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Web Experience News & Analysis

A Closer Look at Native Advertising

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Native advertising hit its stride last year. “Paid posts,” which gained popularity on new media platforms like Buzzfeed and Business Insider, started popping up in venerable publishers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And big brands have jumped on these sponsored content opportunities, including Dell and Shell, who have both invested in the creation of native advertising units within The New York Times.

How Technology Can Fuel Your Content Marketing #ContentTECH

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Marketers interested in learning about how technology can help with their content marketing efforts got a little help this week from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and ContentTECH 2015.

Hosted by CMI, ContentTECH is a one-day virtual conference, complete with live online sessions, a virtual exhibit hall, live chats, networking opportunities and even conference prizes.

Sessions and live chats covered topics such as developing unified strategies between marketing and technology, the role of content in delivering the customer experience and making sense of technology and humanity.

Who Wants to Be the 'Getty Images of the Instagram' Generation?

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A crowdsourced, stock-image platform launched today, aiming to connect advertisers and content marketers. Twenty20, a Marina del Rey, Calif.-based provider, wants to become the "Getty Images of the Instagram generation."

Backed by an $8 million funding round led by Canaan Partners, the company launches out of beta today with a "mobile-oriented, crowdsourced approach to stock imagery." 

"We launched Twenty20 in 2013 with the goal of connecting digital creatives in search of authentic, real-world imagery for their marketing and advertising campaigns with content from mobile photographers all over the world," Matt Munson, founder and CEO of Twenty20, told CMSWire.

"Mobile has changed the way we see the world, and creatives are looking for content that reflects this to their consumers. Original, user-generated content allows brands to better engage and connect with their audiences, and Twenty20 offers the largest catalog of that content."

CMSWire Tweet Jam: The Future of Digital Experience #CXMChat

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Providing a great customer experience -- piece of cake, right? You may think so, as it's been the hot topic for years now, but the reality has been a little more elusive. So what new trends are emerging as we tackle the digital experience and what customer experience practices should be retired? Find out at this Thursday during our "The Future of Digital Experience" Tweet Jam.

Why Your Business Needs Seamless Return Processes

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How well your business handles those returns may have a big effect on your bottom line.

“The customer's default mindset is that a return in any form is already an inconvenience, so a failed attempt can inflate the annoyance to the point where the shopper will seriously consider no longer shopping at a particular store," said Dennis Armbruster, a consulting managing partner at LoyaltyOne, a provider of loyalty marketing and programs.

The Future of SEO is Not SEO

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Search engine optimization, as all traditional definitions describe it, is going to become obsolete. And the change has already begun.

The Internet has always been a landgrab. It started with domain name poaching and infrastructure oligopolies. Then we moved onto gaming search engines. Which, in turn, created a whole industry, built on one basic premise:

Figure out how to make Google put you on the first page.

While that strategy was relevant for its time (and still mostly is), it’s not what Google ever intended. And it’s not what the future of the Internet holds. 

Weebly Releases Enterprise Web CMS Solution

Weebly is making a play for the enterprise market with a new offering created specifically for companies that develop and manage 100 or more websites.

Weebly for Enterprise, which begins rolling out today, builds on the current consumer version of the Web CMS by adding a layer of business tools on top, including API support and administration tools to handle account creation and permissions needed for multi-site deployments.

1.75B Reasons You Should Redesign Your Website

2015-24-February-mobile.jpgThere are a lot of good reasons to redesign your website. It's dated. It's slow. It's hard to navigate. 

But there are 1.75 billion more.

That's the number of people who use smartphones or tablets, according to HP. And if your site isn't winning over customers on small screens, well, let's just say those people have a lot of choices.

BlueConic Platform Updates Connect Siloed Data Stores

Boston-based digital marketing platform provider BlueConic released updates today that are designed to help marketers connect "siloed data stores" and applications across their stacks.

The five-year-old, 28-employee company features a platform that company officials also claim enables brands to "identify, understand and interact" with customers on an individual basis.

