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Web Experience News & Analysis

Marketers Are Mastering Digital Advertising, Adobe Suggests

Adobe's fourth quarter 2014 Digital Advertising Report shows digital advertising is becoming increasingly efficient — and that smart advertisers understand the nuances of customer behaviors, including the top days of the week for search.

The report analyzed search and social media data and trends around Google, Yahoo/Bing and Facebook. It's based on more than 500 billion Google and Yahoo Bing ad impressions and some 400 billion Facebook post impressions gathered throughout 2014.

The key take-aways:

  • Google Shopping Ads grew dramatically over the holiday season as expected, outperforming text ads eight times over.
  • Digital advertising continues to become more efficient with click-through-rates (CTRs) growth outpacing cost-per-click (CPC) growth.
  • Certain days of the week are better than others for certain ads — for example, Sunday is best for mobile ads, Monday for desktop ads and Friday for Facebook ads.
  • Despite a change in Facebook's algorithm that forced businesses to buy more ads, retailers still turned to Facebook during the holiday season to drive sales.

News Bites: Celum, Xerox, Google, Oracle, More

The latest in processing, collaborating, sharing, restoring, understanding, integrating, expanding and joining from the Spinach Capital, the West's Most Western Town, Oyster Town, The Land of Milk and Honey, the Birthplace of Aviation, Powder City and the City in a Garden.

Retail Leads in Customer-Focused 'Modern' Marketing

Retail is leading the way when it comes to more customer-focused modern marketing practices, according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Oracle.

Andrea Ward, vice president of marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud, said the retail industry has a long tradition of being customer-centric. "By embracing new data technologies and taking an integrated marketing approach, retailers are able to create a digital dialogue with their customers and deliver the right messages at the right time," she noted.

Forrester surveyed 523 marketing decision-makers across a range of industries in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia to evaluate marketing’s maturity in targeting, engagement, conversion, analysis and technology.

The first part of the study, released last October, found that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

Further analysis of the data, released this month, found modern marketing adoption rates vary from industry to industry, with some industries embracing marketing technologies and associated best practices faster than others.

4 Ways Marketers Can Move Mobile Advertising Forward

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On the heels of recent research centered around how companies are falling short with mobile marketing, comes a new report — this time with similarly disappointing findings around mobile advertising, in particular.

The AdExchanger Research report, titled Mobile’s Unmet Potential (available for purchase), finds that although marketers, technology providers and agencies surprisingly share the same vision for the future of mobile advertising, no such agreement exists regarding how to achieve that vision.

Think Only Marketing Owns Customer Experience? Think Again

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Customer experience management usually lands in the laps of the marketing team. After all, they’re the ones who are responsible for fostering the relationship between the brand and the customer.

The idea that customer experience is exclusively a marketing problem is a little shortsighted for any business. For the multichannel retailer, it’s flat out incorrect.

Survey: Marketers Will Be Revenue Generators in 3 to 5 Years

We said last summer marketers are a paranoid bunch. Will I go extinct? Does my work even matter?

We think a lot of that holds true today. 

It's all going to change, though. Marketers in the next three to five years will matter -- even to their organization's bottom line.

In a survey of nearly 500 marketers and CMOs conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit and Marketo, four of five marketers said their companies will classify the marketing function as a revenue driver.

That's a good thing considering right now more than 68 percent of marketers feel that the rest of their company views their department as little more than a cost center.

"We feel the rise of the marketer is echoing our marketing-first world," said Sanjay Dholakia, chief marketing officer for San Mateo, Calif-based Marketo, a marketing automation provider. "And 75 percent of marketers see themselves in the next three to five years as the owner of the customer journey and customer engagement over their lifecycle. That really speaks to notion of transformation in marketing and the rise of the marketer."

Can Advertisers Reconnect With Cord Cutters?

Advertisers are struggling to reconnect with cord cutters — people who have abandoned cable and broadcast television in favor of online streaming services.

While TV advertising is in no real danger of going bust any time soon,  a new report shows that Internet ad revenues now surpass those of broadcast TV.

