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Web Experience News & Analysis

Don't Leave Money on the Table With Sales Slipups

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Are sales inefficiencies costing your company millions? A recent survey by Apttus and Adobe found many organizations polled admit to profit-eroding problems ranging from flawed sales processes, inaccurate quotes and inexact sales forecasts.

Most surprising? “Twenty-five percent of sales professionals could not say with confidence whether or not their company is successful – a shocking depiction of the siloed, disconnected nature of many companies,” says Elliott Yama, AVP of Best Practice and Knowledge Management for Apttus.

News Bites: B2B or Not 2B?

The latest in marketing, funding, analysis and liking from the Great White North, The Coffee Capitol, the Eureka State and Old Dominion.

Can't You Just Get Along? CIO, CMO = No Strong Bond

In a digital world, marketing and IT functions have become inextricably linked. But are the players in each space getting along?

Not necessarily, according to a 2014 Accenture Interactive report  that shows that chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) don’t always share a strong bond.

To create its 2014 report, “Cutting across the CMO-CIO divide: Digital drives a new wave of collaboration,” Accenture Interactive polled an international group of more than 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives. The results found that while the relationship between these the holders of these two job titles has improved considerably over the past few years, there remains room for improvement.

“While 43 percent of marketers and 50 percent of IT leaders think their relationship with the other has improved over the past year, less than one-quarter (23 percent) of marketers think the level of collaboration between CMOs and CIOs and their organizations is at or approaching the ‘right level’ now,” according to the report.

Digital Marketing's Easy, Until You Try It

2014-28-August-Rubiks-Cube.jpgDoes this sound familiar?

"Marketing is no longer an art; it has become a big data analytics engineering discipline where every marketing dollar can be optimized for maximum impact. All you need to do is give away a free version of your product and crank up the ______ <select one: ‘digital,’ ‘content,’ ‘social,’ or ‘automated’> marketing engine and you are good to go. Display ads to free users or offer a premium paid version of your product and you too will soon be able to sell your company to ______ <select one: ‘Google,’ ‘IBM,’ ‘Microsoft,’ or other company> and retire. Hire Millenials to feed this amazing new automated marketing. These folks totally ‘get’ the social stuff because they already spend all their waking moments on _______ <select one: ‘Facebook,’ ‘WhatsApp,’ ‘Instagram,’ ‘SnapChat’>.”

Unless you're completely off the grid you have surely seen some variation of this theme. Sounds great … if only it were this easy.

Should You Use LinkedIn to Build a Network or an Audience?

2014-27-August-LinkedIn-Head.jpgI’m not sure how to use LinkedIn anymore. I’m on LinkedIn all the time as a social marketer, and over the last year or so I’ve noticed some big changes to two basic aspects of how I think about LinkedIn … and they've left me scratching my head about my own approach.

Facebook Tackles Clickbait, Reels In Rockin' Headlines

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Facebook could be the ultimate social media party pooper. Earlier this month it shut the gates on ‘Likes’ and this week it's clamping down on funky, attention grabbing headlines, which fall under what Facebook describes as clickbait.

Flying in the face of about a gazillion years of best journalism practice, Facebook has decided that it will be cracking down on headlines that attract reader attention if Facebook believes the headline doesn’t truly reflect the content of the story.

ESPN Slam Dunks Its Public API

2014-26-August-In-The-Air.jpgSay it ain't so, Joe! API fans everywhere suffered a heartbreaking defeat when one of the most prominent public content APIs packed it in and said there might not be a next season.

Digital Marketing Consultant 'Lucky' As Napa Quake Rocks Home

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As a digital marketing consultant, Andreas Mueller-Schubert knows a bit about the technology revolution.

But around 3 a.m. this past Sunday morning in his Napa, Calif. home, technology was no help. It was him, his wife and two children and Mother Earth.

Mueller-Schubert and family live just 10 miles outside of the epicenter of the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked Northern California this past weekend, the largest in the Bay Area since 1989.

"Everyone was a little shocked. The kids haven't experienced anything like this," said Mueller-Schubert, a German-born digital marketing consultant for WSI Next Gen Marketing who lives with his wife Georgia, daughter, Annika, 20, and son Zachary, 19.

