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Web Experience News & Analysis

A Look Back: Innovation or Hype in Digital Marketing?

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Digital marketing is hot. Has been for years now, and 2014 was no different.

But by hot, what do we mean?

Hot as in products are killing it for organizations -- churning out ROI like it's going out of style? Hot as in innovation is at an all-time high, with different products and features hitting the market daily? Hot as in having a digital platform is a MUST for any marketer?

Some of this is happening, we're sure. But in 2014, it seemed like digital marketing was hot simply because, well, people were talking about it.

We really didn't see a leader. A clear visionary. An innovative concept that no one had that just flipped the industry upside down, much like when a Harvard dropout wanted to connect college kids online more than 10 years ago.

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Digital Marketing

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For digital marketing, 2013 was the year of acquisitions — and 2014 was the year of putting those acquisitions into action. IBM and Silverpop. Insightera and Marketo. Oracle and Responsys.

Integration with acquisitions take time, and we didn't see a clear winner in 2014. Will we in 2015?

5 Non-Negotiable Requirements for a CMS in 2015

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Content marketing and mobile are the digital marketing buzzwords for 2015. Next year, techniques like personalization, targeting and testing will be non-negotiable CMS features — and here's why.

Your customers are empowered like never before. They seek out information about your business on their own terms, on their own time. And they’ve got options: Google search, reviews, forums and social media all combine to shape their image of your company and its offerings.

If they’re interested, they can choose to visit your site or download your app. It’s their call. If you want to engage them, you have to provide appropriate, relevant and entertaining information. And make sure it is accessible on mobile, which has overtaken desktop consumption in the past year.

Discussion Point: What's Most Important in Web CMS?

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Nothing stirs a good tech conversation like Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS).

Some think it's time to get back to basics. Everyone has a say on who has the best CMS out there. And people watch this industry pretty closely -- especially on merger and acquisition talks.

But this is a technology. And enterprises need it to do their jobs better -- and make websites look fabulous while managing content.

So what is the most important feature in a Web CMS? We put this question out to some Web CMS veterans today in our latest Discussion Point.

By the way, this closes out our 2014 season of Discussion Point pieces. Check out prior ones. Got a great topic for 2015? Tweet us @cmswire.

PwC's Pete Winkler: Exploring Global Opportunities

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelPete Winkler has more than 20 years of marketing, brand strategy and management consulting experience. 

He's spent much of his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has held several key positions.

He served as Global Marketing Director of PwC’'s Entertainment and Media Practice, leading all marketing and business development efforts and overseeing PwC’'s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, a leading industry’ market forecast.

He was also a management consulting director in PwC’'s Entertainment and Media Advisory Practice, where he specialized in advising multinational companies on the impacts of digital technology and industry convergence. His clients included some of the leading international entertainment and media conglomerates, as well as top software, telecommunications and technology services companies.

Now he's Priority Clients Leader for PwC’s Central and Eastern European region, overseeing client relationships, market targeting and new business growth initiatives.

The Problem with Personalization and Customer Experience

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“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” -- Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey

At the recent Henry Stewart DAM Conference in Los Angeles, the best and the brightest in Digital Asset Management shared their stories and showed their wares to an eager audience. The subject that recurred in presentations and many conversations was that of "personalization" and customer service in technology.

Consumers want more than just an experience -- we want a personal connection that identifies with who we are, our interests, expectations and abilities. Personalization of experience, technology and delivered results depends on accessible, comprehensive data feeding the website. Getting the right data at the right time requires understanding and effort from people, process and technology. The difficulty of providing personalization lies in leveraging the data to provide stellar customer service, inspire trust, gain efficiencies and meet expectations.

Ekaterina Walter: Success Is a Team Sport

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The most influential Renaissance man in digital marketing is quite likely a woman.

Ekaterina Walter not only has an attention-getting title — global evangelist at Sprinklr — but is also a passionate marketer, bestselling author and highly regarded international speaker.

She's also proud of her roles as a wife and mother, enjoys dancing, camping and seeing the world, and "tweets with a European accent."

After spending more than 10 years as an integrated marketer and social media leader at Intel and Accenture, she went on to become the co-founder and CMO of Branderati, which was acquired by Sprinklr earlier this year. Somewhere along the way, she found time to write two books, "Think Like Zuck" and "The Power of Visual Storytelling" and also gained recognition for her innovative thinking.

7 Troubling Myths About CX - and Why It Could Fail

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Colin Shaw knows customer experience (CX) — and he doesn't like where it's headed.

