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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

Hit the Digital Accelerator: 5 Reasons You Must Go Digital Now

2014-19-June-Skid.jpgDigital transformation describes how companies are using technology to add a digital dimension to customer or partner experiences, change the way employees do their jobs, or add new digital or data-based lines of business. These kinds of experiences are no longer just conveniences. They are becoming the de facto standard, and have created strong impetus for businesses who haven’t done so already to start on the path to digital transformation. These five key trends are making digital transformation an imperative for businesses today.

Context Defines the Future User Experience

2014-19-June-You-Are-Here-2.jpg"The better we know our customer, the more effectively we can market to them." This has been true since cavemen traded animal skins for berries. But it was with the advent of the Internet that marketers suddenly had the tools to truly understand their consumers in real time. First it was websites and email marketing, followed by social media marketing. More recently, marketers have turned to inbound marketing, in which they gently "prod" customers with valued content, until the customer signals they are ready to engage.

Now there’s "context marketing." Context marketing, in the words of one marketing firm, “uses technology to glean insight on the person behind your persona, and deliver customized messages in a way that most appeals to that individual.” But what do we mean by context?

Marketing Automation Tweet Jam: Meet the Experts #CXMChat

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The role of the modern digital marketer is not an easy one. Every day, another program, process or product is thrown their way claiming to be the one solution that will make or break their marketing strategy. As marketing automation continues to evolve, will providing customers with a positive experience become easier in the near future? What's preventing everyone from jumping on the marketing automation bandwagon? Find out at this Thursday during this month's Tweet Jam!

How Much Is Your Data Worth?

2014-19-June-Froggy-Love.jpgIn today’s age of information, data is currency. Information about our preferences, habits and everything in our life is a valuable commodity for companies trying to learn more about us in order to make us their customer. The value of our personal data seems to rise every day.

If our personal data is valuable, shouldn’t we guard our privacy more closely? If we are giving away information for free, how much are we getting in return? Data for services is the business model for both Google and Facebook. They provide you a free service and in return, they mine your data to drive advertising revenue. The question people don’t seem to be asking is this, “Is the average consumer aware of the value of their information to make an informed decision?”

How Marketers Can Get a Better Handle on Data

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Web analytics means nothing without website content to measure. But over the past few years, web developers and designers have increased the ways in which website content can be curated and marketed.

The result is an overwhelming number of options for measuring how well digital media such as websites, social media and apps serve customer needs. But marketers can get a better handle around all this data by understanding data structure.

How can marketers do that? The solution starts with a light overview of HTML and object oriented programming protocols, which specify data type and format.

Chief Digital Officer: Vital Leader or Fading Trend?

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To hire a chief digital officer or not to hire a chief digital officer.

Is that the new question in the digital age? Could be. 

And depending on who you ask, the answer differs.

A Forrester report found just 1 percent of firms plan to hire a chief digital officer (CDO) in the next 12 months. A full 50 percent have no plans to create this executive role.

And then there's Constellation Research, whose June 18 report stressed the need for the chief digital officer. CDOs, it suggested, can help companies successfully navigate this era of digital disruption.

And don't get David Mathison started. Forrester came out with a similar report and thesis last November, which suggested that CDOs may not be the answer.

Mathison, the curator for the Chief Digital Officer Summit, told us then that these are the “glory days for digitally savvy CMOs who can now bypass IT entirely by using the cloud and AWS and BYOD. (Forrester) should be looking at the underlying reasons for the drive to hire digital leaders such as CDOs versus having the CIO or the CMO do the job.”

News Bites: Learn E-Commerce from Google Analytics, Discover Tealium's DIY Marketing Cloud, More

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This week: Tealium launches do-it-yourself marketing clouds, LightCMS provides a platform for websites and stores, Google Analytics offers a course and NICE Systems helps to optimize the journey of NICE customers.

Amazon's New Fire Phone Targets Apple

Thumbnail image for 2014-18-June-Amazon-Boxes.jpgAmazon, the company that wants to sell you everything, today introduced a phone that should make that much easier.

The Fire phone is the first smartphone from the Seattle-based retailer. But before you say ho-hum, it's not just the latest sparkly gadget. It's a clear signal that Amazon now has locked onto Apple with its infrared sensors.

Importantly, the phone connects with other Amazon services directly, meaning you'll be able to do quick price checks on 70 million products, choose from 35 million songs, tune in 160 live TV channels or watch 245,000 movies. Bandwidth sold separately, but the first year of Amazon Prime, the company's entertainment service, is included.

Escape Digital Experience Deja Vu

2014-18-June-Mimes.jpgDéjà vu, a French term that literally means “already seen” is defined as the phenomenon of having a strong sensation that you have already experienced something that is actually happening for the first time. Up to 70 percent of people report having experienced some form of déjà vu.

For me it happens all the time. Especially in terms of the marketing messages and offers I receive.

