CRM for the Google Homepage

CRM for Google (CRM means Customer Relationship Management) is a set of gadgets for your personalized Google homepage that allows you to do things like track tasks, manage contacts, add notes, or create appointments.

(In the beginning while playing around with this I got a couple of errors from Google’s servers telling me the gadget “information is temporarily unavailable,” but this worked after a while.) I wonder though if tools like these will not simply be made redundant by Google’s homegrown office, which is partly already released (e.g. there’s already an official Calendar widget), and partly to come yet (we’re still in need of a great cross-applications Google contact manager, for example). One benefit of Google-made widgets have is that you don’t need to login to an extra account – in the case of Etelos’ tool, you actually need to login once for every single widget – and that the data is shared with your Google apps, like Gmail.

On a related note, the company Realtime Applications released the Google Widget Creator so you can create custom database-like gadgets for your needs (your data will be stored on the company’s server). Check their Flash demo to get an idea of this tool.

[Thanks Phil S. and Coolz0r!]

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About the Author

Philipp Lenssen from Germany, author of 55 Ways to Have Fun With Google, shares his views & news on the search industry in the daily Google Blogoscoped.

SES New York

SES New York | April 10-13, 2007 | Hilton New York

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There's still time to register for Search Engine Strategies New York, the premier conference that specifically addresses search engine advertising (SEM/SEO). This year we will be presenting 100+ exhibitors, 200+ speakers and 75 sessions over four days. This is our 8th annual conference, and it remains the only event dedicated to search and its place within the corporate marketing mix.

Keynote Conversation with Windows Live Chief Steve Berkowitz
Steve Berkowitz is the Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Online Services Group, which includes MSN and Windows Live. He will talk with conference chair Danny Sullivan about Microsoft's moves and ambitions in search.


Still not convinced? Sign up for an Expo Hall-only pass, with a chance to win a free Mini Cooper, courtesy of AOL® Search with FullView™ at no cost to you (please note that this pass does not provide access to the sessions).

Search Training Workshop
Hilton New York | Monday, April 9, 2007
Sessions include:

Search Marketing Gurus: Shari Thurow, Matt Bailey, Jennifer Laycock, Debra Mastaler, Amanda Watlington, Greg Jarboe, Nan Dawkins and Rob Key

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Other ClickZ & Search Engine Strategies events:
April 4, 2007 | 2 p.m. EST

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SugarCRM update due in beta next month

SugarCRM Inc. plans to ship the beta version of Sugar 5.0 next month. The upgrade to the open-source customer relationship management software is designed to make it easier for companies to extend the product with third-party applications, company executives said last week.

The release comes at a time of rapid growth for SugarCRM. That growth has been fueled in part by an increase in the use of its software on servers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server operating system and SQL Server database.

SugarCRM's last big upgrade, Sugar 4.5, was released last August; it was designed to round out the suite's core CRM functionality and improve compatibility with Microsoft's server software.

The upcoming release, Version 5.0, will be focused on improving the product's underlying software architecture, said John Roberts, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Cupertino, Calif.-based SugarCRM. He said the aim is to make the software more extensible, meaning it should be easier for developers to build their own applications and link them to Sugar 5.0.

The goal is to ship the final product in July, with a beta due out a few months before that, probably in April. Roberts said. The company expects to offer its software under both the Mozilla Public License and the GNU General Public License Version 3, which is expected to be finalized soon.

Making Sugar 5.0 more extensible is critical, said one industry analyst, because customers increasingly want the ability to extend their CRM applications to fit their particular business processes.

"Salesforce.com has really set the bar, and that bar includes the ability to customize native applications and to incorporate applications written by other parties," said Denis Pombriant, principal at Beagle Research Group LLC in Stoughton, Mass.

Making Sugar 5.0 more extensible may be a first step by the company toward fostering the growth of its own applications community, as Salesforce.com has done with its AppExchange, Pombriant said. Other competitors for Sugar include NetSuite Inc., SAP AG and Oracle Corp.

Rob Bois, a research director at AMR Research Inc., said SugarCRM is trying to appeal more to large organizations, "where integration and interoperability becomes fairly critical."

SugarCRM has grown quickly since it was founded three years ago. It says it has 1,200 paying customers, double the number it had 10 months ago. By the end of the year, it expects to have more than doubled the number again, to over 3,000 customers, Roberts said.

A good portion of its growth has resulted from the partnership it established with Microsoft last year to create better interoperability between SugarCRM and Microsoft's Windows Server, Active Directory and SQL Server.

Most Sugar installations today are on the open-source LAMP stack -- Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. But as many as 45% of new licensees are using Windows, up from 30% before Sugar 4.5 was released, Roberts said. And SQL Server is gaining in popularity against MySQL, and it could soon account for half of the new SugarCRM installations, Roberts said, noting that "SQL Server is very strong."

Clint Oram, SugarCRM's other co-founder, went further, saying sales of Windows-based Sugar systems could surpass Linux sales before long. "It's certainly a possibility," he said.

SugarCRM is also looking for growth in Europe. Oram, who also runs Sugar Online, is relocating with his family from the U.S. to Dublin next month to open the company's first dedicated European sales office.

Building a business in Europe brings challenges, however. About 40% of SugarCRM's customers use the hosted version of its applications, which are served from a data center in Santa Clara, Calif. Europe's data privacy laws make it difficult in some countries to store customer data in the U.S. In addition, some customers don't like the idea of having their data stored on servers so far away, said Pascal Brunel, e-business manager at Synolia, a SugarCRM distribution partner in France.