Twelve years ago, Shaw co-founded Tampa, Fla.-based Beyond Philosophy, a consultancy and training organization devoted to customer experience (CX). The company specializes in helping organizations to create deliberate, emotionally engaging customer experiences that drive value, reduce costs and build competitive advantage.

In addition to serving as CEO of Beyond Philosophy, he's the author of four books on customer experience and has a new one, "Unlocking the Hidden Customer Experience: Short Stories of Remarkable Practices that Ensure Success," scheduled for release next month. He's also one of LinkedIn's top 150 business influencers worldwide. So he knows of what he speaks when he expresses concerns about the future of CX.

"I'm becoming increasingly concerned that the goal of improving the ‘Customer Experience’ is heading the same way as customer relationship management (CRM) ... into failure," he said.

Bah Humbug: Could Your Holiday Emails Be Hurting You?

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Skip me if you’re sending out holiday emails, especially if we’ve never met. What you consider to be Seasons Greetings, I consider to be SPAM. And I have 512 such pieces in my inbox. I could have a part-time holiday job just opening them all.

And when I do open some of them and try to extend greetings of the season to you in return (it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?), the “To” box auto-fills itself with things like “customerservice@xxx.com”, no-reply@xxx.com, info@xxx.com and so on. It makes me feel so special, I can’t tell you.  What were you hoping to achieve?

The Holistic View of the Customer Experience

There's a consensus that if you want to be successful on line, you’re going to have to deliver an exceptional customer experience, something that leaves others trailing. Of course, there are many opinions on how to do that.

E-Spirit, for example, has a very particular notion of what customer experience involves. Many other vendors start by talking about technologies or silos. But for Oliver Jaeger, e-Spirit's vice president for global marketing and communications, it means the entire customer cycle from first contact to last sign-off.

While many companies just don’t get it that the whole process needs to be managed, e-Spirit is actively pursuing ways to provide that ultimate experience.

Companies Embrace Advanced Analytics But Not Big Data

Advanced analytics is becoming an enterprise essential. But most companies appear content to stick with the benefits of the "small data." the technology generates rather than make the necessary investments to capitalize on big data.

That's true even though a majority agree that big data is important, according to a new study commissioned by Dell and the International Institute for Analytics.

The study defines advanced analytics as predictive and prescriptive analytics rather than simple reporting.

Jahia Add-On Tool 'Frees' Digital Marketers to Engage

Open source Web CMS provider Jahia wants to empower digital marketers with its latest tool.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based company this week launched Form Factory, which officials say frees digital marketing teams "in the creation and monitoring of their favorite engagement tools."

The add-on comes in the same year Jahia released its Digital Factory 7 which officials at the company say is part of a "rise of the digital industrialization."

A Holiday Recipe for Successful Email Campaigns

2014-19-December-Baking.jpgThe holidays can be a particular challenge for email marketers as they face increased competition and the risk of over-saturating consumer inboxes with campaigns that may or may not be seen during the holiday crunch-time. If only there could be a reliable recipe for success, something as easy as one-part list hygiene, two-parts testing and “send” in small batches until done.

Is email marketing as easy as this? Well, no, but just like home cooks can feel like master chefs if they follow the instructions and use high quality ingredients, email marketers can greatly improve results if they stick to a tried-and-true recipe.

Digital River and Microsoft's Bumpy E-Commerce Road

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It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Digital River. Its deadline to re-sign Microsoft to an extension of the Microsoft Operations Digital Distribution Agreement, which would continue Digital River provision of Microsoft Store’s e-commerce platform beyond March, 2015 came and went on Dec. 1. While only a handful of people might have noticed, the company made a bigger splash on Dec. 8 when it announced an extension of the negotiation timeframe until Dec. 19.

Digital River's stocks rose and fell with the ups and downs of the announcements, dropping almost 25 percent from its close of $25.51 on Friday, Dec. 5, to $19.71 on Monday, Dec. 8. The stock eventually bottomed at $16.58 on Dec. 11, a drop of 35 percent in less than a week. On the power of yesterday's news the stock closed at $24.08, a 45 percent jump from last week’s low.

Do Analytics Matter for B2B Marketers?

B2B marketers use analytics and gain value from them in their campaigns and marketing programs, a survey released today claims.

But earlier this year, another study claimed otherwise. It found only about a third of organizational projects include marketing analytics. And it further claimed there has been no significant gains for how marketing analytics contribute to a company's overall performance.

Who do you believe? Your call.

Today is ON24's day in the sun. The webinar-based marketing solutions provider based its findings on a survey distributed last month to 221 US-based B2B marketers experienced with marketing analytics. Redshift Research administered the survey and ON24 released the results today.

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