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Web Experience News & Analysis

Retail's Omnichannel, Data-Driven Revolution is Here

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The retail revolution is here. It’s always on, omnichannel, social, mobile and highly personalized. It’s informed by data — big data, small data, fast data, machine data.

The times, they are a changing. If you’re a retailer or a brand, the question is "Will you?"

You’d better. Because the consumer already has.

That was the general sentiment at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show in New York City this week, where we heard speaker after speaker talk about data being the critical ingredient in creating customer experiences the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Customer Experience Means the Same Thing, Online or Off

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If you're like most people you experienced some great, and some awful shopping experiences over the past few months. But what made some experiences great and others less than average?

The answer is almost certainly that the good experiences were driven by exceptional service tailored to your specific needs, and the bad experiences were caused by poor and uncaring service. It's the difference between the sales associate that takes the time to understand what you are looking for and helps you find it, versus the sales associate that is too busy texting to be bothered by your questions.

The same characteristics of a good in-store experience also make for a good digital experience. The more personal and relevant the digital experience, the better.

Revenue Marketing: Creating Sales and Marketing Alignment

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The art of contacting and connecting with customers and prospects has become infinitely more sophisticated and effective through the buyer’s journey. We can thank advances in marketing automation, big data, predictive and behavioral analytics for this new level of sophistication.

2014 Action Item: Did We Get Back to Basics with Web CMS?

Only two days into 2014, the message was clear for Irina Guseva when it comes to Web Content Management Systems. Be simple. Get back to the basics, the now group product marketing manager at San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems told us then.

More than a year later, did her message resonate? We caught up with her to find out in our continuing "2014 Action Item" series. Earlier this month, we also checked in on 2014 action items for B2B marketers becoming more agile and blogging smarter.

So how did Web CMS users do?

Deja Vu Research: CIOs, CMOs Need to Get Along

Gartner is echoing what Forrester Research revealed last week: CIOs and CMOs have to improve their abilities to cooperate.

In a report suggesting IT Leaders Will Need to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Marketing this year, Gartner analysts note that both CMO’s and CIO’s will be forced to work together as content personalization becomes increasingly important and enterprise invest in more marketing technology.

It duplicated findings from Forrester Research’s Cliff Condon, who suggested last week that the current relationship between CIO’s and CMO’s is too loose for company success — and that greater cooperation is essential. While more than 60 percent of CMOs and CIOs told Forrester that they enjoy a relationship of mutual trust and respect, only 46 percent of marketing leaders and 51 percent of technology management leaders have a single view of their customer across all the company’s touchpoints, Condon wrote.

Microsoft's Tangled E-Commerce Future #nrf15

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Sitecore's announcement on Tuesday of its new e-commerce offering, Sitecore Commerce 8 powered by Microsoft Dynamics, at the NRF Big Show made waves in the e-commerce world for a number of reasons. The launch integrates the Sitecore Experience Platform, its highly regarded content management system, with Microsoft Dynamics to more effectively merge content management with commerce systems.

A little background is in order: Sitecore took over Microsoft’s Commerce Server in Q4 of 2013. Now called Sitecore Commerce, the initial integration with the Sitecore Experience Platform was announced in fall of 2014. Let's try to shed some light on what this release signifies for the future direction of both companies.

Customer Communities: Strategy or Tactic?

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It used to be that transactions were the trigger for relationships.

You walked into a local store to purchase something, and if the transaction was pleasant, you were more likely to return. Organizations tend to view relationships primarily through the lens of transactions: how many times has someone purchased a product, used support, emailed, etc. In this world, the transaction was the beginning of the relationship and opened up access to connect with individual employees and other customers.

Social media changes that. Now the relationship triggers the transaction.

Salesforce Offers a Peek at the State of Marketing

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It's a big world of marketing technology, as we reported earlier this week.

It's an even bigger world of people that marketers are trying to connect with through those technologies. The more marketers know about those people and where they get information, the better.

"Everybody is dealing with the rapid evolution of marketing," said Jeff Rohrs, vice president of marketing insights at Salesforce, which this week released the Salesforce Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing Report, its annual flagship research report based on data from more than 5,000 global marketers. "... The good news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers. The bad news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers."

