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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

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No More Messaging in the Dark: Get Sales + Marketing on the Same Page

2014-26-September-Flashlight-Reading.jpgGiven the rise of marketing automation software over the past five years, today's B2B sales funnel is half illuminated and half in the dark. Sales and marketing teams have near-perfect visibility into how leads interact in the top half of the funnel and the insights needed to improve the marketing process, yet they remain blind to how content is supporting sales reps in the bottom half.

Avoid These Common Web CMS Implementation Pitfalls

2014-25-September-Wile-E-Coyote.jpgContent Management Systems (CMS) have evolved tremendously in the last decade, maturing into an impressive list of offerings. As these offerings have grown in complexity, so too has implementation. Selecting the right solution for your company and a digital partner can mitigate these challenges, but once your implementation is underway a few common issues can cause havoc on the project.

Marketing Budgets Rise, CMO Tenure Falls

Two studies from IDC's marketing group provided mixed messages for CMOs.

First, the good news. A survey of 101 large technology companies showed that they expect to increase their marketing budgets by 3.5 percent this year, nearly matching the 3.7 percent growth they expect in sales. The average survey participant was a company with more than $7 billion in sales.

Storytelling in the Mobile Millisecond

2014-25-September-Next-Stop.jpg“Wrong number,” says a familiar voice.

Lost my wallet, found my desires.

Sounded much better in my head.

I should have brought a GPS.

What do these sentences have in common? They’re all six words long. And they all tell a story. With forums and Tumblrs devoted to it, and anthologies published each year, you’ve likely heard of the six word story phenomenon. It’s a deceptively simple exercise: tell a story in just six words or less. And it’s captured a huge following of writers and readers who love seeing just how much punch can be packed in one brief sentence.

How to Energize Your E-Commerce Site

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Does your e-commerce site still look like an electronic version of a mail-order catalog? If so, it’s time to take a big leap forward. It's 2014, after all.

“Consumers are looking for more than just a product online. They’re looking for something to support their lifestyle,” said Glenn Conradt, vice president of Global Product Marketing at CoreMedia, a web content management software provider. "It's no longer enough just to handle the transactional elements of the e-commerce relationship. It has to go beyond that and be experiential.”

This means adding features to those flat, featureless sites to give them new energy and life. Think videos, for instance, showing consumers how a product actually works, as well as providing creative ideas and tips.

SWAM: When LinkedIn Locks Down Social Networking

2014-24-September-Smily-Lockdown.jpgIf you post updates to LinkedIn groups, think twice before you click the "Share" button. Say the wrong thing and you might get sent to the LinkedIn penalty box for an extended period of time. According to LinkedIn policy, if a group moderator feels for any reason that your post is irrelevant or is spam, he can temporarily blacklist you from posting to that group and to all your other LinkedIn groups as well.

LinkedIn may still be the reigning champion of professional social networking, but it won’t be for long if it continues to alienate its most active participants.

Base CRM Wants to Take on Industry Heavy Hitters

2014-24-September-Boxing-Gloves.jpgA small CRM software provider feels it has the alternative to big players Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP.

Palo Alto-based Base CRM released a new set of features officials say will give sales leaders the tools to "make an immediate impact on the productivity of their teams" by moving the CRM dynamic from "static to "real time." It helps its 5,000 or so customers fill a gap, officials say, that exists with legacy cloud SFA and CRM systems like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

"The CRM market is crowded with legacy solutions like Salesforce, MS Dynamics and SAP," Uzi Shmilovici, CEO of Base, told CMSWire. "These offerings mainly consist of a large database that is manually populated through a series of forms. The legacy solutions are not easy to use, they suffer when it comes to mobility and they do not return benefits to the sales reps who are forced to use the CRMs."

Why Apple Pay Will Boost Mobile Payments

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Apple did more than announce its new, bigger iPhone 6 and super sized iPhone 6 Plus and much-anticipated Apple Watch earlier this month.

It also showcased its new mobile payment system, Apple Pay. Though payment via mobile devices using near-field communication (NFC) is not a new concept, Apple went beyond the norm.

