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Web Experience News & Analysis

The Darker Side of Data Mining? Ask Your Doctor

2014-28-October-Say-Ah.jpgI’m a digital marketer. We mine data from the Internet all day long in order to sell more shoes. I have no problem with that. People like shoes, they want shoes. If they spend so much money on shoes and can’t pay their rent because of a campaign I designed, that’s perfectly OK with me. It’s called a free market.

What digital marketing does well is collect (mine) all the data floating around the Internet -- things like tweets, likes, shares, webpage visits, downloads, shopping cart activity and purchases -- in order to find out what experiences with the brand drive the most desired outcomes. We call it “actionable insight” -- data that reveals how we might drive better outcomes. The outcomes we drive are always one of two things: reduced cost or increased revenue. 

But here’s a conversation I had with my sister recently about the way data mining is used now in medicine that I found disturbing.

Ad Forecasters Offer 'Mildly Bizarre' Glimpse of the Future

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There are two things all advertising geeks love: graphics and numbers – lots and lots of numbers. You can positively hear the crunching sound of those digits whenever you’re in the presence of anyone in an advertising-related industry. (Full disclosure, I once worked for an advertising agency in Chicago.)

With that in mind, Borrell Associates' recent webinar on digital advertising was not surprisingly number-centric – with a bit of ad and social media history, some Miley Cyrus references and a plethora of predictions for what the future of advertising holds in our increasingly digitized world.

For a point of reference, the very first television ad appeared 73 years ago on July 1st, 1941. It consisted of a Bulova watch ticking for 60 seconds with the voiceover: “America runs on Bulova time.”

What it Takes to Become Google's No. 2 Exec

2014-27_15-0ctober-two-llamas.jpgHow does it feel to be Google’s second most powerful executive?

We’ll give Sundar Pichai a few weeks before we ask him that question, after all, Google CEO Larry Page only handed him keys to the company’s product empire late Friday afternoon. This according to Liz Gannes and Kara Swisher of Re/code.

Pichai, whom many of us don’t yet know much about, was already in charge of Android, Chrome and Google Apps. With the promotion Search, Maps, Google Plus, Commerce, Ad Products and Infrastructure fall under his purview as well.

It’s a big job, much of which Google CEO Larry Page was handling until now. But because Page now needs to focus on the company’s “bigger picture,” he’s counting on the ten year Google vet to run the operations of the business.
 

5 Ways Pitch Perfect Should Inform Your Content Strategy

After nine months spent writing a book about content, content marketing and content strategy, I felt brain dead. My husband lovingly suggested we take our family away to the beach so I could “recover” for a few days.

While buying the usual sunscreen and other beach necessities, I noticed the DVD of the movie Pitch Perfect. I had watched the movie on a girls’ movie night, and thought it was super cute. Having two girls, ages 10 and 7, I thought it would be the perfect movie to while away the time we spent driving to the beach.

SaaS Support Best Practices: The Transparent Model

2014-27-October-Boost.jpgAs technology vendors respond to a changing marketplace by creating Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, their relationship to their customers must change. Satisfying customers by creating a great product that garners positive reviews, and soliciting customer feedback for future upgrades simply isn’t enough.

When a company hands over control of its mission-critical software environment to a SaaS provider, the SaaS customer support organization essentially functions as an extension of the customer’s IT department. To take this step, a customer must trust that they will receive the constant, professional and hands-on support they need. Generating this trust requires that the Customer Support team be transparent and always available.

Adobe Joins Campaign, Analytics for Faster Retargeting

digital marketing, Adobe Campaign-Analytics Integration Promise: Quick Retargeting

Retargeting and remarketing are not new concepts.

So there's nothing ground-breaking about today's announcement about Adobe Campaign's integration in the Adobe Marketing Cloud. The move allows marketers to retarget shoppers who abandon their online shopping carts.

So what's the wow factor? Speed, Adobe officials say.

The San Jose, Calif-based software giant's today released an integration between two of its six Adobe Marketing Cloud suites -- Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics -- that officials claim helps marketers grab shopping-cart abandoners before it's too late.

Officials say it's the first in a series of announcements Adobe will make regarding marketing cloud integrations between now and Adobe Summit in March. 

"The real time nature of the technology," Kerry Reilly, director of product marketing for Adobe Campaign, told CMSWire when asked of its unique proposition. "Remarketing has been around for a while, but not in real-time like this. You can leverage this technology to capture the right-time moment, if you will."

Length is Everything [Infographic]

All that stuff about size is silly. The real thing to worry about is "How long should it be?" — the question every student has asked since a teacher assigned a report on topic (fill in the blank) for homework. 