As a result, the company is in the process of establishing data centers in Europe to serve hosted versions of its software there, Roberts said.


Reprinted with permission from


Story copyright 2006 International Data Group. All rights reserved.

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Watershed group wants halt to Wild Horse CRM

A private, Idaho-based environmental and conservation group has served notice to the state that it will file a lawsuit under the federal Endangered Species Act to halt the implementation of the Wild Horse Coordinated Resource Management Project set to begin this year east of Ellensburg.

The Western Watersheds Project sent a letter to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife indicating it will challenge proposed cattle grazing in the state-owned Whisky Dick Wildlife Area 15-20 miles east of Ellensburg, the site of the Wild Horse CRM project. It also said its lawsuit seeks to block a similar project in the Pintler Creek area of the Asotin Wildlife Area in Asotin County.

The coordinated resource management project in the Whisky Dick Mountain area takes in an estimated 62,000 acres that encompasses property owned by the state departments of Fish & Wildlife and Natural Resources, wind farm lands owned by Puget Sound Energy and other private property owned by American Minerals.

The project aims to allow commercial cattle to graze in a selective, monitored pattern that project supporters believe will improve shrub-steppe grasses and, in turn, improve habitat for elk and other animals. Another goal is to keep elk herds in the higher elevations with better grass and away from more densely populated areas of the Kittitas Valley.

Western Watersheds said commercial cattle were removed from the lands more than 25 years ago to allow the property to recover from that activity, according to a news release.

Officials of the group claim the reintroduction of cattle will threaten the shrub-steppe’s endangered landscape and a number of endangered and declining species, including sage grouse and the loggerhead shrike.



Endangered and rare mammals and fish, including pygmy rabbits, Chinook salmon and bull trout, could also be affected because they depend on streams located in the wildlife areas, according to the group.

Jeff Tayer, south-central director of the state Department of Fish & Wildlife, said the Wild Horse CRM project has been in the works for more than a year, involving local and state agencies and private livestock and environmental groups. He said the letter from Western Watersheds was the first time the group has shown interest in the project.

Tayer said the department’s legal counsel will review the threatened lawsuit before he can comment on it. He said the project east of Ellensburg is an attempt to involve many landowners and interests in a cooperative manner to improve habitat.

“I can say that the planning effort has always had as its goal to make sure we followed biologically appropriate practices with habitat protection in mind,” Tayer said Tuesday. “We are trying to steer away from a fragmented approach to habitat enhancement to a more consolidated, united effort.”

Steve Herman, an emeritus faculty member at Evergreen State College, in the Western Watersheds news release said the Whisky Dick Wildlife Area is one of the places “where cattle, their waste products, fences, electric lines, wells, pipeline troughs and new roads are to be reintroduced.

“This is an area of unmatched beauty, especially for spring wildflowers,” Herman said. “Losing it to cattle would be a tragedy for all Washingtonians.”

Top 15 CRM vendors, emerging trends revealed

ISM's annual ranking of CRM software vendors and its evaluation of the CRM market looks markedly similar to last year's results, but Barton Goldenberg, president of the Bethesda, Md.-based consultancy, sees a changing and vibrant marketplace.

"We're back to a healthy mode," Goldenberg said. "We're getting good investment by big players, Microsoft is doing better. It's a healthy market and we're consolidating it in the right way. It's a good time for CRM."

A number of analysts agree that CRM spending is rising. Many of the CRM trends ISM identified last year appear once again in this year's report -- consolidation, a focus on small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS) all continue to be major trends. Yet, the CRM market has seen change.

"It's dramatically different from last year," Goldenberg said of the report. "Use of analytical tools has blossomed, the number of mobile offerings has blossomed, and this movement of Software as a Service has become increasingly important."


For the past 15 years, ISM has evaluated the top CRM vendors based on surveys and testing. It also identifies the top business and technology trends. In addition to SaaS, consolidation and a focus on SMBs, ISM says mobile CRM, search engine marketing and Web 2.0 functionality are driving the evolution of CRM.

Customer feedback technology, particularly in the call center, is helping companies foster community and gather input from customers on everything from product direction to new services. Additionally, San Francisco's Salesforce.com Inc. and San Mateo, Calif.-based NetSuite Inc. have both integrated search engine marketing into their CRM applications.

The vendors are also taking on more of the actual CRM implementation work, Goldenberg said, an area they had shown little interest in in the past.

"They can't afford not to do it," he said. "It's a different ballgame in terms of profit margins. We're really seeing it ramp up."

On the technology side, service-oriented architectures, the move from client/server to Web-enabled technology, XML and AJAX are all affecting the evolution of CRM, according to ISM.

The vendor rankings are also quite similar, though Salesforce.com made the top 15 for enterprise CRM vendors, and Microsoft, with its 3.0 product, made the top 15 in the SMB category.