The update is supposed to make it easier to connect marketing systems, "allowing marketers to construct a dynamic profile of any individual in real-time that pulls from a number of available sources," said Dan Gilmartin, chief marketing officer at BlueConic. "This in lieu of trying to reconcile disparate data into a cobbled together source of the truth about the customer." 

The Coming Collision of Brick and Click Commerce

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As e-commerce continues to explode across the retail world, brick and mortar (BAM) retailers are facing mounting pressure to stay relevant in a world increasingly focused on the internet. Not all of them are succeeding.

4 Signs You Profited from Your Business Event

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About this time last year, we tried to crack the code of getting worth out of trade shows.

Perhaps no one said it better than Stuart Chapman, head of telemarketing for Aetorius Marketing Ltd, a B2B telemarketing firm in Wiltshire, England. He wants to gain a "real understanding of what drives these businesses and what makes them stand out from everyone else."

Also, he added, "At the very least I look to gain new members of my network."

Trade shows are, after all, about making connections. But what about the other side of the spectrum -- the conference organizers. What makes a good show for them? Profit? New customers? Exposure?

We caught up with Alon Alroy, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Bizzabo, a New York City-based provider of event-planning software, about making shows a success.

You Can't Run a Company on 'Tips & Tricks'

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An ever-growing number of customers have the potential to engage with your company on digital channels in real time. You have only seconds to attract and engage these buyers. Most companies can’t ignore the need for top notch digital marketing -- and marketers must quickly gain proficiency for interacting with customers on digital channels.

Digital marketing isn’t that new. A whole lot of people have been publishing all kinds of useful content to help you understand, implement and measure digital marketing -- as well as how to strategize, connect to customers and support customer journeys through to purchases.

But many of you aren’t getting it -- why?

Or is it that you get it -- but the company that you work for doesn't provide a culture or infrastructure that supports marketing as a strategic function?

Ex-Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett Warns: Adapt, Change or Die

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Jeffrey Hayzlett describes himself as a maverick marketer in cowboy boots ... among other things.

A primetime TV and radio host, his eclectic career includes mentorship, corporate governance, brand building — and a three-season stint as a judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump.

A best selling author and public speaker, he was the CMO of Kodak from 2006 to 2010. I met him in 2009, when he was helping the photography pioneer reinvent itself for a world dominated by digital competition.

During his tenure, he was responsible for Kodak's worldwide marketing operations including the design and implementation of all marketing strategies, investments, policies and processes, as well as brand development, corporate communications and public relations.

Hayzlett left Kodak in 2010 and capitalized on decades of experience in business growth, communications and marketing to create his own marketing empire.

5 Predictions About Marketing Technology

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Two decades ago, a spunky little start-up called Netflix indirectly gave a big boost to marketing technology.

"This tiny company was spending more than half of its engineering dollars building its own tools in-house for marketing automation," recalled Ashu Garg, general partner at San Francisco, Calif.-based Foundation Capital, an early Netflix investor. "We thought that made no sense. Since most companies can't afford to spend that much money on engineering tools, we thought 'why don't we invest on companies that do this?'"

About a dozen marketing technology investments later, Foundation Capital is very much invested in the MarTech space.

And it's a space the VC firm predicts will undergoing "radical transformation." In 10 years, in fact, it predicts it will be worth $120 billion yearly.

"It is a shift to an all-digital world," Garg told CMSWire. "All advertising will be digital by the end of this decade. The role technology plays in marketing is changing dramatically because of the opportunities."

B2B Marketers: It's Time to Adapt, Be Brave, Embrace New Ideas

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Stephen Liguori wears multiple hats. He's the CEO and founder of his own consulting firm, an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and former executive director of Global Innovation and New Models at General Electric.

He's also the global chairman of the 90-year-old Business Marketing Association, which made news late last year when it became a division of the Association of National Advertisers. The Business Marketing Association has 2,500 members in B2B marketing. The Association of National Advertisers, which has more than 630 member companies, represents business-to-consumer marketers.

CMSWire caught up with Liguori this week to get his take on the state of marketing — the good, the bad and the chaotic.

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