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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

Time to Embrace Marketing Automation #KenticoConnection

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If you’re like many marketers you’ve probably got a list of tasks you think would improve your website and e-mail marketing. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get them done.

If this scenario sounds familiar — it’s time to automate, Brian McKeiver, a senior solution architect and co-owner of BizStream, an Allendale, Mich.-based web and software development company, told attendees at he Kentico Connection 2014 in Boston last week.

'Death by PowerPoint' and Other Sales Training Fails [Infographic]

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Earlier this year I was at an annual two-day sales training event for a global software company. The venue, meals and entertainment had been painstakingly planned to ensure everyone had a memorable time. Unfortunately the actual training portion of the event was not so memorable.

Based on roles, tenure and a self-assessment, each sales team member was given a curriculum of mandatory training classes to attend.

External experts as well as internal employees from product marketing, sales enablement, marketing and sales operations taught the classes. The goal was to improve sales productivity and achieve a target level of skill consistency across geographic regions.

According to the senior director of sales training, “Curriculums provide personalized training paths so each person builds the right skills they need to be successful.” The training team spent a year on the content, the curriculums and pedagogy in hopes sales would be engaged, motivated and retain more of the information.

The whole training event sounded great on paper except that it lacked a key ingredient: how sales wants to consume information.

Personalized Marketing Can Help Build Lifetime Customers

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Whether they're buying car insurance or professional-grade skis, customers go through cycles of exploring, researching and purchasing. The most successful companies plot the purchasing cycle for every individual customer and tailor their messaging accordingly.

This degree of customized marketing requires effort, notably talking with customers to understand their wants, needs and preferences.

But in an increasingly digital world, brands rarely, if ever, interact with their customers face-to-face. Instead, companies must collect, connect and action the information they can gather about consumers from their online brand interactions to make the experience more personal and, ultimately, more profitable.

Positive and Perplexing Trends in Mobile Marketing #incitesummit

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The burgeoning communications sector for marketers is mobile applications. However, the popularity of the smartphone has fueled growth in other more conventional communications arenas, particularly email.

Dave Hendricks, president of LiveIntent, a New York City-based real time advertising email marketing company, recalled that before the smartphone, individuals used email almost exclusively at their desktop at work and at their computers at home. However, they were offline on the way home from work — or while they were at lunch or dinner, with the exception of Blackberry users.

“Since the rise of the smartphone and the tablet, email has become the number one thing done on any smartphone device,” Hendricks said. He said that 25 minutes to 28 minutes of every hour by mobile users is spent in respect to emails.

Hendricks was one of a host of participants at last week’s “The Incite Summit: East” conference at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. Incite Marketing and Communications of Hoboken, N.J. hosted the two-day event.

Are You Offering a Personalized Journey or a Guided Path?

2014-18-November-Disconnected.jpgHave you tried to get a real, live person on the other end of the phone lately? After pressing 20 buttons on the phone’s keypad to navigate through a labyrinth of menu options, you will likely find yourself still on hold. This familiar scenario illustrates how companies are struggling to find the balance between data-driven efficiencies --automated, generalized responses -- and customer expectations for a personalized experience --the actual answer they are looking for from a living, breathing human on the other end of the phone or chat session.

Why Digital Marketing is Like Hockey #EVOLVE14

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Entrepreneur Ira Lessack kicked off the annual Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) conference by posing an interesting question to a panel of experts. Digital marketing has been discussed for years now, he noted, but where is it on a hockey stick curve?

For a variety of reasons, the consensus of those on stage agreed it remains near the bottom of the stick, a refreshingly candid view that may set the tone for the Evolve'14 conference that runs through tomorrow in San Diego.

"I think we're somewhere down towards the bottom," said Roy Fielding, senior principal scientist for Adobe. He said digital marketers have gotten very good at starting to analyze where they need more data, "but we haven't quite reached the point where we're able to communicate with others. So I think we need to focus more on the ability not just to perceive the data, but to understand it."

For Adobe's Mobile Marketing, It's Location, Location, Location

Adobe's enhancing digital marketing mobile opportunities -- internally and externally.

Adobe officials call the new capabilities, launched today, "Intelligent Location Marketing." Marketers can engage customers with in-app messages using technology that detects where they are, or iBeacons. The real-time engagement activities can be followed with email campaigns that leverage intelligence about a customer’s past interactions.

Loni Stark, director of product and industry marketing for Adobe's digital marketing solutions, told CMSWire that it's about making in-person interactions more relevant based on location and the context of the individual.

Sketchnotes from Total Customer Experience 2014 #TCXUX

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As I was scanning the Twitter feed for voices from Altamont Group’s Total Customer Experience 2014 conference in San Francisco yesterday, a few very interesting images caught my eye. The work of Bobby Meeks, user experience architect at AutoZone, were some of the best designed “notes” I’d ever seen. 