ISM's top 15 enterprise CRM vendors

  • Amdocs CRM v. 6 -- Amdocs Ltd.
  • C2 CRM v. 8.0 -- Clear Technologies Inc.
  • CMS/Oncontact V, v. 5.2 -- Oncontact Software Corp.
  • ExSellence 5.0 -- Optima Technologies Inc.
  • Firstwave CRM v. 3.1 -- Firstwave Technologies Inc.
  • growBusiness Solutions v. 3.1 -- Software Innovation ASA
  • Infor CRM -- Infor
  • mySAP CRM -- SAP AG
  • Onyx v. 6.0 -- Onyx Software Corp.
  • PeopleSoft CRM -- Oracle/PeopleSoft Inc.
  • Pivotal v. 5.9 -- Pivotal Corp.
  • Salesforce.com -- Salesforce.com Inc.
  • Saratoga CRM 6.5.3 -- Saratoga Systems Inc.
  • Siebel 8.0 -- Oracle/Siebel Systems Inc.
  • Tibco Process RM v. 9.0 -- Tibco
  • update 7.0 -- update software AG

Vendors are listed alphabetically

ISM's top 15 SMB CRM vendors

  • Ardexus MODE v. 5.5 -- Ardexus Inc.
  • C2 CRM v. 8.0 -- Clear Technologies Inc.
  • CMS/Oncontact V, v. 5.2 -- Oncontact Software Corp.
  • Goldmine v. 7.0.3 & HEAT -- FrontRange Solutions Inc.
  • Maximizer Enterprise 9.5 -- Maximizer Software Inc.
  • Microsoft CRM 3.0 -- Microsoft Corp.
  • NetSuite CRM v. 11.0 & NetSuite v. 11.0 -- NetSuite Inc.
  • Powertrak v. 8.02 -- Axonom Inc.
  • Relavis CRM 7.0 -- Relavis Corp.
  • RightNow CRM v. 8.0 -- RightNow Technologies Inc.
  • Sage CRM 100/200 v. 6.0 -- Sage Software
  • Sage SalesLogix v. 7.0 -- Sage Software
  • Salesforce.com -- Salesforce.com Inc.
  • Salesplace 2006.3.2 -- Interchange Solutions
  • SalesPage CRM -- SalesPage Technologies LLC
  • Siebel CRM OnDemand -- Oracle/Siebel Systems Inc.
  • StayinFront CRM v. 9.3 -- StayinFront Inc.
Vendors are listed alphabetically

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CRM Value: Explore the Value of Customer Retention

Customer retention is not only a cost effective and profitable strategy, but in today's business world it's necessary. This is especially true when you remember that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customer and clients. With these statistics I am wondering why most marketing and sales campaigns are designed for the new customer.

Take for instance the wireless telephone companies; if you sign a new contract you are given a large rebate or even a free cellular telephone. If you are a current customer you have the privilege of paying full price. Can someone please explain that methodology to me. With this type of promotion are we not just pushing current customers and clients to seek services elsewhere when their contract ends?

Perhaps we need to rethink our marketing and sales strategies, afterall many experts will tell you that it's five times more profitable to spend marketing and advertising dollars to retain current customers than it is to acquire new customers.

In years past the importance of focusing on customer retention was not as important, stickiness came naturally. We shopped in our neighborhood shops and our corner grocery stores. We had a personal connection with our service providers and the thought of shopping at another store would have never crossed our minds.

That has all changed now. Our stores our larger, the majority of the sales personnel don't know that you even exist. Not to mention that now we have the convenience of the Internet and do a large portion of our shopping online, where you are known by your email address. As a result, customer loyalty has disappeared and large corporations and virtual storefronts are unable to ask the millions of disloyal customers what caused them to stray.

However, there is a solution. Sophisticated technology and database equipment has made it possible for specialized firms to make attempts at customer retention through database marketing programs. Establishing a detailed client database will allow these companies to keep track of personal information and individual preferences of all their customers. This enables them to provide better service and value. Just like the corner grocery store owner kept information on 200 customers in his head, the large superstore can now keep track of 20,000 customers through its customer database. With effective implementation of customer databases, companies will be able to re-establish contact with customers, and will be able to work successfully towards increasing customer retention, repeat sales, and customer referrals.

To achieve the objectives of the database and customer retention programs, the entire campaign should be designed and carried out with the customer in mind. The exercise will only be effective if the customer recognizes and associates some value with being part of your database. If they do not perceive value in your program all of your communications, coupons, special offers, and newsletters will be discarded. Your customers have been inundated with meaningless "junk" mail and email spam, so embed your campaign with value.

A few value-add strategies that you can use include:

  • Membership cards and programs that entitle your customers to special offers, discounts, or preferential treatment.
  • Welcome, acknowledgement, sales recognition, thank you statements.
  • After sales satisfaction and complaint inquiries and surveys.
  • Event oriented communications in which the customer is genuinely interested.
  • Enhanced and empowered customer, after sales, and technical support.

Designing a 21st Century Contact Center

When Royal Caribbean tapped Steelcase Applied Research to help it outfit a new call center in Oregon, the cruise line had done its due diligence.

It didn't require any guidance, for instance, on what chairs it wanted its reps to use. In fact, the company had given a great deal of thought to what might seem to outsiders to be the most basic of all contact center equipment.

After much market research and many years experience with its other call centers, Royal Caribbean had come to favor a certain brand of chair for the way it accommodates different work processes and body types, Steelcase Workplace Consultant Tidra Staples told CRM Buyer.

Other choices the company made in setting up its third and newest call center include an open, wave-like work table design.

"The traditional workstation is a small, restrictive space," Staples said. "This type of layout and pattern gives reps relief from stagnant body postures." It also facilitates mentoring -- an important element of the operation -- by encouraging face-to-face communication Get the Facts on BlackBerry Business Solutions between reps and supervisors.