Everyone's OK -- but the family's home saw plenty of shattered glass and some damage in the garage.

Marketing Wisdom from Netflix's House of Cards

(8-26 UPDATE) If you're a digital marketer, odds are you didn't learn everything you needed to learn in kindergarten. Nope, you probably learned it from TV — that shining source of all modern wisdom.

In the past year, we've shared what marketers could learn from AMC's Breaking Bad and HBO's Game of Thrones. Now we're shifting the focus to the Netflix exclusive House of Cards, the drama that surprised many people by failing to win the big prize at this year's Emmy Awards. 

Monetate, a provider of marketing personalization solutions, is a fan, despite the show's surprisingly poor performance at the Emmys. In fact, the loss may even make the insight shared by the characters on the show all the more interesting.

Why? Because the true test of great marketing occurs not when situations unfold as expected but when they fall apart faster than a ball of string in the paws of a kitten.

Is It the Right Time for HubSpot's $100M IPO?

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Digital marketing technology is all the rage in the CRM space and HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah must believe Wall St. knows that.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider filed for an IPO late today hoping to raise as much as $100 million. It will trade as HUBS on the New York Stock Exchange.

The IPO market for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors is lukewarm at the moment. But investors like General Catalyst, which owns 27.1 percent of the company, and Matrix Partners, which owns 17.1 percent, must think that now is the time.

Move Over, Google AdWords?

Amazon may be trying to step on Google's online advertising toes.

The online web shopping giant is producing software for placing ads online much like its long-time cyber nemesis does so well with Google Adwords, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

What will they do? Replace ads on its own pages that Google owns with its own.

Marketing Automation: 3 Trends to Watch

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As of December 2013, 58 percent of all top performing companies were using marketing automation according to a Forrester report. That number has only increased since then. Why? Because automation’s benefits are impossible to ignore in the current marketing landscape.

Sophisticated, plugged-in customers require marketers to look at them as more than a catch-all audience. Regardless of what they’re buying, they want brands to provide truly unique journeys for them. And if you don’t deliver, then you’ll be tuned out, cast aside with the rest of the generic content they’re bombarded with.

Parents Aren't the Only Winners When Kids Return to School [Infographic]

2014-25-August-vintage-back-to-school.jpgAs a major office store so accurately suggested in a TV ad a few years ago, it's back to school season … the most wonderful time of year for parents everywhere.

But before the kids are back on the bus, crowded into classrooms and discovering all new reasons to whine and complain, parents have to engage in the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping.

While many parents look at back-to-school shopping as rituals in frustration, they are important drivers of revenue for companies and brands. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Back-to-School Survey, the average family with children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade will spend more than $669 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from the nearly $635 average last year.

Total spending on back to school will drop slightly to $26.5 billion because the survey found there are slightly fewer students in households this summer.

So what do marketers need to know?

Rocket Fuel to the Moon and Back

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Investors in ad-tech specialist Rocket Fuel have been on quite a thrilling ride. Drawn by the buzz of the company’s automated platform, which uses artificial intelligence and big data analytics to purchase ad spots on digital exchanges, traders last September rushed into the IPO: the stock was priced at $29 and opened at $59.95.

Rocket Fuel shares by late January were at a new post-IPO high of $71.89, a gain of 147 percent from the offering price. Today, they change hands at around $14.50.

So what caused Rocket Fuel to run out of gas?

Discussion Point: Can One Firm Provide Complete Digital Experience?

discussion-point

The complete digital experience from one digital provider. Ah, sounds refreshing, doesn't it?

Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe being locked into one vendor sounds scary.

The truth is -- most experts think the industry is far from having an all-in-one.

Forrester Research reported this in its first Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms last month. It determined no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

Heck, when even vendors admit they don't offer the complete digital package, you know it's the truth.

"Our end goal is a common user interface for everything end-to-end," one software company product manager told Forrester researchers. "Currently we only have that for the first third of the journey."

We asked three professionals in the digital industry to weigh in on this question of "all-one-in."

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