Weekly News Roundup

Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
CIOs aren't monitoring response times...CRM for small businesses made available...Big Data solution changes the game


Customer Experiences Remain Top Priority

A survey of marketing professionals by IBM has found that chief marketing officers are differentiating their brands by crunching big data in real time and automating personalized marketing campaigns. According to IBM the price of failing to meet the needs of today's omni-channel shoppers, who frequently shop both online and in store, amounts to $83 billion in lost sales in the United States alone every year because of poor and inconsistent customer experiences. These are some of the findings:

  • Marketers are taking greater responsibility for customer service interactions as they become the official brand stewards in the company.
  • The best marketers are looking beyond segments and demographics to provide the right offers, services, and information at exactly the right moment in the customer relationship.
  • Marketers are looking to use location-based services to target more digitally-savvy, on-the-move customers and deliver seamless, intuitive customer interactions.
  • 39 percent ofleading marketers are adjusting real-time offers based on customer wants, needs, and preferences. However, only 15 percent of remaining marketers surveyed do so.
  • 71 percent of leading marketers are delivering personalized messages in real-time through social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and review sites, while 62 percent of leading marketers are delivering those same personalized messages through the mobile channel.
  • Cross-channel integration is still lacking with only 35 percent of marketers currently integrating their campaigns across all channels, with eightpercent indicating they are not currently integrated at all. In comparison, only 12 percent of remaining marketers surveyed currently integrate their campaigns across all channels, with 39 percent indicating they are not currently integrated at all.

Passive Approach to Website Performance Identified

New global research by Vandon Bourney has found that despite understanding that even minor website response times can greatly impact customer satisfaction, page views, conversion rates, and site abandonment, a third of organizations don't have 24/7 website monitoring or don't know whether their website is monitored around the clock. The study, commissioned by Borland, found that 26 percent of CIOs from almost 600 organizations admitted they aren't or don't know if they are monitoring response times for mission-critical transactions, including shopping cart and database record retrieval on their websites. These are some of the findings:

  • Almost three-quarters of respondents confirmed they are not always alerted at the first sign of a problem on their web services.
  • 80 percent aren't always able to resolve a problem on their Web services before a customer become aware of it.
  • More than one-third of CIOs aren't tracking how quickly their own website loads on mobile devices and aren't tracking how quickly their web application loads on mobile devices.
  • 69% of CIOs are not made aware of marketing plans well ahead of schedule to allow them to plan for and test to ensure optimal website performance.
  • 73% of respondents are not always made aware of specific launches before they happen.

New Products

ClickTale Touch Offers Insight Into Mobile Customer Engagement

ClickTale announced the general availability of ClickTale Touch, a SaaS solution that allows businesses to view their mobile customers' True-to-Life User Experience, including every tap, double tap, scroll, tilt, and pinch on the touch interface.ClickTale Touch provides insights that enable businesses to leverage their increasing amount of mobile traffic and capitalize on the multi-billion dollar mobile e-commerce market. Through its unique mobile-specific features, ClickTale Touch helps businesses of all sizes to optimize their sites for the mobile customer. This mobile tool offers insight into customer frustrations and customer engagement by tracking activity on the mobile page, allowing companies to observe mobile visitors' browsing sessions so they may optimize their mobile site according to the data collected.

IBM Watson Engagement Advisor Provides Deep Insights

IBM unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, a technology breakthrough that allows brands to analyze big data in record time to transform the way they engage clients in key functions such as customer service, marketing, and sales. Delivered through cloud-delivered services and online chat sessions, IBM Watson will empower a brand's customer service agents to provide data-driven answers, or sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device. In one simple click, the solution's "Ask Watson" feature will help address customers' questions in real time, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems. Part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM Watson understands the nuances of human language, process questions akin to the way people think, and can quickly cull through vast amounts of Big Data for relevant, evidence-based responses to its human users' needs.

Integrate Enhances AdHQ Platform with New Self-Serve DSP

Integrate introduced the addition of its self-serve Demand-Side Platform (DSP) to Integrate AdHQ. The new self-serve DSP enables paid media buyers to purchase and manage their own digital media buys in real-time. Integrate's DSP helps customers easily plan and execute every aspect of the digital marketing process, all while providing access to Integrate's in-house team of digital media experts, and display, mobile, social and video inventory. Previously, clients primarily used the AdHQ platform to execute their performance marketing programs. However, this conjoined technology now allows buyers to leverage the A/B test data they accumulate via the performance marketplace to implement highly relevant targeting for their programmatic campaigns, effectively closing the loop for performance marketers and allowing them to easily transition to the DSP and immediately benefit from optimized traffic.

Optify Connect Now Offers Light CRM for SMBs

Optify announced new capabilities of its Optify Connect platform, offering a light CRM for small- and mid-sized businesses. First introduced in October 2012, Optify Connect allows clients to begin tracking visitor information from their first time on a site, even if the contact doesn't fill out a form to provide identification, tying together all of the multi-device and multi-browser visits into one contact, providing a full history of the contact over time. The new dynamic timeline in Optify's Contact Manager integrates entire lead and contact history, including data collected from when contacts were anonymous visitors, into one mobile-friendly dashboard so that both sales and marketing can utilize the same CRM system.

New Platform Innovation from Responsys Redefines Digital Marketing

Marketing cloud software and services company Responsys has introduced the Interact Marketing Cloud, a new platform innovation that redefines the way the world's best marketers manage their digital relationships and deliver the right marketing to their customers across email, mobile, social, display and the web. The platform allows marketers to:

  • Combine marketing data like demographic, campaign response, behavioral, social, and preference into a complete picture of the customer and how they are engaging with the brand.Responsys is also introducing a new mobile capability that helps marketers collect insights about mobile visitors, including clicks, conversions, pages viewed, browser and device OS and type.
  • Access millions of impressions on new display advertising networks, giving them the ability to deliver highly individualized display ads in new ways, including across mobile devices and social networks.
  • Understand the value of additional channels, including determining the ROI of adding a display advertising campaign to an email campaign. To answer that question, Responsys is developing an "incremental lift" testing and reporting framework

Verint Introduces Business Impact Solutions for Operational Excellence

Verint Systems Inc. announced several new business solutions designed to help organizations better meet their revenue generation, customer loyalty, and cost containment goals across the enterprise. As part of the Impact 360 Workforce Optimization suite, Verint Business Impact Solutionsnow also include Cost-to-Serve, Call Avoidance, and Service Recovery. These solutions are designed to help operational leaders improve critical KPIs by leveraging Voice of the Customer analyticscapabilities, while also helping to address a range of organizational priorities, including operational excellence. Each equips organizational leaders with specific offerings that feature targeted software and services capabilities for addressing business challenges, providing high levels of organizational efficiency and rapid ROI.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Genesys to Acquire SoundBite Communications

Customer engagement and contact center solutions provider Genesys has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire SoundBite Communications. The agreed price is $5 per share and will add proactive collections and payments, mobile marketing applications, and customer service solutions to Genesys' suite of products. Genesys recently acquired self-service and contact center solutions company Angel.