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Web Experience News & Analysis

News You Can Use: RAMP, TubeMogul, Vidder

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The latest in partnering, pairing, closing and creating from the Hub of the Solar System, the Grape State and the Gateway to the World.

Apple Watch: The Future of Wearables Begins Now

Are you ready to pay $18,000 for the 18k gold Apple Watch?

Maybe not, but you probably watched as Tim Cook -- in his first new product launch as CEO -- unveiled Apple's first major push into the wearables market. With the launch of the Apple Watch, the wearables race begins.

It is yet to be seen if consumers really want these high tech devices as fashion statements. But Business Insider predicts that by 2018, the wearables market will grow to $12.6 billion. And according to The Wearable Future report, adoption rates of wearables parallels that of tablets. After two years, adoption of tablets was 20 percent and today, 21 percent of American adults already own a wearable device.

So it's safe to assume that wearables will begin to take off.

Is There a Light at the End of the Social Media Marketing Tunnel?

Digital marketers love talking about social media. Executives love return on investment (ROI).

Can you truly show ROI on social media programs?

GinzaMetrics is the latest company to offer a solution officials said does this for marketers. Its new platform addition gives marketers insights on how social channels contribute to corporate goals and revenue. It also gives marketers data to better target campaigns for the right audiences.

GinzaMetrics, based in San Francisco, is not the first to do this. So why them?

"The offering is unique because it comes from a data platform that has a backbone of search and organic data that provides deeper content information, at the individual page and keyword/topic level," said Erin Robbins O’Brien, COO at GinzaMetrics.

The company today released a Social Intelligence Suite addition to its platform. This enables marketers to tie specific content, keywords and social channels to revenue and conversions for their brand, she said.

Nextdoor: An Online Community in Your Own Backyard

2015-19-March-Kickball-Champion.jpgGrowing up in Woodstock, N.Y. the neighborhood came together over kickball. Kids would gather at my house, we’d make teams, then play till the sun went down or our parents called us to dinner -- whichever came first.

Outside of family, your neighborhood is your first exposure to a community. Your parents introduced themselves to your neighbors and before long, you had new friends. And I mean real world friends, not Facebook friends (I'm talking pre-Facebook, pre-Internet, pre-everything days).

But now we have communities springing up in our own backyards. And these online communities may or may not involve kickball.

Nextdoor is a private social network for your neighborhood. More than 53,000 neighborhoods have created online versions of themselves on the site. The folks at Nextdoor must be on to something, as they recently announced a $110 million funding round, which values the company at over $1 billion.

Stop Being Stupid: Many WordPress Users Are Security-Less

WordPress users have a common enemy when it comes to security. Themselves.

At least that's the contention of a new survey by CodeGuard, which shows WordPress users own lack of security knowledge may be putting their sites at risk. CodeGuard CEO David Moeller claims users aren’t up to date on security or backing up their files adequately to protect their content.

Of course, he has reason to say that: CodeGuard provides cloud-based website backup services. Still, the growing issue of security problems are hard to ignore.

Give Users a Vote: Why Testing in Email Matters

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Consumers want their voices heard.

Social media marketers have turned to crowdsourcing to include customer's voices. But email marketers have been giving people the opportunity to vote for years.

We're not talking about direct surveys, although those can work. What we're talking about is measuring the votes that customers make every day when they choose to click or not click -- using A/B testing. 

Twin Prime Promises a Fast 'Wireless Mile' for Mobile Apps

Idea conceived. Mobile app developed. Mobile app deployed.

This is where Twin Prime promises to make things better. Its technology makes mobile apps faster, officials there promised.

They disrupt the content delivery network (CDN) space better than anyone, including Akamai, who they particularly cited.

"Twin Prime’s software makes mobile apps fast," said Kartik Chandrayana, the co-founder and CEO of Twin Prime, based in Redwood City, Calif.

The mobile data delivery optimization company releases a platform out of stealth mode today. It also announces $9.5 million in funding.

"Fast apps implies happy and engaged users," Chandrayana said. "In fact, Frontback, a Twin Prime customer, saw that its users were spending 50 percent more time in the app, and requesting more images because they were getting data faster. Twin Prime enables businesses to build fast, responsive apps which make more money for them."

Successful CMOs Create the Structure to Innovate

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Change conquers those who fail to receive it as a friend. And change has got marketing in a headlock these days.

