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Online Marketing News & Analysis

Thankful for Louis Prima, Customer Honesty, Personalization and More

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Family and health. Are there any more reasons to be thankful this time of year?

Um, yes.

OK, the first two are the most important. But I gotta say, I'm starting to be more and more thankful for other things. The ability to switch from rapper Pitbull's Pandora station to trumpeter Louis Prima's in seconds. The new Taco Bell breakfast menu (no shame here; it's delicious). And the San Francisco Giants giving my beloved Red Sox good players.

Techies are feeling thankful this time of year, too. So are digital marketers, as you'll see in another story published here today. We caught up with some tech managers and CEOs about what's making them thankful this year:

Focus Your Content Marketing on the Digital Dialogue

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To stand out and be relevant in the digital world, you need content. Sounds simple, but the reality is very different. According to the Content Management Institute, marketers in businesses both small and large face challenges that range from producing sufficient quantities of engaging content, lack of integration across marketing, budget restraints, insufficient executive buy-in, limited measurement capabilities and skillset shortages.

6 Things We Learned About Facebook's First Intern

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First, the good stuff.

Mark Zuckerberg has no secrets beyond what the public already knows about him.

The movie, "The Social Network" was BS. 

Justin Timberlake made Sean Parker seem like a rockstar when he's really just a nerd.

And the jury's out whether Darian Shirazi, Facebook's first intern, was portrayed in the movie.

(Ah. The self-indulgent reporter Facebook stuff is out of the way.)  

We caught up with former Facebooker Shirazi, now 27, to talk about the marketing software industry.

His two-year run as intern and employee at Facebook behind him, Shirazi went on to invest in several technologies before launching three years ago what's now Radius, a San Francisco B2B real-time marketing intelligence platform company that's up to about 60 employees.

Here's what we learned about Shirazi and his company: 

Chicken or Egg: Passive Marketing or Passive Consumers?

2014-25-November-Chickens.jpgWhen it comes to passive interactions between consumers and advertisers who’s to blame? Today’s consumers consistently show a willingness to engage and participate with brand campaigns, so long as they’re convenient and tailored to their tastes. Nevertheless, a majority of advertisers are still deploying marketing tactics that don’t compel this type of user behavior. And even fewer seem to be aware of the different nuances demanded by different devices. The proverbial one-size-fits-all approach simply conditions consumers to approach engagement with brands cautiously.

B2B Organizations Still Not Sold on Social Selling

Most B2B organizations do not embrace social as a legitimate sales channel. And even less are offering training on social selling to sales professionals.

Those are some of the findings of PeopleLinx's November survey of 254 B2B professionals on how they and their companies view social in the sales cycle. PeopleLinx offers a social selling platform.

Only 22 percent of organizations encourage sales professionals to use social as one of their channels, and only 11 percent of companies offer training on social selling.

"I think that tells the whole story," said Michael Idinopulos, chief marketing officer for Philadelphia-based PeopleLinx. "There is a real opportunity here. A lot of research says that sales reps that use social selling outperform their peers, but companies are not yet leading the charge with their employees."

Salesforce Social Studio Targets Organizational Silos

Salesforce unveiled its Social Studio marketing platform inside its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud in May, which brought together $3.4 billion worth of acquisitions in a platform for social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics.

The platform gets a boost this month as the San Francisco CRM giant released enhancements to its Social Studio that include the ability to deliver messages to customers across the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud from one platform.

Would You Pay to Not See Google Ads?

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Who would have thought it? Google will now let you pay to avoid seeing its ads. Through a new service called Contributor, launched last night, Internet users can opt-out of Google ads for a fee of $1 to $3 dollars a month.

Participants will see a thank you message instead of the ads on participating websites, including Mashable, ScienceDaily and The Onion.

Positive and Perplexing Trends in Mobile Marketing #incitesummit

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The burgeoning communications sector for marketers is mobile applications. However, the popularity of the smartphone has fueled growth in other more conventional communications arenas, particularly email.

Dave Hendricks, president of LiveIntent, a New York City-based real time advertising email marketing company, recalled that before the smartphone, individuals used email almost exclusively at their desktop at work and at their computers at home. However, they were offline on the way home from work — or while they were at lunch or dinner, with the exception of Blackberry users.

“Since the rise of the smartphone and the tablet, email has become the number one thing done on any smartphone device,” Hendricks said. He said that 25 minutes to 28 minutes of every hour by mobile users is spent in respect to emails.

Hendricks was one of a host of participants at last week’s “The Incite Summit: East” conference at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. Incite Marketing and Communications of Hoboken, N.J. hosted the two-day event.

