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Web Experience News & Analysis

IBM and Fluid Take Watson's Big Data Smarts Shopping

Michael Rhodin  IBM Watson Group with Fluid Expert Shopper  app and  Brooke Aguilar VP Global Business Development Fluid.jpgFor those whose only association with IBM's Watson is its $1 million win on Jeopardy, that could be about to change. IBM announced Tuesday that it will partner with digital retail developer Fluid to turn Watson into ... a personal shopper.

Unfortunately you won't see Watson trying on lipstick in the aisles of your local shopping mall any time soon, but Watson will power Fluid's shopping advisor to offer personalized shopping tips.

How One UK Company is 'Reinventing Commerce'

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Philip Letts like to say he is "reinventing how businesses do commerce." He's CEO of UK-based blur Group — an "s-commerce company," as he explains it. In this case, the "s" stands for business services. The company developed a platform for buying business services.

Letts said his company's Global Services Exchange uses its proprietary platform to help about 45,000 business users in 145 countries buy, sell and deliver core business services and take advantage of Software-as-a-Transaction to pay for these projects.

The company was founded in 2006 and the Global Services Exchange was formally launched in January 2010. Back then, Letts said, just around three projects per month were submitted. Now, nearly 300 projects start on the Exchange each month.

Customers include Danone, Broadridge, Exceed, HCA, Momentive, Red Commerce, the Financial Times, Berlitz, Butlins, GE Healthcare and Tyco.

Want to know more?

Banish Boring: 3 Steps to High-Performing Partner Portals

Banish Boring: 3 Steps to High-Performing Channel PortalsThe term “portal” does not cause hearts to skip a beat. Almost two decades of boring, barely-functional portals have done immeasurable harm to the term; their intended audiences ignore them, and the people who manage them see them as busy work.

But if you sell through indirect channels, the portal is the key to growing and boosting the productivity of your channel program. If it’s being developed and nurtured the right way, it can be a one-stop self-service site that answers partners questions about marketing, training, technical support and more.

Consortium Calls Salesforce1 Platform 'Force for Creativity'

customer experience, SalesForce1 Platform Consortium Expects to be a Force

Three software companies have formed what they call the first organized forum for businesses built natively on the Salesforce1 CRM Platform. 

Apttus, Kenandy and ServiceMax have formed Force United, which is designed to help companies by leveraging the Salesforce1 Platform.

The companies want to promote Salesforce1 as a "force for being more creative with software across all industries, while also learning how software can promote goodness."

As part of their vision, they’re also announcing an annual invite-only CIO Innovators Summit on July 16 in Menlo Park, Calif.

CMSWire talked to Stacey Epstein, chief marketing officer for ServiceMax, about the Salesforce-based union.

Brands Need 'Programmatic Creative' to Keep Up with Ad Tech

2014-22-April-advertising.jpg

With the rapid adoption of programmatic technology there has been much more efficient ways to buy and sell online advertising. About 85 percent of advertisers and 72 percent of publishers participate in programmatic, a number that is expected to continue to grow even more rapidly in the next two years, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

But an unexpected problem has arisen because of this growth. The creative portion of the advertising process is having trouble keeping up. Many advertisers are struggling to take advantage of programmatic technologies because they don’t have required creative messages in nonstandard sizes and formats.

The reality is we need programmatic creative automation to fully leverage programmatic ad exchanges.

Digital Clarity Group Warns CEM Vendors to 'Transform or Die'

2014-22-April-scott-liewehr

There is a ring of truth to the introduction to Digital Clarity Group’s (DCG) latest research on  European web content and customer experience servicer providers  — even if it is a little dramatic. In it, Scott Liewehr, president and principal analyst at DCG, stressed that this is the age of digital disruption,.

Organizations have to transform they way to work or die, he continued.

He's not the first person to make such an argument on behalf of customer experience and engagement (CEM) vendors and  service providers. But he is among a minority that can support his argument with research on 45 companies.

Hippo's CMS Update Includes Advanced Channel Management

web cms, Advanced Channel Management Highlights Hippo's New CMS 7.9

Hippo's latest update to its web content management system (CMS) platform promises to “wow” customers with enhanced channel management, personalization, security functions and web navigation.

Hippo launched version 7.9 of its CMS today. The update includes a new Advanced Channel Management feature and the introduction of CKEditor, SCXML Workflows and Secure Content Replication.

Sonja Wraith, vice president of marketing for the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based open source CMS provider, told CMSWire that the new version offers greater flexibility and more marketing capabilities — features essential to solid customer experience functionality on the enterprise level.

The Problem with Lead Scoring

Marketing automation helped marketers gain a deeper understanding of their target buyer and develop the right messaging, calls to actions and campaigns. But the real big win to come from marketing automation was supposed to be lead scoring.

