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Web Experience/Engagement Management (WEM) Articles

Grab Your Pitchfork: It's Time to Skewer Someone on Social

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How are we supposed to get any work done with all the drama on social media?

It's downright exhausting. Every day there's someone new to judge and vilify, which we collectively do with the vengeance and rage of the villagers in Frankenstein.

I'm not talking about people who have committed truly horrible acts of inhumanity and cruelty, like that Texas veterinarian who put an arrow through the head of a neighborhood cat — and boasted about it on her own Facebook page.

I'm talking about the ill tempered and the foul-mouthed, the anger impaired and the sensitivity-challenged, the seriously naïve who either didn't know or didn’t think anyone would care that their butts or bellies or bosoms were on display in that too tight, too short, too small article of clothing.

I'm talking about people much like me and you who simply had the misfortune of having their stupidity immortalized on social media.

And the whole thing has me and others, including Peggy Drexler, an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, wondering:

Is this unhealthy "us and them" mentality coloring our perspective of the world? Do we feel "better than" by sharing the latest story of someone's bad behavior? Now take it one step further: Could these feelings of superiority and underlying lack of respect for other people be sabotaging our commitment to customer-centricity, at least subconsciously?

Big Dogs Trail in Forrester's Social Relationship Wave

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Some big software players jumped into Forrester Research's hearts for platforms that help digital marketers make the most out of social media.

But they're not the leaders.

In its Wave for Social Relationship Platforms for this quarter -- targeted at B2C marketers -- the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm tabbed Oracle and Hootsuite among its most significant providers in the space. Those organizations did not make the cut two years ago.

They join Adobe, Expion, Falcon Social, Salesforce, Percolate, Shoutlet, Spredfast, Sprinklr and Sprout Social as significant providers in the Social Relationship Platform (SRP) space.

Forrester evaluated vendors with at least 100 enterprise SRP clients whose average deployment includes at least 25 seat holders.

"One of the things we looked for in our evaluation was vendors’ ability to automate key SRP functions," Forrester analyst Nate Elliott wrote in a blog post today. "We know -- automation remains a dirty word in social media. No brand wants to repeat the automation-driven mistakes of Coca-Cola or Bank of America. But marketers say one of their top social challenges is hiring and training enough qualified staff. In this environment, the greatest value that social relationship platforms can offer their clients is lightening their workload." 

The Key to Analytics for the Masses

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When organizations discuss how to drive value from big data, they often focus on improving the customer experience through big data analytics. But they face a challenge here: Many of the employees who actually interact with customers are not sophisticated consumers of analytics.

Cashiers, call center agents and front line sales people rarely have analytics backgrounds or skills. And these same employees usually have little desire to dive into analytics.

So what’s an organization to do?

Where Multichannel and Omnichannel Selling Diverge

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Wikipedia's editors removed the omnichannel retailing entry and redirected it to multichannel retailing in early March. What prompted the move? The editors didn't see a clear difference between the two.

Retail isn't the focus of Wikipedia's editors day-to-day jobs, so a clearer definition is obviously in order. But if the folks at Wikipedia are unclear where the two diverge, there are probably people involved in B2B and B2C today who don't understand the difference as well.

Discussion Point: How Can You Solve Your IT Talent Gap?

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Consider it a classic Catch-22: Your company has plenty of open IT positions to fill, and too few qualified candidates to fill them. Now what do you do?

By all accounts, 2015 will be a spectacular year for IT workers as the unemployment rate continues to plummet, salaries increase and organizations double down on retention and engagement strategies. The challenge is finding the right candidates.

Another report from CompTIA, called Cyberstates 2015: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry (registration required) also showed that job positing in technology jumped by more than 11 percent over the previous year and some 650,000 job openings were listed in the fourth quarter of 2014. And many of those jobs remain unfilled, month after month.

How many? The White House estimates some 500,000 jobs that require various levels of tech skills sit open nationwide in the US. Just last month, the Obama administration took steps to address that talent shortage with a new $100 million TechHire Initiative.

TechHire is a new campaign to get more Americans rapidly trained for well-paying technology jobs — and simultaneously convince local governments, businesses and potential workers that a four-year degree is no longer the only way to gain the tech skills they need.

The IT talent shortage is real. Can creative and innovative hiring strategies help you address it?

Does the Apple Watch Signal a Post-Browser World?

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The pre-orders are in, launch day is set and the Apple fanboys are lining up. On April 24 the Apple Watch will officially be available to the public.

But the fanboys aren’t the only ones watching out for this launch -- marketers are keeping their eyes on the Apple Watch too. It's billed as “an intimate and immediate communication device" which, for any marketer, suggests a goldmine of opportunities to connect with consumers on a device that is literally attached to them during most hours of the day.

And Then Alcatel-Lucent Said, 'Hello, Nokia'

If a buyout deal was truly in the works between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia for a while now, as certain folks have retroactively predicted in recent hours, then the timing of yesterday’s deal announcement came as a shock at least to some at Alcatel-Lucent. 

The French global telecommunications equipment company had every intention of launching a new communications-as-a-service cloud platform called Rapport, speaking about it with CMSWire in depth.

Now the word CMSWire has been given to describe this launch is “delayed.” 

