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Web Experience News & Analysis

Gartner Names 5 Vendors That Make CRM Cool

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If you still have doubts whether customer relationship management (CRM) is trendy, hip and cool, put your mind at rest. Gartner just released a list of "cool" CRM vendors.

But notions of coolness aside, what's equally as interesting is the evidence of specialization among CRM vendors and the signals that point to their potential growth.  

Marketo Focuses on Innovation #mktgnation14

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It’s a crowded marketing vendor space. Nine times more crowded than it was two years ago, in fact

Next week, Marketo will try to pull attention away from its 946 competitors and onto itself when it hosts the Marketing Nation Summit at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. 

Marketo is expecting more than 5,000 customers, partners and analysts to attend the Summit, according to Jon Miller, vice president of marketing content and strategy and a Marketo co-founder. That is double the number of attendees from last year, Miller told CMSWire.

5 Ways to Maximize Your Web CMS

We recently picked the brain of a web content management analyst to discover what's in and what's out. Today, we go to the numbers to tell us who's hot.

Ektron reported double-digit year-over-year growth in revenue as well as double-digit earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for fiscal year 2013. The Nashua, N.H.-based web content management (WCM) provider -- recognized by Gartner and Forrester -- claims its platform includes capabilities to unlock key parts of websites without affecting stability, involving IT resources or requiring a lengthy platform migration. 

On the heels of its growth announcement, CMSWire talked to Bill Rogers, Ektron's CEO and chairman, about getting the most out of your CMS.

Universal Winds of Change for Google Analytics

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Technology and comic book characters have one thing in common – they both require a reboot once in a while to renew excitement. Comic book fans got a rebooted Superman on film when Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures released Man of Steel.

But for Google Analytics users, they received their own reboot in a quieter, yet still exciting, way.

Last year Google launched a new version of its main analytics code called Universal Analytics (UA), featuring a new script, analytics.js that replaces ga.js, an asynchronous script Google introduced in 2009. The new code introduces several enhancements that permit the script to work in conjunction with developer protocols or other measurement interfaces.

Connecting: Dave Kerpen, the Most Influential Guy You Never Met

Connecting with Bill Sobel

It must be nice to be more important than Bill Gates … not to mention Jack Welch, Mark Cuban, and Barack Obama. That's the enviable position that Dave Kerpen is in, at least according to LinkedIn.

Kerpen, an entrepreneur and author, earned recognition as the No. 1 LinkedIn Influencer of all time last summer, ahead of all those other guys. He had the most popular article on LinkedIn at the time — "11 Simple Concepts Become A Better Leader," which had been viewed 1.8 million times and "liked" by 21,000 people.

But that was eight months ago. Today that post has been viewed nearly 2.6 million times and "liked" by 25,500 people.

It's a lofty position for a really down to earth guy. Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software product for small businesses, and the chairman and former CEO of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm that has had triple digit revenue growth for four consecutive years. He's also a New York Times bestselling author of three books and an international keynote speaker.

The Promises, the Challenges of Real Time

The Promises, the Challenges of 'Real Time'Our world has sped up. Everything is personalized and served up in real time, but there isn’t a single business function that can single-handedly deliver on the real time promise. For marketing to happen in real time takes robust technology and data analytics, and for the marketing message to be believable, the user needs to verify the claim with peers -- in (you guessed it) real time.

Let’s unpack how a customer experience actually looks and feels in real time.

3 Tips for Great Content Marketing #AIIM14

customer experience, Three Tips for Engaging Content Marketing #AIIM14

Deliver content with a purpose, a good, strong flow and distribute it appropriately. 

Those three steps can make a world of difference in content marketing, according to Bryant Duhon, editor and community manager for for AIIM.

Duhon is busy this week helping produce the annual AIIM Conference in Orlando but took some time to catch up with CMSWire with some tips for successful content marketing.

Biggest Web CMS Challenges: People, Mobile

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Adaptive content. Responsive design. The separation of content from presentation. 

It's a dense world in web content management systems (CMS). Ultimately, though, the primary challenge may be staring you in the mirror. The human challenge.

"The human challenge is actually the primary one," said Tim McLaughlin, president and founder of Siteworx,a digital agency and system integrator based in Reston, Va, that specializes in web content management (WCM), e-commerce, digital asset management (DAM), mobile and content marketing and strategy.

"Authors like to see the context of their content," McLaughlin added. "That's why Microsoft Word defaults to showing you the WYSIWYG mode. If an organization chooses to do that separation of content from presentation, then the tools should easily facilitate previews and authors should be well educated on the reasons for it."

