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Web Experience News & Analysis

Janrain Acquires Real Time Social Experience Provider

Janrain, a customer identity management provider, today announced it acquired a real time social curation and engagement provider that brings "an integrated customer identity and customer engagement solution to the market."

Portland, Ore.-based Janrain scooped up Arktan but did not disclose the terms. Gartner has had its eye on Janrain as a cool social marketing shop, and so have investors: it obtained $20 million of funding about two years ago.

Now Janrain is the investor, putting its faith into a product that adds, according to Janrain CEO Larry Drebes, "dozens of new products for customer engagement, and dramatically expands the amount of customer data we collect, store and manage."

How to Use Twitter to Influence People and Make Sales

Ever wonder what top sales people tweet about? Is it all business all the time — or do they spice up the conversations with tidbits about their personal lives? What information do they share — and why?

If you're eager to know the answers to those questions and more, you can reference a new report called, appropriately enough, How Sales Leaders Engage on Twitter (registration required), a collaboration between Leadtail and Hoovers.

CDOs, CIOs and the Shared Goal of Agile Customer Experience

There’s been quite a bit of discussion lately of the rise of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). In fact, research firm IDC recently made headlines by predicting the CDO would supplant two-thirds of CIOs at global companies by 2020.

The rationale seems to be that CDOs will deliver the technology driven products and services, as well as leverage their experience in setting strategy, spurring innovation and developing relationships. Other than the pure semantic differences – and an attempt at a controversial headline -- there is an important question buried in this research.

How can marketing and technology — or CDOs and CIOs — work in sync to provide the most agile powerful customer experiences?

Is AdRoll on Target About Retargeting and Programmatic?

If you have anything to do with advertising, then you know programmatic is the marketing word of the year. At least that's the conclusion of a recent vote by some 349 members of the 100-year-old Association National Advertisers.

But dig a little deeper and you'll find there are still rumblings beneath the buzz. While one ANA member noted 2014 was the year advertisers "woke up to the potential of programmatic," others conceded everyone is still "scrambling to understand what it means and how it impacts their business.”

And another added, “Everyone is talking about it, trying to see how to measure it, implement and/or define it. But few people get it or do it.”

So what does the data show about marketers’ true adoption of programmatic? Was it just a one-year wonder trend or does it have staying power? 

Can Facebook Crack Search - Without Bing?

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Facebook has quietly stopped including Microsoft Bing search results on its social networking site, Reuters first confirmed. Instead, the social network has revamped its own search offering with a new tool it claims makes it easier for users to filter and search through comments and other information from friends.

On one hand users might find the change limiting. Now, when they use the search bar they are not taken outside of Facebook for results. On the other, the tool is more robust than previous Facebook offerings — and besides, there is always Google for straightforward search.

That, however, may change again as Facebook ramps up its search tool set. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said search is a growth initiative for Facebook. And as the company's push into mobile has shown over the last few years, once Facebook identifies a growth sector it goes after it.

Search, though, is a very different animal than mobile.

Bill Sweetman Explains What's in a (Domain) Name

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You know what they say about a rose by any other name. But Bill Sweetman doesn't believe it. He thinks calling a rose anything but a rose is a major marketing mistake.

Suffice to say Sweetman both knows and enjoys names, especially in the online context. A domain name strategist, he's the president and "lead ninja" at Name Ninja, a Toronto, Ontario-based boutique domain name consulting firm. Besides giving him the opportunity to enjoy a badass title, 18-month-old Name Ninja gives him a chance to indulge a longtime obsession with names and naming.

He said he's amazed at how many companies "still fumble the ball" when it comes to having a coherent domain name strategy ... and "wants to throw up" whenever he sees a big brand promoting itself using a Facebook URL instead of its own domain name.

Honest-to-God, Absolutely True Marketing Predictions for 2015

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The great thing about annual predictions is that we tend to forget about them by the time the next year rolls around. And that explains why every organization on the planet seems willing to gaze into a crystal ball this time of year. 

By this time next year, everyone will forget the predictions that went wrong — and a few lucky folks will have the luxury of basking in the glory of things they actually got right.

With that in mind, we're going to share some of the visions of digital marketing in 2015 that we've encountered in the past few days. Just take all of it with at least a few grains of salt. And be forewarned: we're predicting more stories on predictions in the days ahead.

Format-Based Navigation is a Symptom of Organization-Centricity

Navigation based on formats, tools or systems is a sure sign that an organization is not customer focused. 

How to Measure Facebook Fans from Device-to-Device

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Metrics are certainly important in comparing the performance history of a digital marketing campaign. But that comparison is getting harder as customers gain new ways to access online platforms and services.

Facebook has worked to ease that comparison for marketers. The popular social media platform announced a cross device reporting protocol, a means to assess performance of advertising across devices. The cross device reporting will enable marketers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.

This new cross device solution enhances analytic strategies related to the social media platform.

GE's Linda Boff: Content Created to Help Is What Sells

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelLinda Boff is a digital explorer, Mad Men enthusiast and modern art lover. She's also executive director of global brand marketing at Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric, where she's responsible for GE's global advertising and digital marketing along with the company's brand and design strategy.

Boff said she focused on "embedding meaningful marketing strategy and instigating change" throughout the global conglomerate.

Previously, Boff was CMO of iVillage Properties, part of the NBC Universal (which was previously part of GE). Boff joined GE in early 2004 with 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and communications including senior roles at Citigroup, the American Museum of Natural History and Porter Novelli.

In 2012, she was named B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year. A frequent speaker at digital and social media industry events, she lives with her husband and two children in suburban New York City.

Experience Matters in Omnichannel Commerce

Experience matters in omnichannel commerce -- both the customer experience and the software ecosystem that supports a buyer’s journey from initial discovery to customer advocate. Just as shoppers see products on display in physical stores, digital experiences have to provide relevant content and compelling interactions to convert browsing to buying. Connected consumers expect convenience and flexibility across channels, whether brick and mortar, catalog, print, in-store kiosks, web, mobile and social platforms. Nothing frustrates customers more than dead-end, can’t get there from here experiences. And second chances are rare.

Merging the Yin-Yang of Content-Commerce

2014-12-December-Kitties.jpgSince the early days of e-commerce in the mid to late 90's, businesses had a vision to merge content and commerce into a seamless experience. What people discovered pretty quickly in the 90's was that merging content and commerce was really challenging. Little has changed since then, because while people would like to join the two, they really are more yin and yang -- contrary forces, yet complementary.

News Bites: Predictive Insights, Brainshark, Avaya, Google, More

Insights, shark-sights, CS on and off-site, hiring right – it’s all outasight ...

The latest in viewing, accelerating, collaborating, joining and accessing from the Pilgrim State, the Mission City and the City that Knows How.

Adobe Buys Fotolia to Build One Stop Shop for Creatives

If you want to know how to keep a secret, bury it in a quarterly earnings report. That’s how much of the world learned that Adobe has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia, a leading marketplace for stock content, for approximately $800 million. 

TYPO3 Updates Open Source Web CMS Neos

Open source web content management (WCM) provider TYPO3 released a new version of Neos that officials there say improves the user experience for digital marketers in a "smoother" and more "time-saving" way. 

The Baar, Switzerland, open source vendor today releases Neos 1.2 that "offers many convenient new functions and significant improvements that make the everyday work of editors and developers much easier" for a more intuitive workflow.

The update comes a year after version 1.0 was released.

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