Length has grown nothing but more important in the online world, a fact anyone who has struggled to trim a too long tweet understands. 

So how many characters long should a tweet be to get the most engagement, or how many words long should a blog post be so that it actually gets read? The team at SumAll, a company that markets a social media analytics and business dashboard, knows.

Customer Success is a Failure

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Customer success is a stupid concept … a catchphrase that shifts the focus from people to profit.

Unlike customer experience — a phrase that suggests giving something of meaning and value to the people who matter most — customer success implies taking.

It shifts the focus from customers to companies. Or, as the Customer Success Association so bluntly states on its website, turns "customer relationships into strategic portfolio assets" with an emphasis on "sustainable corporate profitability and growth." It asks:

  • How can we gather and use personal data and market intelligence to get the most from our customers?
  • How can we lure potential new customers and entice the ones we already have to spend even more?

Customer success isn't about helping customers or resolving their complaints. It's not even about creating win-win scenarios for customers and companies. Rather, it embraces and celebrates the exploitation of customers for a company's own benefit.

At least that's how it seems. And in this so-called age of customer centricity, it's tiresome.

Getting Closer to Customers Drives Web Success

Being successful today means being with the customer. The closer you are to the customer the more power and influence you have. 

Discussion Point: Is the Cloud Really Secure?

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Cloud computing is on the rise, but with it comes new fears about data security. Cybercriminals are always looking for an in, so cloud services constantly need to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities.

Nothing has driven that point home more than a flurry of recent high-profile breaches. But because cloud computing comes with many advantages, including cost, ease and convenience, companies have an incentive to find security solutions. But it’s a daunting challenge.

In this week’s Discussion Point we ask experts to weigh in about the risks versus benefits of the cloud. Is true cloud security an unattainable dream?

Sooner or Later We'll Learn How Smart Jeff Bezos Really Is

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Shareholders are getting increasingly impatient with Amazon and its casual attitude toward profits. The company just delivered a disappointing earnings report that surprised the Street -- even though Amazon warned in its last report that the third quarter would be grim.

The numbers, which we will get to in a moment, are almost beside the point. There are larger issues at stake as the shareholder disgruntlement against Amazon grows.

As its losses mount, will Amazon be forced to stop making myriad — and expensive — investments in other companies and technologies and settle down to business, namely its e-commerce empire?

Or will shareholders be proved wrong about their growing ire over Amazon's investment spree?

Or, to put it in its most stark terms: will Jeff Bezos' vision for the company, no matter how seemingly schizophrenic right now, be proved correct in the end?

Consumer Packaged Goods: Stay Ahead of the Digital Marketing Curve

2014-24-October-Serpentine-Benches.jpgFor many years, consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers didn't have much need to be on the cutting edge of digital innovation. But this is no longer the case, as the CPG industry now leverages digital technology to its full capacity. In areas such as mobile commerce and mobile measurement, it’s even ahead of the curve. And we’re continuing to move in the right direction: eMarketer projects that US CPG digital ad spending will top $4 billion in 2014 -- proof that the package goods industry has recognized the competitive edge entering the digital age gives marketers.

Sold! 5 Salesforce Apps to Transform Your Sales Team

2014-24-October-Auction.jpgAs a testament to Salesforce’s popularity, more than 100,000 sales professionals traveled to San Francisco for Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual conference for customers and end users. A diverse group of business leaders, politicians and artists gave keynotes, but the focus for most attendees was how to make their own operation better by using Salesforce.com and the tools and applications that can be integrated with the system.

News Bites: Tweeting it, Rising Above it and Movin' Up

The latest in integration, innovation and transition from the Golden City, Silicon Beach, Gotham and the Great Wen and Athens of America.

Inside Acquia's Gartner Ascension, Web CMS' Next Road Trip

web cms, Inside Acquia's Gartner Ascension, Web CMS' Next Road Trip

The verdict's been in a while now regarding Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management Systems.

The question now is where does the space go from here? Where's the innovation in 2015?

The convergence of content, community and commerce will continue to fuel innovation, the CMO of one of Gartner's leaders told CMSWire.

"Open platforms will unify these pieces into one cohesive customer experience, where content-driven brand stories will seamlessly integrate with commerce portals on sites," Tom Wentworth, CMO of Gartner leader Acquia, told CMSWire.

The proliferation of digital experiences will continue to become more contextually relevant, Wentworth also said, because marketers will "break down silos of data to paint a more complete picture of what a customer wants and needs at a specific time and place."

A longtime Web CMS user, meanwhile, said he hopes vendors will make a deep dive into analytics capabilities in the coming year.

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