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Online Marketing News & Analysis

Enterprise Marketers Still Struggling with Tech Integration

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This part goes with that one. Now that one connects there. Wrap that one into the next one. And plug it in over there.

It's a minefield of digital marketing technology for enterprises — and a challenge they haven't quite mastered yet.

Teradata Corporation learned this in its survey of 400 enterprise digital marketers and subsequent report, "Enterprise Priorities in Digital Marketing," which hit the streets today.

Digital marketers confirmed "that there’s a long way to go in terms of integration, of both data and of technologies," Michael Lummus, director of digital marketing solutions of Teradata Marketing Applications, told CMSWire.

Act-On Marries Marketing Automation, Web Phone Calls

digital marketing, Act-On Software Marries Marketing Automation with Web Phone Calls

People still make phone calls?

Act-On Software believes so. And the marketing automation provider is teaming up with a company whose platform tracks calls from websites and provides call analytics.

Act-On and Ifbyphone partner today in a merger where marketing automation meets call tracking. The companies announced the news today at the SMX East conference in New York. The merger enables Act-On's digital marketing customers, officials from each company say, to leverage Ifbyphone’s data to track calls from website visitors.

How to Build a Content Marketing Program from Scratch

2014-30-September-Start-Up.jpgA lot can change in a year. One year ago, I was the lone attendee from SAP at Content Marketing World 2013. We were looking for a way to create content that would resonate with our target audience and a strategy that would align with our goals.

Starting a successful content marketing initiative is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming undertaking. There are different ways to go about creating a program and the key is finding what will work best for your business.

No More Messaging in the Dark: Get Sales + Marketing on the Same Page

2014-26-September-Flashlight-Reading.jpgGiven the rise of marketing automation software over the past five years, today's B2B sales funnel is half illuminated and half in the dark. Sales and marketing teams have near-perfect visibility into how leads interact in the top half of the funnel and the insights needed to improve the marketing process, yet they remain blind to how content is supporting sales reps in the bottom half.

Storytelling in the Mobile Millisecond

2014-25-September-Next-Stop.jpg“Wrong number,” says a familiar voice.

Lost my wallet, found my desires.

Sounded much better in my head.

I should have brought a GPS.

What do these sentences have in common? They’re all six words long. And they all tell a story. With forums and Tumblrs devoted to it, and anthologies published each year, you’ve likely heard of the six word story phenomenon. It’s a deceptively simple exercise: tell a story in just six words or less. And it’s captured a huge following of writers and readers who love seeing just how much punch can be packed in one brief sentence.

B2B Buyers Need Great Content, Not Fireworks

2014-24-September-M-Mouse-Razzle-Dazzle.jpgFrom a host of breathless blog posts and enraptured articles, we all know what a B2C customer experience is supposed to look like: the customer enters a store and is immediately whisked away to a world of personalized activities that enhance the buyer’s connection to the seller. We often hear how this customer should be “delighted” or “enchanted.” It sounds a lot more like a Disneyland attraction than a shopping experience.

The B2B customer has a customer experience, too -- but it’s based on other considerations. B2B buyers don’t need immersion or enchantment: they have something they need to buy to keep their businesses running and profitable. They want to sustain their business, not be immersed in someone else’s.

Just the same, they have a customer experience. And if you’re paying attention to the way buyers are buying, it should be clear that the experience starts long before they make contact with your sales staff.

Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Gets Personal with Apps

2014-23-September-Marc-Benioff.jpgSalesforce officials are in Indianapolis this week at its Connections 2014 conference promoting the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. 

The latest addition -- Journey Builder for Apps -- helps users deliver personalized customer journeys directly from mobile apps, they said. Today they announced it also allows customers to use the Salesforce CRM platform to connect the customer journey across sales, service, marketing and communities. 

It's about the ability to "move me along that journey with content that's relevant to me," as Salesforce Chief Marketing Officer Lynn Vojvodich said this morning at the 8,000-person Indianapolis show.

Personalized Content: Nice in Theory, Challenging in Practice

2014-23-September-Cookie-Cutter.jpgAmid the intense focus on vehicles for marketing -- social media, omnichannel merchandising and what have you -- heightened interest in content and its role in marketing is a welcome development. Perhaps content marketing hasn’t taken center stage before because everyone does it, and always has. If what you tell or show prospective customers has always been part of your marketing efforts, what has changed to justify the increased interest?

While the goals and concepts of content marketing have remained the same, the evolution of technology and the internet have largely taken over media and delivery channels, changing the execution of those concepts in ways that are forcing a radical rethinking of how best to engage rapidly changing target audiences.

Why Agile As We Know It Will Disappear

2014-22-September-BackFlip.jpgSomeday, Agile as we know it will disappear. It won’t be because everyone will give up on sprints and story points. It won’t be because some new idea blows it all away. Tomorrow’s Agile will be fundamentally different, because it will be just that -- fundamental.

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

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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.

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