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The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2013, Part 2: Rounding Out the List
January 14, 2014
It's no easy feat keeping a good CRM blog going, but I've been keeping track since 2007 of those that succeed. In Monday's column I presented the first 10 of this year's top 20 winners. Now, here are the other blogs you should be keeping tabs on. First up: Forrester, which has an array of bloggers -- I mean, analysts -- who cover aspects of CRM.
The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2013, Part 1: Greenberg Through Rampen
January 13, 2014
When you write regularly about CRM, you realize what a challenge it can be to keep a blog going. The same themes come up again and again, and the technology does not radically change from release to release. So being a great CRM blogger requires something else -- the ability to understand the always-fascinating human behaviors that CRM is supposed to document, analyze and influence.
Salesforce1 Paves Way for Internet of Customers
January 10, 2014
Salesforce on Wednesday kicked off its Salesforce1 world tour in New York, touting the allure of the social, mobile and cloud customer platform to clients. Launched in November at Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce1 drove a 96 percent increase in mobile app active users and a 46 percent increase in active users of custom mobile apps, Salesforce maintained.
Amazon, LLBean Tie at the Top for Customer Satisfaction
January 09, 2014
Retailers performed well this holiday season in terms of customer satisfaction across multiple channels, according to the ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition, which was released this week. The report focuses on customer satisfaction at the company level and queried consumers about every applicable sales channel, ranging from the brick-and-mortar store to the contact center to mobile.
CRM's Collaboration Conundrum
January 07, 2014
CRM has gained significant attention and adoption among businesses eager to enhance their processes for building and maintaining customer relationships, thanks to industry visionaries such as Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft. However, there's a major element of effective sales strategy that CRM systems neglect to address: collaboration. True collaboration requires more than data.
Will 2014 Be the Year Mobile CRM Goes Omni-Channel?
January 06, 2014
There was no end to the enterprise interest in mobile CRM in 2013. From apps to innovative text marketing campaigns to self-service tablet applications for B2B industries, companies were gleefully trying out new pilots and experimenting with new technologies. Why? Simply this: Computing has reached an inflection point. Desktops are just one vehicle offering access to the Internet.
Interactive Tool Helps Companies Find the Right Social Software
January 03, 2014
Software Advice recently unveiled an interactive tool designed to help companies navigate the complex and confusing social media software market. Called "Social App Map," the tool is designed to serve as a guide for potential software buyers as they start to evaluate the many different vendors and options in this sector, which has a problem with definitions, the company said.
Kana Smooths the Wrinkles Out of Back-End Administration
December 27, 2013
Kana recently released an upgrade to its enterprise application, equipping it with new multinational knowledge management and other enhancements that make back-end administration easier. Another release earlier this year targeted the end user, but "our focus this time around was on a different set of users," said Scott Hays, Kana's senior director of product marketing.
Teach Your Channel Partners Well
December 20, 2013
Companies that sell direct have it easy. They have control over hiring their salespeople, control over marketing messages, and control over service and support. There's only one entity to blame if the buyer's unhappy, and that's the seller. When you mix in an indirect channel, however, things get a little more difficult. Now a third party has an impact on the buyer's satisfaction as well.
CFPB Suit Targets Predatory Online Lending Practices
December 19, 2013
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau this week put online finance companies on notice that it will not overlook them merely because they operate in cyberspace. Specifically, the bureau sued CashCall for collecting money consumers allegedly did not owe. In its suit, the bureau charged that CashCall and its affiliates engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.
Community Will Steal the CRM Show in 2014
December 18, 2013
Once a year I write a post that tries to predict some of the big happenings of the year ahead. The success of these efforts relies on clear thinking and objectivity -- trying to figure out what will come to pass rather than what I want to see happen. It's hard, but thankfully no one ever checks up on me a year later. First, let's take a look at the general economic outlook.
The Emerging Real-Time Business Traveler Market Takes Flight
December 17, 2013
The Federal Communications Commission last week voted to reconsider the ban on mobile phone calls during airplane flights, unleashing a collective cry of angst from travelers not wishing to be forced to listen to the tedious conversations of neighboring passengers. The move suggests a new opportunity may open up for mobile marketers targeting business travelers in real time.
Let's Hear It for Metadata
December 16, 2013
It is a quirk of the data-information-knowledge continuum that data perceived by one person might be seen as information by another. The same goes for information and knowledge -- the frame of reference is important. You might even say it's all relative, and I don't think you'd be wrong. This conundrum is all brought into sharper relief by yet another slice of the range, and I don't mean Big Data.
KlearGear Admitted to Social CRM Hall of Shame
December 13, 2013
Technology and social media give businesses new ways to interact with customers, to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships, and to create two-way conversations that lead to better products and happier people at both ends of the conversation. They also allow dumb businesses to expose their incompetence faster and to a wider audience than ever before.
It Was a Very Good Marketing, Partners and Platform Year
December 11, 2013
We are nearing year-end, and that means it's time for my annual year in review -- my assessment of things that will matter in the long run. From my spot, it looks like marketing took a big step toward greater relevance in 2013, the importance of being a partner in an ecosystem increased -- as did the significance of software platforms -- and reports of CRM's demise were greatly exaggerated.
Email Marketing for the Holidays, Part 2: Crafting a Compelling Call to Action
December 10, 2013
There's no doubt email marketing has become nonnegotiable for retailers during the holiday season, and that's particularly true on the mobile side. Mobile emailed offers are also playing bit roles in other strategies, such as showrooming. Retailers have learned not to push against this trend but to fight back by targeting shoppers while they are actually in the store.
Moxie Stitches Together Social Enterprise Options
December 09, 2013
Moxie Software, a provider of enterprise social software, has updated its Spaces by Moxie suite of applications with new features in its Chat Spaces, Email Spaces and Knowledge Spaces modules. Moxie Software's user base tends to be large B2C companies that have high-volume interactions with their customers, said Chief Marketing Officer Tara Sporrer.
CRM's Frayed Ends
December 06, 2013
The buyer-seller relationship we most often think of is one in which all the responsibility is loaded on the seller. The seller convinces the customer to buy, then provides support and further marketing to keep the customer loyal. Not every selling relationship works this way, however. When both ends of the sale have a responsibility, things get a little cloudier and more complex.
Consistency Is the Key to Amazing Customer Service
December 05, 2013
Seeking a competitive edge? In any economy and any market, customer service is the key. No matter what your business, if you have one competitor or 100 selling the same product or service, you can tip the scales in your favor by offering a higher level of service. Customers will drive farther, wait longer and even spend more for better service.
Email Marketing for the Holidays, Part 1: Making the Right Mobile Impression
December 03, 2013
Email marketing will be a key strategy in retailers' advertising playbooks this holiday season, but not just any email. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that more consumers are reading emails via their mobile devices -- in many cases, only that way. They are also using their mobile devices in stores for last-minute product research, and that includes the emailed offers from local merchants.

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