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How To Build a Personalization Dream Team

Customers expect a personalized shopping experience, and leading retailers who’ve incorporated personalization are reaping huge benefits. In fact, brands that have effectively implemented personalization strategies are seeing anywhere from a 7.8 percent increase to a 21 percent increase in conversions. Done right, personalization can pay major dividends, but to implement a personalization strategy that will create the greatest returns, you need... More

Increasing our Commitment to Higher Education: University Relations Program

Career services offices at colleges and universities understand the significant value that internships have when it comes to helping their students find jobs. Simply, as this Forbes article points out, internships offer as direct a path to a full-time job offer for college graduates as does any other pursuit. In fact, according to the survey backing up this article, college interns have a 7 out of 10 chance of being offered a full time job by the company... More

Stop Calling Personalization ‘Creepy’

If there is one trend that I can’t stand right now, it’s calling personalization “creepy.” Writers, industry insiders, digital marketers, I implore you: Cut it out. You’re giving the word creepy a bad name. Maybe growing up in a historical little New England town filled with old homes and ghost stories makes me a little protective of the word creepy. Maybe it’s that I’m a big fan of Tim Burton (his earlier work) or that every time you say it, I get either Radiohead and/or TLC stuck in my head. Either way, leave creepy alone. Creepy by definition means causing an unpleasant feeling of fear... More

Creating Personas vs. Customer Segments: What’s The Difference?

Developing personas and segments is a critical step in creating a personalization strategy for your business. The words persona and segment have often been used interchangeably to group and define the characteristics and profiles of customers, but the truth is the words mean two different things, and the distinction is an important one. Segments help to forecast market interest for a product or service, while Personas help to understand the emotional and behavioral triggers behind individual customers within that market. Used together, they can act as a powerful complementary set of... More

The Key to a Successful Marketing Strategy is an Open Approach

For marketers, the number of marketing tools available in today’s digital landscape is just as overwhelming as it is beneficial. These options help make you a more efficient marketer and provide the customer with a better digital experience. But at the same time, how do you narrow down what’s right for your business? How do you try something new that seems like it might be a good fit? How do you keep up with what’s new and what’s next? Whether it’s the Marketing Technology Landscape... More

How the Apple Watch Changes Web Content Management

This morning, I set my alarm at 3am ET and ordered a shiny, magical new Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is the first new product from Apple since Steve Jobs passed away. It’s an important new product for Apple, as they continue to look for ways to expand revenue beyond the iPhone. “Smart Watches” aren’t new, but as Apple always does, they are taking an emerging category and bringing it to the mass consumer market. Apple has positioned the watch as “an intimate and... More

Cross-Channel Browsing Behaviors of the Modern "Fauxsumer"

“I love the smell of commerce in the morning!” ~ Brodie, Mallrats In 1995, Mallrats depicted the teenage world encapsulated in a shopping mall. Breakups, makeups, and even an unprovoked attack on the Easter bunny – it all happens in the mall. In 1995 that’s where all the cool kids went on a Friday night. Fast forward to 2015, 20 years later. The New York Times recently posted a blog asking teenagers if the mall is still an important part of teen... More

Redefining Commerce, April 2015: Firebox, ‘Not For Everyone’

This blog series - Redefining Commerce - highlights retail brands that are elevating traditional online commerce experiences, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an online retailer, and delivering unparalleled consumer experiences. So far in our Redefining Commerce series, we’ve focused on visually beautiful websites that blend content and commerce seamlessly. But Firebox.com is a new breed of commerce site. As their tagline suggests, it’s “not for everyone.” It pushes... More

Closed-Loop Marketing – Or Just Closed?