Supervisors' offices are located on the same floor as the contact center operations instead of above the reps' stations or in another part of the building.

"Managers are at the same level as the reps, so they don't seem to be 'overbearing' -- and also so they can have quick access to them in case there are problems," Staples explained.

The facility includes a variety of multipurpose rooms for people to meet and interact.

Royal Caribbean did not develop this design in a vacuum, Staples said. It began with the establishment of a policy on workplace ergonomics. The company then surveyed its employees to find out what worked best for them.

The planning has paid off, said Russ Bogue, director of global facilities and properties.

"The wave layout appeals particularly to younger staff members," Bogue said. "They say it offers more visual interest and chances to interact. Supervisors find it helpful because they can quickly see any employee who needs assistance. And all employees seem to agree that it creates a feeling of energy in the workplace."

Next-Gen Operations

Welcome to the contact center revolution. In many ways, Royal Caribbean is standardizing its designs on tried-and-true formulas that have already proven successful in other call centers. What is different, however, is the focus on ergonomics for maximum operational efficiency and employee comfort.

The benefits are obvious. Contact centers tend to have extremely high turnover. Providing a more pleasant and comfortable work environment is one way management is hoping to discourage the outflow.

Contact centers can't afford to skimp on the cost of chairs anymore, for example, Mark Anderson, a contact center specialist with the Thompson Advisory Group (TAG) told CRM Buyer. "It can make or break your retention."

Other work station innovations include desks that can be elevated so a rep who feels like standing up for a while can do so and continue typing. Keyboards are also a focus. Here, though, Anderson said, not as much consensus has been reached as to the best design.

"A lot of call centers like the split key board because it fits the hand better," he noted, "but I have seen private companies with internal call centers experiment to get better results."

Headset Choices

Headsets are another critical piece of equipment that reps must like using. The selection can be a bit tricky to make, depending on the size of the call center, its budget, and its security requirements, John Sung Kim, founder of LeadMarket, told CRM Buyer. Kim was also founder of Five9, a hosted contact center company based on Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP (he sold his interest in the firm last year).

"We went through every consideration from A to Z," Kim remembered.

Budget is the first factor, he said. "Obviously, one must work within the confines of what is financially doable. Cost constraints, however, can affect the performance and reliability Back up your business with HP's ProLiant ML150 Server - just $1,299. of the equipment. This is true whether your call center is remaining PSTN (public switched telephone network) or going VoIP."

Then there is the distribution of agents. If the contact center uses remote agents, then USB Latest News about USB (universal serial bus) headsets are the most convenient. Otherwise, "setting up separate phone jacks and installing a traditional headset phone for every single remote agent -- especially considering agent churn -- can be quite an IT burden," said Kim.

These considerations have to be weighed against the floor space available, he continued.

"Traditional wiring is a pain, but having a VoIP-based secure wireless network Get FREE CDN for 3 Months. PEER 1 Dedicated Hosting. Click Here. with PCs and USB-based headsets make for nice, clean call centers that can be set up and moved in a fraction of the time of their traditionally wired counterparts," Kim explained.

Take into account this cost-savings factor when deciding to go wireless on VoIP, or wired with traditional PBX (private branch exchange) and RJ11 (registered jack) phone lines wired to traditional headsets, he advised.

Security concerns are another issue, especially as the center is bound to be handling customer information. This could rule out Bluetooth Latest News about Bluetooth headsets, unless security is factored into their use.

"While it's true that the security risks of Bluetooth are limited because of the technology's short range," Kim said, "in a call center environment, this can be a security threat."

Call centers are more likely to give greater consideration to the comfort of the chair or lighting than to the headset ergonomics, though, TAG's Anderson said.

That may change if supply has anything to do with demand.

"I am not seeing a massive migration to Bluetooth or similar technology at this time, but I have seen a quantum increase in companies representing those solutions, especially at the trade shows and Contact Center trade magazines," he observed.

"The workforce generation that is hitting the market today accepts -- and prefers -- the wireless Bluetooth technology and they have used it for years in their personal lives. As costs become more acceptable to contact center volumes, so will the [Bluetooth] solution."

CRM

Definition: CRM is the process of managing all aspects of interaction a company has with its customers, including prospecting, sales, and service. CRM applications attempt to provide insight into and improve the company/customer relationship by combining all these views of customer interaction into one picture.

AT&T Takes Banking Mobile

AT&T (NYSE: T) Latest News about AT&T brought its customers one step closer to the promise of mobile banking Tuesday when it announced partnerships with BancorpSouth and a number of other banks to offer banking capabilities to wireless Get the Facts on BlackBerry Business Solutions users.

Customers of the participating banks who subscribe to AT&T's wireless service can download a mobile banking application directly to their cell phone. From there, they can view their account balances, transfer funds between accounts, and receive and pay bills, much the way they have long been able to using a home PC.

All information on the application is password-protected and encrypted for security assurance, AT&T officials said.

In addition to BancorpSouth, other participating banks include Wachovia, Regions and Suntrust Bank. The banking application is from Firethorn Holdings, which also acts as an intermediary between AT&T and the banks.

"At BancorpSouth, a key emphasis is on offering our customers convenient, time-saving new ways of managing their money," said Aubrey Patterson, BancorpSouth's chairman and chief executive officer. "That is why we were the first financial institution to participate in a trial of mobile banking with AT&T and Firethorn, and that is why we are now making this application available to all of our customers."

