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Web Experience News & Analysis

Who Are the 100 Fastest Growing Software Companies?

Modesty is an uncommon virtue among software vendors. It doesn't matter what part of the technology market they represent — customer experience, digital marketing, social business, web content management systems ....

Everyone claims to be the best, either overall or at least in some niche of its market. And everyone claims to be growing — fast, faster, fastest of anyone in the market.

Now how is that possible? More importantly, how can you validate these growth claims?

It's a tedious, messy job. But someone has to do it. And fortunately, in this case, Deloitte stepped up to the task.

Real Story Group Maps Digital Workplace, MarTech Space

Real Story Group (RSG), an independent analyst firm, just released an update to its Digital Workplace and Marketing Technology vendor map.

Given the scope of this technology space, it is hardly surprising that this one contains as many vendors are there are stations in the New York City subway. The research also identified what RSG defines as the trending — and fading — technologies.

SEO is Killing Content Quality

2014-13-November-Wicked-Witch.jpgSearch engine optimization (SEO) tips include website design best practices for how to get Google to rank your content higher in search engine results placement or SERP.

In fact, the preceding sentence is a great example of just how cumbersome this practice has made Web-based communications. By ensuring that I used the phrases, “search engine optimization (SEO) tips,” “website design best practices,” “how to get Google to rank your content higher” and “search engine results placement or SERP,” I’m virtually stuffing Google with the search phrases I want it to associate with my content.

But SEO tips aren’t the point of this article. In fact, SEO is the antithesis to my point.

Trusting Your Gut: The Worst Marketing Move You Can Make

2014-13-November-Bad-Fit.jpgHere’s a tip: When it comes to marketing your business, leave your “gut” out of it.

No matter how good your intuition, how prestigious of a business school you attended or how much marketing know-how you seemingly possess, if you think you can make marketing decisions by “trusting your gut” alone, you’re in for a rude awakening.

Things have changed. We don’t count on old wives tales to predict the weather, and business people don’t make marketing decisions on a hunch. Well, at least the smart ones don’t.

New Fashioned Customer Service: Restoring Intimacy

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Remember the good old days when you could call your favorite store, took it for granted you could talk with the same person just about every time and didn’t have to explain things multiple times if you had to call more than once to resolve an issue?

Welcome back to those good old days.

In a recent webinar, NewVoiceMedia and DMG Consulting explained how personalizing call center interactions could bring your customers — pardon the expression — back to the future.

Marty Shindler: The Digital Revolution is Over

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Tell Marty Shindler about digital anything and you'll probably make him smile. As he told CMSWire, "I chuckle when I hear the word 'digital' to describe a process." 

Everything is digital now, he explained. 

Shindler — who describes himself as a consultant, thought leader, forward thinking executive and sought after speaker — should know. For more than 30 years, he's been a consultant to creative, technology and emerging companies on business, economic, strategic, organizational and operational matters. 

From 1993 to 1996, after stints as an accountant, controller and vice president of finance at various companies, he landed a job as vice president of sales and marketing at Kodak’s digital start-up, Cinesite — largely because of his knowledge of the digital process for production, post production and visual effects. 

It was during this time that Shindler said he saw a market opportunity with the many emerging digital start-up facilities in the entertainment industry. So in 1996, along with his wife, he founded, The Shindler Perspective, an Encino, Calif.-based consultancy focused on companies in the entertainment and entertainment technology industries.

How Winning Brands Define Customer Experience

Although many companies are still struggling to define and measure customer experience (CX), those that spread responsibility for CX across the organization, as well as concentrate on measuring long-term strategies, see a significant jump in sales and revenue, new research reveals.

According to CX Landscape: State of the Industry Report, conducted by Loyalty360, corporate leaders generally realize the importance of customer engagement and CX strategies. But many are unsure how to define customer experience, and because of this, are confused about how to manage it and measure success.

Successful companies "define CX in exhaustive, yet clear measures, use almost twice as many metrics to track CX effectiveness than the rest of the market, and employ short- and long-term metrics to gauge the effectiveness of CX — including complex metrics like ROI and profitability. And perhaps paramount: They include the customer as part of the brand’s reason for being,” Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty 360, noted in the report.