“Digital transformation” is a big phrase that scares marketers and IT people alike, because it hints at the need to rip out all of your old stuff – technology, processes, maybe even people – in favor of cutting-edge replacements. This transformation trend is gaining steam in marketing, where some vendors are promoting all-encompassing, cloud-based marketing suites that promise seamlessly integrated content management, marketing automation, analytics and other tools. The goal is the long-desired “closed loop” that ties digital marketing investments more closely to outcomes. The problem with... More

Context Helps Make Commerce Experiences Cool, Not Creepy

The vast majority of retailers are practicing some form of personalization, even at the most fundamental level: welcoming you back to their site by name, recommending products based off of past browsing experience, targeting offers based on search activity. But as data collection systems become more advanced, and personal information becomes more available, can a brand go too far in an effort to capitalize on new customers and just become, well, creepy? The answer is, yes. Last week, Buzzfeed published an article called... More

What Old School ERP and Shared Services Can Teach Us About Digital

I recently came across a social media post that read: In 2015 Uber, the world largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. As the digital movement increases in momentum, with little sign of a slow-down, I’ve started to wonder: how can existing global enterprises, including some 150-year-old companies, adapt and acquire the capabilities they need to optimise digital? Many enterprises have business... More

The One Metric That Proves College Websites Are Worth the Investment

Zero. That’s the number of revenue-producing business metrics most college and university web marketing teams use to prove their impact to the school’s bottom-line. Zero. Zilch. It’s not that they don’t want to prove value. It’s just that colleges’ data systems are byzantine, isolated, and hard to connect. Plus, there aren’t universally accepted goals for a college website. Showing impact is hard. We hate that. Despite defining business goals at the start of every of our 50+ college and university web projects, we are often unable to demonstrate – with numbers – that we met these business... More

Driving Customer Loyalty: The Transactional vs. The Emotional

In today’s world of retail, consumers demand a certain experience, and brands must deliver. However, those desired experiences can vary drastically from one consumer to the next. There are two buckets that retail customers generally fall into: those driven by the “deal” and those driven by the experience. Those always chasing the deal want the best price as quickly as possible, through whichever channel is most convenient. Those seeking the best experience aren’t necessarily price averse, but they crave a tailored experience. Transactional Loyalty Marketplaces like Amazon, Overstock, and Ebay... More

Gearing up for Demandware XChange and Magento Imagine Commerce 2015

Here in New England, the sun is finally shining, the snow mountains are finally melting, and yet we can’t wait to jet cross country for the next duo of commerce conferences. In April, our commerce team will be attending two major industry events, the 2015 Demandware XChange Conference (April 13-15) and the Magento Imagine Commerce 2015 Conference (April 20-22) -- both held in warm, sunny Las Vegas. We’ll be armed with two... More

How Acquia is Reframing the Build vs. Buy Decision

I met with a Fortune 500 company earlier this month who is considering building their own web content management system from the ground up. This would mean spending millions of dollars architecting and coding a custom system to replace the existing legacy custom system they have already invested millions of dollars into, building bespoke CMS technology that still doesn’t meet their requirements. Build-your-own content management systems have been part of the world from the earliest days of the Web. Ron Miller, a well known TechCrunch writer covering the CMS space,... More

Want Digital Transformation Success? Get IT and Business on the Same Page

Every organization needs to harness technology and strategies to transform its business, and to move forward fast in a digital-first world. If you do this right, you're ready to empower your customers and deliver personalized digital experiences across websites, mobile, social, and commerce platforms. You've embraced Age of the Customer thinking. It also means you have the chance to apply digital technology to become a more efficient operation across sales, marketing, customer service, support, and even manufacturing and R&D. The digital enterprise is here. Yet I’m still amazed when I... More

Social Selling and Building Brand Awareness with Snapchat

The unique appeal of Snapchat from a brand marketing perspective is the allure of the elusive images. Traditional “snaps” only last for 10 seconds before they disappear forever. This means that unlike a pin on Pinterest or a post on Instagram -- which exist indefinitely -- a snap’s lifetime is finite, and if not “consumed” during it’s lifetime, it’s lost. This creates an unusual opportunity for brands to interact with their customers, and to target them on a platform that is frequently used in their daily lives.... More