“I grew up thinking I was weird for not taking notes in a linear fashion,” Meeks told CMSWire.  “My textbooks, folders, and composition books all had doodles in them instead of bullet points. Fast forward to present day … I found the awesome book by Mike Rohde, The Sketchnote Handbook, that put a name to the practice and went deeper into how to be more disciplined when doing it.  Now I do it as part of my daily routine.”

I was so intrigued by Meeks’ note-taking talents, I asked him if he would expand on them and give us his perspective on Day 1 of the Total Experience conference, which focuses on customer/user experience, as well as experience design.

Forget Nielsen, Tubular + Cloudera Get the Scoop on Video

No one watches television anymore.

OK, maybe that’s an overstatement. But follow the youngest set of millennials around and you’ll find they spend more time watching YouTube than anything else. Next, look at what social network they use most often. It’s YouTube, not Facebook. Search engine? YouTube again.

So, if you’re an advertiser or publisher who wants to reach this audience, how do you know what to put in front of them or where to find them. Yesterday’s ratings giants, Nielsen and ComScore are still busy with TV, cable and radio which have nowhere near the volume, variety, variability, veracity or velocity (big data’s v’s) of YouTube and other video hosting sites like it.

How big a disparity is there? Consider this: 3 billion videos are played on YouTube every day and 100 hours of content are uploaded every minute.

Keeping the Customer in Customer Relationships

2014-17-November-Shop-Keep.jpgWith the growth of the online marketplace, sellers are gaining dramatic new ways to get products before a wide, and changing, audience as well as a powerful suite of new tools to understand what is happening in the cyberspace of commerce. Big data and analytics have shown us a new horizon of information about how, and what, e-commerce and its participants are doing or not doing.

But combine the growing reliance on statistical approaches to the marketplace with our penchant to turn everything into an abstract variable that can be managed by more data and more expensive software, and we risk losing touch with the only thing that, in the end, makes any of this worth doing -- the customer.

Marketers Must Ask 'Am I Still Relevant?' #incitesummit

At a conference that focused on the discussion of the future of print, digital and mobile marketing, marketing executive Ash EiDifrawi seemed to capture the tremendous daily pressure and responsibilities marketing professionals face in the fast-changing, multi-faceted and highly competitive battle for the attention of the American consumer.

“The question you have to wake up everyday and ask yourself is: ‘Am I still relevant.’”

EiDifrawi told attendees at the Incite Summit: East conference in Manhattan last week that marketers must constantly review their product and marketing relevancy on a multitude of platforms. During a session entitled “Have a Look At This: Make Content That Stands Out,” he noted that one day a marketer could feel he is “on top of the world” only to find the next day “that 100 people have your idea and you are irrelevant.” 

SDL Will Consolidate Its Marketing Cloud in 2015

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At a time when its larger rivals are building up their marketing clouds, SDL is planning to consolidate its cloud in January to just four product groups from the current seven.

The shift in strategy follows a turnaround year for the UK-based customer experience management company, which began 2014 with a major restructuring that is now paying dividends. 

SDL only adopted its focus on customer experience 10 months ago, but is now boasting of record revenue. Executives said plans for the coming year include doubling the global sales team, launching a major brand advertising campaign and, possibly, making new investments in digital agencies and social media.

7 Trends to Watch to Stay Ahead of the Digital Era Curve

2014-17-November-Crown-Fountain.jpgThis is the time of year when you start seeing a mad dash of articles looking back on the trends of 2014 and what to expect in 2015. While this is par for the course, something much more significant occurred in 2014 -- this was the year it became clear that digital disruption is here to stay. According to a recent Zinnov study, almost 50 percent of the companies on the Forbes 2000 list will drop from the list because of disruption and the impact of the digital era. The study notes that enterprises will need to spend $70 billion in 2015 to compete with emerging digital organizations.

The Future of Marketing is to be Useful

Some years ago I listened as a senior marketing executive from a technology company discussed a product their customers hated. Sales were miserable because the product was deeply flawed. “As marketers we felt that it was us that failed,” she said to me in a rather embarrassed voice. “Because we felt it was our job to convince the customer that it was a great product, even though we all knew it was a dud.” 

Discussion Point: Omnichannel Marketing in the 2014 Holiday Season

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Marketing technology vendors love to preach the value of sending consumers personalized offers on the device they're using at just the right moment.

Though we're only emerging from the developmental infancy of omnichannel marketing, several companies offer software and services that promise to do just that. Chief marketing officers at major retailers are spending more of their budgets on collecting data, analyzing actions and monitoring social media -- all with an eye toward increasing sales in their hyper-competitive sector.

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