Category Archives: Marketing

Virtualization Visualized: How Users Virtualize with Parallels Desktop

If you’re in the market to run Windows® on your Mac®, you should consider the award-winning #1 solution for virtualization: Parallels Desktop for Mac. We’ve answered the who, what, when, and why customers have chosen Parallels Desktop as the #1 virtualization option to run Windows on Mac since 2006. The data below comes to you directly […]

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NetSuite buys Bronto to bolster retail marketing capabilities

NetSuite is acquiring Bronto Software to blend its marketing automation capabilities with its ERP platform

NetSuite is acquiring Bronto Software to blend its marketing automation capabilities with its ERP platform

Cloud ERP incumbent NetSuite has acquired Bronto Software, a provider of cloud-based marketing automation software for omnichannel commerce, in a deal worth about $200m.

Founded in 2002, Bronto offers retailers cloud-based omnichannel marketing software for campaign lifecycle management and claims to sell its services to over 1,400 businesses including some of the world’s top brands (Armani Exchange, Timex ,Trek Bikes).

NetSuite said Bronto’s offerings will complement its SuiteCommerce, an ERP platform tailored to B2B and B2C commerce.

“This combination, for the first time ever, ties a rich marketing automation system with a cloud-based omnichannel commerce platform. The capabilities this solution will deliver are transformational,” said Zach Nelson, chief executive of NetSuite.

“Just as customers demand seamless cross-channel shopping experiences, they increasingly expect companies to communicate consistently through all of their digital experiences – on site, at stores, in email or through social or mobile. By combining the two companies’ offerings and technology, we can help merchants deliver relevant and consistent digital commerce experiences throughout the customer journey,” Nelson said.

Joe Colopy, chief executive of Bronto Software said the two companies will integrate their respective offerings.

“Today’s consumers expect brands to know them across every channel and marketing touchpoint. Providing that type of experience demands a unified approach to digital engagement, whether driving transactions online or offline or engaging with them through website, email, mobile or social,” he said.

“This will help merchants to better engage with their customers, drive repeat purchases and build lifelong loyalty.”

Over the years many large incumbents like Oracle and SAP as well as newer upstarts like Salesforce have moved quickly to strengthen their position in marketing automation through acquisition. Integrating ERP with marketing automation is a no-brainer, particularly when catering to firms with complex supply chains, so it’s no surprise NetSuite, a relatively new player in the field, is following in the same footsteps as other ERP players.

Top 5 Reasons Your Brand Should Invest in SMS Marketing

As more customers access information on-the-go, SMS is increasingly becoming an important tool in multi-channel marketing. However, there are still a number of businesses that believe mobile marketing demands significantly large budgets and heavy investments in applications.

In truth, gaining access to mobile communications is easier than ever and engaging with mobile users is as simple as sending out personalized and targeted text messages. Initiating two-way SMS communication between a brand and a mobile user is not only convenient but also essential to make your brand a household name. 

Here are some key benefits of adopting SMS marketing as a promotional tool: 

1. Direct and Real-Time Communication

Text messaging is one of the most immediate channels for marketing communication. Statistics suggest that 97% of recipients will read your text within 15 minutes of its delivery. Time-critical messages work best using this tool. Studies also suggest that 45% of SMS campaigns generate successful ROI. These figures have the potential to go up to 50% when combined with other popular tools.

2. Building Databases and Simplifying Interactions

Encourage your customers to interact with you through SMS messaging services. Adding creative copy, short codes or keywords to your printing material and other marketing communications allows both existing and potential customers to easily respond to your message. When audiences can contact your brand easily, you may build databases of high-intent customers more efficiently.

3. Easy Integration with other Channels

While SMS is an excellent standalone channel, it also provides the ability to improve and support other media, including television ads, social media and e-mail. For instance, customers may use this tool to enter opinion polls and contests released on alternative platforms.

