Weekly News Roundup

Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
A look at the technology developments, partnerships, and research reports announced this week in the customer experience space


Appcelerator and SOASTA Partner To Help Mobile App Development

Mobile development platform Appcelerator and cloud and mobile testing company SOASTA announced integration between two of their products. Appcelerator Titanium 3.0 and SOASTA's TouchTest mobile test automation solution allows mobile developers at Appcelerator's 1,400 enterprise customers to access TouchTest for continuous automated testing as part of the mobile application development lifecycle. With test automation being a mandatory requirement for mobile app development, TouchTest will provide developers with the speed, precision, and affordability they require to shale their development practices.

Vision Critical Acquires Discover Text to Bring Text Analytics to Insight Communities

Vision Critical, a provider of insight community technologies, announced the acquisition of DiscoverText, a cloud-based text analytics solution. By combining DiscoverText capabilities with insight communities, Vision Critical will automate the organization and classification of hundreds of thousands of text records more efficiently and accurately. The science behind DiscoverText simplifies and accelerates the process of discovering insights through open ended surveys, email, discussions, and social media conversations. Its algorithms enable businesses to analyze sentiment, discover trends and topics, and quickly identify emerging issues directly from customer feedback. Once incorporated into Vision Critical insight communities, customers will gain continuous and on-demand access to findings that are exceptionally intuitive and profoundly accurate.

New Products

Application Aims to Improve Customer Conversions

Sales enablement company SAVO Group has launched a new application aimed at customers of Corporate Visions Inc. The SAVO for CVI application is designed specifically to help reinforce and drive consistent sales messaging in the field. The new messaging and skill training application is integrated into SAVO's sales enablement platform and is centered around Corporate Visions' methodology to give salespeople access to their messages, tools, and skills refreshers anytime, anywhere, and within a single solution. The application can be accessed from desktop computers or handheld device and is tailored to each customer with company-specific messages, tools, message objects, and video examples. Kurt Andersen, SAVO's executive vice president of marketing and sales enablement, said the application has decreased "no decision" rates by 26 percent and improved lead-to-pipeline conversion rates by 22 percent by pushing critical messaging both dynamically and in-context to sales people.

Anametrix Launches Multichannel Marketing Analytics Plug-in for Excel

Cloud-based, real-time digital analytics platform Anametrix announced a patent-pending plug-in for Microsoft Excel. The new tool embeds new marketing analytics capabilities into Excel, a commonly used application by marketers. The plug-in allows Anametrix users to easily create, refresh, upload, and schedule reports from multichannel marketing data, delivering real-time access to all vendor and corporate data directly within the application. Further, a simple refresh button allows marketers to update the latest data in their report template and they can also upload projects within the Anametrix platform. A scheduling button saves marketers time by allowing them to automatically send just-refreshed report to an established contact list.

Infosys Launches Integrated Cross-Channel Product for Contact Centers

Infosys launched AssistEdge, a product that transforms contact centers to deliver an integrated and seamless cross-channel experience to its customers. AssistEdge integrates the customer history from various channels and presents it to a call center agent within a single window dashboard. This capability enables faster query resolution and helps companies significantly reduce average call handling time. AssistEdge empowers customers to resolve issues by themselves through a self-care engine. Equipped with interactive text, visual, and video troubleshooting mechanisms, it also offers recommendations from relevant social forums and communities for peer-to-peer assistance. This helps significantly reduce contact center call volumes.

Neolane Expands Marketing Analytics to Enable Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing technology provider Neolane announced a new version of its marketing analytics technology. Neolane Marketing Analytics allows marketers to have a better understanding of their customers' behaviors across channels, execute fine-tuned marketing actions based on this knowledge and monitor the efficiency of marketing campaigns. The enhanced analytics capabilities deliver ease-of-use, empowering marketers to optimize, execute and monitor their own campaigns without requiring a Data Scientist or employing additional help from IT departments. Neolane Marketing Analytics allows marketers to extract actionable insight from the raw data, perform intelligent targeting, and optimize campaigns in real time.

SAVO Group Launches Corporate Visions' Application

SAVO Group, a provider of sales enablement, launched the SAVO for CVI application designed specifically for Corporate Visions, Inc.'s customers to reinforce and drive consistent sales messaging in the field. Integrated into SAVO's sales enablement platform, the application is centered on Corporate Visions' methodology to give salespeople access to their messages, tools, and skills refreshers anytime, anywhere, in a single solution. With an intuitive design, the application can be accessed from any desktop computer or handheld device and is tailored for each customer with company specific, Corporate Visions-designed messages, tools, message objects, and video examples.