Rather than just add an NFC radio to its new phones and watch and call it a day, it engineered a complete payment system and network. It's now ready for launch with its other new products, which is very likely why Apple Pay will succeed where other NFC payment systems have failed.

B2B Buyers Need Great Content, Not Fireworks

2014-24-September-M-Mouse-Razzle-Dazzle.jpgFrom a host of breathless blog posts and enraptured articles, we all know what a B2C customer experience is supposed to look like: the customer enters a store and is immediately whisked away to a world of personalized activities that enhance the buyer’s connection to the seller. We often hear how this customer should be “delighted” or “enchanted.” It sounds a lot more like a Disneyland attraction than a shopping experience.

The B2B customer has a customer experience, too -- but it’s based on other considerations. B2B buyers don’t need immersion or enchantment: they have something they need to buy to keep their businesses running and profitable. They want to sustain their business, not be immersed in someone else’s.

Just the same, they have a customer experience. And if you’re paying attention to the way buyers are buying, it should be clear that the experience starts long before they make contact with your sales staff.

Stock Photo Agency Adds Social to Search

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Sure a picture is worth a whole lotta words. But how do you find the right picture to use in your marketing?

As anyone who has combed the archives of a stock photo site can attest, it isn't easy. 

But Dreamstime, a stock photography agency based in Brentwood, Tenn., claims it has a solution. It's factoring social media into its search function.

Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Gets Personal with Apps

2014-23-September-Marc-Benioff.jpgSalesforce officials are in Indianapolis this week at its Connections 2014 conference promoting the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. 

The latest addition -- Journey Builder for Apps -- helps users deliver personalized customer journeys directly from mobile apps, they said. Today they announced it also allows customers to use the Salesforce CRM platform to connect the customer journey across sales, service, marketing and communities. 

It's about the ability to "move me along that journey with content that's relevant to me," as Salesforce Chief Marketing Officer Lynn Vojvodich said this morning at the 8,000-person Indianapolis show.

Personalized Content: Nice in Theory, Challenging in Practice

2014-23-September-Cookie-Cutter.jpgAmid the intense focus on vehicles for marketing -- social media, omnichannel merchandising and what have you -- heightened interest in content and its role in marketing is a welcome development. Perhaps content marketing hasn’t taken center stage before because everyone does it, and always has. If what you tell or show prospective customers has always been part of your marketing efforts, what has changed to justify the increased interest?

While the goals and concepts of content marketing have remained the same, the evolution of technology and the internet have largely taken over media and delivery channels, changing the execution of those concepts in ways that are forcing a radical rethinking of how best to engage rapidly changing target audiences.

Kana Blends Analytics Into Its Customer Engagement Suite #Connect2014

Thumbnail image for 2014-10-July-SS-Robert Hoetink.jpgSince Verint bought KANA earlier this year for $514 million, the question has been how the business analytics company would blend KANA's customer experience services into its suite of employee services.

The answer, or at least a big part of it, came today in San Francisco as the new "KANA, a Verint company" introduced a big data solution called Engagement Analytics at the Connect2014 conference.

The new product ties the actions of employees together with the experience of customers across the web, mobile, contact center and other channels in near real time.

Shopzilla Rebrands as Connexity

You probably saw this coming. In June, Shopzilla, the shopping search engine, branded three newly-combined business units as Connexity — the name of the programmatic media buying startup it acquired in February.

Today, the Las Angles-based marketing technology provider took the next logical step and officially rebranded as Connexity.

Company officials said the new name will help highlight the shift of the company from comparison shopping to technology driven marketing solutions that "enable retailers and brands to understand their consumers better, acquire new customers at a lower cost and increase sales based on retail signals."

Shopzilla had been best known for its comparison shopping websites, such as Shopzilla and Bizrate. But CEO Bill Glass said today that the comparison shopping websites "were just the tip of the iceberg."

In a statement, Glass noted, "We have launched a comprehensive set of solutions so marketers can touch consumers at every stage of the path to purchase from awareness, consideration, transaction, right to loyalty. These businesses are now the majority of our revenue and growing at an accelerating rate."

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