Not “cancelled,” which is a positive signal for A-L employees who may very well still be in shock over yesterday’s merger news.

Trapit Takes On LinkedIn with Social Selling Platform

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Social-selling platform provider Trapit wants to help companies deliver "relevant and engaging" content to employees and manage sharing through social channels.

The company debuts a new platform today that combines Trapit's content discovery and curation technology with the employee advocacy tools it gained in the merger last December with Addvocate, officials said.

Trapit's CEO said it's a platform that can take on LinkedIn, which also released a similar solution.

"The key to this space is content," Hank Nothhaft Jr., CEO and founder of five-year-old Trapit, told CMSWire. "No matter what features a platform has built, if you don’t have the ability to deliver great content, you’ve got nothing. I’d argue that the winner in this space will be determined by their ability to source quality content that is highly relevant to each user it serves."

PostUp: Our Email Is Better Than Yours

Email is the best marketing channel. So why not exploit it?

That's PostUp's thinking -- and today it announces an integration company officials claim will work better than anything else.

The email marketing provider has partnered with an email data platform to help its clients manage campaigns, optimize deliverability and analyze results within a single UI "with no technical effort."

Austin, Texas-based PostUp joins the Return Path partner program to bring its clients capabilities that include seed testing, render previews and device detection.

Officials at PostUp called email the "highest ROI of any digital channel."

They said their platform is designed for high volume senders and particularly suited to enterprise publishing, media and entertainment companies. 

Keith Sibson, vice president of product and marketing at PostUp, told CMSWire Return Path is a great fit because it is the "undisputed leader in email deliverability tools and intelligence," a fact Yesmail may dispute. He further claimed PostUp is the first Email Services Provider (ESP) to offer a "comprehensive integration of the Return Path tool set, fully baked into the email platform."

11 Ways to Ruin Your CMS Project Without Even Trying

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Your web traffic is a vital factor, maybe even the most important one, in generating sales leads for your business. According to Stanford University, 75 percent of people judge the credibility of a company on the design of its website. That’s why it’s such a big deal when your company decides to overhaul your web CMS.

There are so many ways to ruin a Web CMS project without even trying, but here are 11 that will certainly do the trick. 

Alcatel-Lucent Invites You to Get on Its Cloud

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Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent introduced a new Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform called Rapport today. 

Like other IP-based communication networks, Rapport uses cloud platforms to pool network resources. This way, voice and video communications and conferencing can be managed using the same principles as any other type of traffic on an IP network.

The critical difference is this: Rapport exists entirely in A-L’s cloud, not on customer premises.

“A lot of enterprises have looked at Amazon, Google, Facebook and the like, and said, ‘They’ve become good at scaling and launching new apps and services quickly.  Why can’t I scale like that?’” remarked Brendan Ziolo, A-L’s head of large enterprise marketing, in an interview with CMSWire.

Where Are You? The Beacons Know

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Smartphones have become more advanced — and so has the promise of using them to deploy sophisticated location-based marketing technologies.

Location-based marketing is generally defined as the intersection of people, places and media. In this context, places range from the homes where we wake to the places we pass during our commutes to the offices or other venues where we spend our days — and back again.

One of the most exciting possibilities of location-based marketing is indoor location technology, which brings Internet-style tracking to physical spaces.

New technologies like indoor positioning systems offer not only new customer experiences, but also new analytics measurement tactics that can make marketing strategies all the more valuable.

Turn Your Data Into Smart Data

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Experts have proclaimed the end of the big data bubble for a few years now. Yet more and more companies want to be analytics-driven with analytics-oriented departments to take full advantage of the exponential growth of data points.

It's reported that marketers will spend an estimated $11.5 billion in 2015 on data and related solutions alone. Marketing, advertising and sales success hinge on back-end activities like analytics, collection and governance to predict and influence outcomes that impact the bottom line. 

To harness and convert data into stronger business strategies and overall profitability, approach data practices with a holistic integration of people, process and technology, following three key steps: collection, strategy and alignment.

Marketo and LinkedIn Pair Up #MKTGnation

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Marketo stretched its marketing muscles today with a LinkedIn integration.

The partnership pairs Marketo's Engagement Marketing Platform with the professional networking site's lead-generation and nurturing solution. 

Officials announced the deal at the Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, San Mateo, Calif.-based Marketo's annual conference. 

The solution is designed to help marketers "bridge the gap between digital, social and offline channels" and generate "relevant conversations with customers."

Is Marketo Enough for You? #MKTGnation

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Marketo jumped on the all-in-one marketing platform train today.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based provider announced today at its annual Marketing Nation Summit at the Moscone Center in San Francisco capabilities that allow marketers to engage their customers across all channels from a single software platform.

The eight-year-old company this week welcomes its biggest crowd to date for its annual marketing festival -- a 41 percent growth in registrations up to more than 8,500. Marketo officials said last week it had nearly 4,000 paid registrants, 86 percent growth since last year. 

What does more people mean? More money for Marketo. But also more momentum for the marketing automation specialist that reported a 54 percent third-quarter growth in October

"It's about inspiration in the nation," Sanjay Dholakia, Marketo's chief marketing officer, told CMSWire in an interview last week.

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