Mobile Marketing Spend on the Rise

A report by Juniper Research has found that the annual spend on mobile marketing by retailers will reach $55 billion by 2015, almost doubling from the $28 billion expected this year. The report, Retail mCommerce: Mobile & Tablet Marketing, Advertising & Coupon Strategies 2013-2017, found that the development of a mass tablet market has created new opportunities for brands which want to enhance their engagement with customers. Because eCommerce is migrating to mobile devices, advertising spend on both tablets and smartphones is continuing to grow steadily. Retailers, mostly in North American and Western Europe, are migrating their own spend to digital, with mobile being given particular attention. The report also found that mobile phones were driving retail footfall through coupons, and in fact couponing apps are becoming an increasingly popular way to distribute and store coupons. However, the report also found that while retailers are increasingly engaging with mobile channels, many have still not optimized their sites for mobile browsing, registration of payment. "If retailers tryly want to maximize the mobile monetization opportunity, then optimization is critical," noted Dr Windsor Holden, the report's author.

Revenue Outcomes a Priority for Digital Advertisers

Research commissioned by Marin Software found that the main priority for digital advertisers is increasing revenue. The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that driving revenue is the primary objective for online advertising initiatives for 79 percent of respondents. Further, the study, Revenue Outcomes Matter to Online Advertisers, found that revenue accountability is also on the increase for 80 percent of North American marketers who were surveyed.

With 83 percent of respondents already held accountable for revenue outcomes, 80 percent of participants expect revenue targets for their online ad programs to increase in the next year. Most marketers surveyed spend the most time managing operational tasks rather than optimizing programs. Further, almost half of surveyed marketers have limited visibility into value metrics like purchase intent and customer value. "We believe the Forrester findings provide further evidence that the battle for revenue among marketers is increasingly being fought online," said Chris Lien, Marin Software's CEO.

In conjunction with the study findings Marin Software has also unveiled enhancements to its Revenue Acquisition Management platform, which is designed to provide a complete analytics, workflow, and optimization solution for marketing professionals who are looking to manage their digital advertising investments across search, display, social, and mobile. The enhancements include new certified revenue integrations, expanded publisher support, and enhanced reporting and optimization.

NetProspex Benchmark Report Highlights Data Quality Challenges for B2B Marketers

NetProspex, a provider of B2B data services, has released a benchmark report based on an assessment of hundreds of millions of B2B contacts over the past year in which it has discovered that many B2B companies across a variety of industries suffer from poor data quality with B2B contact information. NetProspex assessed companies based on a five-point data health scale (where 5 is the healthiest) across 4 practice areas: record duplication; record completeness; phone connectability; and email deliverability. The assessment reveals that more than 50 percent of companies had a data health score of 2.7, placing their data in a category of "unreliable" and "risky." Among the 4 practice areas that were evaluated, phone connectability was the lowest scoring area with a grade of 1.2.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The average company database had an email deliverability rate of 72 percent, meaning that 28 out of 100 emails sent from this dataset would result in an undelivered email.
  • Companies in the manufacturing industry achieved higher scores than other industries for an overall email deliverability percentage of 88. Meanwhile, the Internet and media industry had the lowest score with an overall deliverability rate of 64 percent.
  • Mid-sized companies in the $25 million to $250 million revenue range struggle more with accurate phone contact information compared to smaller or larger companies.
  • The majority (over 70 percent) of companies experience challenges with record completeness, with database content in the 50 to 80 percent completeness range.

Marketers Plan Spending and Hiring Spree in 2013 to Keep Up With Big Data

A new study released by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive finds that marketers plan to go on a big data spending spree in 2013, hiring employees and building systems to keep up with the fire hose of information being generated by a growing number of digital and social channels. The report reveals that almost 70 percent of companies plan to spend more on data-related marketing initiatives in 2013, with a heavy emphasis on hiring. More than half of the respondents surveyed said they plan on adding new employees to oversee their data efforts this year, including analysts and executives.

Among the report's key findings around data-related spending and hiring:

68 percent of marketers said they expect their data-related expenditures to increase greatly or slightly in 2013; only 3 percent said they expect data-related expenditures to decrease.
56 percent plan on hiring new employees to handle data collection or analysis, with the most common position being a data analyst (20 percent).
5 percent said they plan on hiring an executive to oversee data initiatives.

Demystifying AI to Create Magic Moments
Artificial intelligence is being applied in the B2B world so that business outreach moves from "pitches" to valuable conversations that prospects actually want to have. Everstring CEO JJ Kardwell and Jeff Marcoux discuss how to create these magic moments in the B2B customer journey.
Read More »