4. Learn More about your Customer

SMS is an excellent channel to receive feedback from your customers. Studies suggest that 31% of your target audience is likely to respond to an SMS-enabled survey. The average response time recorded is as short as 5 minutes. This means businesses can accumulate quick insights on the psyche of their target groups and use this information effectively for enhanced service delivery.

5. Increase Customer Engagement

Just imagine the number of ways in which SMS can help your brand improve engagement across the customer lifecycle! Especially for e-commerce businesses, this channel may be effectively used to introduce new product ranges, send order confirmations, delivery information and assistance for product returns and exchanges.

Finally, SMS services are best leveraged to track meaningful ROI, identify receptive customers, monitor delivery rates and use this information to improve business processes. A commonly believed myth that SMS is a difficult channel to track is being rapidly debunked; this tool is at least as effective as e-mail when it comes to customer engagement. By using analytics intelligently, businesses are able to create well-targeted and profit-making campaigns for their brands using SMS services.

IBM Acquires Mobile Messaging Startup Xtify

IBM today announced the acquisition of Xtify Inc., a ventured-backed company based in New York City. Xtify provides mobile messaging tools via the cloud to help organizations increase mobile sales and improve brand loyalty. Xtify mobile capabilities will be delivered through IBM’s SaaS portfolio and will run on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.

Xtify will expand IBM’s Smart Commerce initiative helping CMOs, digital marketers, mobile application developers with mobile campaign creation, content targeting, dynamic real-time segmentation and analytics across all mobile device platforms and browsers. Xtify’s technology is designed to deliver real-time, personalized offers via in-app mobile messages and push notifications.

The acquisition of Xtify has implications across IBM’s business: 

  • Xtify will expand IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative to help digital marketers develop relevant push notifications delivered via mobile devices and browsers. Smarter Commerce is among IBM’s most profitable business units boasting more than $3.5 billion in acquisitions since 2010.
  • As part of IBM’s MobileFirst strategy, Xtify will make it easier for developers building mobile applications using IBM’s WorkLight platform to deliver relevant and timely cross-channel marketing messages to customers based on open standards.

How Businesses Can Use the Number Three Social Network (and Do You Know Which It Is?)

Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that allows users to create a visual, online pinboard with images they love organized around topics of their choice by category. It’s the fastest growing social media site in history, the third-largest network after Facebook and Twitter and has over 25 million members and 10 million unique visitors a month, nearly three-quarters of them women.

Karen Leland, author of the new book “Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business,” has created a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to hitting the road running and quickly making Pinterest into a valuable source of prospects, promotion and profits.

“Great business brands are about telling compelling, congruent stories, and Pinterest is at its core about storytelling in pictures,” says Leland. “Pinterest has tapped into this visceral lover of visuals, and no small business, entrepreneur or corporation can afford to miss the boat on bringing what they offer beyond words and into images.”

Following her own advice resulted in this infographic:

89 Degrees Launches ECHO Email Optimization Plan

89 Degrees, a customer engagement agency that leverages data and analytically driven strategy for maximum ROI, has launched a new service, ECHO, an email capabilities & health optimization plan that maximizes email investments for increased impact and ROI.

“Industry surveys show that the amount of email sent by retailers in 2012 jumped by at least 19 percent, and with good reason,” said Arthur Sweetser, CMO of 89 Degrees and recent speaker at the Email Evolution Conference. “Email is evolving and remains highly profitable; the evidence keeps mounting and businesses know it is a smart bet for their budgets.”

89 Degrees also hears from many marketers that are convinced of emails’ value, but still don’t know if they are making the most of their investment. Or they may not be achieving the growth numbers on which they were counting.

“When businesses are allocating a sizable portion of their marketing budget to email marketing, they want to be sure they are spending smart,” continued Sweetser. “That’s why we introduced ECHO – to help marketers reach and exceed their goals, increasing their success with each following campaign.”