As a result, it's become more challenging to get advertisements in front of over-the-top (OTT) content viewers who have shifted to the screens of mobile devices. OTT refers to delivery of audio, video and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content.

But Rick Miller, vice president of customer insights at Networked Insights, said this shift also presents opportunities for advertisers who can align their TV media buys with the right online programming faster than their competitors. “We expect the profile of the 'typical' OTT viewer to change a lot as the segment matures, but today these consumers have distinct habits,” he said.

Who Wins, Loses in Ektron-EPiServer Web CMS Merger?

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The merger between Ektron and EPiServer announced Tuesday forms a tech alliance that could compete with web content management system giants like Adobe and Sitecore, according to industry analysts.

Or, as one analyst said, it could be "another venture capitalist effort to milk software license maintenance revenues out of an ailing vendor."

"It’s not the first time we’ve seen a struggling software vendor taking a private equity bailout," Boston-based Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann told CMSWire after Accel-KKR bought Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron last month.

Days later, the investment firm bought Stockholm-based EPiServer. This week, it confirmed reports it was merging the entities.

Ektron customers "at least have a clearer view of where the company actually stands," Wettemann said, adding that the first 90 days will be critical to both customer bases as the new executive team lays out its strategy.

Rev Up Your Content and Mobile Customer Experiences

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Congratulations. Your organization is moving down the digital transformation road with content and mobile strategies. There’s no turning back.

But are you exceeding audience expectations with a variety of digital, human and hybrid touches? If you’re unsure, your organization’s content engine -- or a more advanced stage known as a Culture of Content (CoC) -- might need oil or an overhaul.

How to Story-Sell without Annoying Your Customers

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Creating online experiences that are content-rich as well as easy to transact have become a holy grail for marketers and merchandisers alike.

Apple Profits Pop With iPhone 6 Sales at Home and Abroad

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Apple isn't breaking a sweat over slipping iPad sales: iPhone sales are making up the difference.

In fact, it sold 74.5 million iPhones in the past quarter, some 12 million more than predicted. And that helped generate the largest profit in Apple corporate history: $18 billion on revenues of $74.6 billion.

Apple's cash pile is now $178 billion, which means that if it was in the right frame of mind, it could buy IBM ... although IBM actually isn’t all that appetizing.

Managing Digital Experiences with DNN's New Evoq 8

With today’s release of Evoq 8, the latest iteration of DNN’s web content management suite, digital marketers will find it easier to personalize their site content, view and act on real-time visitor stats, and access cloud-hosted digital assets from anywhere, the company claims.

“From a marketing solutions perspective, on the one hand are traditional web CMS for content publishing and on the other hand, there are now more nascent solutions from young companies rooted in predictive analytics, personalization, and content marketing,” said Navin Nagiah, CEO and president of DNN, in a press release.

“Marketers are desperate to bridge that gap. With Evoq 8, we will be one of the few companies to straddle both worlds and deliver measurable ROI to customers.”

The Value Exchange Equation is Shifting

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Marketers are hungry for customer data. Every piece of information about a customer and their interactions with a brand helps marketers create complete customer profiles and guide the ultimate strategy behind the sell. From methodically timing each touchpoint with a potential lead, to personalizing digital content on a website to show each unique visitor what they’d most like to see, the link between data and marketing decisions is undeniable.

But this data isn't always readily available, and customers are hesitant to provide brands with the personal information needed to create this free exchange of profiling and personalizing. The reason is simple -- customers don’t see the value in sharing data.

If You Build an Online Community, Will They Come?

2015-27-January-Cat-Birdhouse.jpg"If you build it, they will come." This worked for Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams," but when it comes to creating an online community to drive better engagement with your customers, it's not that simple.

A Slimmer SDL Takes on the CXM Gorillas

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Sometimes less is more, as SDL claimed yesterday when it chopped its customer experience (CX) suite down to four parts from seven while boasting it now has the only global-ready CX suite.

SDL's Customer Experience Cloud V2.0 consists of Digital Experience, Knowledge Center, Customer Analytics and Language.

The strategy, which was first reported by CMS Wire in mid-November, plays off SDL's products in language to distinguish the US- and UK-based firm from bigger competitors on both sides of the Atlantic.

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