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Taking the Showrooming Out of Holiday Shopping
October 01, 2013
There are many reasons marketers today are gearing up their mobile strategies for the holiday season, and not all of them are as obvious as one might think. Yes, revenue and competition are of course key factors, but in this Internet era, so is a third: Namely, a proactive, aggressive mobile CRM and marketing campaign is the only way to play offense in a season and industry now characterized by showrooming.
Sales-Marketing Misalignment Hamstrings CRM
September 27, 2013
Talk to any sales or marketing consultant, and you'll probably get an earful about "sales-marketing misalignment" -- the single dumbest reason that otherwise worthy businesses struggle. While the two sides are warring over who's to blame for lackluster sales, there's little chance they'll cooperate around customer data that can benefit both sales and marketing.
The CRM Commodity Crisis: Escaping the SFA Mold
September 20, 2013
There's always been a dichotomy between the promise of CRM and the reality of CRM. The promise is something like this: CRM can become the nucleus of your business, unifying sales, marketing and support around a shared set of data about your customers. Not only will it make your relationships with your customers better; it will make relationships among employees who connect with customers better.
It's Still Early Days for Real-Time Bidding
September 17, 2013
Real-time bidding holds numerous benefits for mobile marketers, but there are downsides as well. In particular, the dominant theme to that downside is that RTB -- at least for mobile ad formats and mobile platforms -- is still in its early days. While the technology has been around for several years, it's only recently that it has scaled to the point where mobile marketers can use it.
Efficiency Leads the List of Real-Time Bidding's Lures
September 10, 2013
With its ability to match ad-inventory supply and demand in real time against the attributes of any given viewer, real-time bidding is starting to make its way into the delivery of mobile ads. For marketers, it can be a very good thing. When it works as it is supposed to, it makes mobile marketing more efficient and cost-effective, said Chia-Lin Simmons of Harman International.
Analog Marketing Strategies for a Digital World
September 04, 2013
Do you remember walking by telephone poles at downtown intersections 10 or 20 years ago and seeing them covered in fliers, placards and notices? If it was a really popular intersection, there were probably several layers of paper pinned, tacked, taped and stapled on top of each other. If the telephone pole was wooden, you could see generations of old staples and tacks still biting deep into the wood.
Silverpop Promises a Personalized Web Page for Every Customer
September 03, 2013
It's no longer uncommon for marketers to customize the messages they send via email, but such personalization capabilities haven't typically been extended to Web content. Enter Silverpop, which last week released a beta version of Smart Content, a new product designed to enable just that. Smart Content leverages Silverpop's various modules in marketing and tracking and website design.
Real-Time Bidding Makes Its Way Into the Mobile Ad World
August 27, 2013
Real-time bidding is remaking the online ad industry with its approach of matching supply and demand of ad inventory in real time against the attributes of any given viewer. Now this trend is starting to creep into how mobile ads are delivered. First, the stats: There is little doubt that this technology is beginning to dominate the online ad industry.
Delta Banks on 19,000 Windows Phones to Ramp Up Customer Service
August 26, 2013
Delta Air Lines has outfitted its more than 19,000 flight attendants with Windows Phone 8 mobile devices that it expects will further customer service and facilitate on-board transactions. Specifically, the flight attendants are now using Nokia Lumia 820 devices equipped with a Delta-specific application developed by Avanade on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of sale platform.
Google Apps Integration Arrives in Zurmo 2.2
August 22, 2013
The makers of the Zurmo CRM platform have released a new version of the technology, a refresh focused on third-party app integrations that allow users to streamline their various Web applications with the Zurmo software. Launched on Tuesday, Zurmo 2.2 comes equipped with Google Apps integration, allowing users to synchronize information between their Google and Zurmo accounts.
BroadVision and SugarCRM Join Hands for Closer Integration
August 16, 2013
SugarCRM and BroadVision have teamed up to integrate their respective products -- SugarCRM's namesake CRM app and BroadVision's Clearvale enterprise social networking platform -- to give users a fuller view of what is happening in the enterprise, the companies announced this week. This is not a full-bore integration between the two products, however.
Stale CRM Data Can Stall Sales
August 09, 2013
Before they contact a prospect, smart salespeople check the CRM system to see what the customer record says. That's what CRM is there for, from a sales perspective: to give sales the background information it needs to have the best chance at closing a sale. However, the picture of the prospect painted by CRM data isn't perfect -- it's a reflection of the data collected from various sources.
Which Tools Do You Use?
July 29, 2013
Let me share some information with you from a new marketing study I did this summer. First, the data: We asked marketers if they used CRM, marketing automation and business intelligence to process marketing data. The big dog was CRM, with a 54 percent share. Next came marketing automation with a full third, and last was BI with 22 percent. So far, so good.
Cirrus Insight Gives Salesforce Users DIY Flexibility
July 18, 2013
When Cirruspath wanted to update its Cirrus Insight Gmail extension for Salesforce.com, it asked clients to draw it a picture. The result is what it calls a complete redesign that integrates lead tracking through Salesforce.com seamlessly into Gmail. First and foremost among the features in the new Cirrus Insight upgrade is the ability for users to customize the extension.
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.
Microsoft Plays Collaboration Catch-Up With Updated Dynamics CRM
July 02, 2013
Microsoft on Tuesday morning unveiled the latest iteration of its Microsoft Dynamics CRM software complete with enhancements including Skype, Yammer and Lync integration as well as extended availability of MarketingPilot. Due for widespread release this fall, the software will also bring long-awaited functionality for iOS and Android smartphones.
Your Social Media Manager Needs to Know Your Business
June 20, 2013
We all know by now that social media is important for business success. It plays a role in sales, marketing and support. Then there's the idea of social CRM -- on a basic level, the inclusion of social media-generated data in the customer record -- which can help shift the way a business interacts with customers to a more intimate and effective level. That's common knowledge.
Old Possum's Book of Practical Big Data
June 19, 2013
OK, the title's a cheap riff on the T.S. Elliot book of poems that inspired Cats -- but stay with me, this goes places. A big group of cats is called a "clowder." What if we could access a clowder of big data? Big Data has been taking up a big part of my conscious life lately, what with all the analytics vendors out there and so many companies trying to figure it all out.
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.
5 Places Customer Relationships Go to Die
June 14, 2013
Building a customer relationship -- the kind that lasts a long time -- is a not an easy thing. There are lots of occasions where things can go awry, touch points where signals can get crossed and communications that can unwittingly turn a customer off. In a lot of cases, the conclusion is triggered by something the business does that brings the relationship to a premature end.

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