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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.
Nextbee Gives B2Bs CRM Integration Links
January 20, 2014
NextBee has spent the last several months developing integration links to connect its referral and customer service products to the major CRM applications, including Salesforce, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics. The general idea of the integration is to combine NextBee's ability to track activities and provide incentives with the CRM system's customer service touchpoints.
Foreign Firms Flee US Cloud Services
January 13, 2014
Further proof that the NSA surveillance scandal is impacting the United States IT industry came on Friday with the publication of a study conducted for Canadian Web hosting and cloud services provider Peer1 Hosting. Fully 64 percent of the 300 UK- and Canada-based respondents to the survey hoped to move data from U.S.-based cloud service providers to their own countries within the next five years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Making Feedback Mobile
November 01, 2013
Businesses and consumers instinctively understand the importance of customer feedback. Customer engagement represents a potential source of continuous improvement and competitive advantage for businesses. Consumers want to be heard and shape the products and services that impact them. I believe the creation of a virtuous customer feedback loop may represent the greatest transformative opportunity in business today.
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.
Mobile CRM's Next Battleground: Point of Sale
October 22, 2013
Some brands' mobile CRM efforts amount essentially to creating versions of their websites that are visually friendly to mobile users. Others make mobile an integral part of their CRM strategies. Case in point: Arby's, which earlier this month debuted a new item on its menu -- the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich -- with a campaign that involved a number of social media components.
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.
5 Traps to Avoid in Social CRM for Retail
October 17, 2013
It is difficult to overstate the importance of social CRM to retailers given the almost tailor-made suitability of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest et al. for reaching out and engaging with customers. What's less clear, however, is exactly how retailers should use social CRM to talk with those customers. Is it fair for customers to expect to conduct all of their business over social media?
A Social Branding Moment
October 16, 2013
A little while ago I wrote about New Coke and the time in the 1980s when Coca-Cola tried to change its formula without much prompting from customers. As you may recall, especially if you were alive and drinking the stuff at the time, the customers didn't much like it. They were miffed about the new taste, but probably more so over the way the company more or less unilaterally made the change.
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!"
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.
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.
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.

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