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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

Goodbye Mobile Apps, Hello Multi-Device Experiences

customer experience, mobile phonesYour app runs in a little square.

All the money you spend on developers, design teams, content production and infrastructure for your app essentially boils down to a little square. Sometimes it’s a bigger square. Sometimes it’s more of a rectangle. And sometimes your app is responsive and tries to adjust itself as the square changes shape.

But in the end, your brand's communications still come down to that little square.

How to Approach Your Next Web Replatforming

Web CMS, 2014-06-August-Ants-Moving.jpgThere’s no rest for the weary if you're a digital marketer in 2014. As the pace of technological change accelerates, it’s all one can do to keep up. Take replatforming, that Herculean effort of moving from one website solution to another, whether an upgrade or moving to a different vendor’s solution.

As technology’s pace quickens the cycle of replatforming gets shorter and shorter. Where once a 5-year cycle would be deemed leading edge, today it puts you smack in the middle of the laggard quadrant of the adoption lifecycle. In fact, a strong argument could be made that replatforming should be treated as an ongoing program, not a one-time project. 

How to Reduce 'Tech Effort' in Support Centers

customer service, 2014-06-August-Tangled.jpgResolving customer issues quickly and during the first interaction takes effort. It involves creating the right culture, integrating new technologies and improving processes. Market leaders are dedicating huge sums of money to enhance their customer support or acquiring companies with proven support technology to reach these goals.

IBM's report,“The Customer-activated Enterprise,” surveyed more than 4,000 executives and came away with three common themes: companies want to be more open to customer influence, pioneer digital-physical innovation and craft engaging customer experiences. All three themes can be seen across the tech support industry. Customers want their tech issues resolved quickly, and in the communication style and channel they choose.

The Key to Measuring Content Marketing ROI

Content Marketing, 2014-06-August-REVS-COST.jpg"How do we measure the return on our content investment?

This question made a lot of sense 4-5 years ago. What we today call “big data” was in its infantile stages. Data collection was robust, but costs were high and usability was poor. Expenditures related to content were roughly 3 to 4 percent of marketing budgets and users weren’t used to the idea of companies producing content. Simply put, most of us didn’t really want or care to measure the results. The ability, desire and necessity of measuring content value just wasn’t there.

With content marketing expenditures increasing to approximately 30 to 40 percent of corporate marketing budgets, content marketing initiatives need to be grounded in repeatable and informative data structures. In short, as the budgets grow, so does the need for attribution and accountability.

Understanding how to assign attribution and accountability is where things get tricky. However, it doesn’t get tricky in the way most might think.

Improve DAM Workflows Without Breaking the Budget

2014-06-August-Hard-Times.jpgThe last thing creative staff want to do is add metadata to their assets and upload them into an asset management system. They want to create, not spend any amount of time performing administrative tasks. And I don't think it's a good use of their time either.

But these tasks are essential. It doesn’t matter how great the content is if you can’t find it, and if you can’t find it, you can’t use it.

What's New in August for Open Source CMS

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A fact many of us learned in high school — that popularity has its downsides — is proving to be true in the world of open source content management systems (CMS).

Take WordPress — the most popular CMS in the world, powering an astonishing 47.4 percent of all sites on the Internet, according to BuiltWith, a website profiler, lead generation, competitive analysis and business intelligence tool.

July, to use a shameless cliché, was both the best of times, and the worst of times, for this inordinately popular platform. New research from 34SP.com found more than half of UK small businesses are using WordPress as a CMS, thereby “finally blowing away its image as just a blogging platform."

The same study also confirmed a few things that were not included in the official results, including the fact 31 percent of 34SP.com clients who use WordPress call wine their favorite beverage (Jägerbombs really disappointed with just 1 percent of the votes) and only 13 percent have more than 500 friends on Facebook. What does this have to do with anything? Nothing. So let's move on.

Sitecore Marries .NET Customer Experience, E-Commerce

Sitecore's acquisition of commerceserver.net is getting its wings.

Now, Sitecore officials report, they have the first enterprise-grade .NET customer experience management solution with fully integrated commerce functionality. They are blending real time digital marketing with enterprise commerce.

The San Francisco-based company today released an "early access program" for its new platform, Sitecore Commerce. The capabilities Sitecore officials described -- personalization, relevant digital experiences, customer lifecyle, single, connected platform -- are in line with the all-in-one engine that Sitecore touts.