The Year Emotional Intelligence Meets Customer Experience

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Despite the fact that we are in an age where everything seems to be computerized and automated, this is the year that businesses will start to feel more human. Customers will feel more and more like businesses are listening to their individual wants and needs.

 

6 Sites Are the Fastest, Most Secure: Is Yours One of Them?

Six websites earned recognition as the fastest and most secure over the recent holiday season, based on anonymous consumer data aggregated across more than 26 million domains worldwide.

Ghostery, a global marketing technology company that provides online transparency and control to consumers and businesses, claims the sites ranked the highest on its newly developed Ghostscore Website Optimization Index. The index is based on a data-driven engine that ranks website performance and security across key industries worldwide.

Ghostery CEO and founder Scott Meyer boasted that the index will help establish a new global standard for website efficiency and profitability. "A lot of companies that use our marketing cloud management service have been asking us how they are doing, relative to other companies. We decided to create a tool to help answer the question," Meyer told CMSWire.

Turn Sales into Customer Ambassadors: Reward Renewals

A talent manager friend of mine puts it bluntly: “people do what they’re paid to do.” More specifically, she means people do what they’re incented to do -- especially through bonuses, commissions and other performance-based compensation. It’s attaining payment for achievement that motivates people, especially when that payment is also accompanied by recognition, promotions and status among one’s peers. Base salary is important – but it’s not all about the base.

Omnichannel Retail Gains Momentum at #nrf15

For the first time ever, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show kicked off on a Sunday. The idea being that an extra day would give the estimated 35,000 plus attendees more time to walk the EXPO Hall floor and engage with the wide variety of vendors in attendance at the Javits Center in New York. Sunday’s keynote, Game Changer: Loyalty and Performance Lessons from Passionate Sports Fandom, was clearly designed to get people out as representatives of three of four of the major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL and NHL) were speaking, but the major keynote was held for Monday after NRF CEO and president Matthew Shay’s opening remarks. Keynote speaker Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2006 - 2014, focused his comments on “macro-economic trends for US, global and emerging economies as well as retail’s impact on the US GDP.”

Teradata Acquires Mobile Marketing Automation Platform

Teradata scooped up an Israeli mobile marketing automation provider in an acquisition officials said gives Teradata's marketing cloud applications direct, two-way contact with the mobile devices.

Teradata's acquisition of Appoxee closed last month but was announced publicly today. Appoxee's brand will be retired, and its solutions integrated into the Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud beginning immediately. It will also be integrated with the Teradata Digital Marketing Center.

"Appoxee adds several additional mobile capabilities to Teradata’s portfolio," Michael Lummus, director of strategy for digital markets, told CMSWire. "These include mobile push notifications, in-app messaging, data collection, analytics and optimization. This acquisition gives Teradata’s applications direct, two-way contact with the mobile devices that connect billions of global consumers with brands."

10 Things Online Retailers Must Do in 2015

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The 2014 holiday shopping season brought online commerce to new heights, with double-digit growth in US online sales on both on desktops and mobile devices.  Remember that shopping behavior tends to encompass more than one channel -- consumers usually hop between brand touch points before they push the buy button. Consider a shopper who adds a product to her shopping cart while browsing on her desktop, then abandons the purchase only to pick up her mobile phone. Retailers must offer a seamless and consistent shopping experience across desktops and mobile devices in order to set their brand apart.

Adobe Campaign Enhances Marketing Integration

The integration trail for Adobe Campaign continued this week as the San Jose, Calif-based software giant announced new capabilities for the technology it acquired a year and a half ago.

Today's announcements aren't bringing home entirely new concepts, but officials say they make things easier for digital marketers catering to retail prospects.

"We had the analytics integration in October, and this is the second step in a string of integrations we're working on," said Kerry Reilly, director of product marketing for Adobe Campaign, one of the company's six pillars in the Adobe Marketing Cloud. "This time we've got a good handful of integration pipes we're building between our solution that allow easy transformation of data and communication."

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