A Step in the Right Direction

"Big developments in wireless often start with a seed," said Jim Ryan, vice president of data services at AT&T's wireless unit. "For example, until just a few years ago, text messaging was a novelty, and now it is pervasive and hard-wired into our behavior. We believe that mobile banking will rapidly move up a similar curve of mass adoption with AT&T's 61 million wireless customers."

The new application certainly gives new capabilities to wireless customers and brings the U.S. market closer to capabilities already offered in many parts of Asia and Europe, where cell phones are commonly used instead of credit cards or cash. However, the move may be only an incremental step in the right direction.

"What's really exciting is using cell phones as credit cards to pay for gas, groceries and other purchases," Allyn Hall, director of wireless for In-Stat, told the E-Commerce Times. "This is only a small step in the right direction. In truth, there's nothing you can do here that you couldn't do before, if you had Internet access from your cell phone."

'Not Exactly Revolutionary'

The Firethorn software will undoubtedly make mobile banking easier than it was before, but overall Hall said the announcement is "not exactly revolutionary."

"This is only part of the conversion of the cell phone into a full-fledged financial device -- the other part will be using it for actual transactions," agreed Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Part of the reason other countries are so far ahead of the United States in this respect is because of a "classic American problem," Hall pointed out. "Unlike countries like Japan, in which companies cooperate on standards and then compete afterwards, here in the U.S. we compete on standards," he said.

The result is that "in the U.S. we're paralyzed -- we can't agree on how to share the wealth or even on standards," Hall continued. "Five years from now we could easily still be stuck in this same place."

The 'It' Couple: Behavioral Targeting and Video, Part 2

By Anna Papadopoulos

March 28, 2007

Last month, industry experts shared behavioral targeting and video experiences. All agreed on the following points:

  • Video behavioral targeting is in its infancy.

  • Lack of inventory is an issue.

  • The potential is enormous.

We continue the Q&A about the roles various partners will play in the future of video behavioral targeting and new opportunities that will become available to advertisers.

What role does your company play in the maturation and development of behavioral targeting and video?

Troy Young, CMO of VideoEgg: We're starting with the big challenge first: figuring out the right way to bring together advertisers and online video content in a way that doesn't compromise user experience. Existing notions of how to interrupt the consumer don't translate real well to the way video is consumed today. Thirty-second pre-roll in front of a one to two minute video clip discourages user consumption and creates a negative halo for the brand. The Eggnetwork's in-video ad units invite the users into the advertiser's video, creating a much better environment for the brand message. We're also making our ads relevant by leveraging data from user profiles. We'll add behavioral overlays to our targeting solution in the next 12 months.

Bill Gossman, CEO, Revenue Science: Revenue Science's targeting platform makes testing and experimentation with this ad format very, very simple. We are supporting publishers and ad networks in Europe, North America, and Japan as they experiment with and mature the use of the video ad format. Further, some very video-centric publishers like AOL have adopted our platform and are in an excellent position to make massive advances for the industry in this area.

Mark Josephson, president of Seevast: Pulse 360 was the first company to offer behavioral targeting for sponsored links, and we just launched sponsored link advertising available for online videos. Publishers understand that just like on their non-video content, branded display advertising and text sponsored links can coexist to everyone's benefit.

Joe Kyriakoza, product development VP at Jump Start Automotive Media: We view video with a great level of importance, as it becomes one of the prevailing mechanisms by which people obtain information online. We are taking steps to make pre-roll video a principal offering as part of our behavioral targeting opportunities. We currently are able to provide it on a small level, as well as in-banner video. But over the next three to six months, it will be rolling out in a much bigger way. We're in the process of working out the technical details, while also solidifying the appropriate partnerships to make this possible.

Why do you (or don't you) believe behavioral targeting and video are a good fit?

TY: Behavioral targeting makes as much sense for video as it does for banners or any other ad vehicle. How it's leveraged across the sales funnel will be different. Brand advertising moves naturally to online video. Advertisers will want to push the brand messages early in the sales cycle to drive consideration. Behavioral video targeting will support tactics like this.

BG: Video and behavioral targeting are a hand-in-glove fit. First, video creative is expensive relative to other formats. Because of this, we need to be able to quickly test performance and make changes to campaigns as necessary. Second, aggregation is a key to the expansion of this format. Our platform enables publishers and marketers to build large audiences of like-minded people, and reach them virtually anywhere on the Internet. That level of volume will help make the economics of video work for advertisers and publishers.

MJ: Behavioral targeting and video are a great fit for two reasons. First, any way advertisers can refine targeting or find more customers is a good thing. Second, marketers are beginning to embrace the explosion of user-generated content, and they recognize the value of this audience. Behavior targeting in video will help refine this audience for marketers and bring the value to the surface.

JK: We've viewed performance as the prevailing facet of BT [behavioral targeting] utilization as a targeting strategy, and with better, richer creative comes enhanced performance. Video provides a greater opportunity for the precision targeting of BT to truly realize its value. Ultimately, the performance will speak for itself.

How do behavioral targeting and video work from your perspective? Is this different from display advertising?

MJ: Behavior targeting in video works much the same way as it does in display ads but is a great way to open up lots more inventory. Behavioral information is one more data point to improve the targeting of ads so that consumers see more relevant ads, and advertisers get better results. The big issue right now around behavioral targeting in video is the same issue we've been seeing for the past two years surrounding behavioral targeting in general: lack of inventory. That said, behavioral targeting in video holds tremendous promise as inventory and usage grows.