Sailthru Gets $19 Million for Smart Data Digital Brand Communications

Sailthru, a technology company specializing in digital brand experiences and communications, has announced a $19 million Series B investment led by Benchmark. Sailthru will use the investment to accelerate the growth of the company by increasing both staff and infrastructure and expanding the use of Smart Data™ by Fortune 500 companies. Sailthru joins Benchmark’s portfolio that currently includes other industry-leading companies such as Dropbox, Twitter, Instagram, Uber, Quora, Yelp and Zillow.

Sailthru’s Smart Data is leading a major shift in how companies engage with their customers through the automatic analysis of big data sets to generate informed, personalized communications across all digital channels. Unlike Big Data, which merely exists in a passive state and can often be overwhelming, Smart Data powers decisions. Sailthru’s Smart Data allows businesses to understand, predict, and engage each consumer on an individual level in real time. Sailthru’s clients are improving their ROI, customer time on-site and are seeing strong increases to customer lifetime value from their adoption of Smart Data.

Offering Cloud Services, practice what you preach

by, Gerrit-Jan van Wieren, Vice President Business Development

IASO Cloud Backup

As an IT service provider you probably started years ago with the idea you would do a better job than the rest. With a lot of enthusiasm and energy you have built a company of reasonable size and offer all kinds of different services. With the rise of Cloud you have the ideal position to tell your customers not to buy and own things, or have IT staff as a core business. You ask them the question; is this bringing you money? Or can we take it off your back? You used to invest in hardware which looked cheaper long-term, but you end up with IT staff that you don’t want on your payroll.

 

Did you ask that question to yourself? As an IT service provider providing services is in your DNA. But is investing also in your DNA? Or is it about making money? Owning stuff is not your core business. When you choose a solution, whether it is hosted backup or hosted e-mail the question should always be if you could do a better job. Look at all the aspects which come with hosting it yourself. It might look cheaper; buy some disks, forget to calculate the costs for staff, electricity and bring in the money.

 

Is it that easy? There is some risk involved. Disks can break, 24×7 availability is actually costing money and your staff can (accidentally) mismanage the platform into serious downtime. When we take a closer look at the business case we also see the calculation is missing reality. You always start with 0 GB and it takes time to reach the 100% coverage for all invested Terabytes. And when you reach 80% you know you’re up for new cash out. 

 

Will you do a better job than the manufacturer? Will it bring you more money?

 

Always go for pay as you grow, without investments. Add value to the proposition with your knowledge and well educated staff. Start making money from day one. And remember what you tell your end customer about investing in IT. Practice what you preach.

IntelliBuzz Helps Companies Monitor Social Media

Intelliverse has launched IntelliBuzz, a social media monitoring service.  IntelliBuzz  helps organizations listen, engage, measure and optimize interactions across multiple social platforms to develop a better understanding of customers and markets, integrate a social CRM channel and align social strategies with overall business objectives.

“Today’s businesses cannot choose whether or not to engage in social media,” said Frank E. Paterno, VP of Marketing at Intelliverse. “Customers are expressing both joy and frustration socially. Companies that aren’t listening and choose not to participate in these conversations will quickly become obsolete.”

The IntelliBuzz service can help companies in the following areas:

  • Provides marketers with a single dashboard to publish, engage, manage, analyze and report across multiple social campaigns and platforms. It also helps marketers schedule future posts and trend the social activity about their brand, which can range from protecting the brand during everyday operations to uncovering opportunities for social outreach and meaningful conversations.
  • Empowers customer service and sales organizations to listen to and respond to customer and prospect conversations originating on the social web. Benefits include quickly responding to questions from prospects to delighting customers with surprise resolutions to socially made complaints. Customer service organizations can easily integrate IntelliBuzz into an overall CRM strategy and have the tools in place to find questions, comments or complaints on the internet, deliver them to the responsible team and track each interaction to ensure a timely response.
  • Allows a human resource organization to gauge employee happiness, gain insight into potential negative organizational issues and evolve corporate values by monitoring the social media activity of the organization’s employees.
  • Intellectual Property – Lets an organization know if the organization’s intellectual property (e.g., trademarks and service marks) and confidential information is being used inappropriately so it can respond accordingly.