Adobe Doubles Growth to 2.3M in Creative Cloud Subscriptions

Adobe has more than doubled the number of subscriptions to its Creative Cloud, climbing to more than 2.3 million users, the company stated today.

The news comes as the San Jose, Calif.-based software provider announced 14 new versions of Creative Cloud desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Dreamweaver CC and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Adobe calls it the biggest release since CS6. It also includes four new mobile apps, creative hardware, updates to Creative Cloud services and new offerings for enterprise, education and photography customers.

How to Blog - and Why You Should

What's the best way to reach consumers with marketing messages? An e-book from content marketer Uberflip has a one word answer: blogs. 

The e-book, "Blogging in the Age of Modern Marketing," states that blogs are "a proven, cost effective marketing channel for driving leads and generating customers – if done well."

Of course, "if done well" is the rub. It sometimes seems there are as many blogs out there as stars in the sky -- and they often seem as similar to each other.

Reading a blog is an investment of time by the user, and it's not easy to make it worth the effort. Uberflip points to the various reasons brands should attempt to establish a presence in the blogosphere – building brand awareness, supporting search engine optimization, thought leadership that makes your brand more visible and qualified leads.

Measuring Business Communities: Are We Doing It Wrong?

2014-18-June-Sandbar-Shark.jpg“What gets measured gets done” -- we've all heard the saying. And business communities are no exception. But how do you measure something that you don’t understand – or understand something that you can’t measure?

It's unfortunately still the case that most companies don't understand community, judging by job postings on job boards and attempts to measure its ROI.

But it’s not their fault. Because community is not a discreet set of activities but rather, a foundational communication platform. Calculating the ROI of community is a bit like calculating ROI of email – as difficult as it is pointless. And yet understanding the business impact of communities is critical to being taken seriously by company executives.

Brick-and-Mortar 'Cloud Store' isn't What it Seems #AmazonEvent

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It could be a coincidence, but then again, maybe not. Either way, it seems all but certain that Amazon will finally unveil its very own smartphone later today at a launch event in Seattle.

And that could have a great deal to do with the “day-long boot camps,” “classes” and tutorials that Amazon is conducting “free of charge” in its brick-and-mortar pop-up cloud store in San Francisco.

Reports indicate the new “device,” which was probably developed in Amazon’s Silicon Valley-based hardware Lab126, will be different than the iPhone and the Android devices we use today because it will have a 3-D, Google glass-type interface.

Chances are good that even the most experienced smart phone app developers might benefit from one-on-one tutorials (like you get at the Genius Bar at Apple) or need some related training to make the most of the new device’s capabilities.

After all, in order for a new smartphone to make a dent in today’s market, its apps and services have to be incredible. And it seems that at least some of those built for Amazon’s forthcoming device already may be.

This Tiny Restaurant Knows More than You About Customer Experience

Thumbnail image for 2014-18-june-Joe's-HomemadeIf you want to learn about customer experience, forget the next overhyped, overcrowded, tech-focused conference. Just eat at Joe's in Savannah, Ga.

Joe's Homemade Café, Catering and Bakery is the best of 750 restaurants in Savannah, at least according to TripAdvisor, a travel site that offers "trusted advice from real travelers." The 510-square foot gem of a restaurant is known for its sandwiches, salads, desserts and exceptionally warm and friendly service.

And while the food is delicious, it begs a customer to ask a question: "How did this tiny space with eight employees in a city of landmarked, exotic restaurants win the hearts of more travelers than any other?"

Don Holland, shown left, who co-owns the business with Ted Paskevich, shown right, doesn't have to think long when asked. "We believe that a strong commitment and delivery of quality food and exceptional service makes us appreciated by our customers," he said.

Oh, and one other thing. "We're big believers in social media."

ChannelAdvisor Helps Drive E-Commerce

ChannelAdvisor claims it "empowers retailers to sell more." Founded in 2001, the company is a provider of cloud-based solutions deployed by retailers and manufacturers to integrate, manage and optimize their merchandise sales across various online channels. 

In early May, ChannelAdvisor delivered strong results for the first quarter, with revenue up nearly 30 percent — including core revenue growth of 32 percent, the fastest organic growth in seven years — and record bookings. But investors weren’t impressed: the stock fell as much as 25 percent over the three sessions following the report.

Organizations use the ChannelAdvisor platform to do everything from manage their product listings and check inventory availability to optimize price changes and select the best search terms across multiple comparison-shopping sites, e-commerce marketplaces and search engines.

The company supports roughly 150 shopping engines, 35 marketplaces worldwide and all of the major search engines.

According to CEO and cofounder Scot Wingo, customers usually come to ChannelAdvisor with an acute need to solve a specific pain point across their e-commerce businesses. They almost always want to automate and expand online, then optimize return on investment across the various channels. 

E-commerce is growing. Is ChannelAdvisor poised to capitalize on it?

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