Demystifying Web Personalization: 3 Myths Debunked

2014-12-November-Name-Necklace.jpgIf you want your online business to keep up with the competition, you should be deploying website personalization.

Amazon set the precedent some years ago, and now receives 30 percent of its revenue through its pioneering use of product recommendations. Other e-commerce giants, notably Staples, have acquired entire personalization tools into their arsenal.

Research by Forrester found personalization to be the top priority for 55 percent of retailers. For B2C marketers, it was found to be this year’s top digital priority. Insights from another survey revealed that 83 percent of consumers prefer to receive a personalized cross-channel experience.

There's a number of studies and reports available that all point to the same place: personalization is the future of e-commerce.

Want to Connect With Customers? First Step: Don't Be a Jerk

2014-12-November-Mean-Pallas-Cat.jpgAll businesses have certain characteristics that embody the spirit of the company, and allow a brand to better relate and communicate with its customers. However, there are a few traits in particular that help businesses to truly connect with its customers. This connection is all about being more human.

The Big Challenge for Marketers: Good Content #KenticoConnection

BOSTON — Technology can help solve some of B2B marketers' biggest problems, such as increasing customer engagement and providing measurable results.  But it only works if marketers know how to use it — and it's not their biggest problem.

“The biggest issue for marketers is creating content that supports customer decisions at every step of the journey, " Petr Palas, Kentico CEO and founder, said at the company's two-day conference here this week.

Chief What Officer? Too Many Titles, Too Little Substance #esddc

A year ago, Anne Buff, thought leader with SAS Best Practices, was utterly certain that all companies needed to have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to keep a company's online and digital operations on track.

She was wrong, she came to conclude, and explained why at last week's Enterprise Search & Discovery conference in Washington DC. 

Buff's realization about the role of the CDO, though, extends to the ever-growing universe of new digital-related titles that have emerged in the last few years.

There is chief data officer, of course. Thought leader, Buff wryly points out. And then there's a host of others. Chief digital officer. Chief analytics officer. Chief experience officer. Chief data architect. Data custodian. Data visualization designer. Chief knowledge officer. Chief wisdom officer. Data hygienist. Data trustee. Chief insights officer. Data quality officer and perhaps the most colorful of all, Transmedia Mastermind.

So You Want to Be an Online Community Manager?

2014-11-November-Flock.jpgBecause I write a lot about online communities and online community management, I've had people ask me, “I’d like to make a career change into community management. Where do I start?” The first thing I tell them is that I’m not a community manager. But I quickly follow by saying that I work with community managers and that they’re the target audience for much of the content I develop.

SAP, Facebook Up the Ante on Personalized Marketing #SAPtd

OK, we were a little off. When IBM and Twitter partnered last month in what they called a landmark connection for enterprise data analysis, we figured more would come.

"What's next?" we asked. "Oracle and Facebook? SAP and LinkedIn? Microsoft and Pinterest?"

So maybe we had the companies mixed up. But we knew something was coming. And it's SAP and Facebook.

The enterprise software giant connected with the social media king today in a partnership that allows SAP to combine insight with customer engagement by using Facebook’s scalable Custom Audiences targeting capability. This enables marketers, officials at the companies claim, to use SAP solutions to reach customers on Facebook.

That Anonymous Visitor Is Your Next Great Customer

2014-10-November-Fake-Mustache.jpgPersonalization is critical to your business -- we can all agree on that. But when it comes to rolling up our proverbial sleeves and getting down to getting personal, the conversation veers into choppy waters. Why? It’s a simple enough notion.

Compare digital personalization tactics to the local corner store from decades ago. Remember the butcher who held the special cut of meat for a favorite customer? Or the clerk who knew I wanted the next comic book in the series? That was personalization in the pre-Internet days but, even though the landscape has changed dramatically, the rules really haven’t. We, as marketers, just have infinitely more to work with -- and even greater demands than a pound of sirloin.

Obama, the FCC and 2 Perspectives on Net Neutrality

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The White House and President Obama dropped the hammer on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday, pressuring the FCC to introduce rules that would strengthen protection of the "Net Neutrality" concept for consumers.

Is this something that should thrill supporters of a free and open web or just more spin from an administration looking for positive press? In this CMSWire Point/Counterpoint, we'll look at both sides of the issue.

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