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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

A Data-Driven Look at the Open Source E-Commerce Market

Retail businesses are moving online in growing numbers. 

Compared to Q4 2013, last quarter’s US online sales rose 14.6 percent to a staggering $79.6 billion dollars. This accounted for 6.7 percent of the total US retail sales market. Major trends fueling this growth include the proliferation of mobile devices, faster online checkout flows and improved fulfillment practices.

The availability of open source e-commerce platforms is helping some offline business with the move online. Much like WordPress provides free, customizable CMS solutions, popular open source e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop offer a variety of pre-built templates and plugins that DIY retailers can customize to build and grow an online business from scratch.

To get a feel for the size of this trend, here’s a current snapshot of the top providers and number of websites they power.

If Your Social Media Marketing Tools Could Think

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If you spend several hours a week trying to determine the best day and time to post to social media, posting content and trying to make sense of the analytics afterward, you might want to listen to Brennan White.

He’s the CEO of Cortex, a new artificial intelligence tool for social media marketing that he claims can save marketers so much time, they can finally get back to the root of social media: creating content.

White believes we’ve entered into an era where marketers should demand more from their marketing tools, and use less of them.

CMS Vendors Partner on Open Customer Data Sharing Standard

What the web has always lacked is a reliable and secure way to identify you. 

Sure, there are ways for you to log onto services, and there are servers in the business of letting you borrow their login mechanisms. But that’s just for letting you in the front door. 

What about when a commercial site wants to know something about you?

CMSWire Tweet Jam: Defining 2015's CMO #CXMChat

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The Chief Marketing Officer's role has grown in both significance and complexity in recent years. As the expectations and demands on CMOs continue to evolve, what new challenges await them? What can they do to stay ahead of the curve? Find out this Thursday during our "Defining 2015's CMO" Tweet Jam.

3 Reasons a CMO's Digital Projects Fail

2015-26-March-face-plant.jpgIf you’re a CMO, you know better than anyone how your role has transformed over the past few years. CMOs are no longer an advertising cost center, isolated within their organizations with accountability for secondary digital projects.

Today, they are full-blown digital players, charged with profit and loss and caring for the entire customer lifecycle. If your company has a digital customer-facing project underway, it’s a sure bet that the buck stops with the CMO.

Thanks Apple: You Made It Easier to Market Luxury Wearable Tech

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You don't even have to like Apple products to acknowledge the company is a master when it comes to marketing and branding. This is the company, after all, that is widely perceived as the one that produces products that consumers want — before they know they want them.

So now Apple has entered the smartwatch market.

And it should really knock everyone over with a feather to realize that the company has gone to great lengths to develop what it predicts will be a market trendsetter, packed full of features and design refinements unseen in earlier smartwatches.

Meet the Top Brands Consumers Really Trust

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Bruce Temkin thinks it all comes down to a matter of trust.

Over the past five years, he's evaluated thousands of brand perceptions and distilled them all into his company's Temkin Trust Ratings.

Brands that earn trust do so over time -- with consistent customer experiences, he said.

"Trust is built up over time based on the experience that consumers have with the company," said Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner of the Waban, Mass.-based Temkin Group.

"The top companies are really good at meeting their brand promises. That's why the companies at the top of the list have employees that understand and are bought into the company's mission and its brand promises. They're committed to earning the trust of customers. They tend to do really well in our Temkin Experience Ratings as well, showing that they deliver great customer experience."

I'm Not the Dammed Newbie Here

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There are few aspects of my professional life that I enjoy less than evaluating enterprise software. Granted, my company sells enterprise software, and I’m in charge of marketing it, so I get the irony here.

But while enterprise software vendors increasingly focus on user experience, we are sorely deficient in prospect experience.

The problem starts like this: I make contact and explain my interests (usually in detail), and then schedule a meeting with someone I presume to have experience with the software. Knowing that everyone’s time is valuable, I do my homework. I do research. I prepare a list of questions. If my questions involve anything more than the basics, I send them ahead of time, just to make sure I give my sales contact the time needed to prepare.

And then comes demo day.

Are These Vendors the Best at Social Media Monitoring?