BG: The most important aspect of effective advertising, regardless of format, is relevance to the consumer. Behavioral targeting ensures that. The big difference I see is that the economics of video requires both high relevance and large reach. Our targeting platform provides both, and we're very excited to see our partners around the world making huge progress in video.

JK: When a user demonstrates a specific automotive behavior, their cookie is pooled into our data warehouse and segmented based on the behavior. We're able to recognize that user at a later date while they are viewing video content on lifestyle sites and serve them a relevant auto ad. It essentially works the same as targeting these users via display ads; the difference is it's in a richer environment.

Meet Anna at Search Engine Strategies April 10-13 at the Hilton New York in New York City.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Vista Sidebar Gadget

By John Straumann
Accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM information from a Sidebar Gadget.
The Code Project Latest Articles - http://www.codeproject.com

Salesforce.com Demos Their New CRM Tools

Salesforce.com stopped by our offices today to demonstrate their new Wealth Management Edition, a client relationship management tool (or CRM, which doubles as the stock ticker for the publicly traded Salesforce.com). The web-based software offers many different ways for advisors to keep track of their clients and client interactions.

Want to know the last time you spoke to a client? The Client 360 feature can tell you your last interaction with a client and when you’re due for another. Advisors can select the stocks they want tracked (through Yahoo Finance or Dow Jones, for example) and link easily to a list of clients who own the stock. A partnership with Dow Jones Wealth Manager offers daily articles from publications like The Wall Street Journal along with an easy link to clients who might be interested in the content. The software also allows advisors to create templates for servicing different groups of clients, which can ensure, for example, that all A Level clients get a certain, consistent approach and all B Level clients receive a different but no less consistent approach across their segment.

Discover Why I Really Feel Sorry For Any Client Who Has Employed An X-Advertising Agency Person

Boy have they got problems. There are more of them around these days looking for work, preferably with a Client, which begs the question, why? Winston Fletcher, one of the Grand Old Men of British Advertising had this to say recently:

Agency giants are being cut to size by specialist rivals. The largest advertising agency in Britain employs just 310 people. Not long ago the largest agencies employed 1,000 or more. Advertising agencies are shadows of their former selves.

This has nothing to do with any short-term advertising recession. It reflects a long-term downward slide. In total, advertising agencies employ about half as many people as they did in the Sixties. In recent years, as advertising has boomed, advertising agencies have dwindled.

What is the explanation? Quite simply, advertising agencies do a lot less than they used to. They do almost nothing but create television commercials, press adverts and billboards

While they continue to boast about their billings the huge sums spent on the space and time to display their creations they are no longer responsible for this expenditure.

It has largely become the preserve of media buying specialists. In 1975 media specialists bought 1% of all advertising. Today they buy 85%. This seismic change has slashed agencies turnover.

Buying media is just one of many thing agencies no longer doing. Although many outsiders do not realise it, modern advertising agencies do hardly any package or logo design, direct mail, basic market research or public relations. They produce no in-store display material, design no brochures, build no exhibition stands, devise no sales promotions, and shoot no corporate videos.

Agencies have ceded strategic planning to management consultants. New product development and brand positioning are done by product and brand consultancies. Agencies failed to seize the opportunities offered by digital and interactive media, which have been cornered by young specialist companies. All this has fomented much discontent among the agencies largest clients.

At the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers Conference, there was disagreement between Carol Fisher, then CEO of the Central Office of Information, and Bruce Haines, President of the agency trade association, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Speaking from the platform, Haines lamented the decline in fees paid by clients.

Fisher responsible, at the time, for the largest advertising budget in Britain responded that as long as agencies continued to do nothing but create adverts, while ignoring the cornucopia of alternative marketing communications available, they did not deserve another penny. The shrinkage in advertising agency services and the consequent reduction in their size and power, has partly been their own fault but it has also been exacerbated by clients who have constantly whittled away at their remuneration.

As a result, agencies have shed virtually all of their ancillary marketing services (which their clients do not see as ancillary at all) for two cogent reasons: they are unable to do them well and they are unable to make money from them.

They cannot do them well because the best specialists no longer want to work for them. Advertising agencies are obsessively focused on creative people and their adverts. The creatives strut their stuff and everyone else is there to buttress them.

Naturally, people who are good at other aspects of marketing do not enjoy skulking in the admens creative shadows. In agencies they feel like second-class citizens, leading them to leave and set up their own shops.

Clients have aggravated the situation by slashing the agencies income. In the Eighties most agencies received 15% commission on their clients advertising outlay.

Now they are lucky to receive 8% - 9% from big spenders and less from many others. The 15% commission, which was universal, forced agencies to compete with each other by offering clients a package of marketing services such as sales promotion, package design and new product development either free or for a minimal fee.

The management of agencies offered these loss leaders because they could afford to and it was well worthwhile for all parties involved. They invented a name for themselves to explain the multiplicity of benefits they provided: full-service agency it could have been a new Oliver Stone movie.

Nowadays nobody talks about full-service agencies. There arent any. The provision of diverse marketing services has moved from advertising agencies to marketing conglomerates: holding companies such as WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic.

These conglomerates own a plethora of specialist companies, which handle all aspects of marketing. Outsiders think the conglomerates are just grandiose advertising agencies, but they are not. The most successful adman in Britain, WPP Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell, is not an adman at all. Never has been. Today nobody has heard of the bosses of most advertising agencies. They are small, craft companies mostly owned by the conglomerates.

