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Humanizing Automation

Customer Experience (CX) is the final frontier, and companies are spending fortunes to deliver it through inspiring, intuitive mobile UI and UX. Behind those cool interfaces, however, many corporate teams are struggling. As the digital ecosystem and martech stacks grow more complex, transparency is fading, ROI is getting harder to prove, and campaigns have gotten more grueling, not less. That’s ironic: CRM and CMS promised to improve optics, harmonize data and unify work flows. But take any capable staffer doing a high-stakes project in a martech platform today, and you can bet they’re losing sleep over it.

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Cloning Your Best Practices Part 1: Data and Control

“Feature creep” and data accessibility continue to vex the big CRM and CMS platforms. In its report The State of Engagement, top marketing automation firm Marketo and researchers at Illuminas found alarming levels of user frustration with current SaaS solutions, saying: “Marketers are dissatisfied with the tools available to them to accomplish [sales and marketing] tasks, with nearly half (48%) citing this as their number one barrier to effective engagement.”

Let that sink in: About half of all users in a reliable survey said existing online tools are “their number one barrier to effective engagement.” The irony is striking. It certainly questions the 10-year Gold Rush to license seats from dozens of vendors—many now defunct. As the novelty wears off, why are so many people (and companies) unhappy with their cloud platforms? Continue reading “Cloning Your Best Practices Part 1: Data and Control”

Coding Your Company Culture

Major software decisions branch off early in one of two directions: a ready-made platform, or a custom-made system. The challenge of custom software—working with developers, for example—is familiar to many owners and directors. And “developing custom software” just sounds like work. Instant functionality and prefab communities of lookalike users are other key selling points for more than 5,000 sales and marketing platforms currently available to license.

In this platform-happy landscape, why does anyone choose custom software? One big reason trending now is the staggering cost, both in dollars and productivity, of unused features and functions of ready-made, cloud-based platforms. For its benchmark study, The Real Cost of Unused Software, endpoint management firm 1E analyzed the usage patterns of 1,800 software titles and 3.6 million licensed seats in 129 companies across four major industries.

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