Consumers engage with brands, explore products and make purchases in ever more channels and on ever more devices -- and this dizzying trend will only continue. Marketers are struggling to keep up (understatement alert).

Let’s walk through five ways CMOs can help their organizations not just adapt to the changing landscape of marketing, but thrive in it. 

Ex-Ford Visionary Scott Monty Tells You His Social Secrets

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It's not every day you get to sit down with an "an unstoppable force of nature" — a guy Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, described as "a visionary."

But those effusive words seem less important to Scott Monty that a few simple realities. He describes himself as a husband, a dad and "generally nice guy," who enjoys writing about the changing landscape of business, technology, communications, marketing and leadership.

Monty is executive vice president of strategy at SHIFT Communications, a public relations firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco, New York City and Austin. He's also editor and co-host of I Hear Of Sherlock Everywhere, "news and information about Sherlock Holmes in popular culture in one convenient site and podcast."

Where Did It Go? Understanding Traffic Drops in Google Analytics

You’re up early, just sitting down to an analytics report with a fresh cup of coffee, when you suddenly see it on your laptop screen – a big ol’ drop in website sessions in your overall traffic report. And not just by a few session counts.

You shouldn’t panic, at least not yet.

Traffic changes for your website or app often happen as you begin reviewing analytic reports over time. But with so many reports and ideas, it can be a head scratcher to know where to start a diagnosis.

While no one set of tactics is the right way, there are a few great ways to get started in analytic reporting. The key is deciding if the traffic change is technical or from marketing influences on traffic.

What Could You Do With a Digital Marketing Command Center?

This morning, a vendor promised us their solution is the only that looks at the entire customer journey and provides sales agents actionable insights.

Now another vendor is making the same promise for digital marketers.

Bedford, Mass.-based Progress Software has created a Digital Marketing Command Center. Officials said it combines technologies from its Telerik Sitefinity CMS and Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud to help marketers track and measure customer behavior.

"We started this 16 months ago, and this is one of the things we've struggled with ourselves," said Martin Kirov, vice president of product management and marketing for the Telerik Sitefinity CMS. "And most customers struggle with the fact that digital marketing teams operate in a very fragmented way."

The Next Big Thing: #SXSW Accelerator Winners

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They came to Austin, Texas from far and wide — places as far removed from each other as Atlanta and Austria, Salt Lake City and Stockholm, New York and Tokyo … you name it.

Their mission? Plain and simple: to win the Accelerator competition in their particular category at SXSW’s StartUp Village.

This is the place to not only win, but also to become known.

"Over the past six years of companies competing in SXSW Accelerator, more than 50 percent have gone on to receive funding in excess of $1.7 billion and 12 percent of the companies have been acquired," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine.

But making it into the competition isn’t easy.

Would You Run Your Call Center on Chromebooks? Avaya Thinks So

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Avaya claims its Call Center services power a significant share of big call centers.

Among customer call centers with more than 400 agents, it estimates a 63 percent market share. Among call centers with more than 1,000 agents, it estimates a 70 percent share.

So what’s Avaya thinking right now? How does it capture that elusive market segment of call centers with 10 to 250 agents?

Today, the company spun off from Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs in 2000 announced an expanded partnership with Google.

The goal is to target a market segment that Avaya calls “green pastures.”  

That partnership creates a curious technology arrangement where Chromebooks — the class of PC created by Google to run essentially anything that can be run on the web — will become the exclusive device for running the company’s latest OnAvaya cloud-based call center.

Genesys Update Works to Engage Your Customers

Genesys released an update to its Customer Experience Platform that it boasts will help you engage and guide your customers.

Reed Henry, chief marketing officer for Genesys, said the platform integrates and augments customer relationship management(CRM). It adds native technology "to directly engage and guide customers across all interaction channels, including voice and touchpoints."

Genesys is a Daly City, Calif.-based contact center software provider. It has 3,000-employees.

"We call this orchestrating the customer journey," Henry added. Other CRM platforms react to customer behavior. But they don’t shape it or attempt to orchestrate the step-by-step sequencing of customer interactions, he added.

7 Tips for System Integrators to Bridge the IoT Gap

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Vendors should take a bold stance when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), but implementers can’t afford to bet on that. Instead, they need to take the lead, from investing in research to starting pilot programs. Positioned between vendors and clients, they are at the center of a post-digital revolution, putting them in the ideal position to act as bridges that link the two sides together. 

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