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4 Ways to Waste Great Marketing Opportunities
February 28, 2014
CRM has always purported to be about relationships, but it's often used primarily for sales. That's kind of a good news, bad news situation. The bad news first: CRM got a bad rap when it didn't become a sales panacea (mostly for adoption issues). The good news: It exposed a void in the mix that marketing automation rushed to fill. The key to successful relationships is communication.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gets a Fuel Injection
February 18, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a set of Microsoft Dynamics CRM features that will be generally available in the second quarter of this year. There are three main areas of change in this latest iteration: new marketing functionality; enhanced customer service options; and the introduction of a unified service desk for call centers. There are also additional social listening features.
Betting Big Bucks on the Real Omnichannel Deal
February 04, 2014
CRM vendors for years have been acknowledging the need for omnichannel support while bending over backwards to explain how their particular applications or product suites excelled at providing that missing link. A funny thing began to happen at the end of the 20th century. Instead of talking about it, CRM vendors started doing something about it. One by one, they made some strategic acquisitions.
Marketing Automation Report Card
January 29, 2014
After two years of fairly hectic activity in the marketing automation space, it might be useful to ask where all the commotion has gotten us. Once a captive of finance, which was concerned with reeling in marketing's costs and rationalizing expenses with known -- or at least knowable -- benefits, marketing automation emerged in the last couple of years as a powerful tool.
Nimble Spreads Its Social Wings
November 11, 2013
Before speaking with a reporter recently about the latest upgrade to his company's CRM platform, Nimble CMO Eric Quanstrom ate his own cooking, so to speak: that is, he used Nimble to learn as much about her as possible. A few keystrokes later, he knew where she went to school, her hometown, other business affiliations and that she was an avid tweeter.
Your Employees Are Rock Stars
October 30, 2013
I go to a lot of conferences. Usually they're a combination of customer user group meetings and analyst days, and we all hear more or less detail about product futures, new functions and features, and policy rollouts. If you know how to look at these events, you can see a certain scene repeated: A customer meets an employee face to face for the first time and gushes like a kid meeting a rock star.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sharpens Social Skills
October 21, 2013
Microsoft on Monday announced the availability of its latest version of Dynamics CRM along with a new partnership with InsideView that adds social intelligence capabilities to the CRM system. Available for purchase starting Oct. 31, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers a number of new features and capabilities, including new templates for certain workflows and work processes.
Earshot Helps Marketers Tap the Home-Field Advantage
September 28, 2013
Imagine you're walking down a city street heading for a vegan restaurant that you've heard good things about. You get to the address only to discover it has gone out of business. Hungry and disappointed, you pull out your smartphone and wail to the Twitterverse, "Veggie Delight is closed! I'm starving and there is nowhere to get a vegan meal!"
Experian Steps Up Its Social Engagement Push
July 25, 2013
It can be difficult enough to market to consumers through one channel, but trying to work across channels compounds that difficulty considerably. Enter Experian Marketing Services, which recently upgraded its cross-channel marketing platform with several new features. Experian regularly updates its application, said the company's Jeff Hassemer.
Pipeliner 5.2 Keeps CRM in Sync
July 08, 2013
After making its beta debut back in 2009, Pipeliner CRM software recently graduated to version 5.2, bringing with it the ability to automatically sync data in near real time -- for both Mac and PC computers -- locally or through the cloud. "This is key for salespeople that work globally," said Nikolas Kimla, founder and managing partner of Pipelinersales.
Intercom Connections Aid $6M Funding Round
June 21, 2013
Intercom, which offers businesses a tool to create personalized communications with customers, has secured some $6 million in a Series A round of funding. The Social+Capital Partnership, founded by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, handled the fundraising. Some prominent tech players have attached their names to Intercom, including Twitter founder Biz Stone and Facebook exec Paul Adams.
Thunderhead.com Smooths Out the Wrinkles in Customer Communication
June 17, 2013
Almost a year after launching its ONE Correspond for Salesforce, Thunderhead.com rolled out version 2.0. A part of the company's flagship ONE Engagement Platform, ONE Correspond for Salesforce allows users to create communications for customers. Via Salesforce's Chatter, it also has strong collaborative features that give users a way to review, edit and approve documents internally.
New Tools Play Up Twitter Games, Polls for CRM
May 02, 2013
Fan Appz provided more tools for digital marketers Wednesday when it added a suite of Twitter features to its real-time customer feedback platform. The new features help brands interact with followers by running polls, hashtag games and loyalty-based reward activities on the social network. Those interactions can help build a brand's database.
Salesforce.com's New Mobile Chatter Expands the Conversation
March 22, 2013
Salesforce.com has rolled out the latest iteration of its Chatter app designed specifically for the mobile environment. "With this version, we are taking [it] to a new level, allowing users to really drill down into accounts and take many different types of actions while in the field," said Michael Peachy, senior director of solutions marketing at Salesforce.
Let's Hear It for The Ecosystems!
March 06, 2013
Could we have a moment of sustained loud noise for all of the companies that form the various ecosystems around major product lines? I mean it. The ecosystem -- and maybe not even social -- is the story of the last five years. While many of us have been talking up social, the ecosystems have been adding immeasurably to the customer experience.
Sage Made a Wise Decision
February 20, 2013
I liked what Sage did last week in agreeing to sell off some non-core assets to partners, and I am most interested in the decision to sell ACT! and SalesLogix. The move reduced Sage's bullpen of CRM solutions from three to one -- and that's the right number for this market.
3 Bad Habits to Unlearn for SCRM Success
February 14, 2013
For the better part of six years, we pundits have been urging businesses to get social. Social CRM even has its own Gartner Magic Quadrant, and while the entries in that document are all over the map in terms of what they do, vendors serving aspects of SCRM are well established. Gartner itself said that sales of software for SCRM topped $1 billion in 2012.
Zoho Digs Deeper With Marketing Campaigns
August 17, 2012
Zoho has been speedily turning out applications to complement its core platform. Earlier this spring, for instance, it introduced Zoho CRM. Now, it is rolling out Zoho Marketing Campaigns to buttress the marketing functionality it introduced in the CRM app. "We had marketing and campaign features in that app, but the functionality wasn't deep enough for our satisfaction," said Zoho's Raju Vegesna.
Fixing Customer Complaints in a World Gone Social
August 16, 2012
Henry David Thoreau's quiet wisdom is best exemplified by sayings like, "in all things, simplicity." That's a nice credo to live by -- but it may be a hard one to fully embrace if you're trying to provide great customer service these days. After all, if you work in service, you have customers coming at you through a wider variety of channels than ever before.
Awareness Helps Social Marketers Know the Score
August 10, 2012
Awareness has enhanced its social marketing automation suite, Social Marketing Hub, with a new feature called "social scoring." The feature allows marketers and brands to identify, store and rank prospects across all the major social networks based on scoring criteria they define. It is a deliberate change from the fluffy metrics typically associated with social marketing.

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