For Adobe's Mobile Marketing, It's Location, Location, Location

Adobe's enhancing digital marketing mobile opportunities -- internally and externally.

Adobe officials call the new capabilities, launched today, "Intelligent Location Marketing." Marketers can engage customers with in-app messages using technology that detects where they are, or iBeacons. The real-time engagement activities can be followed with email campaigns that leverage intelligence about a customer’s past interactions.

Loni Stark, director of product and industry marketing for Adobe's digital marketing solutions, told CMSWire that it's about making in-person interactions more relevant based on location and the context of the individual.

Marketers Must Ask 'Am I Still Relevant?' #incitesummit

At a conference that focused on the discussion of the future of print, digital and mobile marketing, marketing executive Ash EiDifrawi seemed to capture the tremendous daily pressure and responsibilities marketing professionals face in the fast-changing, multi-faceted and highly competitive battle for the attention of the American consumer.

“The question you have to wake up everyday and ask yourself is: ‘Am I still relevant.’”

EiDifrawi told attendees at the Incite Summit: East conference in Manhattan last week that marketers must constantly review their product and marketing relevancy on a multitude of platforms. During a session entitled “Have a Look At This: Make Content That Stands Out,” he noted that one day a marketer could feel he is “on top of the world” only to find the next day “that 100 people have your idea and you are irrelevant.” 

The Future of Marketing is to be Useful

Some years ago I listened as a senior marketing executive from a technology company discussed a product their customers hated. Sales were miserable because the product was deeply flawed. “As marketers we felt that it was us that failed,” she said to me in a rather embarrassed voice. “Because we felt it was our job to convince the customer that it was a great product, even though we all knew it was a dud.” 

Marty Shindler: The Digital Revolution is Over

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Tell Marty Shindler about digital anything and you'll probably make him smile. As he told CMSWire, "I chuckle when I hear the word 'digital' to describe a process." 

Everything is digital now, he explained. 

Shindler — who describes himself as a consultant, thought leader, forward thinking executive and sought after speaker — should know. For more than 30 years, he's been a consultant to creative, technology and emerging companies on business, economic, strategic, organizational and operational matters. 

From 1993 to 1996, after stints as an accountant, controller and vice president of finance at various companies, he landed a job as vice president of sales and marketing at Kodak’s digital start-up, Cinesite — largely because of his knowledge of the digital process for production, post production and visual effects. 

It was during this time that Shindler said he saw a market opportunity with the many emerging digital start-up facilities in the entertainment industry. So in 1996, along with his wife, he founded, The Shindler Perspective, an Encino, Calif.-based consultancy focused on companies in the entertainment and entertainment technology industries.

SAP, Facebook Up the Ante on Personalized Marketing #SAPtd

OK, we were a little off. When IBM and Twitter partnered last month in what they called a landmark connection for enterprise data analysis, we figured more would come.

"What's next?" we asked. "Oracle and Facebook? SAP and LinkedIn? Microsoft and Pinterest?"

So maybe we had the companies mixed up. But we knew something was coming. And it's SAP and Facebook.

The enterprise software giant connected with the social media king today in a partnership that allows SAP to combine insight with customer engagement by using Facebook’s scalable Custom Audiences targeting capability. This enables marketers, officials at the companies claim, to use SAP solutions to reach customers on Facebook.

How to Become a Best-In-Class Content Marketer

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B2B marketers with documented content marketing strategies consider their organizations more effective at content marketing, and can better track ROI over those with verbal or no strategies, according to the latest research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). 

And although an encouraging 83 percent of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, only 35 percent have it written down, which means that a majority of those surveyed are missing out on the benefits that come with being a Best in Class B2B Content Marketer, the research revealed.

The study, 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, was sponsored by Brightcove and conducted in conjunction with MarketingProfs.

Sitecore's New Experience Database Collects, Connects Data

To borrow a phrase from defending Super Bowl champion coach Pete Carroll, Sitecore was "pumped and jacked" at its annual conference in September when it previewed Version 8 of its web content management system (CMS).

Meanwhile, it quietly released a softer update, Sitecore 7.5, which introduces an Experience Database (xDB) that is designed to help end-users make immediate use of customer data.

"The big change  with 7.5 is the ability to collect and connect customer experience data at scale," said Mark Floisand, vice president of marketing for Mill Valley, Calif.-based Sitecore. "When I say collect and connect I mean gathering information from both within Sitecore and other systems. We're aggregating that information down to the individual level so marketers are able to effectively have a single view of the customer."

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