Curiously, neither the agencies nor their clients have cottoned on to this new reality. Both sides look back wistfully to the glory days, when advertising agencies were full-service (and wallowed in the commissions they were paid).

To-day many clients like Carol Fisher want them to co-ordinate the multiplicity of communications media available. There is no reason why advertising agencies should do this.

They are not paid to do it, the other specialists do not want them to do it and despite their protestations to the contrary they do not know how to do it. British agencies are world leaders in advertising creativity. (Whatever this misbegotten statement means!) They do what they do immensely well but what they do is immensely specialised. The marketing communications clock is not broken but it cannot be turned back.

Mass Markets were fragmenting for many decades before the Internet came on-stream, and since then, the net has enormously accelerated the fragmentation. No more can broadcast advertising shape the tastes and desires of an undifferentiated mass market.

Ideas create new markets. Unlike market research, true interactive communication in many forms, provides a more immediate way to find out if those product ideas are any good.

Mass Media were created to serve the marketing requirements of Corporations.

Today, corporations must establish more intimate relationships with markets because that is where the knowledge is. Engaging in conversations with relevant markets will become an important source of knowledge and innovation.

The quality of this market intelligence has already (and will continue to accelerate in the future) proven to be more accurate than conventional research and will help determine market share.

Without interactive communication efforts to create new products and markets will continue to take place in a vacuum.

As manufacturers products come to reflect the information provided through the genuine conversations of interactive communication, instead of the ballyhoo and adversarial marketing tactics that poses as marketing today, companies will be far better served and so will their customers.

Oddly enough, with interactive communication, companies can have everything theyve always wanted. Greater market share, customer loyalty and so on. All the empty promises that advertising has been promising their clients but failed to deliver!

This big business, with their handmaidens, advertising & marketing, have created mass media.

And the biggest mass medium is broadcast, for which, read TELEVISION. And that is command and control management, complementing big business thoroughly. Both are all about imposing control top-down and both are driven by ratings, research and cost per thousand.

Sad for them people are turning away from broadcast in their millions! Why?

For a number of reasons.

They have acquired other interests and concerns, which broadcast is not providing for. And most importantly, people are heartily sick of the sterile pronouncements of corporations and broadcast media. And especially of advertisements! No longer are they affected by the old slogan that used to appear in shopping outlets, as seen on TV. Those days are over, if indeed they ever existed.

Current methods and practices in marketing are still based upon a long past society of mass communication with no regard for individual customer needs and as such, are in terminal decline. The fact is markets are changing a lot fasted than marketing, with the results that most marketing plans are obsolete before they have been written!

What most marketing departments fail to realise is that we continue to move into a new marketing age. This new age respects the fact that people in general dont trust business, they find it insulting and demeaning to be so cynically manipulated and they are feeling this way in greater and greater numbers.

There is an old adage in technology: Intelligence always moves to the edge of the network.

The same is true of most other things, especially advertising and marketing; there are far more intelligent ideas outside of advertising agencies and marketing departments.

Existing advertising agencies are fat, dumb and happy with current monopolistic profits and their general situation, so they badmouth any new idea, which threatens their incumbency or profits, or both. Advertising Agencies are also in denial until their profits are really threatened.

Just how dumb are they? The entire history of commercial television appears to have been a big plot erected on control from above rather than choice from below. Consumers have then been coerced into watching programs in which they have no real interest. The advertisers who pay for the commercial break believe, on amazingly weak evidence, that some great percentage of people actually watch their commercials.

The television advertising business is a science based on suspect data. That data is based upon a small sample, which decides how many households watch an actual programme, and doesnt even measure the commercial break!

The way forward is through implementing interactive marketing communication programmes; all the problems of the past will disappear when that occurs.

Paul Ashby pioneered interactive communication to the advertising and marketing communities some twenty-five years ago. The communication issues he addresses have been neglected during the explosive grown of advertising in the 60s, 70s and 80s; these are Cognitive Dissonance, Selective Retention and Selective Exposure.

Would you like to discover the incredible results to be attained by using interactive communication? Well these are revealed for FREE or contact Paul directly.

Incremental Marketing: Entrepreneurs Do A Little Every Day

Vision

Successful entrepreneurs have a very clear vision about the business and what it can do for people. The vision should be kept in mind all the time, keeping it real. You should be bringing the vision to life, even if you have hardly sold a thing. What's your business concept? Be in the mind of the client and look at the business from there. Spend a few minutes every day in that place. You may find it helpful to write down how your business looks from over there.

Mindset

Play marketing games with yourself. Make index cards with questions like, "What am I selling?" or "What value do customers get?" and stick them around your workspace so that you come across them serendipitously. Use the 'onion-skin method' of working on your business model by asking yourself 'why' after 'why' to peel back your thinking to bare essentials. Take nothing for granted. It may be that by questioning your assumptions about the market, you will discover amazing new opportunities.

Plan

You will have done your business plan and as part of it, your marketing plan. Go back to it at least weekly and check out if you think it is still valid. Markets are not static and every bit of prospect or customer feedback, good or bad, will show you something on which you can take action. Here too, it's small increments, not total revisions that will keep up your business momentum. Plans are great, but they need to be dynamic.

