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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

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."

What's the Real Deal with Marketing Content?

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Talk to any marketer today about her demand generation strategy and she’ll regale you with stories of the magical properties of content.

It’s consuming increasing amounts of money, according to a recent study by Starfleet Media. Specifically, marketers now spend 20 to 50 percent of their budgets on content creation — and 25 percent plan to spend even more in 2015. Already, about 7 percent of the survey’s respondents spend more than 75 percent of their marketing budgets on content.

Content is designed to engage buyers. It informs, inspires and illuminates while building brand credibility and preference. Done correctly, it can influence buyers to act in ways that favor the brand.

The aspiration is correct, but the reality doesn’t measure up: content has become a panacea. It’s the new elixir of customer engagement, applied in peanut butter fashion across every possible channel, in every imaginable form.

Why Agile As We Know It Will Disappear

2014-22-September-BackFlip.jpgSomeday, Agile as we know it will disappear. It won’t be because everyone will give up on sprints and story points. It won’t be because some new idea blows it all away. Tomorrow’s Agile will be fundamentally different, because it will be just that -- fundamental.

Wrapping Up Hubspot's #INBOUND14

HubSpot's INBOUND 2014 conference wrapped up yesterday in Boston, ending a week of events punctuated by higher-than-anticipated attendance and the company’s announcement that it would be launching a new sales platform. It includes a free CRM and what the company calls a “sales acceleration product” called Sidekick.

It's Time for Sales to Embrace Content Marketing

2014-19-September-Hugs.jpgEffective content marketing can revolutionize the way we sell. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) reported that 53 percent of organizations select and stay with a vendor based on sales experience over factors such as product features or price. Customer loyalty is driven by the sales experience, yet sales leaders continue to arm sales teams with the same content portals and tools as they have for years. Buying has evolved, but selling has not. It’s time for a change and content marketing can help sales get there.

Want to Understand Your Customers? Talk to Seth Godin

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Seth Godin writes the most popular marketing blog in the world — and he gets customer experience.

As he once noted,  "The complaining customer doesn't want a refund. He wants a connection, an apology and some understanding. He wants to know why you made him feel stupid or ripped off or disrespected, and why it's not going to happen again." 

And he knows that an apology means more than a mumbled "sorry." It has to include both compassion and contrition, he wrote recently:

We're sorry that your flight was cancelled. This must have truly messed up your day, sir." That's a statement of compassion. "Cancelling a flight that a valued customer trusted us to fly is not the way we like to do business. We messed up." That's what contrition sounds like. We were wrong and we learned from it. The disappointing thing is that most people and organizations that take the time to apologize intentionally express neither compassion nor contrition."

Godin is the founder of Squidoo.com, a fast-growing recommendation website, and the author of 17 bestselling books. He is responsible for many words in the marketer's vocabulary, including permission marketing, ideaviruses, purple cows, the dip and sneezers.

Combine what has been called his "irrepressible speaking style" with his "no-holds-barred blog" and you can understand how he has developed a worldwide following. 

News Bites: Platforms and Clouds, Phones and Ohms

The latest in training, security, integrating, golfing and expanding from the home of the Apple Blossom Festival, Deadwood City and Silicon Wadi, Gator Country and Cantabrigia, the Land of Poets and Philosophers and Fog City.

How to Tune Up Your Tweets #INBOUND14

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Fair to say Twitter has a pretty good audience with its 271 million active monthly users who collectively send out a billion tweets every two days.

As you might suspect, research shows that tapping into Twitter really helps to drive your business.

According to Twitter statistics
• 73 percent of users feel better about an SMB after following its account and reading its Tweets
• 60 percent of users who follow SMBs have purchased something because of Twitter

But not all tweets are created equal. 

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