Weekly News Roundup

Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
A look at the technology developments, industry updates, and research findings announced this week in the customer experience space


80% of Marketers Need More Profitable New Customers

Acquiring more profitable new customers is a top priority for nearly 80 percent of U.S. Business to Consumer marketers, while more than a third say "qualifying prospects better" is their most important new marketing initiative for growing business this year. That's according to a new national survey conducted by eWayDirect that polled nearly 350 B2C marketers to determine their customer acquisition needs and priorities for 2013 and beyond.

The survey also found that real-time targeting of prospects and customers is a primary tactic: almost two-thirds of respondents said they use real-time targeting to add new customers and fuel revenue growth.

35% of Businesses Hit by DDoS Attacks

A survey by Neustar found that more than a third of businesses were hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack last year, throwing them into crisis mode and impacting IT departments, call centers, and the boardroom, among others. In the survey among more than 700 IT professionals in North America, Neustar found that 35 percent of organizations experienced a disruptive DDoS attack in 2012. Neustar found that 39 percent of retailers and 41 percent of ecommerce businesses experienced an attack in 2012. Further, 26 percent of respondents said a DDoS outage could cost between $50,000 and $100,000 every hour, highlighting the need for a DDoS protection and mitigation strategy.

The survey found that more companies are deploying DDoS protection, with companies that had no protection going down from 25 percent in 2011 to 8 percent last year. However, few have invested in purpose-built hardware or third-party expertise. While 66 percent of companies use firewalls, routers, and switches for DDoS protection, these networking products create bottlenecks that can actually aid attackers.

Education, Computer Hardware, and Retail Top Email Marketing Benchmarking Study

Education, computer hardware and retail ranked as the top performing industries in an email marketing benchmarking study conducted by Silverpop. Emails sent by top performers in the education vertical had the highest unique open rate (46.1 percent) as well as the highest click-through rate (12.8 percent). Other findings from the study of 2,787 brands:

-Of all the vertical industries covered in the study, healthcare had the highest click-to-open rate (33 percent).

-Top quartile performers achieved click-through rates that were nearly four times higher than the median: 8.8 percent versus 2.3 percent.

New Products

Actiance Enhances Social Media Platform

Actiance has announced a set of feature enhancements to its Socialite product. The enhancements will allow the social workforce to increase productivity and deliver social engagement best practices to the regulated financial industry. The enhancements are meant to augment the company's core focus of enabling effective usage of communications and its compliance across all devices and platforms. The new release includes delegated access, allowing users to appoint Socialite access right to others to share social content on their behalf; content subscriptions through RSS feed readers; newsfeed filtering that allows users to find news items or individuals; and content effectiveness measurement, enabling users and administrators to effectively review the mix of content that delivers the best results.

New Release form Ancile Solutions Accelerates Training Programs

Learning and performance software solutions provider ANCILE Solutions, Inc. has announced the availability of ANCILE uPerform 5. The solution facilitates content creation, assignment, deployment, status monitoring, and maintenance, allowing users to designate separate task and content owners, assign documents via email, and divide assigned tasks on the server. The solution also empowers subject matter experts to create localized content without the need for training. Further, dashboard analytics and new reports track content creation and consumption on an organization's website, while providing insight to the overall impact of training and ROI.

Infor Unveils Platform for Social Collaboration, Business Process Improvement, and Analytics

Infor has introduced Infor Ming.le, a comprehensive platform for social collaboration, business process improvement, and contextual analytics. Infor Ming.le is embedded within critical systems such as ERP, supply chain management (SCM), human capital management (HCM), and enterprise asset management (EAM) so that employees across all areas of a company can collaborate, communicate, and follow people, processes, and assets to accomplish work tasks. Infor has also rolled out its next-generation product Infor 10x which unites a multi-purpose middleware platform featuring social, mobile, analytical, and cloud capabilities with Infor's suite of CRM, HCM, and other major applications.

NICE Introduces New Customer Engagement Analytics Platform

NICE Systems announced the introduction of its Customer Engagement Analytics platform, which combines interactional and transactional analytics. The platform allows organizations to capture and analyze Big Data generated by cross-channel customer engagement and map the entire customer journey. The platform brings organizations closer to their customers by enabling them to better understand preferences and behaviors, delivering a complete picture of the customer journey, both at the individual level by various groups and segments, and at the entire customer base level. The first solution to be launched on the Customer Engagement Analytics platform is Call Volume Reduction, while additional solutions, such as sales optimization and voice of the customer are expected for release in the near future.

New Leadspace Update Helps B2B Marketers Analyze Big Social Data

Leadspace, Inc. announced the release of an update to its SaaS B2B social lead targeting solution designed to help B2B marketers achieve conversion rates higher than industry average through precise lead targeting. The new Leadspace automated solution helps to create, analyze and optimize an Ideal Buyer Profile. By analyzing the online presence of existing customers from sources like social network postings, blogs, websites and other online activities, Leadspace creates a model of the Ideal Buyer Profile. Using this model, Leadspace helps B2B marketers and sales teams accurately identify more valuable prospects by scouring public and paid databases, the social web and existing lead databases for these same characteristics in new leads that fit the profile.

Lithium Delivers Social Platform That Connects the Social Customer Experience Across Brand Websites and Social Networks

Lithium Technologies has announced a series of enhancements to the Lithium Social Customer Experience Platform, including an engine called Lithium Communities that can be used to turn brand websites into social destinations where customers can generate content. Lithium also announced the launch of its new Lithium Social Intelligence software, an analytics tool that provides insights into social customer engagement. \

New Company

Bluetrain Mobile Launches Web Marketing Optimization Platform

Bluetrain Mobile announced its debut this week, launching a web marketing platform for any screen that enables marketers to build websites, engage customers, and drive lead generation. Bluetrain's technology offers marketers the power to create engaging web experiences with creative control for smartphones, tablets, and PCs using a sophisticated but easy-to-use platform uniquely tailored to help small-and medium-sized enterprises build optimized websites for any touch screen.