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I've been eating tapas in Barcelona at Microsoft Convergence.
One area I was keen to discuss with Microsoft was retail, an industry the tech giant is doing more in, not just with vanilla CRM but also POS, end-to-end solutions and web.
I spoke to Seth Patton, senior director of marketing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Here's what he had to say about change in this sector.
Mobile is hot, HTML5 is hot, branded experiences are hot. What's not to like about TreSensa?
I caught up with Robert Grossberg, CEO of TreSensa, to see how the young company is faring.
Take a look..
I'm at Microsoft Convergence in Barcelona. I'm also in the middle of compiling a report on multichannel marketing.
Both of these endeavours leave me bemused as to why I haven't heard people using the phrase 'the year of CRM'.
Perhaps it just doesn't have the ring to it that 'year of mobile' always did. Perhaps it's because a lot of the CRM action is occuring in enterprise B2B and isn't as sexy as above-the-line brand campaigns.
Anyway, the point is that CRM, a very traditional concept, through cloud and mobile, is a sophisticated and rapidly growing market. The market in 2013 was valued at $20.4bn by Gartner.
This growth isn't set to change pace, with Econsultancy's Marketing Budgets 2014 report showing CRM to be the technology most earmarked for investment this year (see chart below).
Microsoft Dynamics itself lays claim to 41 quarters of double digit growth, 4.4m users and 80% year-on-year net seat growth.
It has just announced increased 'omnichannel' functionality and seems to be coming up on the rails in a top five of CRM providers who are all making hay - Salesforce especially.
So, I thought I'd round up some reasons for this rise in CRM.
From searches for Disney's Frozen fancy dress costumes to cross channel marketing maturity, it can only be the stats roundup!
The full 10 for today's halloween edition and, of course, there are more online marketing charts and statistics over in the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.
Enjoy and be well.
The Festival of Marketing is approaching, there's not long left to buy tickets, just enough time to check out this awesome list detailing why we need you to be there.
Where else can you listen to Tulisa, Facebook and The Government Digital Service? Where else can you meet Grandmaster Flash and Alastair Campbell? Where else can you improve your digital strategy and drink champagne?
Check out the Festival website and read on for more.
It's pleasing to have so many upper case letters in a headline.
It's an interesting time for the retailer, with increased numbers of stores and successful expansion into the USA.
Here's what Jared had to say about life on the PPC shop floor.
The Samaritans Radar is a wonderful case study for social media use by charities.
Not only is the technology simple and useful (sending you an email when someone in your Twitter network uses a potentially concerning phrase), the campaign is equally as important in raising the profile of the charity and reminding people of its cause.
Radar has been covered widely in the news, but I've included some screenshots of the campaign (which is lovely from a UX viewpoint) and added some other social media campaigns from charities that have also caught my eye.
With social media becoming so important for charities, both for scale and influence, we're set to see many more innovative campaigns across networks.
Econsultancy has covered in-store technology fairly frequently.
Tulip Retail is a startup providing a tablet solution for store associates to bridge that gap in product knowledge and to tailor the experience to a customer.
We caught up with the team to find out how it's going.
Not long ago I interviewed Beverley McIntyre, director of member services and support at News UK.
The extent to which a paywall has changed life at The Sun is quite remarkable. Last weekend, fingering Twitter, I saw that The Times and Sunday Times is offering a free iPad Mini to anyone taking out a premium subscription.
This intrigued me and I looked further at The Times member page, a more advanced product than The Sun when it comes to paywalls at News UK, having been in place for a while longer.
I saw a lot of features that I take to be trends in publishing strategy, customer support and web design.
Here they are...
The advertising landscape is confusing, fragmented, brimming with new technology and not necessarily transparent.
That's partly the reason that Marketing Week and Econsultancy have launched a conference on the subject, Get With The Programmatic, in partnership with AppNexus.
It's also the reason Thalamus exists, a startup that aims to be the 'Yelp of advertising'. I caught up with founder and CEO, Garrett Gan.
The Financial Times has launched a daily digest email called First FT.
I've noticed a retro trend for daily and weekly digest emails from publishers, with Quartz' version regularly cited by digital folk as the first thing they read in the morning.
Here's why email is enjoying a bit of a resurgence. I've included some examples of other publishers and their daily digests.
Dinosaurs not included.
Here are the most interesting digital and marketing stats we've seen this week. This week's crop takes in budget supermarkets, YouTube, retargeting, McDonald's and, of course, social media.
As always, if you want more extensive research and up to date stats, see the Internet Statistics Compenium.