Lead scoring promised an end to sales’ perennial complaint that marketing wastes their time with leads that weren’t ready to buy. Finally, there would be a system that measured what prospects did and determined when leads were ready for sales. Savvy marketers involved sales in defining how a lead was measured and when to pass it along. The promise was that only those leads that met a predefined threshold were passed on to sales. Eureka! Finally, a definitive way of measuring marketing’s impact on the pipeline.

Or so we thought.

4 New Reports, 4 Realities About Mobile In-Store Customers

2014-22-April-sorry-we-are-openIn-store customers are local, social and mobile ­— and the sponsors of four new customer experience reports claim they have the data brands and companies need to better understand these realities.

Venuelabs and the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) today released the 2014 Mobile Consumer Benchmarks, a series of reports for key industry verticals including retail, restaurants and hospitality. Now in their second year, these benchmarks focus on mobile in-store customers.

Asif Khan, president of the Toronto-based LBMA told CMSWire this morning the reports are intended to help businesses with multiple locations such as retailers and restaurant chains turn "big data into business insights."

"We are unlocking the ability for brands to understand their customer engagement on a location-by-location basis as opposed to one giant national sentiment," he said.

Future Talk: Blab Updates Tool to Predict Online Conversations

2014-21-April-tomorrow.jpgPredicting the future is no longer limited to seers, mothers and the US National Security Agency (NSA). Now anyone — or any company — can forecast what people will be talking about tomorrow, according to a Seattle-based start-up that specializes in "predictive social intelligence."

The company, which released the second iteration of its product today, doesn't rely on magical premonitions, intuition or manipulations. Instead, Blab applies "proprietary technology and big data processing to contextualize and predict tomorrow’s online conversations today."

It's sort of like having a crystal ball, only with less worry about shattered glass. Or something like that.

Medallia Embeds Customer into Business Conversations

customer experience, Medallia Embeds Customer into Business Conversations

The 2010s have been kind to Medallia.

The 400-employee Palo Alto, Calif.-based customer experience management provider quadrupled both its employees and revenue, secured a major capital investment and scored some big clients.

And it’s been cited by at least one major research firm as a leader: In 2011, Forrester highlighted Medallia and MarketTools as leaders of the enterprise feedback management (EFM) pack because of their comprehensive solutions for managing Voice of Customer (VoC) programs. 

“We want to set a precedent in organizations that the customer should be part of every conversation,” said Michelle de Haaff, vice president of Marketing for Medallia. “We embed the customer in every decision a business can make.”

3 Ways Social Media is Changing Online Content

2014-21-April-online sharing

Online content helps businesses and brands achieve business objectives. Until relatively recently, that content was centered around websites. But how has the growth of social media changed the equation?

Ryan Skinner, senior analyst for content marketing at Forrester Research, told CMSWire that one of the biggest changes from social media is "the idea of content as conversation." He cited New York University professor of media Clay Shirky, who has noted that the ability to communicate broadly has shifted from "an instrument of power" to "an instrument for everyone."

Digital is Diffuse, Physical is Solid

One of the key differences between digital and physical is that digital is more adaptable and networked. Thus, digital changes at a more rapid speed, breaking old connections and creating new ones. 

7 Vendors Top the Forrester Wave for Customer Service Solutions

At a time when seven out of 10 online shoppers complain of unsatisfactory experiences, which vendors stand out as offering possible solutions? The authors of the latest Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Customers Q2 2014 (registration required) rated customer service vendors against 83 criteria and identified seven leaders.

According to the report, the vendors with the best strategy pursued excellence in a limited number of areas and avoided over diversified, Jack-of-All-Trade scenarios.

This Week: Microsoft Enters Marketing + IT Preps for IoT Assault

Integration Risk for IBM?
A direct competitor has some direct comments on IBM's acquisition of Silverpop and how it may lead to integration struggles. IBM, meanwhile, remains confident.

Microsoft Plans Marketing Splash
Microsoft's director of worldwide product marketing said the company is going to capture marketers’ imaginations with its new platform.

Life in Mobile Enterprise
We continued to examine the mobile enterprise this week, discussing among other topics IBM's take on becoming mobile first and the mobile mind shift.

Why SharePoint is Hard
Deploying SharePoint requires organizational discipline. Unfortunately, most organizations have historically lacked the discipline needed.

Get Smarter in Tech
Check out Gartner's top 10 technologies that make governments smart.

Prep IT for Internet of Things
IT departments will be on the front lines of the IoT assault, especially when it comes to configuring, managing and updating all the devices that need to communicate and interact.

Build a Thriving Customer Community to Realize the Community Effect
Become a customer experience leader with the help of your customer community
Download White Paper

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