"Following the acquisition of commerceserver.net last November, Sitecore has blended real-time digital marketing with powerful enterprise commerce," Mark Floisand, vice president of product marketing at Sitecore, told CMSWire. "We're also working closely with Microsoft Dynamics AX to build an omni-channel commerce offering built for retailers who need to bridge the gap between in-store and digital experiences."

Brick and Mortar Fights Back Against the E-Commerce Tsunami

customer experience, 2014-05-August-Boxer.jpgTraditional brick and mortar retailers have been mired in a slump for most of the last year. To change their fortunes, they need to strengthen their core asset -- their stores. The majority aren't equipped to compete against pure play e-tailers on their own terms -- they don't have e-commerce in their DNA like the Amazons or eBays, they lack the technical skillsets required, and with $260B+ in online sales in the US alone in 2013, it’s too late to put the lid back on Pandora’s Box.

While many view traditional brick and mortar stores as more of an anchor than an advantage, more than 90 percent of retail sales still occur in store. Retailers need to use them to their advantage to push back against e-commerce competition.

Content: Say Something New

2014-04-August-Yawn.jpgI have a confession to make: I’m bored.

I’m bored of seeing the same regurgitated articles every week. I’m bored of our disciplines debating if we should be called content strategy, content marketing or inbound marketing. I’m tired of us fighting about how important content strategists are or should be, or need to be. I’m bored because instead of showing me the work, you talk about how you would approach the work, or should approach the work. Why don’t you just show me how you approached it and what you learned?

Print is View, Web is Do

How much of your organization’s online world is made up of dead zones and how much is do zones? A dead zone is any space where there’s nothing to do. It’s a big pretty picture, or a huge graphic-heavy masthead, or a long-winded explanation of what you do or what the customer can do. The customer doesn’t want an explanation of what they can do. They just want to do.

 

Discussion Point: Where Do Customer Success Teams Belong?

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Customer success (CS) is one of the hotter topics heard across the sprawling sales and marketing universe today. But does anyone know who those CS folks report to at the office?

You'd think so. Thousands of marketing, customer support and sales people have flocked to customer success conferences this year. There are about 250 CS jobs currently listed on Monster. There's a well established Customer Success Association. And there's a growing list of data, analytics and cloud vendors pitching their wares to flush Chief Customer Success Officers.

Amy Webb: From Gaming Online Dating Sites to Advising Marketers

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Amy Webb understands data. In fact, according to her book, Data: A Love Story, she "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband.

But that's just the start of the interesting things about her. Webb is a digital media futurist and founder of Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy agency that spots near-term emerging technology trends and develops strategies for media organizations, Fortune 100 and 500 companies, large nonprofits, universities and government agencies.

She's also the co-founder of Spark Camp, which Fast Company described as "the ultimate summer camp for influencers" (only it actually happens year round). The camp encourages "creative conversations between genius strangers.”

This Week: Microsoft Loses with Google, Wins with Oracle

Make Customer Experience Seamless
The brands that can work out our new technology terrain will thrive.

Sharpen B2B LinkedIn Marketing 
LinkedIn the best B2B social media marketing avenue? Make the most of it. 

Google Docs Jabs MS Office 
Take that, Microsoft. Google Docs just got better at collaborating.

Collaboration, for Free?
A startup is offering a free service to add a Facebook-like collaboration tool to any web page.

Microsoft Owns Oracle
Oracle's big data customers are jumping ship for Redmond, Wash.

Big Big Data Marriage
Hortonworks announces a $50 million investment from HP, but it's not all about the money.

White Paper: The 3 Stages of Digital Marketing Maturity
Tame the complex problem of channel explosion and need for cloud speed.
Download Now

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News Bites: Qstream's New Scenarios, CredSpark's Social Quizzes, More

NEWS BITES.jpg

August beckons, and, in the news over the past week: Qstream has updated its sales-based scenarios, Vidyard is now playing nicer with Salesforce's Pardot, CredSpark has released embeddable social quizzes, and Exponential Interactive unveils three new interactive ad formats.

The Future is Programmatic

Since the first banner ad was served in 1994, digital media has been on a steady course of evolution.

In the past 15 years, the ways in which digital media has been bought, sold and measured changed at a reasonable pace, making it fairly easy for advertisers and publishers to keep up with the latest trends. However, the last six years, specifically, have seen a rapid shift in the digital media ecosystem.

New technology-based solutions have continued to propagate in an effort to provide buyers and sellers with more efficient and effective ways to buy digital media, and the explosive growth of the Internet has provided publishers with an unprecedented amount of ad inventory.

To manage the massive scale of this digital adverting jungle, new technologies are now easing the process of buying and selling advertising through automation or, as it’s termed today, programmatic.

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