growth, Inbound Marketing Concept

HubSpot's time is now. At least for being in the news.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider has its annual conference next week. It filed for an IPO last month.

It released its 2014 State of Inbound Report this week. It was named a "cool vendor in CRM" by Gartner in April.

Oh, and Shah and fellow HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan just released the second edition of their book, "Inbound Marketing."

Now HubSpot wants to raise $100 million in its IPO filing.

What's on the mind of the HubSpotters these days as they remain hot in the industry? CMSWire caught up this week with Dharmesh Shah, chief technology officer and co-founder of the platform.

5 Ways to Get Personal with Real Time Marketing Tools

2014-12-September-Nose.jpgDigital marketers have an evolving arsenal of tools and technologies at their disposal to glean business intelligence, create targeted messages and produce stellar digital experiences -- whether online or in a retail outlet.

Biometric facial recognition, digital signage and customized displayed information are being used to better define the needs of customers, personalize the customer experience and increase brand awareness, loyalty and sales.

The Consumer Journey: Content as Compass

2014-12-September-Blindfold.jpgContent marketing, when done right, should guide consumers based on their specific needs, buying preferences and online behavior. Much has been said about the quality of today’s content, but not enough has been said about how well you understand the consumer compass -- a specific interest combined with level of intent. Only then can you determine what content to serve, how to serve it and when.

Provenir-KBM Promise Real Time Customer Engagement

This customer engagement thing continues to catch on.

Boston-based Provenir and KBM Group, out of Richardson, Texas, have entered into a partnership that company executives say will boost KBM's IMPACT 360 Consumer Engagement Platform (CEP). 

Provenir helps agencies make the "transformation" toward digital engagement by engaging consumers one at a time to "quickly dream up creative experiences and put them into action," according to Jeff Nicholson, vice president of marketing at Provenir.

It's all about "customer journeys" today where as in the "old days" it was "campaigns," he added.

"Today it's what kind of experience do we want our consumers to feel," Nicholson told CMSWire. "How should it feel as they interact with your brand on your mobile site? How should that connect with their experience in-store?"

Customer-Centric Content Journeys: Your Duct Tape Is Showing

2014-10-September-Quick-Fix.jpgGetting the right content to the right person at the right time was first evangelized by the programmatic ad buying platforms. It was a vision that stemmed directly from a doe-eyed interpretation of their capabilities.

Now content marketers have latched on to the same philosophy, without fully appreciating an important distinction: Content marketing, unlike ad buying, generally assumes an active and intelligent customer who wants to educate him or herself (not simply a target for the right sales reminder at the right time).

Use Purpose-Driven Content to Create Buyer Experiences

2014-09-September-Buy-Now.jpgIt’s no secret that the information pools that buyers can tap are overflowing. It’s time, however, that we start looking at the customer buying process with a different perspective and begin focusing on purpose-driven content that creates distinguishing experiences for audiences.

Forrester Names Best in Cross-Channel Campaign Management

digital marketing, Forrester Tabs Its Best for Cross-Channel Campaign Management

Forrester Research has tabbed its software leaders for cross-channel campaigns, and it isn't a spot match of rival Gartner's.

Adobe, Infor, RedPoint Global and SAS Institute lead the pack for Forrester in its Wave for Cross-Channel Campaign Management for the third quarter, and IBM, Teradata and SAP are "strong performers."

Forrester also reported that Pitney Bowes and SDL "contend on certain capabilities but lag overall."

In its own multi-channel industry report -- its Magic Quadrant in May -- Gartner picked Adobe, IBM, SAS, Teradata and Oracle as leaders in the research firm's latest multichannel campaign management (MCCM) analysis. 

Gartner also named SAP a challenger and rated Salesforce, Marketo and Sitecore as visionaries. For niche players, Gartner selected Experian, SDL, Infor, RedPoint Global, Selligent, Pitney Bowes and Zeta Interactive.

As companies "struggle to consistently communicate with their customers across channels," according to Forrester in its recent Wave, "they need improved abilities to connect inbound and outbound campaigns and make decisions in one channel based on intelligence in another."

Bring Your Brand to Life with Interactive Storybuilding

2014-08-September-Play.jpgFrom desktop, to mobile, to tablet, to TV, to even over-the-top platforms, consumers are forcing advertisers to scramble in order to keep their media strategy on par with their behavior -- and tell a better story. Because whether it’s a book, a movie or a marketing campaign, great storytelling will always resonate with audiences. However, today’s consumers don’t want to just hear a story, they want to interact with it.

TIBCO Banks on Personalization in Digital Marketing Dive

TIBCO is keeping its "Switzerland of technology" theme going with its latest product release -- this time in the digital marketing arena.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider released today TIBCO Engage, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketing application that officials say is the market's first true real-time, personalized marketing experience across any channel.

And in the spirit of the "buy versus build marketing cloud debate," TIBCO said this is not an inflexible lock-you-in cloud platform.

"We're not saying throw away your e-commerce systems or your point of sale or even your CRM," Leandro Perez, director of product marketing at TIBCO, told CMSWire. "We're going to come in and connect to those systems. We're not locking people in. We're adding some key functionality they don't have but also leveraging the technology they already have. We're agnostic."

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