Customers Want Personalized Content and Data-Driven Commerce

Republished from The Digital Economy Report Digital has changed everything in today’s world of online commerce. Personalization of digital experiences is no longer an extra, but an expectation. If a customer has visited your site once, they expect you to recognize them on subsequent visits and they expect a tailored experience. A study by Janrain showed that the majority of consumers – 75 percent – like it when brands personalize messaging and offers. Personalization is a win-win; customers are presented with what... More

Shop and Browse Everywhere in the Age of the Omni-Channel

Retailers are experimenting with alternative commerce experiences to make the shopping journey easier and provide it across all channels, from brick and mortar to online to mobile and beyond. The most successful retailers unite their messaging and media across channels, taking a “channel-less” approach to interacting with the consumer, and enabling commerce wherever the consumer is. Here are a few ways retail is embracing ways to make browsing and shopping possible everywhere. Bring the store to the people To be able to shop anywhere, you need a cash register everywhere: the shopping cart on... More

Acquia and VML announce the Sports Digital Experience Platform

Little beats an afternoon at the ballpark or a night sitting court-side. Yet diehard sports fans follow their favorite teams every day, all year round -- through forums online, investments in fantasy leagues, bets on brackets, squares, and pools, and team merchandise purchases. In this saturated market, there's an abundance of resources for fans to get the latest news, scores, schedules, and other team updates that they seek. Fans get their sports news and information from networks like Fox and NBC, who like ESPN now have 24/7 broadcast and digital sports operations. Digital media offers a... More

Why Being Great at Digital is Mandatory For Survival

I just came across an article on TheStreet called Can Target Escape the Stigma of Having Been Slow to Digital? It paints a pretty dire picture of Target’s digital commerce failures, according to Target's Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Casey Carl. "As consumers rapidly embraced digital, we reacted too slowly," Carl said. "We played catch-up, and we treated the businesses separately, while competitors who doubled down their investments and moved to... More

Customer Experience in the New World of Retail: Context is Critical

Personalization is paramount in the retail world of 2015. If you read our piece on Banana Republic’s failed attempt at personalization, then you know the kind of powerful impact that can have on a previously devout, brand loyal shopper. Today’s consumers have developed savvy sensibilities and a distinct BS meter to weed out the retailers who do it right, and those who don’t... More

Hey Adobe, Welcome to a Multi-Screen World. Thanks for Joining Us.

Today at the Adobe Summit, Adobe announced a new addition to Adobe Experience Manager called “Screens”. Here’s how VentureBeat described it: "New capabilities in Adobe Experience Manager allow marketers to create personalized interactive content experiences — with images, 3D interactive models, video, and other content — in those life-sized displays we’re beginning to see in retailers or hotels, and even in screen-equipped vending machines. Not to mention ATMs, gas station pump screens, car dashboard screens, and appliances." In typical Adobe fashion, the showmanship of the reveal was amazing... More

Redefining Commerce, March 2015: Born Shoes

This blog series - Redefining Commerce - highlights retail brands that are elevating traditional online commerce experiences, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an online retailer, and delivering unparalleled consumer experiences. Shopping is a very visual activity -- online or off, being able to see and feel materials, textures, colors, and patterns is vitally important when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. While online shopping is easy and convenient, it lacks the tactile experience a shopper gets when they visit a brick and mortar store. For this reason, online... More

Where do Media Companies Fit in the World of Mobile Apps?

In the last post of our media and entertainment blog series, I highlighted the fact that now almost one-third of U.S. mobile web traffic is driven by the Facebook mobile application. What that means for content publishers is that they have to focus on tailoring their content for distribution and consumption on the Facebook platform. The prominence of the Facebook mobile application begs the question: Can media brands do well with their own applications and drive the audience to these branded experiences? Media Brands... More

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