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Social media marketing can be a lot like email blasts. Send out something, and see if it sticks

We're still in early days here. Many digital marketing teams, especially B2B, still search for that "gotcha" in social media marketing.

"One of the difficult things about using what I call flat metrics as a barometer for success is that there isn't often an actionable next step," said Erin Robbins O’Brien, chief operating officer at San Francisco-based GinzaMetrics, which just released a social intelligence suite. 

"For instance, a tweet receiving a high volume of retweets is often not analyzed for how it worked, who it worked for -- in terms of audience segmentation/persona group -- and if it would have worked on other channels or just Twitter. This means marketers aren't able to harness the good and fix the bad as easily."

Vendors claim they make these fixes. And where there are vendors, therein lies software rankings.

G2 Crowd, the Chicago-based crowdsourcing platform that provides user-review based reports on business software, released its Grid for Social Media Monitoring today. At least 10 users must have submitted reviews/ratings on a vendor for it to be mentioned in the report. The report looks at customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on market share, vendor size and social impact).

How accurate are they? Like any reviews, take them with a few grains of salt.

Do We Expect Too Much of CMOs?

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You may have noticed that the relationship between buyer and seller is in major flux. This turmoil impacts the position tasked with leading firms’ marketing efforts and held responsible for leading firms’ marketing efforts — the CMO. Today’s Chief Marketing Officer tops a pyramid of people, technology and behavioral science focused on getting the brand’s message to its intended audience in order to convince that audience to buy.

Many CMOs are finding it difficult to shoulder the blizzard of responsibilities descending on their desks. The CMO’s average tenure is just 45 months -- considerably shorter than their CEO, CFO and CTO counterparts. 

Given this level of turnover, it’s fair to ask why, with all the new and sophisticated technological resources available, so many CMOs can’t seem to get their feet on the ground.

Coke's Happiness Formula: Compelling Stories About Real People

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Tim Goudie is a pilot, a camper, a hiker, a swimmer, a skier.

But he's also an international marketer with global experience in a variety of packaged goods industries.

He's director of social media, sustainability, for The Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where he specializes in driving corporate trust and brand love.

His 15-year career with the company spans three countries and includes roles in global interactive marketing, sports marketing and strategic brand marketing, among others.

Cracking the Code on Personalization

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It’s no secret that customer experience is a big deal. Companies who are great at it win, those who fall short, lose. While we have the necessary data to improve that experience in ways that increase loyalty and drive sales, there’s a discrepancy between what shoppers want and what brands deliver.

At the core of that? Personalization. It’s essential to success as a digital brand, yet, while our dictionaries may have agreed on its meaning -- ”to design or tailor to meet an individual’s specifications, needs or preferences” -- things get far trickier out in the digital marketing world.

See What? B2B Marketers Takeaways on Ad Viewability

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B2B marketers need to measure if people see their ads.

Naturally, right? Industry insiders refer to this as "viewability." Google cares a lot about this.

So should B2B marketers, said Elizabeth Harz, president of media at ADARA, a digital advertising platform based in Mountain View, Calif.

"Driving for the broadest reach with the lowest expense possible may dictate for lower viewability goals versus attempting to run 100 percent viewable campaigns, which may result in lower ROI," Harz told CMSWire. "All marketers need to first define the goal or expectation of their campaigns and then align metrics like viewability to those goals."

The Cost of Complexity Is Use

The best way to measure complexity is to measure use. Given a choice, the harder something is to use the less people will use it. 

Give Your Customers Steady, Clear Messages - Or You'll Lose Them

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Bob Egner's seen good digital experiences — and bad ones, too. Egner's the vice president of product management at Stockholm, Sweden-based EPiServer.

He's also a connected consumer. Egner tried to renew a PC security subscription once but failed to navigate the company's poor -- and confusing -- digital experience on his mobile phone. The price changed. Offers were inconsistent.

"When I took the experience forward, there were a number of places where I got derailed. What's the takeaway? Confusion and distrust equals goodbye," Egner said during a CMSWire webinar last week. You can watch the full webinar at the end of this story.

Digital marketers and organizations investing in digital experiences can avoid losing connected consumers like Egner by simply knowing their customers' preferred journeys -- and executing clear, consistent messages.

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