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HTC Needs to Turn Up the Heat
March 27, 2014
HTC this week announced the HTC One M8, a new model of its flagship smartphone. When the HTC One made its debut last year, AT&T Mobility sent me one to test drive. I thought it was very well designed. However, what it had in substance, the HTC One lacked in brand recognition, marketing, advertising and public relations. Let's face it, HTC is not a well known and loved brand.
Using Feedback Loops to Manage Your Subscription Business
March 26, 2014
Everyone in business claims to want to listen to the voice of the customer. It's a noncontroversial issue, but the approaches are all over the map. There is little consistency -- and truthfully, many vendors do a poor job of it. Capturing customer feedback always has been a challenge for conventional vendors because they have to generate new processes to reach out to customers.
Rumor vs. Reality in Silicon Valley, Part 1
March 25, 2014
Like most small, inbred communities, Silicon Valley encourages and thrives on gossip, even when it's of little substance. In popular-speak, Valley gossip has a "low signal to noise ratio," but the rumor mill is vibrantly alive despite that shortcoming -- partly due to venture capitalists, whose efforts parallel the day-to-day business of technology.
Haunted Empire - Biased Author or Biased Readers?
March 24, 2014
What really surprises me about the book Haunted Empire, which predicts the decline of Apple, isn't that Apple fans don't like it. That's a given -- Apple fans only want positive books and stories. It is the level of effort that has gone into killing it, and how much that apparently has accelerated sales. There is an old saying: The only thing better than bad publicity is no publicity.
Digging Deeper Into CRM Data
March 21, 2014
CRM is sometimes described as the place where all your customer data resides. That's a nice image -- all that helpful data, chilling in its own hangout. That data works for you, though -- if you're just storing it, it isn't helpful. It's important to think about what you want to do with and learn from that data. We talk a lot about what we want to do -- less about what we should learn.
Why Didn't Fliers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Call or Text?
March 20, 2014
There has been quite a bit of speculation on the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but many important questions have not been answered. One that many people are wondering about is this: Why didn't anyone on board that plane call or text message anyone? During the last week I have appeared on many news shows -- NBC, CNN with Wolf Blitzer, FOX News with Megyn Kelly, and an assortment of others.
Developing Customer IP
March 19, 2014
Sales people have been demanding better leads for a long time, and marketing today is in a position to provide them. At the same time, marketers have discovered that the kind of data they collect is as important as its volume. Marketers need to provide rich prospect profiles that answer many of sales people's most important questions: Is there a need? a budget? an executive sponsor?
4 Sharp Tools for Honing Reseller Loyalty
March 17, 2014
As tricky as CRM seems, it's nothing compared to managing relationships with indirect channel partners. I often joke that it's CRM to the second power: You must not only manage the CRM tasks you always needed to do to create a relationship with end customers, but also enable partners to sell, service and support on your behalf. When it comes to selling, reseller partners are motivated.
Nvidia ECS: Where Real Innovation AND Execution Are on Display
March 17, 2014
One of the questions I've been getting regularly, both because little companies like WhatsApp are in the news and because large firms are struggling to find early stage innovative firms, is "Where do you go to see a lot of small innovative companies?" Firms like this get lost at shows like CES. They just don't have the budget to stand out against the bigger firm's announcements and footprint.
Complicating the Cloud
March 14, 2014
Although I've been a proponent of the business benefits of migrating to the "cloud" since before the term was popularized by today's market leaders, I have to admit that the cloud industry is doing a great job of making it increasingly difficult for CIOs and other corporate decision makers to feel confident about making the move. Cloud converts aren't sure where to start.
The Fine Art of Belly Scratching
March 12, 2014
I was at a dinner at a working cattle ranch outside of Denver not long ago, but it was a ranch with a difference. Rather than raising cattle for the table, the business raised breeding stock and sent animals and other products, like embryos, all over the world. Every animal on the ranch had its genetic makeup tracked in a database and a unique ear tag that told something about it.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: False Hope in the Sound of Ringing Phones
March 11, 2014
I received a call on Monday about an interesting angle on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mystery. Relatives of passengers on the missing aircraft apparently said they had dialed the cellphone numbers of loved ones on the flight and reported that the phones rang -- several times in fact. Then the calls were terminated. This has raised quite a few questions.
The Increasing Business Risk of Cloud Cyberattacks
March 10, 2014
It is hard to figure out which is growing at a faster pace -- movement to the cloud or cybercrime. Cybercrime is following the data to the cloud, according to reports, to find and steal cloud data of hotel records, credit card information, and maybe even corporate secrets and the client files of lawyers. The concept of managing data for business on a remote computer is actually 50 years old.
The Amazing Promise of HP's Impossible Turnaround
March 10, 2014
HP has made incredible progress over the last few years with Meg Whitman at the helm, which was evident at its annual analyst meeting last week. It has made major progress in the cloud, in devices, and in how the company is run. The result should be an increasingly interesting set of products and services uniquely differentiated in the market. This effort was far from easy.
Adding Channels Won't Fix Broken Customer Service
March 07, 2014
Technology allows businesses to take care of customers in new and different ways. Think of the multiple options we have for customer service with many businesses today: phone, chat, text, email and sometimes social media channels. They all have their own nuances, and they all place specific demands on your staff. The problem is that a new channel won't fix what's causing other channels to fail.
Apple's CarPlay Gambit: Retract One Claw to Hook With Another
March 07, 2014
Apple's CarPlay initiative is a profoundly new tactic for Apple. Compared to its behavior in recent years, when Apple has focused intense control over every element of its product environment -- from packaging, hardware and operating systems to the submission process for its App Stores -- Apple's stance in its CarPlay initiative is a very big deal.
Mobile Email Marketing Rule No. 1: Short Subject Lines
March 06, 2014
OK people, it's 2014. Email marketing has been an important marketing tactic for a good 15-20 years. Email marketing for mobile devices is a newer variation of this tried-and-true channel, but it still isn't rocket science. So why, I ask you, do so many marketers still refuse to learn the most basic tenet of email marketing? Namely, that the subject line is the most important part of the content.
Sprint Softbank's Jockeying for the Inside Track
March 06, 2014
What is going on with Sprint Softbank? What will the company look like when it finally emerges from its cocoon? Who else will it merge with? Where will it be based? There has been quite a bit of transformational work going on. Sprint and Softbank won U.S. government approval after months of vigorous debate and got together last summer. It once seemed doubtful the merger would happen, yet it did.
4 Ways to Waste Great Marketing Opportunities
February 28, 2014
CRM has always purported to be about relationships, but it's often used primarily for sales. That's kind of a good news, bad news situation. The bad news first: CRM got a bad rap when it didn't become a sales panacea (mostly for adoption issues). The good news: It exposed a void in the mix that marketing automation rushed to fill. The key to successful relationships is communication.
Marketers: Going Global Means Going Mobile
February 27, 2014
U.S. companies can be forgiven, perhaps, for their near-sighted view of global markets. North America and the more exotic European markets are enough for most companies, short of those with multinational aspirations, seeking foreign-based revenues. For those that do want to access markets in, say, Kenya or India, there are numerous barriers in their way.

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