Salesforce: 'Gonna be Bigger, Better than SAP' #Salesforce1Tour

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Is a heavyweight title bout emerging between two major contenders in the enterprise applications space? Maybe -- if you feel that title bouts are started when only one of those contenders says something in a keynote and the other chooses not to respond at all.

Salesforce.com fired a salvo at SAP today when Keith Block, its president and vice chairman, told a Boston audience that "we will be passing SAP as the largest enterprise applications company in the world."

Block made the comment this morning at the Salesforce1 World Tour, which rolled into Boston today at the Hynes Convention Center. SAP, Block added, is the "third largest software company in the world. We believe we will be the third largest software company in the world." 

CIOs Take the Lead with Social Media

A common theme emerged from the conversations I had while attending SXSW: How do I get into social media data so I can do more? More precision. More insight. More and better analytics. Both senior business executives and senior IT execs expressed this same concern.

Tips on Measuring B2B Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) for business-to-business companies involves different metrics than B2C because the "customer" is a company. A new report from Forrester Research examines best practices for B2B CX measurement.

The report, "How Three B2B Firms Measure Customer Experience" [fee required], looked at the ways three companies – UnitedHealth Group's Optum, Cisco and Pitney Bowes – determine the quality of customer experiences and how they promote improvement. There are obviously different metrics across industries, but the report finds several common takeaways.

Supply Chains Run On Brains, Heart and Soul

Supply Chains Run On Brains, Heart and SoulWhen you think soul, what comes to mind? For me it's the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin -- but there's another contender who's giving Aretha a run for her money. Supply chains probably aren't the first thing you think of when you hear the word soul. But the supply chains that lead today are run with a combination of brains, heart and yes, soul. And this combination is exactly what it takes to drive future success for companies who compete on the basis of their supply chains in ever faster moving markets. Let’s take a look at some outstanding examples.

Microsoft Enters the Marketing Software Ballgame

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Sometime this quarter, a rookie will emerge in the marketing software game. Just so happens this rookie’s name is Microsoft. Microsoft is planning for a Q2 launch of its new marketing capabilities through its acquisition of MarketingPilot.

The new capabilities debut about a year and a half after Microsoft’s acquisition. It will live in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM brand and aims to help marketers drive and manage their campaigns and engage with customers in a personalized manner on multiple devices.

What's New in April for Open Source CMS

Pantheon

San Francisco-based Pantheon expanded the popular web development platform it created for Drupal to WordPress installs this month.

The company's technology, based on a container-based architecture, helps professional developers and designers build and maintain websites and applications. It offers an array of tools like version control, dev/test environments, team management, backups and workflow. (Click image to enlarge.)

Pantheon CEO and co-founder Zack Rosen said the three-year old company initially focused on Drupal because its development team included a number of former Drupal consultants.

But he noted that WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), powering over 76 million websites (19% of the web).

"Owing to its simplicity, WordPress has become the de facto Internet publishing tool for businesses with straightforward content management and design requirements," he wrote in a blog post. "We have a huge amount of respect for what the WordPress community has accomplished. We share the same mission: to build a simpler, easier, more powerful and more democratized World Wide Web."

So what else is new, directly or indirectly, in the world of free and open source CMS this month? Read on — and if you have FOSS CMS news to share, drop us a line so we can include you in our next monthly column.

Turn Off the Phones and Leave the Customers Alone

Turn Off the Phones and Leave the Customers AloneThere are some real advantages to having children. An excuse to see movies you would otherwise be too embarrassed to watch. Classic holiday photos, especially if you add a dog to the mix. An ongoing, intimate connection to pop culture that makes you seem (sorta) cool, long after your own coolness has been swept away by those hot winds of time. 

In fairness, I'm jaded. My own kids are grown — long past that puppy stage when everything inappropriate was not only acceptable but cute. A puppy drinking from the kitchen sink may seem adorable. But it's not quite as endearing when it’s a full-grown Rottweiler.

As the parent of borderline adult children, you have to look harder and longer to find things to make you smile, or at least make you feel like there's a real payback for putting a metaphorical monkey on your back for years and years.   

So it was with absolute delight, after my 23-year-old put her two-month old iPhone 5 in the washing machine that I discovered something of likely professional value. And anyone with a connection to marketing or technology may likely think that's true, too.

The fact is, the whole thing about the  "always on, always connected customer" may be a myth … or at least less inevitable than we seem to think.

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