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Sdl News & Analysis

SDL Will Consolidate Its Marketing Cloud in 2015

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At a time when its larger rivals are building up their marketing clouds, SDL is planning to consolidate its cloud in January to just four product groups from the current seven.

The shift in strategy follows a turnaround year for the UK-based customer experience management company, which began 2014 with a major restructuring that is now paying dividends. 

SDL only adopted its focus on customer experience 10 months ago, but is now boasting of record revenue. Executives said plans for the coming year include doubling the global sales team, launching a major brand advertising campaign and, possibly, making new investments in digital agencies and social media.

Discussion Point: Omnichannel Marketing in the 2014 Holiday Season

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Marketing technology vendors love to preach the value of sending consumers personalized offers on the device they're using at just the right moment.

Though we're only emerging from the developmental infancy of omnichannel marketing, several companies offer software and services that promise to do just that. Chief marketing officers at major retailers are spending more of their budgets on collecting data, analyzing actions and monitoring social media -- all with an eye toward increasing sales in their hyper-competitive sector.

The One Gift Holiday Shoppers Really Want

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The one thing holiday shoppers will be looking for this year is more consistency in their shopping experience.

This won't shock savvy marketers with a laser focus on customer-centricity, but a new survey has found 90 percent of shoppers want their experience to be consistent across mobile, desktop and tablet devices. That's a 17 percent jump from last year.

Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

customer experience, Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

If it hasn't sunk in yet for digital experience providers, let's remind them: Forrester sees no leaders in digital experience delivery platforms.

The results came from the research giant's first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. So why no leader? 

CMSWire asked Forrester Wave authors Stephen Powers, vice president and research director, and analysts Anjali Yakkundi and Mark Grannan.

Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience Delivery

customer experience, Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience DeliveryWho's driving the digital experience train today?

No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

In a 'Troubled' WCM Sector, Analysts See 3 Innovators

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Fireworks may explode in the night sky as the US celebrates the Fourth of July weekend, but things are much quieter in the web content management market.

The frenetic pace of nine-figure WCM acquisitions of the past four years ended before Christmas, and the once-deep river of venture capital funding for fledgling players ran dry long ago.

Market shifts and technology trends -- the somewhat surprising strength of mobile, the stampede to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a growing infatuation with digital marketing -- were missed by many players, leaving the field "fragmented" and "troubled," according to fresh research by Matt Mullen and Alan Pelz-Sharpe at 451 Research.

A Cheaper Alternative to Marketing Analytics

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If 2012 was the year of the cloud and 2013 saw broad acceptance of big data, 2014 could go down as the year of cheaper analytics.

The year has been filled with announcements of new features from scores of vendors of all sizes, from SaaS providers like Gainsight and gShift up to pricier systems from Adobe, IBM, SDL and Oracle.

The latest example comes from Rival IQ, an 18-month-old, seed-funded startup in Seattle that already claims thousands of users, including "a healthy community of paid users," according to CMO Margaret Dawson — aka "Chief Marketing Badass, Fountain of Sarcasm."

More on Millennials: Speak the Right Language

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Ever feel like something gets lost in translation whenever you market to millennials? There's a good chance you're right.

A new study of 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36) found 32 percent of those in English-speaking countries prefer a language other than English. And 46 percent said they're more likely to make a purchase if the information is presented in their chosen language.

The study, released Monday by SDL, is the fourth report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series is titled “There is Only One Language”, and features results from SDL’s global survey of more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36). We shared another report from the series earlier this week. You can read the full study here.

Better Get Social If You Market Content to Millennials

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It's official – social media has overtaken email as the mechanism for sharing content among millennials. That's the word in a new survey from SDL, a provider of content management, analytics, social intelligence and translation.

The global survey, "Content Finds the Customer," is the third in a series from SDL called "Five Truths for Marketers." It found that six pieces of content are now being shared through social media to every five pieces shared through email.

It is yet another piece of evidence that marketers should emphasize social when targeting content at millennials. Social networks are also now the dominant means of content discovery for that age group — over customizable newsfeeds, email and search engines.

SDL's Paige O'Neill: Customer Experience Getting Cheaper

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If you've been paying attention to the customer experience management arena over the past two years -- and what marketer hasn't -- you've probably noticed the tools have grown far more sophisticated and far less expensive.

That helps to explain why 750 marketing practitioners signed up for SDL's Innovate conference in San Francisco, where CMO Paige O'Neill hosted three days of activities around CXM from training sessions and keynotes to consultations and, of course, parties.

O'Neill has been at SDL for only about eight months, joining the UK-based company after a 3.5-year stint as vice president for marketing at Aprimo before its acquisition by Teradata. Before that, she was vice president for marketing at Aravo.

Discussion Point: Does Marketing Automation Enhance CX?

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The terms "marketing automation" and "customer experience" trip off the tongue of the modern marketer with increasing frequency. But it's not always clear how the former enhances the latter.

We took that question to several marketing practitioners who were in San Francisco for last week's Innovate conference, which focused on customer experience management across all channels.

The Question

How is marketing automation changing the customer experience for your customers?

Acquiring Customers Amid the Social Babble #SDLInnovate

You don't need to listen to 56 billion social conversations to build your business. You just need to hear the ones that matter.

That was the landscape  Liz High, vice president for global insights and analytics at SDL, explored at her company's Innovate event in San Francisco. More specifically, the workshop was titled: "Social Intelligence: Drive Customer Acquisition While Increasing Customer Spend." 

"When you think of social media, it's the most brilliant data set in the world," said High. "The whole way we think of social media is getting to the data that matters."

Dig into Your Data to Delight Your Customers #SDLInnovate

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When preaching the gospel of customer experience management, it helps if a CEO has transformed his own company as Mark Lancaster has changed SDL.

Lancaster opened his company's conference in San Francisco today -- the third in a series of five global events -- with a sermon on the importance of analyzing data to better understand and serve customers.

He began by noting he led SDL's own  "reinvention" in that area last year, building a company that now competes with a suite of products in analytics, social, documentation, campaign management, e-commerce, web, mobile and other areas.

SDL Boosts CX Cloud Offering with SDL Web

SDL says it has something better than "personalization" for marketers.

Calling it "context brokering," SDL says it now has the capabilities within its Customer Experience Cloud (CXC) offering to help businesses provide personal and contextualized interactive brand experiences for customers across all channels and devices. It does through its next release of SDL Web, the Web pillar of the CXC.

Mobile Marketing Gets Complicated - Again

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It seems most mobile marketers have arrived at the conclusion that "responsive design is just fine for now."

Well, maybe not.

Yes, it's easier and cheaper. But there's a growing consensus that apps must vary from desktop to tablet to phone. And now there are de riguer "contextual" considerations, like location, channel hopping, local time and language. In short, mobile marketing has again gotten very complicated, very quickly.

All this and more was the focus of an April 24 webinar produced by CMSWire and SDL. Lou Casal, senior director of product marketing for SDL, and the company's vice president for mobile, Phillip Clement. Together, they served-up a soup-to-nuts look at the factors that marketers need to consider to "Deliver Best in Class Mobile Customer Experiences."

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