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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.
Zozi: It's All About the Experience
August 08, 2013
Zozi, which connects customers to activity-related adventures or trips -- say sailing lessons or rock-climbing tours -- rolled out a CRM system earlier this year that is an offshoot of an acquisition the startup made at the end of 2012. The name of the CRM system is "Zozi Advance," and it is a build-out from a system the company acquired when it purchased TripFlavor.
Where Customer Service Goes to Die
July 30, 2013
Social customer service has now become a key point of contact between brands and their customers. Consumers, particularly within the Millennial demographic, take to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks when they have a problem. Sixty percent of 18-24 year olds go to social media when they have an issue, and companies have been quick to respond to this shift in customer behavior.
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.
Adobe Puts Marketers Into More Social Situations
July 19, 2013
Adobe has pushed further into marketing automation with the launch of Adobe Social, an application that expands the company's integrations with social networking sites and pretty much gives users a 360-degree view of their customers. Integrated with Flickr, Foursquare, Instagram and LinkedIn, Social will, in essence, enable real-time monitoring across thousands of social networks.
Don't Look Now, but Mobile Privacy Regulations Are on the Way
July 09, 2013
The issue of mobile privacy has been simmering for years, and it's long been apparent that there will be some movement at the government level sooner or later. This week, sooner would probably be the better guess -- especially if the European Commission is included. In the last few days, more allegations about U.S. government spying activities have emerged.
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.
Mobile Privacy Laws Are on the Horizon
June 25, 2013
This past May mobile app developers dodged a bullet when a California state court sided with Delta Airlines in a dispute over its mobile app. California's attorney general had sued Delta, alleging that the company violated the state's mobile privacy law, which requires a company to clearly state that users' personal information is being collected.
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.
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.
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.
Where CRM and BPM Meet
June 13, 2013
Pegasystems held PegaWorld in "PegOrlando" this week, and a good show it was. I have always wondered about the difference between CRM (social and otherwise) and BPM, or business process management, so I was happy to attend. Both CRM and BPM deal with the interaction between the vendor and customer, and each is involved in doing the things that make customers come back.
InsideView Provides New Insights Into Sales Leads
May 17, 2013
InsideView earlier this month debuted a new marketing offering housed on its InsideView CRM Intelligence Platform. This first iteration of InsideView for Marketing focuses on automated lead enrichment capabilities, said Marc Perramond, VP of product. It was built with an eye to enhancing a company's lead records with social, media and financial information.
Sorry, the CRM Niche Is Full at the Moment
May 15, 2013
There are two questions that emerging companies in the CRM space hear when they face the analysts: When are you going public? Why don't you build out a full CRM capability? The first question is easily and deftly handled by most executives, and it must be. An IPO has its own cadence, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is very keen to protect its turf.
Salesforce Communities Pick Up Where Portals Left Off
May 03, 2013
Salesforce has announced that a product it first unveiled last summer, Salesforce Communities, will go live this summer. Since its original debut, Communities has been tweaked to take into account user views and feedback. Salesforce's user community got a taste of similar functionality last month with the company's rollout of Chatter Topics and Expertise.
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.
The Hidden Risks of Mobile CRM, Part 2
April 19, 2013
Mobile marketing may just be in its infancy, but it already has ushered in a world of new risks -- or rather, existing risks that have been repackaged. They range from running afoul of still-developing regulations to security concerns, to consumers misinterpreting content. As people connect with the Internet through multiple access points, keeping a marketing message consistent is becoming more essential.

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