Data

Get all the data you can, but sort it and apply your own insight and transform it into usable information and knowledge. Sometimes you may not know quite what you are looking for or what data is relevant, so be a 'data-jackdaw' (the bird that's attracted by bright sparkly things). Collect the data, process and interpret it; at the same time, don not be afraid to cull it or let it lead you to more. You will find it in surprising places. You don not necessarily need to indulge in formal market research, but collect facts, numbers, opinions and organize themhard copies in files or in the computer.

Profiling

You will never know enough about your customers and you will want to keep revising what you think you know about them. One way to do this is to keep an open file on Customer Profiling. If you click the link you will find a way of organizing the way to profile your customers, but make sure it is a continuous process of asking yourself who they are and analyzing your sales data. The more you can accurately describe your customers, the more you will be able to target your marketing efforts. Don not forget to speculate as well; you don not want to leave out those customers that you would like to have, even if you have yet to reel them in.

Branding

Branding is for the creative part of you. Remember, branding is not just a collection of images and ideas representing your business and concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design. It is the very way you do business and it is building all the time through all your actions. Of course you will create names and graphics, but your brand is intangible as well as tangible. Work on it continuously by giving thought to reputation and how your business behavior will impact it. Tighten and simplify the brand, be consistent.

Promotion

I recommend the 'Dagwood' (cartoon strip Blondie's husband) approach to promotion. A Dagwood Sandwich attained such a tremendous size and infinite variety of contents as to stun the imagination. Nibble a bit every day! Make sure you take promotional action regularly. They don not have to be huge and the little bits (or bites) need not take a lot of time, but they will build up progressively. There will be days when you seem to achieved nothing, but check monthly, you will see a difference. The activities can be the slightest thing, like giving you business card to someone influential, adding a telling tagline to your logo, being interviewed by the local newspaper, or writing a blog post. Do it as frequently as brushing your teeth.

Prospecting

You may think prospecting is just what sales people do. They do of course, but so should you. Make sure you have an 'elevator pitch' or a 'kitchen table presentation' so that when you find yourself with a prospect, an influencer or even your next-door neighbor, you can use one or the other. Carry your business card at all times and hand it out as freely as the Japanese do. Remember that when you are at the bank trying to raise a loan, you should be prospecting, even if you don not come away with any money.

Press

The press may seem daunting to you. But think like a journalist choose a news-worthy aspect of what you are doing (not just product puffs). Take a marketing approach: what kind of publication might be interested? Approach the editor of an appropriate publication. Write a press release (find out how on the Web) and send it to targeted journals, and distribute it via the Web. Write articles yourself, since you are the expert on your subject. Use ezinearticles to distribute them or place them in specialist publications.

Colleagues

Marketing needs a leader, but all the followers must be implicated, too. Everyone in the business has a role to play in marketing. Your colleagues may need help and support to become advocates and messengers to help build the brand and awareness of the business. In finance, productionin all functions, there is marketing to be done. Remind people and offer ideas and materials that they may communicate with their suppliers and the wider community. Without a fully staffed marketing department they can become a powerful proxy marketing team.

Customers

You may not have thought about getting customers to help you do your marketing. If they feel good about the relationship with you and the support and service that they get from you, they can be even more powerful promoters than you are yourself. Word of mouth recommendations (watch out for the bad-mouthing of dissatisfied customers) are one of the strongest of marketing tools. Not only should nurture those relationships, but it will help to support them too, with marketing materials they can use. In every customer interaction, think about what aids to marketing you can supply.

Contacts

Networking and co-operative marketing should become second nature. There are formal tools available like your memberships of the chamber of commerce, professional associations, alumni groups and others, or the use of Internet-based networking sites. But networking is an attitude of mind. If you are in business, you are interacting with others all the time. Take time every day to check that you are maximizing your contacts, but remember to give as well as takeby helping others to make good connections. Keep good records of your networks in address books, databases, or business card indexes.

The Web

Of course you have your website which you keep updated regularly, but the Web gives you many other marketing opportunities that are neither hugely time consuming or expensive and have a great multiplier effect. Blogs, webcasts, email newsletters, and other media can be used every day and interlinked. They give you incremental marketing tools, par excellence.

Start All Over Again

Just when you think you have been through the whole gamut of marketing, it will surely be time to start all over again. In every iteration of the process, challenge conventional marketing wisdom and leave no market stone unturned. It is too easy to limit oneself to the markets that are known or named in the business plan. But there are many others that you will be able to reach, or you may be able to go deeper into the ones that you do know. For instance, you might decide to focus on your local market, then to aim at a particular age group, which in turn draws you into a specialist group within the age group.

Integrated as Well as Incremental

If you can string all this together and ensure that you use the layering technique of little and often, the cumulative effect will really work. You are going to be doing all the myriad things that startup artists do in their never-ending days. That is why regular marketing must not become the business Cinderella. To avoid that happening, try diarizing the activities. Once a month sit down with your planner and mark the activities so you don not forget. Be sure to take action every day. I know from my own experience that I can easily become despondent when the orders are not rolling in. Whether they are or not, it's vital to keep plugging away at incremental marketing.

William Keyser is Managing Director of WorkSavvy "Sustainability from the Startup". At http://www.worksavvy.ws, you will find a wealth of free business startup resources, tools and links.

Will is a veteran entrepreneur with VC experience and he is committed to help would-be and early stage entrepreneurs to: clarify their business purpose; sharpen their business model; better their business plan; speed their market entry; offer customer value; finance their business right; grow their business strongly; survive their business challengesmore effectively than they might do on their own.

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